Bulletproof turbans

Last year I commented on the UK government spending over 100,000 to (unsuccessfully) figure out how to create appropriate gear for Sikhs recruited into their anti-terror corps. It also wasted a lot of time for a Sikh officer who had been recruited to serve in the corps and then kept in limbo without assignment for over a year.

Well, someone somewhere got the memo. The still new BSPA is working with scientists to design and provide a Kevlar turban for its 2,000+ Sikh police officers, explaining that currently there is no other safe and religiously-appropriate option. The failure to provide this gear directly impacts the employment options and pathways of British Sikhs who serve as police:

Sikh officers have been prohibited from becoming firearms officers because our religion does not allow us to remove the turban…

There has been some research done into producing a ballistic material for turbans and we would like to follow any opportunity where we could manufacture a ballistic product – made out of something like Kevlar – that would ensure a certain degree of protection so Sikh police officers could take part in these roles.

If these turbans are actually useable and wearable, they could open professional options for Sikhs across a swathe of high risk “law and order” positions (and no doubt, the military). On the other hand, a Kevlar turban sounds terribly uncomfortable, and also seems like a somewhat strange alteration of the turban itself. Maybe I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept, but I’m not entirely sure how a Kevlar turban could be designed to be both religiously appropriate and, well, a solid hunk of material.


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26 Responses to “Bulletproof turbans”

  1. Harjit Singh says:

    I personally beleive that there are 2 avenues for Sikhs…if you feel like wearing your turban(or kevlar turban which i doubt will even qualify as a turban as it will most likely be one of those "concrete hat" style turbans)then you can take that risk and sign a liability waiver and go out on duty as long as if something happens to you, you will not blame the authorities you serve. The second path which is used widely around the world in several jurisdictions is that you tie a small keski and you put on your riot gear/helmet and do your job…its pretty simple…kevlar turbans is going too far in my opinion…its not protective…or its not a turban…Gurfateh and i wouldn't mind hearing the prespective of someone from the UK police force who is invloved in this.

  2. Harjit Singh says:

    I personally beleive that there are 2 avenues for Sikhs…if you feel like wearing your turban(or kevlar turban which i doubt will even qualify as a turban as it will most likely be one of those “concrete hat” style turbans)then you can take that risk and sign a liability waiver and go out on duty as long as if something happens to you, you will not blame the authorities you serve. The second path which is used widely around the world in several jurisdictions is that you tie a small keski and you put on your riot gear/helmet and do your job…its pretty simple…kevlar turbans is going too far in my opinion…its not protective…or its not a turban…Gurfateh and i wouldn’t mind hearing the prespective of someone from the UK police force who is invloved in this.

  3. justasikh says:

    Police forces in Canada allow officers to carry guns without a helmet.

  4. singh says:

    This is controviatial .

    Doesn`t kevlar turban = Steel turban , makes it automatically = helmat ?

    If you go back to basis, and ask yourself 'why turban' ?

    the answer is quite simple.

    1. Becuase Guru Gobind Singh use to wear turban and he gave his own identity to khalsa. People who got in love with Guru Sahib want to become his 'suurope'(identity ) , so thats why they start wearing turban. Somthing similar why mohammedean wear turban, becuase mohammad Sahib use to wear turban.

    2. To give distinct look ( Which is the ONLY reason why sikh refrain to adopt helmet. )

    3. As an old punjabi saying 'Sir pe kafan ban ke gharo nikalana' ( Tie Coffin on your head) .Turban give you feeling of commitment ,courageousness, love toward sikhi which a helmet surely cannot replace.

    I seriously do not see any need of having bulletproof turbans.

    For me it is almost same as 'Welded Kirpan' because someone else can snach your kirpan and use against you. But then why you wear kirapn ,right ?

  5. justasikh says:

    Police forces in Canada allow officers to carry guns without a helmet.

  6. singh says:

    This is controviatial .
    Doesn`t kevlar turban = Steel turban , makes it automatically = helmat ?

    If you go back to basis, and ask yourself ‘why turban’ ?
    the answer is quite simple.

    1. Becuase Guru Gobind Singh use to wear turban and he gave his own identity to khalsa. People who got in love with Guru Sahib want to become his ‘suurope'(identity ) , so thats why they start wearing turban. Somthing similar why mohammedean wear turban, becuase mohammad Sahib use to wear turban.

    2. To give distinct look ( Which is the ONLY reason why sikh refrain to adopt helmet. )

    3. As an old punjabi saying ‘Sir pe kafan ban ke gharo nikalana’ ( Tie Coffin on your head) .Turban give you feeling of commitment ,courageousness, love toward sikhi which a helmet surely cannot replace.

    I seriously do not see any need of having bulletproof turbans.
    For me it is almost same as ‘Welded Kirpan’ because someone else can snach your kirpan and use against you. But then why you wear kirapn ,right ?

  7. Inderveer Singh says:

    You all seem to be forgetting what kevlar actually is. It is an alloy that is five times stronger then steel and lighter than steel as well. It what the police force use for their bullet proof vests.

    I actually look forward to the idea of a 'kevlar turban' it will open a wider range of jobs to sikhs as well. I don't think ot would be uncomfortable because it is very light and if you look at the turbans worn by the Nihang Singhs or by sikhs who fought with Guru Gobind Singh Ji were not their turbans heavier? As they would have a chakar around the turban and a small blade in the turban as well.

  8. Inderveer Singh says:

    You all seem to be forgetting what kevlar actually is. It is an alloy that is five times stronger then steel and lighter than steel as well. It what the police force use for their bullet proof vests.

    I actually look forward to the idea of a ‘kevlar turban’ it will open a wider range of jobs to sikhs as well. I don’t think ot would be uncomfortable because it is very light and if you look at the turbans worn by the Nihang Singhs or by sikhs who fought with Guru Gobind Singh Ji were not their turbans heavier? As they would have a chakar around the turban and a small blade in the turban as well.

  9. Camille says:

    It seems like a substantial underlying question in the comments is what makes a turban a turban, as opposed to a helmet or other gear? I understand the Kevlar = helmet comment, but it certainly seems to blur the lines more substantially than something as obviously noncompliant as a helmet (substituting for a turban). What happens when the actual turban is redesigned to provide accommodation, and does this challenge our ideas of what is/isn't an acceptable dastar?

  10. Camille says:

    It seems like a substantial underlying question in the comments is what makes a turban a turban, as opposed to a helmet or other gear? I understand the Kevlar = helmet comment, but it certainly seems to blur the lines more substantially than something as obviously noncompliant as a helmet (substituting for a turban). What happens when the actual turban is redesigned to provide accommodation, and does this challenge our ideas of what is/isn’t an acceptable dastar?

  11. sizzle says:

    i've worked with kevlar. you all are mistaken. it's a synthetic fabric

  12. sizzle says:

    i’ve worked with kevlar. you all are mistaken. it’s a synthetic fabric, cloth not alloy, made out of densely woven fibers, ach of which is thinner than a human hair. it can be used in two ways – either with resin, so that it shaped into molds, cures and once hardened, it keeps it's shape and is very strong (think like a plastic serving tray or automotive body panels), or it can be used as it is in body armor, just layers and layers of the fabric alone that are not at all rigid, but heavy, dense and able absorb the kinetic energy of the bullet by being able to move and flex while also stopping penetration by the strength of the fabric fibers and weave.

    and that said – a kevlar turban makes absolutely no sense. if it's rigid, made with resin, it would not only be heavy but essentially be a helmet. if it's just fabric, it wouldn't serve it's purpose because while a bulletproof vest will move almost 2-3 inches INTO a person's chest and soft tissue to slow and stop the bullet, leaving severe bruising and contusions via blunt force trauma, it could not function in that manner on the head – it'd be like getting hit in the head with a hammer. plus the fabric is very itchy and to be at all effective, the lars on the pugh would be about an inch thick each. since it's pretty much impossible, that might explain how they spent so much money and nothing came about.

  13. sizzle says:

    i’ve worked with kevlar. you all are mistaken. it’s a synthetic fabric

  14. sizzle says:

    ive worked with kevlar. you all are mistaken. its a synthetic fabric, cloth not alloy, made out of densely woven fibers, ach of which is thinner than a human hair. it can be used in two ways – either with resin, so that it shaped into molds, cures and once hardened, it keeps it’s shape and is very strong (think like a plastic serving tray or automotive body panels), or it can be used as it is in body armor, just layers and layers of the fabric alone that are not at all rigid, but heavy, dense and able absorb the kinetic energy of the bullet by being able to move and flex while also stopping penetration by the strength of the fabric fibers and weave.

    and that said – a kevlar turban makes absolutely no sense. if it’s rigid, made with resin, it would not only be heavy but essentially be a helmet. if it’s just fabric, it wouldn’t serve it’s purpose because while a bulletproof vest will move almost 2-3 inches INTO a person’s chest and soft tissue to slow and stop the bullet, leaving severe bruising and contusions via blunt force trauma, it could not function in that manner on the head – it’d be like getting hit in the head with a hammer. plus the fabric is very itchy and to be at all effective, the lars on the pugh would be about an inch thick each. since it’s pretty much impossible, that might explain how they spent so much money and nothing came about.

  15. Edward says:

    I'm sorry, but there comes a point where you have to grow up. Wrapping a cloth round your head won't appease the God's, namely because they don't exist, and serves as little more than a method of social control. All organised religion is about social control, and we're big and ugly enough now not to need it.

    Either these Sikh officers drop the turban at work, or they must be stricken from the force. Something are more important than imaginary space fellows telling you how to live your life.

    You could of course just hire a 'bleeder', someone who removes everyones turbans before a mission and then allows said Sikh to draw their blood with the little dagger thing.

    Sorry for being so so very horribley offensive, but religion pisses me off – perticularly this ID nonsense gripping America's Christian states. Why should normal logical people make concessions for people, who by most psychological test would be deemed insane, just so they can live these fantasies about all loving Gods (who gave us AIDs).

    Imagine there is no Christian theology, and I went to the doctor and said "Hey Doc, I believe there's an invisible man always watching me. I talk to him regularly and on Sundays loads of us get together and sing to him and listen to passages from this book he wrote 2000 years ago. It's got a talking snake, people live for hundreds of years, this one bloke Jesus even comes back from the dead, but no one sees him once he comes back… there's even someone who lives in a big fish. Sometimes, if I'm really lucky he talks back to me and gives me advice." He'd say I was bloody mental and incarsirate me!

    Or how about "Doctor, when I read the Guru Granth Sahib I must take off my shoes and cover my head, when I'm not reading it I put it in bed! (Manji Sahib)"

    It's nutty nonsense.

    Stop making bulletproff turbans and start telling them that if they want to join the anti terror squad they need to un-tie and wear a hat. Bottom line, if you wear a headress 24/7, don't choose a job for which you need protective head gear.

    Muslims with their Hijabs, or worse the bloody and Niqab trying to work in public relations… Fail. In fact, anyone wearing either of those shouldn't liase with the public on a professional level. Personally I like to see someones face when I'm talking to them – but oh no, Allah would be mighty pissed if you showed your scornful flesh.

    Brawarawa bloody religion!

  16. Edward says:

    I’m sorry, but there comes a point where you have to grow up. Wrapping a cloth round your head won’t appease the God’s, namely because they don’t exist, and serves as little more than a method of social control. All organised religion is about social control, and we’re big and ugly enough now not to need it.

    Either these Sikh officers drop the turban at work, or they must be stricken from the force. Something are more important than imaginary space fellows telling you how to live your life.

    You could of course just hire a ‘bleeder’, someone who removes everyones turbans before a mission and then allows said Sikh to draw their blood with the little dagger thing.

    Sorry for being so so very horribley offensive, but religion pisses me off – perticularly this ID nonsense gripping America’s Christian states. Why should normal logical people make concessions for people, who by most psychological test would be deemed insane, just so they can live these fantasies about all loving Gods (who gave us AIDs).

    Imagine there is no Christian theology, and I went to the doctor and said “Hey Doc, I believe there’s an invisible man always watching me. I talk to him regularly and on Sundays loads of us get together and sing to him and listen to passages from this book he wrote 2000 years ago. It’s got a talking snake, people live for hundreds of years, this one bloke Jesus even comes back from the dead, but no one sees him once he comes back… there’s even someone who lives in a big fish. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky he talks back to me and gives me advice.” He’d say I was bloody mental and incarsirate me!

    Or how about “Doctor, when I read the Guru Granth Sahib I must take off my shoes and cover my head, when I’m not reading it I put it in bed! (Manji Sahib)”

    It’s nutty nonsense.

    Stop making bulletproff turbans and start telling them that if they want to join the anti terror squad they need to un-tie and wear a hat. Bottom line, if you wear a headress 24/7, don’t choose a job for which you need protective head gear.

    Muslims with their Hijabs, or worse the bloody and Niqab trying to work in public relations… Fail. In fact, anyone wearing either of those shouldn’t liase with the public on a professional level. Personally I like to see someones face when I’m talking to them – but oh no, Allah would be mighty pissed if you showed your scornful flesh.

    Brawarawa bloody religion!

  17. Truthful says:

    Listen Edward that more than 83,000 Sikhs were killed and 100,000 Sikhs served in fields of conflict from the trenches of the Western Front to the jungles of Burma in the Second World War. The soldiers received many medals for gallantry, including several Victoria Crosses.Sikh soldiers have had strong links with Warwickshire for more than 150 years, starting with those who fought against the Third Light Dragoons in the Anglo-Sikh wars, and moving on to Warwickshire men fighting side by side with Indian troops in the two world wars.He said the association is now hoping to set up its own project to tell the story of Warwickshire people who had fought against and alongside the Sikh and Punjabi regiments."This will give people a better understanding of our background and the unique Anglo-Sikh relationship."The story needs to be told. A true multi-cultural society is one that understands that relationship and the sacrifices that have been made."We have only started to uncover what is out there." Admission to the exhibition is free. There will be a lecture to accompany the exhibition at Warwickshire College's Trident Park building in Posiedon Way on September 13 at 6pm. Admission to this lecture is also free of charge and everyone is welcome.Call 412500 for more information.The exhibition starts with the Sikh forces who fought both against and the British in the Anglo-Sikh wars in the 1840s, in which the Third Light Dragoons, whose museum is at the Lord Leycester Hospital nearby, were involved.A decade later, Sikh soldiers fought alongside British soldiers in the first Indian war of independence and after this, Sikh regiments were prized for their bravery and loyalty.Jawan is a term meaning youth, but it came to mean 'young soldier in its military context. Although they made up only two per cent of the Indian population, Sikhs accounted for 40 per cent of the British army in India.In the Indian Mutiny, Sikh troops patrolled the north western border. They fought on the Western Front, in Italy and in Iraq in the First World War, and in Europe, India and Burma in the Second World War. Winston Churchill once said that English people owe a debt to Sikhs, and that the English People should redeem it.

    Britain's Prince Charles has praised Sikh soldiers who fought in World War II. Charles met with veterans of the Sikh Brigade of the British Army at London's St. James's Palace, where he spoke of the "immense debt of gratitude" owed by the UK to the Sikh community.The veterans were invited to the palace as part of celebrations for Sikh New Year, Vaisakhi. Speaking at the event, Charles said: "The Sikh community raises money and does so many good works all over this country. The UK owes an immense debt of gratitude to the courage and sacrifice of the Sikh soldiers." There were around 1.5 million Sikhs who fought for the British Army during World War II, and over 90,000 Sikhs lost their lives for the allied cause. THE UK GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF UK OWE SIKHS A DEBT FOR SACRIFICING THEIR LIVES FOR UK DURING WORLD WAR I & II

  18. Truthful says:

    Listen Edward that more than 83,000 Sikhs were killed and 100,000 Sikhs served in fields of conflict from the trenches of the Western Front to the jungles of Burma in the Second World War. The soldiers received many medals for gallantry, including several Victoria Crosses.Sikh soldiers have had strong links with Warwickshire for more than 150 years, starting with those who fought against the Third Light Dragoons in the Anglo-Sikh wars, and moving on to Warwickshire men fighting side by side with Indian troops in the two world wars.He said the association is now hoping to set up its own project to tell the story of Warwickshire people who had fought against and alongside the Sikh and Punjabi regiments.”This will give people a better understanding of our background and the unique Anglo-Sikh relationship.”The story needs to be told. A true multi-cultural society is one that understands that relationship and the sacrifices that have been made.”We have only started to uncover what is out there.” Admission to the exhibition is free. There will be a lecture to accompany the exhibition at Warwickshire College’s Trident Park building in Posiedon Way on September 13 at 6pm. Admission to this lecture is also free of charge and everyone is welcome.Call 412500 for more information.The exhibition starts with the Sikh forces who fought both against and the British in the Anglo-Sikh wars in the 1840s, in which the Third Light Dragoons, whose museum is at the Lord Leycester Hospital nearby, were involved.A decade later, Sikh soldiers fought alongside British soldiers in the first Indian war of independence and after this, Sikh regiments were prized for their bravery and loyalty.Jawan is a term meaning youth, but it came to mean ‘young soldier in its military context. Although they made up only two per cent of the Indian population, Sikhs accounted for 40 per cent of the British army in India.In the Indian Mutiny, Sikh troops patrolled the north western border. They fought on the Western Front, in Italy and in Iraq in the First World War, and in Europe, India and Burma in the Second World War. Winston Churchill once said that English people owe a debt to Sikhs, and that the English People should redeem it.
    Britain’s Prince Charles has praised Sikh soldiers who fought in World War II. Charles met with veterans of the Sikh Brigade of the British Army at London’s St. James’s Palace, where he spoke of the “immense debt of gratitude” owed by the UK to the Sikh community.The veterans were invited to the palace as part of celebrations for Sikh New Year, Vaisakhi. Speaking at the event, Charles said: “The Sikh community raises money and does so many good works all over this country. The UK owes an immense debt of gratitude to the courage and sacrifice of the Sikh soldiers.” There were around 1.5 million Sikhs who fought for the British Army during World War II, and over 90,000 Sikhs lost their lives for the allied cause. THE UK GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF UK OWE SIKHS A DEBT FOR SACRIFICING THEIR LIVES FOR UK DURING WORLD WAR I & II

  19. meet says:

    @ Truthful: And UK govt is supposed to pay off that debt by introducing bulletproof turbans?

    I am only trying to make sense of your comment. Please help.

  20. meet says:

    @ Truthful: And UK govt is supposed to pay off that debt by introducing bulletproof turbans?

    I am only trying to make sense of your comment. Please help.

  21. Edward says:

    @Truthful

    That's grand. The Sepoys were indeed grand fighters, "Gungadin, a braver man than I" is a quote most people know. Native Americans fought with us in, naturally, America against the French. African slaves were known to swim out to anchored Ships of the Line, climb up the anchor chain and stowaway until out to sea where they'd commonly become part of the crew, and damn fine fighters at that. The Gurkas of Nepal have fought with us on many occasions. Australia, and many other commonwealth countries have assisted us over the years.

    Spain was allied with us for much of the 1800's and indeed played a role in the battle of Waterloo. The Austrians, Prussians and probably many other eastern European nations have assisted us in battle. We were allies with the Dutch for bloody ages too, they fought with us on land and at sea. The Scots, Whelsh, Irish and Cornish have all fought by our sides. The list of England military Allies is probably as long as her list of enemies.

    My question to you is, WHAT'S YOUR POINT!? Great, Sikhs have fought with us, so have Jews, Christians and Muslims.

    My point isn't about the creedence of the people, Religious denomination doesn't tell you anything about that. What I'm saying is that religion so often interfeers with real life, and given that it's ultimatly all nonsense, these people should do their jobs and confom to the health and saftey standards of said job… or of course, do something else.

    On a side, would you be happy depositing large sums of money to a person who's face you could not see?

  22. Edward says:

    @Truthful

    That’s grand. The Sepoys were indeed grand fighters, “Gungadin, a braver man than I” is a quote most people know. Native Americans fought with us in, naturally, America against the French. African slaves were known to swim out to anchored Ships of the Line, climb up the anchor chain and stowaway until out to sea where they’d commonly become part of the crew, and damn fine fighters at that. The Gurkas of Nepal have fought with us on many occasions. Australia, and many other commonwealth countries have assisted us over the years.

    Spain was allied with us for much of the 1800’s and indeed played a role in the battle of Waterloo. The Austrians, Prussians and probably many other eastern European nations have assisted us in battle. We were allies with the Dutch for bloody ages too, they fought with us on land and at sea. The Scots, Whelsh, Irish and Cornish have all fought by our sides. The list of England military Allies is probably as long as her list of enemies.

    My question to you is, WHAT’S YOUR POINT!? Great, Sikhs have fought with us, so have Jews, Christians and Muslims.

    My point isn’t about the creedence of the people, Religious denomination doesn’t tell you anything about that. What I’m saying is that religion so often interfeers with real life, and given that it’s ultimatly all nonsense, these people should do their jobs and confom to the health and saftey standards of said job… or of course, do something else.

    On a side, would you be happy depositing large sums of money to a person who’s face you could not see?

  23. Maninder Singh says:

    There was a time when there were no hats!

    C'mon, Sikhs dont need any hard hats! How can we forget battle of longewala (150 sikhs against 2000 pakistani's and won) Battle of saragarhi (21 sikhs against 10,000 pathans) did they needed a bulletproof turban or a bulletproof helmet?

    Never!

    If an army personnel wants a protection before going to battlefield, that shows his commitment.. lol..

    General Hari Singh Nalwa, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Arora ,Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Lt.Gen. Shahbeg Singh, Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Bhagat Singh… These are some brave souls who never needed any "Protection"..

  24. Maninder Singh says:

    There was a time when there were no hats!

    C’mon, Sikhs dont need any hard hats! How can we forget battle of longewala (150 sikhs against 2000 pakistani’s and won) Battle of saragarhi (21 sikhs against 10,000 pathans) did they needed a bulletproof turban or a bulletproof helmet?

    Never!

    If an army personnel wants a protection before going to battlefield, that shows his commitment.. lol..

    General Hari Singh Nalwa, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Arora ,Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Lt.Gen. Shahbeg Singh, Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Bhagat Singh… These are some brave souls who never needed any “Protection”..

  25. Education provide our lives objectives to lead a life for particular and positive purposes. It provides suitable and easy way to achieve goals of life. Modern Education also bring positive change in society. It removes illiteracy and caste systems from society.

  26. Jason says:

    Has it been produced yet? I would love to know how it resembles. I think I first heard of this on this twitter.