SEATAC, Wash. Two Sikhs were attacked in the suburbs around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, apparently in the mistaken belief that they are Muslims, authorities said.
Sikh men who grow beards and wear turbans are sometimes mistaken for Muslims. The Sikh religion is from India and has no link to those suspected to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Since the terrorist attacks, a number of Sikhs have been assaulted, and a Sikh gasoline station owner in Arizona was killed.
Karnail Kail Singh, who owns the SeaTac Crest Motor Inn, said his assailant threatened him at the motel two or three weeks ago. He was on the telephone quoting room rates at about 8 a.m. Friday when the man returned, shouted "You still here? Go to Allah!" and knocked him unconscious with two blows from a cane. He required nine stitches in the head.
"I'm scared. There's no security," said Kail Singh, 47, a U.S. citizen from India who does not wear a beard or turban.
A 60-year-old man was arrested nearby and jailed for investigation of second-degree assault and may be charged with malicious harassment, a felony carrying tougher penalties, sheriff's deputies said.
The other victim, 23-year-old Rubinder Singh, was crossing the street about 8 p.m. Saturday when he was hit in the face from behind and knocked to the ground. He refused medical attention. "It's just because of my skin color that they hit me," he said.
Police said a witness reported hearing a boy of about 14 say, "I'm going to bomb on him," shortly before the attack and were looking for him.
© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press