New Study Shows: Most Americans Have No Idea About Sikhism

The National Sikh Campaign with the Hart Research group have just published ground breaking research titled “Sikhism in the U.S.: What Americans know and need to know. It is the most through and complete research on what Americans think about Sikhs and the Sikh religion.

The National Sikh Campaign was formed as a way to teach Americans what the Sikh people to the American public. The formation of the group occurred after research showed a vast majority of Sikh students were bullied and Sikhs were often victims of mistaken identity.

Post 9/11 Sikhs became victims of violence after a misconception by Americans thinking Sikhs belonged to a different religion.

Now the NSC will be putting different initiatives to action to spread Sikh american awareness and increase Sikh public relations.

“The goal of the National Sikh Campaign is to use this research as a building block for a greater PR effort to generate awareness about Sikh Americans and the positive contributions we make” said Shawan Singh Ghuman.

The research showed only 11 percent of those surveyed knew something about Sikhism and sixty percent had no clue about Sikhism.

Those surveyed were shown pictures of Sikhs and asked to identify and how the picture made them feel.

However, many people showed interest to learn more about the Sikh faith and the meaning behind the Sikh turban.

See Full Report: National Sikh Campaign

Next step:

“We plan on using the information gleaned from the report as the basis for a data-driven media campaign. After the report is released, we will be begin a media approach in collaboration with President Barack Obama’s campaign’s media company AKPD, founded by David Axelrod, the senior political advisor to Obama. Since its launch, the National Sikh Campaign has been networking with business leaders and Gurdwaras to engage them to join this unprecedented campaign for Sikhs in America.” NSC

Why a media campaign?

“We’ve decided to run a media campaign for two reasons.

First, because the community is overwhelmingly demanding that Sikhs have a larger media presence. According to an internal poll conducted by the National Sikh Campaign, 96 percent of Sikhs believe that they should have more media exposure and 78 percent stated they would actively participate in an effort to increase Sikh awareness through a high-level media campaign.

Secondly, and more practically, a media campaign for the Sikh-American community is not just a luxury but a necessity. The only way Sikhs are going to reach the broader public in a meaningful and effective way is through the media. Unfortunately, there are not enough Sikhs in America for a grass-roots only approach. Sikhs are less than a tenth of 1 percent of the United States and only .02 percent to .03 percent of the global Sikh population lives in the United States.

So, the Sikh-American population in America is small, even when compared to the overall population of those who identify with the Sikh faith. In order for Sikhs to have any chance of building their image in the United States they need to reach millions of people, and that can only be accomplished through media.” NSC

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