Huffington Post Religion started a Twitter campaign to help dispel ignorance of the Sikh culture and community with #WhatSikhLooksLike.
One of the largest religions in the entire world is Sikhism. While it claims the fifth most adherents, there is still a great deal of misinformation that is spread about the religion, causing it to be misconceived in a variety of different ways. However, Huffington Post has started a new trend on social media sites, like Twitter, that aims to help people understand Sikhism in a much better way. It is called #WhatSikhLooksLike, and it has been well received by the Sikh community and has taken the social media world by storm.
Confusion Or Deliberate Ignorance?
The reason that this hashtag has become necessary on Twitter is that more and more people are using their ignorance of the religion to purvey nonsensical and downright harmful ideologies. For example, in the days and weeks following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, several Sikhs were attacked, and killed, as a result of deliberate ignorance about Sikhism.
For those who do not understand, the attackers believed that the Sikhs were Muslims, a distinction that is difficult to miss for people who take the time to get to know various religions. However, an anti-Sikh sentiment is still rampant in some parts of the United States and the United Kingdom in particular. These feelings based on ignorance have caused far too many crimes.
— Arvinder Singh Kang (@askang) September 1, 2014
What Twitter Looks Like
The #Whatsikhlookslike on Twitter is gaining a large following from people within the religion as well as those who are looking to understand the Sikh religion a little better. Searching the hashtag on the Twitter site reveals pictures of Sikhs wearing traditional garb as well as more modern outfits in a variety of situations. From travelling through the hallowed halls of Congress to having fun at a skate park, Sikhs are all around the world and have a wonderful composite culture.
That is what the Twitter and social media pages are trying to show: that there is more to Sikhism than the garb they wear and religious adornments. All of this effort has been used to highlight the xenophobia that seems to be gripping many western nations as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East.
Making A Difference
For their goal of establishing themselves as a heterogeneous group, the Sikh community has succeeded with the help of social media. While they have made significant progress, other people have used it as an opportunity to express hateful, misguided notions. However, many people have announced their support to drown out the hate and ensure that people continue to understand the message that is being offered by this wonderful social media project.