Sikh Group Seeks FBI, NSA Emails Using Slurs Against Them

Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 09:15 PM

By Cathy Burke

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A Sikh group asked intelligence authorities Thursday to disclose internal emails since Sept. 11, 2001, showing FBI and National Security Agency employees using slurs like "rag head" and "towel head."

The Sikh Coalition announced it had filed the request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The National Journal noted the request comes in response to an Edward Snowden leak reported last week revealing the agencies monitoring the emails of five high-profile Muslim-Americans with no ties to terrorism.

The same leak revealed that in one 2005 file, an agency target was logged onto a spreadsheet as "Mohammed Raghead," the National Journal reported.

"As Americans, we expect law-enforcement officials to behave like adults," Amardeep Singh, program director of the Sikh Coalition, said in a statement. "The Sikh Coalition will not tolerate the use of racial or religious slurs by people who are supposed to protect us."

The White House has ordered a review of standards on tolerance and diversity, the Journal reported.

Sikhs, whose religion requires men to wear turbans, have faced a wave of violence since 9/11 from assailants mistaking them for Muslim extremists – including a 2012 siege at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in which six were fatally shot.

"I can’t imagine what would happen if the FBI or NSA were using epithets against black people or the Jewish community in this day and age. I would expect heads to roll," Singh told Agence France-Presse.

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