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Simran Jeet Singh
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Simran Jeet Singh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Trinity University. He is also the Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition and is responsible for educating the broader American public about the Sikh faith and traditions.

Simran’s academic expertise focuses on the formations of religious communities and literatures in early modern South Asia. His graduate training focused on the history of religions in South Asia, and he has taught courses at Columbia University and Trinity University on Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, and Sikh traditions. Simran’s recent scholarship and public engagement at the Sikh Coalition also engages issues of xenophobia, racial profiling and hate violence in our post 9/11 America.

Simran is a prolific writer who has contributed over 50 opinion pieces to news outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. He has become a consistent expert for reporters and news outlets across the world on national security, civil rights, religion and culture. His thought leadership also extends to the White House and Pentagon, where he has given keynote addresses on behalf of the Sikh community.

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Simran is a diehard Spurs fan and avid marathon runner. He currently lives between San Antonio and Manhattan, New York -- where his wife, Dr. Gunisha Kaur, teaches and works as an anesthesiologist at Cornell Medical College.

Simran is a Truman National Security Fellow who is fluent in multiple languages. He holds a PhD from Columbia University, a graduate degree from Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree from Trinity University.

Entries by Simran Jeet Singh

Current Situation in Punjab Evokes Memories of 1984 Anti-Sikh Violence

(61) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 12:06 PM

This past week, tensions have escalated in Punjab. Due to media censorship, we have little information about what is actually happening on the ground, but here is what we are hearing and seeing so far.

A religious faction publicly desecrated the Sikh scripture. Sikhs responded by organizing peaceful protests. These...

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Hate Hits the US: Another American Sikh Targeted

(113) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 11:56 PM

On Wednesday evening, yet another Sikh American was assaulted by someone yelling racial slurs. A teenager beat 53-year-old Inderjit Singh Mukker, a father of two, while shouting hate speech like "Terrorist!", "Bin Laden!", and "Go back to your country!"

Mr. Mukker was beaten unconscious and hospitalized with a...

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Pentagon Vaisakhi Address: Seva Is More Than Service

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 1:18 PM

The following are the prepared remarks of Simran Jeet Singh at the Pentagon's second-ever commemoration of the Sikh faith on May 1, 2015. Singh spoke alongside Valarie Kaur and Inni Kaur on "Seva" - selfless service in the Sikh religion. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain on Vaisakhi, the program was...

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The Future of the Sikh Tradition

(23) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 9:54 PM

The Sikh tradition has long been at the forefront of social innovation. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak (d. 1469 CE), developed creative solutions to address social and political challenges. He brought forward a fresh worldview that envisioned humanity as a collective family tied together by a single Divine Force,...

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Guru Nanak at the White House

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 5:37 PM

The following is the address I gave at The White House celebrating Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Vahiguru Ji Ka Khalsa! Vahiguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Thank you to President Obama and his staff for bringing us together to honor the life and legacy of Guru...

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Reflecting On The Life Of Guru Nanak While Running The NYC Marathon

(5) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 10:10 AM

Today, Sikhs around the world are celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak was born in the region of Punjab, which currently falls within the political boundaries of Pakistan and northwest India. He observed the deep social inequalities and spiritual dissatisfaction...

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Another Apparent Sikh Hate Crime in NYC

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 10:06 AM

Two years ago, the nation came together when a white supremacist entered a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire on the congregation. It was the most lethal attack on an American house of worship since the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Contextualizing Anti-Semitism in Modern America

(3) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 5:19 PM

Earlier this year, I received a special invitation to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum with a group of distinguished young scholars. I was thrilled by the prospect of receiving a guided tour from Dr. Victoria Barnett, director of the Museum's Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust, and I...

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Impunity & Immunity in India: Diplomats, Public Perceptions, and Human Rights Violations

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 11:06 AM

Last week, the United States arrested an Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, for committing fraud in a visa application for her nanny. The application submitted by Khobragade claimed that the housekeeper would be paid the minimum wage of $9.75, yet sources revealed that she was actually being paid about $3.31 per...

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Hate Hits Home: When My Friend Became A Target

(153) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 4:22 PM

Last night, I received the kind of phone call that everyone dreads: a close friend was hurt, and on his way to the hospital. But the news got worse, as I learned that my friend, Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a young Sikh American professor at Columbia University, had been...

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Sikhs Host 'Turban Day' in New York City

(2) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 10:53 AM

Although it is counted as the world's fifth largest religion, relatively few Americans know about the Sikh tradition. This lack of awareness has had severely negative consequences, especially when Americans mistakenly equate a turban with terrorism. The first casualty of a hate crime after 9/11 was a turbaned...

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Am I Trayvon? Zimmerman? Both?

(8) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 12:20 PM

As I strolled outside my Manhattan apartment this morning, reflecting on the Trayvon Martin decision, I had one of those moments that would shatter any possible artifice of living in a post-racial society.

I heard a woman cry in pain and turned around to see her lying...

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Remembering the Massacre of Sikhs in June of 1984

(20) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 1:41 PM

During the first week of June, Sikhs around the world commemorate a recent historical event: Operation Bluestar of 1984, a government-sanctioned military operation that resulted in countless casualties and the destruction of one of the most historically significant gurduaras, the Darbar Sahib of Amritsar (i.e., The Golden Temple).


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Protesting Interfaith? The Importance of Advancing Our Dialogues

(23) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 12:22 PM

I had never before seen anyone protest an interfaith gathering. But yesterday as we walked out of our hotel in Kiev, Ukraine, a small group of protestors stepped forward to verbally and physically harass our group consisting of religious leaders and foreign dignitaries. The protestors belonged to the Ukranian Orthodox...

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Sikhs Team Up to Run for a Cause

(3) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 11:32 AM

After raising more than $7,000 for charity, a new Sikh running team -- The Surat Fauj Running Club -- participated in its first two events this past weekend. On Saturday members of the California team showed their commitment to defending human rights in Punjab, India by joining the "Appear for...

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Hate, Congress and the FBI: Rethinking How We Track Hate Crimes in America

(7) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 10:17 AM

Two weeks ago, Florida resident and Sikh American Kanwaljit Singh was driving with his 13-year old son when someone pulled up next to him in a pickup truck and opened fire. Two of the bullets struck Singh in the thigh and torso, and after about a week in the Intensive...

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Touching Turbans and Airport Security

(228) Comments | Posted February 18, 2013 | 3:32 PM

This story has been updated. Scroll down to see the latest update.

This afternoon, I was forced to let someone else touch my turban. It's one of the most humiliating moments of my life.

I attended a conference at Stanford University this weekend and was traveling back to...

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Repealing the Ban Against Sikhs in the Military

(20) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 7:06 AM

A few weeks ago, the British Army and the Scots Guard broke centuries of tradition by allowing a Sikh soldier, Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, to wear his turban rather than the traditional bearskin cap while guarding Buckingham Palace in London, England. Meanwhile, U.S. policies still bar turbaned Sikhs from serving in...

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A Believer's Response To The Connecticut Shooting: We All Suffer Together

(14) Comments | Posted December 14, 2012 | 3:29 PM

The mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut raises serious questions about the health of our society and collective humanity. People around the globe today wonder how anyone could possibly justify killing innocent school children and school employees.

More than any of the other mass shootings our...

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Mayor Tonya Hoeffel's Act Of Intolerance Towards The Sikh Community

(25) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 3:24 PM

Less than one month after of the massacre of Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Mayor Tonya Hoeffel of Garrett, Indiana has further offended the Sikh community. Mayor Hoeffel walked into a local convenience store, observed pamphlets about the Sikh religion on the store counter, and picked them up before throwing...

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