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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Turbans and beards leave Sikhs vulnerable
Sikh temple, Sparkhill, Birmingham
Sikhs in Birmingham held a day of prayer
The Sikh temple in Birmingham is urging its members to walk in groups for their own safety.

Members of the Sikh community in the city say they have beeen abused and intimidated since the terrorist attacks in America.

They believe their flowing beards and turbans remind people of Osama Bin Laden, chief suspect behind the attacks in New York and Washington .

Sukhmonder Singh Barr was verbally abused while out walking near his home in Tividale.


Mohan Singh: "Sikhs targeted"

He told the BBC Midlands Today programme: "A lorry started passing by me and the driver opened the window and said to me 'hello Bin Laden'.

"After that he started shouting abuse at me."

Around 20 cases of intimidation and abuse against men and women have been reported to the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham.

Mohan Singh, general secretary of the council, said: "On the television and in the national papers, all you see is a picture of a bloke with a turban and with a long beard.

"The only people who resemble him are Sikhs so we are getting a lot of abuse."

He added: "Luckily, thank god, there has not been any serious offences."


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