A B.C. man has come under fire after he sent an email to a local Punjabi radio station with the subject line "Lose the traditions, or stay in India."
Dan Foran sent the email to Richmond radio station Sher-E-Punjab last week during a time when the Sikh community in B.C. have organized vigils to honour victims of shooting the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis. on Aug 5.
On Friday, Foran was invited to speak on-air CNKW Morning News with Phillip Till to talk about his email, Sikhism, and cultural assimilation in Canada. The email was a source of discussion for three CKNW shows Friday.
"There's nothing wrong with it if everybody kind of blends in and looks the same, but these people don't do that, they bring that religious thing with them," Foran said to CKNW, "I'm not the only one here and I don't believe I'm prejudiced. I know lots of people from India. They blend in. They wear blue jeans. I don't want to live in India."
Dale Badh, owner of Sher-E-Punjab radio spoke with The Voice and shared his frustration that despite living in Canada since 1975, many still do not consider him Canadian.
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"How are we disrespectful? It was very disturbing to me when I read that email and it still bothers me because what we've gone through in Wisconsin, what we've gone through after 9-11."
Though he does not wear a turban and does not grow a beard, many people prefer to label him as an Indo-Canadian or South Asian before Canadian he said.
Surrey North MP Jasbir Sandhu was in Oak Creek, Wis., Friday to attend the funerals of the Gurduara shooting victims.
"This senseless tragedy struck a nerve with Canadians, especially in my family," Sandhu said in a press release.
Members of Sandhu's family were on their way to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on the day of the shooting but had heard about the shooting before they made it to their destination.
Sandhu shared plans to return to Canada with lessons for Canadians in aftermath of the shooting.
"We need more edication and more awareness about each other and different religious," Sandhu said to Yahoo News.
"I think what we can learn from this is that governments at the federal level, at the provincial level and the municipal level haev to be wary that these kinds of things can happen in Canada too.. We need to identify people that may have tendencies to commit these idiot crimes."
Foran's email comes on the heels of the arrest of Ryan Lewis last week. The 32-year-old North Vancouver man was arrested by the RCMP after allegedly making "significant death threats" on Facebook to mirror the Dark Knight Rises shootings in Aurora, Colorado.
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