ALTHOUGH THIS is perhaps not the most pressing issue of the day, Saturday's [Boston Globe] crossword showed how far we still have to go in terms of awareness of other cultures and religions. The answer to the clue "Hindu sect member" was "Sikh." Sikhs are not members of a Hindu sect, any more than Christians are members of a Jewish sect (the relationships are similar).
Sikhism is a monotheistic and egalitarian religious tradition, with approximately 23 million to 25 million adherents around the world, placing it ninth among world religions.
Yet since Sept. 11, 2001, Sikhs have regularly been misidentified as Muslim, and have suffered from violence and harassment like Muslims. Identifying them as Hindus is no better.
Education is the key to understanding the many ways of being religious, whether here or in other parts of the world. Given the current world situation, this understanding is more crucial than ever for everyone, religious or not. [Link]
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