|UNITED SIKHS WRITES TO PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA|
5th November 2008
Dear Mr. President-elect Barack Obama,
UNITED SIKHS, an international UN affiliated, civil rights and humanitarian relief organization, working for millions of Sikhs and other minorities globally, offers you our prayers and support as you embark on the enormous challenge of leading the United States of America, at a time of great challenges. We congratulate you on this momentous occasion, and we have high hopes for your administration.
Sikhs, through our principle of Sarbat da Bhalla, for the common good of all, support a broad moral agenda that includes a deep concern for poverty, peacemaking, ethics, equality, and respect for the environment. During the campaign, you said that, if elected, you would face powerful special interests trying to block change, and that you need a citizen's movement to support and push you.
Today, UNITED SIKHS pledges to be part of that movement. It will be a movement that will seek social change, community empowerment, and protection of rights, but also hold you accountable to the things you promised. We urge you to give high priority to certain key issues, and we will support you in your efforts to:
Overcome poverty among unprivileged people in the United States and around the world. Your efforts to resolve the economic crisis must include those at the bottom, the poorest among us. You pledged during the campaign to mobilize the nation to cut domestic poverty in half in ten years and to implement the Millennium Development Goals to cut extreme global poverty in half.
Find better ways than war to resolve the inevitable conflicts in the world. It is time to end war and work towards restoring peace through policies and dialogues. We need better and intelligent foreign policy that is more consistent with our best national values.
Promote consistent ethics for all. We must end genocide, mass murder, enforced disappearances, the use of torture, stop secret and unlawful detentions, and the death penalty. We urge you to pursue common ground policies which help bring us together on this divisive issue.
Protecting religious freedom post 9/11. The world has been gripped by fear since 9/11, which has affected religious minorities, such as the Sikhs, who have suffered attacks on their right to wear their articles of faith at airports, during flights, in schools, at the workplace and in other public places. We turn to you to reverse this tide by turning the clocks back on fear through positive legislation and policies both in the USA and through your foreign policy.
Prevent Profiling and Hate Crimes. Despite the Hate Crime Statistics Act, signed into law in 1990, to make hate crimes a federal offense in the USA, these crimes appear to be continuing in the new millennium. We urge you to construct prevention strategies to protect immigrants and ethnically diverse people of the USA and globally through your supportive foreign policy.
Immigration Reform. We must work together to provide relief to the immigrants who like many before them came to the USA to realize the American Dream. Immigration Reform must incorporate relief to the many immigrants waiting to unite with their families.
Promote awareness in the Workplace and Educational Institutions. We need to work together to end discrimination in the workplace and schools to promote a greater understanding among Americans. We should promote diversity projects and cultural sensitivity training in the workplace and educational facilities to create awareness of the great diversity that makes up the USA.
Reverse the effects of climate change. We need a spiritual commitment to stewardship and national policies that promote safe, clean, and renewable energy. You spoke of job creation and economic renewal with a new "green economy."
We pray for you and the United States of America. We need your presidential leadership for the transformation of our society, but we promise also to do our part. Very truly yours,
Tel: 001 404 5508356
To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.
UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.
UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.
Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.
We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.