Screenshots from The Daily Show:
In the August 10th Episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you did an outstanding report satirizing the uproar about the proposed mosque near the ground zero site. Yes, America is about freedom of religion, and yes, we should promote understanding and respect for all.
In your report, you included shots of Sikh Americans — folks who practice a distinct faith that originated in the 15th century in North India. But you never mentioned they were Sikhs. Your report strongly implied that they were Muslims, which is factually incorrect. Though this is a common error (I’m often mistaken for a Muslim American, but they’re cool too) you should be aware of this, because your media influences millions of people.
The turban is a religiously-mandated article of faith for Sikhs. It’s not the case for Muslims. Which is why 99% of people wearing turbans in the United States are Sikhs — I mean, who’d be crazy enough to wear a turban in America if it weren’t a strict requirement of their faith?
I’m not making this up, here’s a video produced by the US DOJ on just this topic. Yes that’s right, it’s produced by the United States Department of Justice, and all TSA agents are required to watch it every six months. It basically explains to TSA agents who Sikhs are and how they are different, unique, and shouldn’t be profiled so obviously!
As a Sikh from central New Jersey (went to high school in Lawrenceville) that religiously watches the Daily Show, I just wanted to make you aware of this. I was traveling for work last week and was catching up today, so I saw your report. Again, it’s excellent. I love your work and I will also point out that Jason Jones has correctly characterized Sikhs as a distinct faith on the Daily Show, so I figured I’d write to you directly.
Thanks for reading!
EDIT FYI: Mailed this to firstname.lastname@example.org, feel free to write your own and link in comments