14 December 2015

Sikhs feel vulnerable, join with Muslims to combat backlash

In this Dec. 11, 2015, photo, Darsh Singh, left, poses for a photo with his wife, Lakhpreet Kaur, in Dallas. It happens regularly: Someone sees a man with a turban and beard and hurls anti-Muslim slurs his way, or worse. Members of the Sikh religion, like Singh and his wife, also are feeling vulnerable as anti-Islamic sentiment heats up across the U.S., but instead of distancing themselves from Muslims, members of this southeast Asian religion are working with them to combat hateful rhetoric and dispel misconceptions about their respective faiths.
Pardeep Kaleka spent several days after 9/11 at his father's South Milwaukee gas station, fearing that his family would be targeted by people who assumed they were Muslim. No, Kaleka explained on behalf of his father, who wore a turban and beard and spoke only in broken English, the family was Sikh, a southeast Asian religion based on equality and unrelated to Islam.
But amid a new wave of anti-Islamic sentiment since the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Kaleka is vowing to take an entirely different approach.

Saudi voters elect 20 women candidates for the first time

Saudi electoral workers prepare to count ballots after the country's municipal elections in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Women across Saudi Arabia marked a historic milestone on Saturday, both voting and running as candidates in government elections for the first time, but just outside polling stations they waited for male drivers — a reminder of the limitations still firmly in place.
Saudi voters elected 20 women for local government seats, according to results released to The Associated Press on Sunday, a day after women voted and ran in elections for the first time in the country's history.
The women who won hail from vastly different parts of the country, ranging from Saudi Arabia's largest city to a small village near Islam's holiest site.