American media coverage of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting often included primers on Sikhism, sidebars that would be considered superfluous up here in Canada.
Though estimates vary wildly, both countries appear to have similar numbers of Sikhs (Canada’s half-million v. 750,000 in the US), but America’s total population is nearly ten times greater.
Turbaned bearded men aren’t an uncommon sight in the Great White North, be they cabbies or Cabinet ministers.
That’s not to say they are universally beloved.
American Sikhs may quietly come to thank their gurus that they were shoved into the nation’s consciousness by a crime where they were the unambiguous victims.
When the largest mass murder in Canadian history occurred in 1985, Sikhs were the perps.
That incident, along with many minor ones, has ensured that Sikhs ranked second only to Muslims in a national poll measuring negative attitudes toward different faiths.