President Bush Greets Sikhs on Guru Nanak's Birthday

Washington - November 8, 2003, President George W. Bush has sent his warm greetings to Sikhs across America and worldwide on the 534th birth-anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. The Sikh community in the U.S. is celebrating this auspicious occasion on Saturday, November 8, 2003 in their respective congregations.

President Bush in his message, said, “I send greetings to those celebrating the 534th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak.

President Bush further added, “As the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak taught the ideas of interfaith acceptance and meditation. Through their dedication to service, humility, family, and equality, Sikhs enrich communities across America and worldwide. This celebration helps Sikhs pass on values and customs to future generations.”

“As Americans, we cherish our freedom to worship freely, and we remain committed to welcoming individuals of all religions. By working together, we help advance peace and mutual understanding around the world and build a future of promise and compassion for all.” Bush said, “Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable celebration”

The Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) in Washington received this message from the White House. Dr. Rajwant Singh, chairman of (SCORE) thanked President Bush for extending best wishes to the Sikh community.

He said, "The Sikh community in the United States is extremely pleased with President Bush’s greetings. This definitely sends a strong signal that this White House recognizes the Sikh presence in the U. S. This helps in solidifying our belief that America welcomes all religions and diversity is its strength. This very much coincides with Sikh thinking.”

Dr. Singh further added, “President Bush and his administration have been extremely prompt in responding to the needs of the Sikhs. We always remember his leadership immediately after 9/11 and his words of assurance to the Sikh community facing tough times during those days. It is our conviction that President Bush will continue to welcome Sikhs and other diverse groups to the White House signifying that the highest political office of this land belongs to all people.”

Guru Nanak’s teachings are based on deep faith in God, truth and justice and equality for all including men and women. The cornerstones of the Sikh faith: remembering the name of God through prayer and meditation; living a truthful, honest life; and sharing the fruits of living with others. Sikhism, with 25 million adherents, is the fifth largest religion in the world and there are close to half million Sikhs in the U.S. The vast majority of men wearing turbans in the United States are in fact Sikhs.

Since 9/11 over two hundred hate crimes against Sikhs have been reported in America and other western countries. Four days after the 9/11 attack, a Sikh, Balbir Singh Sodhi was gunned down and killed in Mesa, Arizona, apparently a hate crime.

President Bush invited Dr. Singh on September 21 along with various religious leaders and again on September 26, 2001, along with 14 Sikh representatives at the White House. This was immediately after the tragedy of 9/11 last year.

The Sikh Council on Religion and Education, based in Washington, serves as a think tank and represents Sikhs in various national and international forums and venues.

SIKH COUNCIL on Religion and Education (Score)
1700 Pasture Brook Way
Potomac, Maryland 20854
Sher Singh
703 626 6119
301 294 7886

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