NEW YORK – Racists in the US have threatened to kill a Virginia Sikh family, accusing them of being Taliban.
The family received an anonymous letter that threatens to kill its members for being “associates of the Taliban”, prompting authorities to launch a probe into it.
The letter, addressed to the ‘Turban Family’, said the family is being closely watched and it should leave the US immediately.
“Our people in the neighborhood have been closely watching your activities and figured out you are a close associate of a secret Taliban movement on the US soil. We ask you to leave the country as soon as possible otherwise one of our people is going to shoot you dead. Don’t attempt to relocate somewhere else in America as people are closely monitoring your day to day activities,” the letter said.
The identity of the family, which lives near Virginia, has not been released.
Local authorities are working with the FBI to investigate the threats in the letter sent to the family last week.
The Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF) said the Sikh family had previously been the target of similar hate crimes.
In 2003, the family’s home was vandalised with graffiti and it received two threatening letters. In 2005, they received two more death threats through mail.
Inter-faith groups have spoken in support of the family, calling on the authorities to investigate the threats as a hate crime.
“Incidents like these are constant reminders of the challenges that Sikh Americans face as a result of our unique identity. In the absence of awareness about who we are and what we stand for, Sikh Americans continue to endure harassment, discrimination and threats which run counter to the American ideals,” the SALDEF said in a statement.