Fresno Sikh community plans new outreach effort

May 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The recent beating of a Fresno Sikh man has others issuing a call to action. A town hall meeting spurred by the attack took place Saturday afternoon.

One by one, ideas were shared aloud to a group of 100 who turned out to lend their support for the Sikh community at the temple in Southwest Fresno.

"We are going to be pressing our congressional delegates, we're going to be pressing our US Senators to see if they can work with us, support us," Sikh advocate Ike Grewal said.

Grewal is a Sikh community advocate.

He's spent the past week talking with investigators about pursuing hate crime charges after police say 81-year-old Piara Singh was viciously beaten with a metal pipe.

The attack happened last Sunday after a prayer service.

The Fresno chapter of the Jakara Movement, a national Sikh outreach group, organized the town hall meeting.

These young community advocates are hoping to turn their religion's peaceful message into a call for action.

"One of the things we decided to do was to have a know your neighbor concept. So basically our idea is to bake about 200 pizzas and hand them out to the community. And along with the pizza we'll be giving them a package that educates them about Sikhism," Hanet Kaur of the Jakara Movement said.

To reach a broader audience, they're also planning on sharing their message in Spanish and Hmong.

The Sikh religion is one of the world's largest. It teaches tolerance and acceptance.

The members of the Gurdwara also spent an hour Saturday praying for Piara Singh's recovery.

Piara Singh's family says he's doing well in his recovery. He may be released from the hospital soon.

As for his attacker, he's facing a charge of attempted murder.


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