Sikh Politician Who Faced Racist Rant Explains Why He Reacted 'With Love'

"It's important that we stand united against all forms of hate."

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Sikh Politician Who Faced Racist Rant Explains Why He Reacted 'With Love'

Canadian politician Jagmeet Singh explains why he didn't tell a racist heckler he is Sikh, not Muslim

A Canadian politician who was subjected to a racist rant has spoken out explaining why he refused to engage with his heckler and chose to react "with love and courage." A woman interrupted Sikh lawmaker Jagmeet Singh's campaign event on Wednesday and accused him of supporting Sharia, a system of laws in Islamic tradition, and the Muslim Brotherhood. A video of the exchange, captured on camera by Brampton Focus, went viral on social media.

The politician posted a statement on Twitter explaining what was going through his mind as he was faced with "angry, hateful and Islamophobic comments."

"I had to act fast and set the tone for the room," Mr Singh writes. "Despite this person's anger and hate, I told them that we loved them, respected them, and would protect their rights."

Many people, commenting on the viral Facebook post, asked why Mr Singh didn't correct the woman and tell her he was not, in fact, Muslim but a practising Sikh.  

"I purposely didn't go down that road because it suggests their hate would be ok if I was Muslim...my response to Islamophobia has never been 'I'm not Muslim.' It has always been and will be that 'hate is wrong,'" writes Mr Singh.

"It's important that we stand united against all forms of hate," he adds.

Read Canadian politician Jagmeet Singh's full statement below:
 
Tweeted five hours before writing this, the statement has been 'liked' over 7,900 times and retweeted over 3,800 times. It has prompted an outpouring of support - even from political rivals.
     
Mr Singh, a practicing Sikh, sports a long beard, wears a turban and carries a kirpan. The 38-year-old politician is in the running to lead Canada's third largest party the New Democratic Party, or NDP. 

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