Sikhism has suffered from a lack of central leadership and the decolonisation of India
Sikhs are principally identified by the Turban; those who do not wear the turban are known by their Surname, Singh.
The Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple in Amritsar remains the centre of Sikh culture
Sikhism also believes in the concept of a socialistic pattern society. Man's responsibility to society lies in taking his contribution to social welfare as a sacred duty. The gulf between the more fortunate and the less fortunate has to be bridge. The Guru instituted the Temple of Bread (Langar) to break the caste system. This is a good example of true democracy in daily life.
As Sikhs wear turbans (although different from Middle Eastern turbans) and due to the relatively small number of Sikhs, there have been incidents of Sikhs in Western countries being mistaken for Middle Eastern Muslim men. This has led to mistaken attitudes and acts against Sikhs living in the west especially with respect to the 9/11 terrorist attack and recent Iraq War conflict.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, some people associated Sikhs with terrorists or members of the Taliban. A few days after the attack, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man, was gunned down by Frank Roque, who thought that the victim had ties to al-Qaeda. CNN suggests that there has been an increase in hate crimes against Sikh men in the United States and the UK.
Sikhism has never actively sought converts, thus the Sikhs have remained a relatively ethnically homogeneous group. However, mainly due to the activities of Harbhajan Singh Yogi via his Kundalini Yoga focused 3HO (Happy, Healthy, Holy) Organization,
Sikhism has witnessed a moderate growth in non-Indian adherents. In 1998 it was estimated that these 3HO Sikhs, known colloquially as ‘gora’ (ਗੋਰਾ) or ‘white’ Sikhs, totaled 7,800 and were mainly centered around Española, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California. Recently, a law in Oregon was passed banning the wearing of turbans by teachers and government officials. Sikhs and the Council on American-Islamic Relations are working together to overturn the law.