Keep in mind when Sikhs and Muslims meet all over the world they say to each other my Muslim brother my Sikh brother or sister….
E-MAIL TEMPLATE FOR MPS Subject: Save Afghan Sikhs and Hindus – Emergency Body:
Dear [INSERT MP/MINISTER NAME] Emergency – The Immediate Direct Sponsorship of Afghan Sikh and Hindu Refugees Needed I am writing to you at a time of great urgency. As you may be aware, on the morning of March 25th we were awoken to the news of Daesh (Islamic State) attacking a Sikh Gurdwara (place of worship) in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 25 people, and injuring 8 after holding a 150+ community hostage inside the complex which included men, women and children. Of the deceased, one is a 3 year old child. And later, the community was further traumatized as a bomb was detonated beside the cremation site of the deceased Sikhs. Sikhs and Hindus are a very small community in Afghanistan- approximately 1000 people, a number which has significantly decreased from 200,000 in the 1980s. They live primarily in Kabul, Jalalabad and Ghazni. This minority group has faced and continues to face persecution at the hands of the local communities as well as Islamic militant groups. Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, Sikhs were forced to identify themselves by wearing yellow armbands. In July of 2018, a group of Sikhs and Hindus was attacked by an Islamic State suicide bomber in Jalalabad, killing 19 people. The miniscule community has faced and continues to face very clear and grave danger living in this country. Afghan Sikhs have described the horrors of living as a visible minority in Afghanistan, and appealed for refugee status outside of the country. “Without internal flight options, or prospects of meaningful integration in neighboring countries, international resettlement is the only viable solution for Afghan Sikh and Hindu asylum seekers (WSO, 2020).” India is not a settlement option for these refugees as it is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on Refugees, does not include Afghan Sikhs in its recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act, and fails to provide access to basic services such as medical care and education for those who have resettled in India (WSO, 2020). The direct sponsorship of this very vulnerable community is needed with great urgency, especially following the March 25, 2020 attack. Forcing the community to travel to a neighbouring country to begin the refugee process puts their lives at risk and likely not possible given their lack of financial resources. Alberta MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar started the process of resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in Canada prior to his death in 2015. Later, the World Sikh Organization along with the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation, was able to successfully organize the private sponsorship of 15 Afghan Sikh and Hindu families who arrived in Canada last year and have successfully resettled. Unfortunately, there are approximately 40 families still in the process. I am also requesting your help in ensuring that the files for these families be processed on an expedited basis. I hope to hear from you soon with how you can help us save the lives of the Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan. Sincerely, [YOUR NAME]