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Sikhs oppose new turban rules



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 23rd, 2007, 01:48 AM posted to rec.travel.air
Ablang
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Posts: 123
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

Sikhs oppose new turban rules
Airport screeners are given more leeway to inspect head coverings.
By Vanessa Colón - Fresno Bee

Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, September 22, 2007
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A4

http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/392773.html

New federal rules that give airport screeners more discretion to
inspect turbans worn by some Sikh men are stirring anger in a
California community that has felt unfairly targeted by security
measures following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Now Sikhs are gathering signatures to urge members of Congress to get
the new security rules changed.

Screeners previously were allowed to inspect turbans only if a metal
detector went off.

But new rules that took effect Aug. 4 give screeners broader
discretion to examine turbans, even if the metal detector doesn't go
off. It partially reverses a compromise that had been adopted after
the Sikh community complained.

Harry Gill, a Sikh community leader from Caruthers, worries that
screeners will be more apt to touch the turban under the new rules.

"This is a religious thing. Taking off or touching the turban is like
a slap on the face," he said.

Gill said Sikhs in the San Joaquin Valley began circulating petitions
about three weeks ago to seek a change in the regulations. The
petitions are expected to be dropped off next week in the offices of
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, and Rep.
Devin Nunes, R-Visalia.

"We don't want that law put against the Sikh people. That's our
religious symbol," Gill said.

Greg Soule, a spokesman for the federal Transportation Security
Administration, said federal officials wanted to improve screening for
explosives. The new rules, he said, apply to all head coverings, not
just Sikh turbans.

"The greatest threat is explosives. While there is no specific threat
to head coverings, it is an area we feel needs additional security
measures."

Travelers who don't want their turban patted down and want to remove
the turban can request to use a private screening area, according to
the TSA.

Soule said the administration has worked with the Sikh community in
the past and plans to listen to their concerns.

Balbir Singh Dhillon, president of the Sacramento Sikh Temple --
representing 1,500 families and about 5,000 people -- said members
also have signed petitions opposing the indiscriminate searching of
turbans by airport screeners.

"Sikhs have been in this country since the early 1900s, and we've
never had this problem," Dhillon said. "We've been faithful to this
country and haven't done anything wrong. I don't think there's a
single case where anybody's been hiding anything in or under their
turban."

Darshan Singh Mundy, a temple member, said Sikhs serve in all branches
of law enforcement and the armed forces "and have sacrificed their
lives in the U.S. Army in Baghdad, and Sikhs have nothing to do with
9/11."

In Fresno County, home to about 35,000 Sikhs, opinions in the Sikh
community are divided.

Satinder Kaur, a cashier at India Sweets and Spices in northwest
Fresno, said she doesn't believe someone loses respect by taking off
the turban. Kaur's husband doesn't wear a turban.

"I think it's better. There's a lot of people on the airplane. ... If
he gets checked, it's for safety," Kaur said.

Others, like 52-year-old Balwinder Singh, a Fresno taxi driver, said
they had no qualms about the new rules provided Sikhs don't have to
remove the turban in public.

"That is not good if you have to take it off in public. If it's a
private room, it's better," he said.

But Parminder Singh of Kingsburg said the new rules amount to
unnecessary scrutiny for Sikhs. Sikhs had nothing to do with the
terrorist attacks in the United States, yet they are being asked to
make compromises.

"We think it's disgraceful," Singh said.

For some Sikhs, the new rules pose practical problems, as well.

Marjinder Gill, who emigrated from India to Fresno about 20 years ago,
said he doesn't like to remove his turban.

"It's hard to place it back on again. It's not a cap. ... It takes 5
to 10 minutes" to replace it, Gill said.

Sikhs became targets of hate crimes in the wake of the 2001 terrorist
attacks. One of the Valley's Sikh temples was vandalized in 2004 by
graffiti that told congregants: "Rags Go Home" and "It's Not Your
Country." Sikhs responded by launching an effort to educate the public
about their religion.

Mundy said seven Sikh Americans have lost their lives in hate crimes
throughout the United States since 9/11 because of being misidentified
as Muslims.

In Sikhism, long, unshorn hair is a symbol of spiritualism and the
turban a symbol of royalty and dignity.

The religion, founded by Guru Nanak in 1469, is an offshoot of
Hinduism. The turban is mandatory for baptized Sikh men, and optional
-- though uncommon -- for women who tend to wear head scarves, at
least inside the temple.

The turban and the unshorn hair underneath together are considered
sacred, said Gurinder Singh Mann, professor of Sikh studies at the
University of California, Santa Barbara. Mann said the turban also is
seen as a cultural symbol.

He said touching the turban can be viewed as an insult, akin to
challenging someone's religion, he said.

Sikhs have been willing to compromise in the past on some religious
symbols, such as the kirpan, a ceremonial knife often worn by men
after baptism.

Some of them agreed to place the knife in the checked baggage, while
others wear a small symbol of it around the neck, Mann said. The
kirpan is considered a symbol of divine justice.

Mann said Sikhs bear some responsibility for educating the general
public.

"The issue is the mainstream has to understand who they are and they
have to explain who they are. It's a mutual obligation," Mann said.

  #2  
Old September 23rd, 2007, 02:13 AM posted to rec.travel.air
(PeteCresswell)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 198
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

Per Ablang:
Harry Gill, a Sikh community leader from Caruthers, worries that
screeners will be more apt to touch the turban under the new rules.

"This is a religious thing. Taking off or touching the turban is like
a slap on the face," he said.

Gill said Sikhs in the San Joaquin Valley began circulating petitions
about three weeks ago to seek a change in the regulations. The
petitions are expected to be dropped off next week in the offices of
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, and Rep.
Devin Nunes, R-Visalia.

"We don't want that law put against the Sikh people. That's our
religious symbol," Gill said.


Wasn't there some group in some federal prison somewhere about 20
years ago that formed their own religion - declaring Jack Daniels
to be their sacrament and petitioning the prison system to supply
same?
--
PeteCresswell
  #3  
Old September 23rd, 2007, 12:27 PM posted to rec.travel.air
William Black
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Posts: 3,125
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules


"(PeteCresswell)" wrote in message
...
Per Ablang:
Harry Gill, a Sikh community leader from Caruthers, worries that
screeners will be more apt to touch the turban under the new rules.

"This is a religious thing. Taking off or touching the turban is like
a slap on the face," he said.

Gill said Sikhs in the San Joaquin Valley began circulating petitions
about three weeks ago to seek a change in the regulations. The
petitions are expected to be dropped off next week in the offices of
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, and Rep.
Devin Nunes, R-Visalia.

"We don't want that law put against the Sikh people. That's our
religious symbol," Gill said.


Wasn't there some group in some federal prison somewhere about 20
years ago that formed their own religion - declaring Jack Daniels
to be their sacrament and petitioning the prison system to supply
same?


And in what way do you think this relevant to this issue?

--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.




  #4  
Old September 23rd, 2007, 03:14 PM posted to rec.travel.air
(PeteCresswell)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 198
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

Per William Black:
And in what way do you think this relevant to this issue?


Somebody starts a religion. Then they declare some behavior
that is at odds with the society around them tb essential to the
practitioners of said religion - and wants to be exempted.

Granted Skihs have been wearing turbans for a long time, but in
the context of everybody else having to remove their shoes and -
presumably - other types of headgear, what makes them so special?

Seems like the wearing of totally-concealing burkahs is a similar
issue.

Don't take this to mean that I'm unconditionally in favor of the
pre-flight inspections that are currently going on: I'm not and I
think a lot of time and money spent on them could be better spent
elsewhere.
--
PeteCresswell
  #5  
Old September 23rd, 2007, 04:38 PM posted to rec.travel.air
AES
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 186
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

In article ,
"(PeteCresswell)" wrote:


Somebody starts a religion. Then they declare some behavior
that is at odds with the society around them tb essential to the
practitioners of said religion - and wants to be exempted.


Amen, brother, amen!!!
  #6  
Old September 23rd, 2007, 06:56 PM posted to rec.travel.air
Nobody
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Posts: 100
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

(PeteCresswell) wrote:
Granted Skihs have been wearing turbans for a long time, but in
the context of everybody else having to remove their shoes and -
presumably - other types of headgear, what makes them so special?

Seems like the wearing of totally-concealing burkahs is a similar
issue.



If a burka wearing person enters a bank and waits in line to talk to a
teller, is this really acceptable ? You can't tell if it is a male with
machine gun under the hood or some female muslim only allowed to show
any skin to her husband ? And if the bank teller need to verify phot ID ?


If TSA agents are allowed to pat down a female's breasts, or feel some
guy's crotch, then they should be allowed to feel some's guy's hat.

The Sihks came to north america knowing full well that their ancient
llifestyle was incomaptible with north america lifestyle. They really
have no business to complain. If they truly want to wear daggers in
public and their head gear, they should move to a country where such
practices are part of life. This has nothing to do with faith. And
telling some guy he cannot wear weapons in public or needs to have hist
hat checked at airport is not an attack on their faith. It is simple
requirement that they comply with local customs in the western world.
  #7  
Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:04 PM posted to rec.travel.air
the_niner_nation
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Posts: 69
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules


If a burka wearing person enters a bank and waits in line to talk to a
teller, is this really acceptable ? You can't tell if it is a male with
machine gun under the hood or some female muslim only allowed to show any
skin to her husband ? And if the bank teller need to verify phot ID ?


If TSA agents are allowed to pat down a female's breasts, or feel some
guy's crotch, then they should be allowed to feel some's guy's hat.

The Sihks came to north america knowing full well that their ancient
llifestyle was incomaptible with north america lifestyle. They really have
no business to complain. If they truly want to wear daggers in public and
their head gear, they should move to a country where such practices are
part of life. This has nothing to do with faith. And telling some guy he
cannot wear weapons in public or needs to have hist hat checked at airport
is not an attack on their faith. It is simple requirement that they comply
with local customs in the western world.



How ironic it is that the Sikhs, a peaceful people who do wear ceremonial
daggers and whose way of life is sooooooo incompaitble with North america
are the ones to be singled out, whilst it's perfectly acceptable for other
Americans to walk around wearing equally unacceptable headgear and carrying
handguns with the intention to use and kill as opposed to symbolise a
faith....

TSA have a job to do and Sikh people have no issues with a 'turban'
search...their problem is the search being carried out in full view of
others. They have the right to be searched behind a screen and afforded
privacy.

To satisfy your ignorant paranoia, Sikhs don't have any ill-will or wishes
against America or the West..that is the the domain of the muslims.

I can't say i agree with muslims, but if assholes like you are
representitive to them of 'the western world', then i can certainly see
where they are coming from.

Sikh people show a far greater compliance for socaily acceptable behaviour
in the western world than people who talk the ****ing **** like you do.



--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

  #8  
Old September 24th, 2007, 01:27 AM posted to rec.travel.air
Mark Jones
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Posts: 6
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

Mr Travel wrote:
You know.. This group just got together recently and decided they
would form a religion..... No, seriously, either they follow the
rules or they dont' fly. If there are security issues that force the
removal of headwear, thne everyone should have to remove headware. I
remember a case that involved an Islamic lady and driver license
rules.
Obviously, there is no point in putting pictures on licenses if people
of some religions can avoid getting the pictures.


The rules either apply to everyone, or they should apply to nobody.


  #9  
Old September 24th, 2007, 02:55 AM posted to rec.travel.air
Nobody
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 100
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

the_niner_nation wrote:

How ironic it is that the Sikhs, a peaceful people who do wear ceremonial
daggers and whose way of life is sooooooo incompaitble with North america
are the ones to be singled out, whilst it's perfectly acceptable for other
Americans to walk around wearing equally unacceptable headgear and carrying
handguns with the intention to use and kill as opposed to symbolise a
faith....



In Canada at least, walking in public places with a weapon is prohibited
by law. Sihks went to supreme court to get an exception to this.

In Canada, the long standard and well known standard uniform for the
mounted police (one of our national emblems) had to be changed because
one sihk immigrant insisted he be allowed to apply for such job, and
went to the supreme court to have the uniform ruled unconstitutional
because it discriminated against a religion that mandates only a certain
type of hat can be worn and never removed.

When an immigrant forces your country to change its long standing
traditions and emblems, you don't have much respect for that type of
religion that shows it it unwilling to adapt to a place the person is
moving to and forcing a whole country to adapt to their own little needs.

Consider some Hindu coming to the USA and then going to the supreme
court stating that slaughter of all cows/beef should be made illegal
because it is against his religion which considers cows to be sacred.

One needs to put a limit on the silliness of religions interfering with
normal social life. Wearing some turban has nothing to do with what sort
of god you believe in or whether you are peaceful or revengeful or whatever.

Wearing a burka has nothing to do with religion. It is merely a female
accepting to be a slave to her husband (or parents before she is maried)
and never showing her skin in public. All the Koran says is that people
should not dress in a sexually provocative manner in public.

The fact that hundreds of millions of muslim women do not wear burkas or
even veils is a good indication that those are not part of the religion.
(think indonesia, pacific islands etc where their implementation of
the Koran is more "by the book" than the extra social customs added to
life in certain parts of the middle east.


And in terms of your americans wearing unacceptable headgear and
carrying handguns, when it comes to a security checkpoint at the
airport, they will not cry foul and go to the supreme court if they are
asked to remove the hat and put it in the tray to be x-rayed or tells
them that flying with a handgun is illegal and that it cannot be taken
beyond the checkpoint. Sihks will go to the supreme court to get
permission to do that.

I am not saying that sihks are dangerous. (although they are the ones
who blew up Air India 747 in 1985 and there are terrorist groups pushing
for Sihk agenda). However, their refusal to abide to simple rules here
are incompatible without established society.

If you are asked to remove headgear at a security checkpoint, you should
not refuse to do so. Same with veil/burkas/whatever.
  #10  
Old September 24th, 2007, 06:45 AM posted to rec.travel.air
mrtravel[_3_]
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Posts: 837
Default Sikhs oppose new turban rules

the_niner_nation wrote:

TSA have a job to do and Sikh people have no issues with a 'turban'
search...their problem is the search being carried out in full view of
others. They have the right to be searched behind a screen and afforded
privacy.


Nonsense. If they want to be searched in private, all they have to do is
request it.

 




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