- According to reports, the Sikh awareness campaign to spread awareness about Sikhism among the Americans has led to rise in positive perception about their religion
- Non-profit organization, National Sikh Campaign launched the “We are Sikhs” ad campaign
- The survey took place in Fresno, California, where violence towards the American Sikhs has been occurring repeatedly
Washington, September 4, 2017: A recent survey has noted that the Sikh awareness campaign to inform Americans about Sikhism has led to a rise in the positive perception about their religion.
The non-profit organisation, National Sikh Campaign launched the “We are Sikhs” ad campaign on April 14, on the occasion of Vaisakhi, which is considered a holy day by the community.
The survey took place in Fresno, California, where a number of Sikhs live and where violence towards Sikhs has been increasing since the past few years. Two people were killed in Fresno, in the recent months.
Television ads, grassroots events, digital ads and significant news coverage, all form parts of the Fresno effort.
The campaign has been actively engaged since April, in airing ads, conducting grassroots events in Gurudwaras across the United States and portraying Sikhs as good neighbors, proud Americans on popular news channels like the CNN and Fox News nationwide.
The ultimate objective of the $1.3 million campaign was to spread awareness regarding the Sikh community, their identity, their belief in equality, their values and ethics like respect for women and every religion, and important information like the religion being the fifth largest in the world.
59 per cent of Fresno residents, which apparently makes the majority, say they are acquainted with at least some knowledge about Sikhs who live in America, according to a survey, as mentioned in the Times of India.
Sixty-eight per cent considered Sikhs as good neighbors and 64 per cent saw them as generous and kind.
The division of residents who had seen the ads are twice as likely to claim that they have at least some idea about the Sikhs living in America (78 percent) than the ones who haven’t seen the ads (40 percent), the survey noted.
According to the survey results, People who are likely to identify a bearded man wearing a turban with Sikhism, makes 57 percent of those who saw the ads, while those who believe that Sikhs believe in equality and respect for all people, makes 67 percent of the residents who have had seen the ad.
And 60 per cent of Fresno residents that happened to have seen the Sikhs ad believe they have American values.
“Despite tense race relations and an extremely polarized political environment, the We Are Sikhs campaign has been able to make headway in creating awareness of Sikh Americans, who can commonly be identified by their turbans and beards,” said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates.
“This effort is a testament to the Sikh community’s commitment to reaching out to people of all faiths to help them recognize that we all have shared values, and that is a ray of hope that proves that understanding can bring people of all walks of life together,” he added.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Sikhs remained to be a softer target in cases involving profiling, backlash and bigotry, than the average American.
In July, two separate incidents killed two Sikh Americans in one week in California.
In March, A partially masked gunman shot a 39-year-old Sikh man in the arm, outside his home in Kent, Washington. The gunman reportedly shouted, “go back to your own country”.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha