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Racial violence against expatriate Sikhs in the aftermath of last week's terrorist attacks in the United States has spread from America, Europe and Australia to New Zealand.
New Zealand wire agency NZPA reported threats to Sikh gurdwaras (prayer halls) and the community by some extremist organisations, some even warning of physical assault.
The flowing beard and turban of Sikhs resemble the attire of Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the US attacks, which is why they are being targeted.
Paramjit Singh, Wellington branch president of the Sikh Society, has cited incidents of verbal abuse and intimidation in New Zealand's capital city.
Besides Wellington, Sikhs have also been targeted in the Otahuhu area of New Zealand's largest city Auckland.
There are about 5,000-6,000 Sikh families living in New Zealand who are mostly based in Auckland, Tauranga and Hawke's Bay.
The Sikhs have retained their attire in spite of coming to this part of the world more than a century ago.
Theirs is not the only non-Caucasian ethnic or religious community from the Indian subcontinent that has come under attack. Vandals have already targeted two Hindu temples in Sandringham and Balmoral.
Muslims in New Zealand and surrounding areas are going through worse times.
Most South Asian Muslims living in the region have expressed anguish over the attacks in the US. But their reactions have not been sufficient to ward off attacks on their community.
Indo-Asian News Service
The Attack on America: The Complete Coverage
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