Sikhs and Soft Power
The first week of President Barack Obama’s administration has been important in several respects, perhaps most notably because of the announcements that the Guantanamo Bay facility will close and that the United States, “without exception,” will not torture. While these statements...
Obama and Sikhs — Off to a Bad Start?
The press, unsurprisingly, has paid significant attention to Barack Obama’s inauguration. The importance of Obama’s ascendancy to the presidency — in terms of its symbolic and historic significance as well as the substantive policy changes that will follow — cannot be overlooked....
Paki-Gate
Prince Harry has been roundly criticized for using the term “Paki” in refering to another miliary cadet and for suggesting that another cadet looked like a “raghead.” To his credit, he has apologized. What’s been interesting to me about this subject, first, is the discussion...
New York Sikh Assaulted
Balbir Singh, a Sikh, was attacked in Bellerose (an eastern neighborhood in Queens, New York) on New Year’s Eve while seemingly minding his own business. According to Balbir Singh: My wife and I were moving out of our house, and we had moved everything out and were cleaning the house. . . . I...
What Can Brown Do for You? Discriminate against Sikhs
On December 19, 2008,a UPS employee delivered a package to the home of Anant Singh. Singh’s father, a turbaned Sikh, signed for the package. Rather than entering the elder Singh’s name onto the electronic tracking slip, the UPS employee noted that a “terrorist” had signed for...
Happy New Year!
Lakh Lakh Vaidhayan! On behalf of the TLH family, I’d like to wish all our readers the very best for 2009. “Devotees throng the fog-covered holy Sikh shrine of Golden Temple in the northern Indian city of Amritsar to offer prayers for the New Year January 1, 2009.” [Link]
The First Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference — Part II
I. Introduction My last post, which addressed the First Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference held by the non-profit group United Sikhs, generated significant discussion. In an attempt to re-focus and reinvigorate that discussion, I wish to first clarify what the post was not about — it was not...
The First Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference?
To my surprise, I came across a news article with the headline, “Sikhs Agree on a Global Civil Rights Agenda.” When did we do that?? It turns out that the United Sikhs — a non-profit organization that addresses various civil rights issues on behalf of Sikhs, especially and including...
Reuters Images of the Year
Reuters News Pictures Service (RNPS) recently announced its images of the year for 2008. One of them is the following picture taken of “Gurmeet Singh, 72, a Sikh, work[ing] on a hand written version of the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ (the holy book of Sikhs) in the northern Indian city of...
Sikh Inaugural Ball
As someone who is excited about the incoming administration, I have thought about ways in which I would like to participate in the presidential inaugural, when President-Elect Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States. In particular, I thought about attending an inaugural ball...
Pop Quiz
In my last post, I argued that terrorists, by their actions, sever any legitimate relationship with a religion and any recognized sovereign, and as such terrorists should be identified as terrorists (e.g., terrorists have invoked an interpretation of Islam to justify their actions), even if the terrorists...
Mumbai Attacks: Terrorism has no Religion
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai — which consisted of blasts in at least seven sites and which apparently targeted Westerners — have, as of this writing, claimed over 110 lives and injured a minimum of 300. Terrorism on this scale has the tendency to engender very common, basic reactions:...
On the Proliferation of Sikh Temples
I recently came across this article, which notes that the construction on a new Sikh gurdwara in the UK is near completion. The cost for the gurdwara is a staggering 11m, all of which has been financed privately by members of the Sikh community. The article compelled me to think about the growth of...
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
As I searched the Internet for information on the 2008 Diwali celebration at the Golden Temple, I came across this video on YouTube. It shows a beautifully lighted Golden Temple complex, with fireworks going off in the nighttime sky. My joy at watching the visuals soon turned to discomfort in hearing...
Picture of the Day
A Sikh devotee offers prayers at a gurudwara in New Delhi November 5, 2008. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (INDIA).
Pictures of the Day
“Major Singh, a Nihang or a Sikh warrior, wears a head wrap that is about the length of four football fields during a religious procession in Amritsar, India.”
Obama Sends Letter to Sikhs
As Sundari recently noted, “[o]ver the next few weeks Sikhs will join together to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.” I didn’t anticipate that Sikhs would be joined by a major politician in those celebrations. To my surprise, Presidential hopeful Barack...
US Employers: the Turban is un-American and not Sexy [Updated]
The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (better known as SALDEF, and SMART before that) has been vigorously defending a turbaned Sikh man, Sukhbir Channa, who was told by Disney that he would not be hired for a position because he did not have the “Disney look.” Angela Bliss,...
What if Obama was Muslim or Arab?
One aspect of the 2008 Election is reminiscent of the Sikh community’s response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In the aftermath of that fateful Tuesday morning, Sikhs began declaring that, “we are not Muslims.” Of course, the intention was not to deflect hate or anger...
Is a Dollar just a Dollar?
It’s a traditional part of going to gurdwara — giving a dollar (or some other amount of money) as an offering before bowing down in front the Guru Granth Sahib. Some may not think about this much, aside from how much they would like to offer and what they would like to think about before...
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