Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has stood up as a defender of Sikhs in light of recent events born out of ignorance for the generally peaceful community.
Sikhs face significant discrimination mainly grown out of islamophobia and ignorance. In Georgia, a Sikh student made headlines after he was bullied by other non-Sikh students and the whole ordeal was recorded on camera. He was called a terrorist and insulted by his classmates. Events like this have happened far too often and have had a profound impact on the American Sikh community. This extreme ignorance has also lead to a hike in the suicide rate of Sikhs in the USA and drawn the attention of Anita Alvarez.
To help Sikhs to gain their equal rights, Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has emerged as a helping hand to the humble community. She recently addressed a congregation at the Gurudawara Sikh Religious Society in Palatine. Alvarez told members that she wants to first seek the input from the people and then take appropriate steps to protect the Sikh community.
Anita Alvarez sympathized with Sikhs, “I also understand that the issue of hate crimes is a significant concern to your community and I want to emphasize my commitment to combating this issue as your state’s attorney.” She further added, “My goal is to reinvigorate our efforts, not only in prosecuting hate crimes when we become aware of them, but also in bringing together important voices to develop a community based plan that works to raise awareness about hate crimes and also strives to prevent them.”
In Illinois, Anita Alvarez announced that she has chosen Amrith Aakre, one of her assistant state attorneys and a member of Sikh Community, as a part of the council, who will handle the office’s diversion programs and train law enforcement about Sikh Community.
Alvarez and her family have faced these dilemmas since her childhood. Her brother Satnaam Singh Mago recalled, “You go to school and you want to be American. You’re at home (and) there is so much pressure. You’re trying to be Indian. You’re trying to balance two lives.”
Anita Alvarez’s initiative towards Sikh rights may have given a ray of hope to Sikhs across America.