The South Asian Times

17 October 2018 14:05 PM

Sikh Mayoral candidate called terrorist in flyers

A Sikh mayoral candidate in Hoboken, NJ, has been labelled a terrorist in slanderous flyers left on car windshields only days before the election, according to a media report.

The flyers targeting Ravinder Bhalla, the first Sikh to hold elected office in the state, were placed on car windshields on Friday night, New York Daily News reported. They have a photo of Bhalla, a New Jersey Councilman. In red letters, the flyers read: "Don't let terrorism take over our Town!"

The report alleged that the leaflets appear to be a modified version of mailers sent out by Bhalla’s rival, Mike DeFusco. The original flyers accused Bhalla of having a potential conflict of interest. Officials in New Jersey are condemning flyers that paint the Sikh politician running for the mayor of Hoboken as a terrorist.

DeFusco has condemned the altered flyers in a statement: "Today I spoke out not only against the racist, disgusting flyers targeting Ravi Bhalla that were made to look like it came from my campaign, but also against the rest of the hate that has been shamefully displayed throughout this race."

DeFusco said he has also been the victim of hateful rhetoric accusing him of being a part of a "crime family" and attacking his sexuality, the report said. If elected, he would be Hoboken's first gay mayor.

Bhalla called the flyers "troubling", adding, "We won't let hate win in Hoboken."  

"I want to use this incident as an opportunity to affirm to each other and our children the value of living in a diverse community where we are judged by the content of our character - not by the color of our skin or how we worship," Bhalla said in the statement.

Senator Cory Booker posted a photo of the flyers to his Twitter account. He called it "vile" and "hateful" and said, "We all must condemn bigotry & hate!"

Update: 10 Nov, 2017