Sikh Man Racially Profiled in US, Mistaken For “Muslim With Sword”

The victim said he was racially profiled and claimed it was “fear-driven racism”.

2 min read
Hindi Female

In a case of alleged racial profiling in the US, police surrounded a Sikh man carrying a kirpan after getting calls about a Muslim person walking around a shopping centre with a “large knife” or “sword”.

Harpreet Singh Khalsa, 33, said he was a victim of racial profiling in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, but police stated that those who called in their concerns did the right thing.


Police in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, received multiple calls about the man walking around the Bethlehem Square Shopping Center with a “large knife” or “sword”, officers responded to find Khalsa sitting inside a van parked in the fire lane.

The cops surrounded me and told me to put my hands on my head... Embarrassed, humiliated, ashamed, for even bothering to come to Bethlehem.

Khalsa, visiting from Maryland, was not carrying a large knife or sword. He was wearing a kirpan – one of the five articles of the Sikh faith. Khalsa said he was scared having so many officers around him.

Given recent attacks in New York and Minnesota, officers said people are on higher alert.

People are a little sensitive to things that are unusual. They did the right thing. They called for us to come and check it out.
Greg Gottschall, Captain, Bethlehem Township Police Department

However, Khalsa said he was racially profiled and misunderstood. “To have a caller in the first place is pointing to racism, clearly racism,” Khalsa said, adding that it was “fear-driven racism”.

Khalsa was not charged, and his kirpan was returned to him. But the Sikh man said he does not plan to come back to the Lehigh Valley and called the way he was treated “un-American.”

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Topics:  United States   Sikh   Racism 

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