Local/National Faith Briefs

Spring Fling is April 22 at Carlin Hall

The second annual “Spring Fling” is at 5:30 p.m. April 22 at Carlin Hall. The event benefits Holy Redeemer School and includes food and friends. Tickets are almost gone, so get yours today by contacting the Parish office at 507-532-5711 or school office at 532-6642. There will be an auction including several student-made creations, which you can see in the HRS office, or through the online bidding site -visit http://HRSFling.gesture.com

US Sikhs launch ad campaign that looks to push back on hate

NEW YORK (AP) — Sikhs in the United States are launching a million-dollar awareness campaign that aims to stop hate-fueled attacks by explaining more about who they are and what they believe.

The “We are Sikhs” campaign was years in the making, funded by Sikh leaders and their families across a dozen cities, who have been swept up in anti-Muslim sentiment since the Sept. 11 attacks. Their beards and turbans — symbols of equality in a religion that opposes India’s caste system — make American Sikhs easy targets for the angry and uninformed.

“Our hope was that as the memory of 9/11 goes down, things would get better. But they have not,” said Rajwant Singh, a dentist from suburban Washington and one of the campaign’s volunteer organizers.

The ads, which will air on CNN, Fox News and on TV stations in Fresno, California, home to a large Sikh community, make no mention of the more than 300 hate crimes reported by Sikhs in the U.S. since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Rather, they feature Sikh families explaining how the world’s fifth-largest religion, founded in India, aligns with American values.

Internet advertising will begin immediately as well, and subsequent TV ads are planned for at least three more cities with large Sikh populations.

“We teach our kids the American values go hand in hand with the Sikh values: tolerance, religious freedom, gender equality,” a bearded man in a red turban says in one of the ads shared with The Associated Press.

Another ad highlights Sikhs embracing U.S. pop culture: “We like ‘Game of Thrones,'” one person says. “I’m obsessed with ‘Star Wars,'” says another.

The ads, developed in consultation with Republican and Democratic consulting firms, do not mention Republican President Donald Trump, whose candidacy hammered on illegal immigration and Islamic extremism.