CLEVELAND, Ohio — On the same day that the founder of “Muslims for Trump” delivered a benediction at the Republican National Convention, a Sikh woman from California also took the stage to present a prayer on behalf of Sikhism.
Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney and soon-to-be national RNC member, took to the podium on Tuesday shortly before Donald Trump was officially nominated as the party’s presidential candidate.
“It is honor as a Sikh American and the vice chair of the California Republican Party to share a prayer from my faith tradition, Sikhism, the fifth largest religion in the world,” she said to those gathered.
Dhillon explained that her prayer, which was delivered in a blend of Punjabi and English, was “appealing to the one god above for protection and guidance—a reminder to uphold the Sikh and American values of humility, truth, courage, service, justice for all, and gratitude for all that our creator has given to us.”
Many in the room bowed their heads and closed their eyes as Dhillon, covering her head with a scarf, delivered a song declaring in Punjabi, “We all our your children.”
“Dear Waheguru,” she then prayed, “please bless these delegates from all over this great nation you have created with the integrity to perform faithfully our sworn duty to nominate leaders to take America in the right direction. Please protect us from evil and create prosperity for all Americans.”
“Please give us the courage to make the right choices to make common cause with those who we may disagree for the greater good of our nation,” Dhillon continued. “Forgive us our shortcomings, our oversights, and the times when we may fall short of the roles you have chosen for us.”
Dhillon concluded with proclaiming, “Through our prophets, teachers and spiritual guides, may your name forever grow, God, and may your spirit be exalted, and may all humanity prosper by your grace.”
Sikhism was founded in the 15th century in India over disagreements with the Hindu religion’s adherence to a caste system, as well as a rejection of Hindu idols. Sikhs believe that all religions lead to the same god, and that the various religions are simply different ways to reach that god, or Waheguru.
Dhillon told reporters following her appearance that she is a Trump supporter.
“Donald Trump’s message is about unity, coming together as a country, and talking to each other,” she said.
Dhillon also noted that the RNC included diverse religions.
“I’ve seen reporters make such a big deal about the lack of diversity here, while studiously ignoring the fact that you had a Sikh prayer opening the events yesterday then you had a Muslim prayer closing them,” she told AirTalk radio on Wednesday.
As previously reported, Tuesday night’s convention concluded with a benediction from Sajid Tarar, the founder of Muslims for Trump, who also referenced the Islamic religion during his brief speech, citing a quote from its founder, Muhammad.
“The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that we all have a piece of flesh in our bodies. If it is good, our whole is good. And if it is not, then the whole body is spoiled,” he said. “From this, we can infer the role of our leader as a representative of the United States of America. The values reflected by our leader must reflect the values that our Forefathers set in stone at [the] inception.”
Farar had told the Washington Post prior to his appearance that the Trump campaign “asked me not only to do the benediction, but to speak at the convention.”