The Forgotten French?

francesikhs.jpgJust like Hurricane Katrina is no longer the hot topic at the dinner table for Americans it seems that the French Sikhs have been forgotten for the Sikhs. I will state the obvious that there are formal organizations that are supporting these Sikhs in their fight for the right to wear their turbans; however is the “issue” getting the widespread spotlight it did for a brief moment when the ban was first put in place? There is sympathy on a global perspective of the rights of the French Sikhs being violated; however I am more concerned with the affects on their day to day lives. How many Sikh boys are still not in school – or is this even the case? What about those that can’t get driver’s licenses or ID’s. Are there children that have been out of school for an extended period of time – are they now working? What about their futures? I can only speak for myself and those around me – our conversations, and concern is for the most part only around issues that have a direct impact on our lives. The latest TSA regulations are always of concern and something to gripe about – but how much do they really infringe on our lives? Are our futures limited by TSA regulations? Dare I say we are a selfish bunch that can’t look beyond our own backyards?


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17 Responses to “The Forgotten French?”

  1. kirpa says:

    Wahguru ji ka Khalsa Wahguru ji ki Fateh,

    In much of the media attention that has surrounded the human rights violating dicriminatory policies the French government has implemented, in the Sikh community, has solely and only concentrated on the rights, humanity and lives of Sikhs.

    This issue is one that has violated the human rights of all persons with "religious/spiritual" lives and/or values requiring and/or wanting to express themselves through covering their heads in a specific way.

    This policy however, is particularly discriminatory towards Sikhs and Muslims.

    I feel it is of the utmost importance for all Sikh activism, organization and mediacization of this issue to include a deep and serious analysis regarding the rights of all other religious/spiritual persons/groups.

    I feel, that the 'Sikh' came to be out of resistance and organization on behalf of all persons being affected by various oppression of that time. The "sikh" came to respected, follwed and revered, not only because of the deep spiritual awakening and connection with the Infinite that was cultivated, but moreover because of their guts and courage in standing up against the oppressors on behalf of All persons affected by the oppression…not just one group.

    In this situation, I feel that by us calling our selves "Sikh" it then becomes our utmost responsibility to galvanize ourselves in a mandate that is inclusive of all groups affected. Infact, our efforts would be only that much more affective and taken seriously if we can build a coalition with the other groups affected and actively resisting.

    Ang Sang Wahguru,

    kirpa kaur

  2. kirpa says:

    Wahguru ji ka Khalsa Wahguru ji ki Fateh,

    In much of the media attention that has surrounded the human rights violating dicriminatory policies the French government has implemented, in the Sikh community, has solely and only concentrated on the rights, humanity and lives of Sikhs.
    This issue is one that has violated the human rights of all persons with “religious/spiritual” lives and/or values requiring and/or wanting to express themselves through covering their heads in a specific way.
    This policy however, is particularly discriminatory towards Sikhs and Muslims.
    I feel it is of the utmost importance for all Sikh activism, organization and mediacization of this issue to include a deep and serious analysis regarding the rights of all other religious/spiritual persons/groups.
    I feel, that the ‘Sikh’ came to be out of resistance and organization on behalf of all persons being affected by various oppression of that time. The “sikh” came to respected, follwed and revered, not only because of the deep spiritual awakening and connection with the Infinite that was cultivated, but moreover because of their guts and courage in standing up against the oppressors on behalf of All persons affected by the oppression…not just one group.
    In this situation, I feel that by us calling our selves “Sikh” it then becomes our utmost responsibility to galvanize ourselves in a mandate that is inclusive of all groups affected. Infact, our efforts would be only that much more affective and taken seriously if we can build a coalition with the other groups affected and actively resisting.

    Ang Sang Wahguru,
    kirpa kaur

  3. Anandica says:

    This is an issue that I am always aware of, and it disappoints me that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh didn't more when the President of France visited India. A sikh couple living in France have drawn up plans to open a school of their own. (http://nri.in.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1206547). This won't resolve the issue of discrimination, but at least someone is starting to do something. Unfortunately, history shows that France is known as a prejudice country. I agree that we should be doing our part too, maybe we could aid the Sikh couple wanting to open this school for Sikhs in France? Or simply keep reminding people the fight continues for Sikhs globally…

  4. Anandica says:

    This is an issue that I am always aware of, and it disappoints me that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh didn’t more when the President of France visited India. A sikh couple living in France have drawn up plans to open a school of their own. (http://nri.in.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1206547). This won’t resolve the issue of discrimination, but at least someone is starting to do something. Unfortunately, history shows that France is known as a prejudice country. I agree that we should be doing our part too, maybe we could aid the Sikh couple wanting to open this school for Sikhs in France? Or simply keep reminding people the fight continues for Sikhs globally…

  5. pov says:

    UNITED SIKHS is still actively pursuing this. It's currently waiting in the queue at the UN as they are backed up. They even held a protest when Sarkozy was in Delhi.

    So, there are Sikhs that are concerned about Sikhs everywhere. As MLK Jr. put it "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

  6. pov says:

    UNITED SIKHS is still actively pursuing this. It’s currently waiting in the queue at the UN as they are backed up. They even held a protest when Sarkozy was in Delhi.

    So, there are Sikhs that are concerned about Sikhs everywhere. As MLK Jr. put it “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

  7. Camille says:

    I'm glad this issue is still on the radar. I think what many find so appalling about this is that many of the religious minorities being targeted by this so-called "secular" provision have long histories in France. Sikhs, especially, fought in the French Army and in allied troops to defend France's independence during both World Wars.

    I do think the TSA regulations are worth protesting, but I think what is also important is building a Sikh voice. Sikhi is the fifth largest religion — larger, even, than Judaism (there are, of course, problematic histori-politico reasons for that), and yet we are seen as a "fringe" faith in many venues. The way the French law is written, there's not very much anyone can do. But what if, instead of just founding Sikh-friendly schools, Sikhs helped co-found interfaith schools with other affected people of faith? What if the Sikh community, globally, teamed up with Muslim and Jewish (and anyone else who feels targeted by this legislation) groups outside and inside of France to pressure/shame the French government into adopting an appropriate policy?

  8. Camille says:

    I’m glad this issue is still on the radar. I think what many find so appalling about this is that many of the religious minorities being targeted by this so-called “secular” provision have long histories in France. Sikhs, especially, fought in the French Army and in allied troops to defend France’s independence during both World Wars.

    I do think the TSA regulations are worth protesting, but I think what is also important is building a Sikh voice. Sikhi is the fifth largest religion — larger, even, than Judaism (there are, of course, problematic histori-politico reasons for that), and yet we are seen as a “fringe” faith in many venues. The way the French law is written, there’s not very much anyone can do. But what if, instead of just founding Sikh-friendly schools, Sikhs helped co-found interfaith schools with other affected people of faith? What if the Sikh community, globally, teamed up with Muslim and Jewish (and anyone else who feels targeted by this legislation) groups outside and inside of France to pressure/shame the French government into adopting an appropriate policy?

  9. Harinder says:

    KALA KAL CHALIA TE PENDHA BHARU ;

    SANU MAST MALLANGA NU KERA LALKARU?

    WGKWGF

    (SWA LAKH )

  10. what's in a nam says:

    KALA KAL CHALIA TE PENDHA BHARU ;

    SANU MAST MALLANGA NU KERA LALKARU?

    lol can you translate that please 😛 pluurrrghhh

  11. what's in a nam says:

    sorry I didn't complete my sentance – could you translate that into French? :PPP

  12. Harinder says:

    KALA KAL CHALIA TE PENDHA BHARU ;
    SANU MAST MALLANGA NU KERA LALKARU?

    WGKWGF
    (SWA LAKH )

  13. what's in a name says:

    KALA KAL CHALIA TE PENDHA BHARU ;
    SANU MAST MALLANGA NU KERA LALKARU?

    lol can you translate that please 😛 pluurrrghhh

  14. what's in a name says:

    sorry I didn’t complete my sentance – could you translate that into French? :PPP

  15. Harinder says:

    Veerji

    SSA

    It means

    One khalsa is good enough for 40 men.

    We the mast malang ( exact meaning not clear but appears men who are in there own world )

    who can dare to challenge us?

    Sawa Lakh

  16. Harinder says:

    Veerji

    SSA

    It means

    One khalsa is good enough for 40 men.
    We the mast malang ( exact meaning not clear but appears men who are in there own world )
    who can dare to challenge us?

    Sawa Lakh

  17. […] but we are progressing toward educating people who we are as a community. There are many more cases to be fought, butwe will […]