Please Donate! (No Turbans Allowed)

I just received a Community Advisory alert from SALDEF discussing the case of Gurnam Singh Khera who recently visited a community center in North Carolinato makea donation for their Thanksgiving Food Drive. Sounds great right? Except for the fact that Gurnam Singh is a Sardar and I guess it goes against somebody’s tenets to have a person wearing a turban make a donation. I don’t seem to follow.

Upon entering the facility, Mr. Khera was told by a receptionist that “this is the United States” and that he needed to remove his Dastaar. When Mr. Khera attempted to explain the religious significance of the Dastaar, the receptionist refused to speak with him. When the Reverend in charge of the facility was summoned, Mr. Khera offered a handshake, but the Reverend reportedly refused to reciprocate and asked Mr. Khera and his wife to leave the facility, saying: “Go donate to some other place; we do not need your donations unless you remove your turban.”

SALDEF has contacted Reverend Ron Weeks of the Union Mission of Roanoke Rapids, NC asking for the community center to apologize to Mr. Khera and work with SALDEF on efforts to celebrate religious diversity in the cause of helping the less fortunate. Reverend Ron Weeks did take the time to respond.I thinkI’ll justlet you read it yourself,

We are a Christ centered ministry that has been serving our communities “in Jesus name” from our own private facilities since 1951. We have a long standing policy that is clearly displayed on our lobby door that all males are required to remove their head gear. We feed meals everyday and welcome the idea of others doing the same as our communities are certainly in need of more than we are able to do. Being supported totally by donations we don’t turn them away. Couldn’t his donation be used by the local Langar you speak of? I can think of several options; send it by another person, mail or internet…donate to another charity.

Wow. i wonder if this also means that this charity would not serve someone in need who happened to wear a turban? SALDEF is encouraging the community to contact Union Mission of Roanoke Rapids to express your dissapointment in their bizzare donation policy. You can contact Rev Ronald C Weeks at edirector at umrr dot org.

Yay to SALDEF for addressing this issue. Boo to uninformed community center leaders. We’ll do our best to keep you updated on this issue.


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33 Responses to “Please Donate! (No Turbans Allowed)”

  1. j S SIDHU says:

    Exodus 28

    3 Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest. 4 These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve me as priests. 5 Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.

    Ezekiel 21

    25 " 'O profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax, 26 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! It will not be restored until he comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to him I will give it.'

    Zechariah 3

    4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes."

    Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."

    5 Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

    6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

    Ezekiel 44

    17 " 'When they enter the gates of the inner court, they are to wear linen clothes; they must not wear any woolen garment while ministering at the gates of the inner court or inside the temple. 18 They are to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists.

    Job 29

    13 The man who was dying blessed me;

    I made the widow's heart sing.

    14 I put on righteousness as my clothing;

    justice was my robe and my turban.

    15 I was eyes to the blind

    and feet to the lame.

    Leviticus 16

    3 "This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. 5 From the Israelite community he is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering

    Leviticus 8

    8 He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece. 9 Then he placed the turban on Aaron's head and set the gold plate, the sacred diadem, on the front of it, as the Lord commanded Moses.

    10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them.

    Exodus 39

    30 They made the plate, the sacred diadem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal: HOLY TO THE Lord . 31 Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the Lord commanded Moses.

    Exodus 39

    27 For Aaron and his sons, they made tunics of fine linen-the work of a weaver- 28 and the turban of fine linen, the linen headbands and the undergarments of finely twisted linen. 29 The sash was of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn-the work of an embroiderer-as the Lord commanded Moses.

  2. j S SIDHU says:

    Exodus 28
    3 Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest. 4 These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve me as priests. 5 Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.

    Ezekiel 21
    25 ” ‘O profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax, 26 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! It will not be restored until he comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to him I will give it.’

    Zechariah 3
    4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
    Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
    5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
    6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

    Ezekiel 44
    17 ” ‘When they enter the gates of the inner court, they are to wear linen clothes; they must not wear any woolen garment while ministering at the gates of the inner court or inside the temple. 18 They are to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists.

    Job 29
    13 The man who was dying blessed me;
    I made the widow’s heart sing.
    14 I put on righteousness as my clothing;
    justice was my robe and my turban.
    15 I was eyes to the blind
    and feet to the lame.

    Leviticus 16
    3 “This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. 5 From the Israelite community he is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering

    Leviticus 8
    8 He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece. 9 Then he placed the turban on Aaron’s head and set the gold plate, the sacred diadem, on the front of it, as the Lord commanded Moses.
    10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them.

    Exodus 39
    30 They made the plate, the sacred diadem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal: HOLY TO THE Lord . 31 Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the Lord commanded Moses.

    Exodus 39
    27 For Aaron and his sons, they made tunics of fine linen-the work of a weaver- 28 and the turban of fine linen, the linen headbands and the undergarments of finely twisted linen. 29 The sash was of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn-the work of an embroiderer-as the Lord commanded Moses.

  3. S Singh says:

    This looks like a KKK affiliated mission! The reply for the Rev. is most astonishing!

  4. Manjit Singh says:

    Are we sure this was a general community center and not a church community center. It is hard to believe that someone would say that. They either didn’t like Sikhs or just are completely ignorant about Sikhs or just are full of hate and racist. Anyways, Bhai Sahib and BhainJi I say, just invite people to the Gurdwara for a langar or just keep some good healthy vegetarian snacks and water in car to hand out to homeless directly whenever you see one. That is what I do. These churches pass out Turkeys and meat anyways which is no way close to serving a langar.

  5. Manjit Singh says:

    Are we sure this was a general community center and not a church community center. It is hard to believe that someone would say that. They either didn't like Sikhs or just are completely ignorant about Sikhs or just are full of hate and racist. Anyways, Bhai Sahib and BhainJi I say, just invite people to the Gurdwara for a langar or just keep some good healthy vegetarian snacks and water in car to hand out to homeless directly whenever you see one. That is what I do. These churches pass out Turkeys and meat anyways which is no way close to serving a langar.

  6. Manjit Singh says:

    Oh ya,

    NUTS, GRANOLA BARS, RAISINS, CANS OF VEGETARIAN SOUP, READY MADE TEA, FRESH FRUITS AND VEGIES ETC. MAKE GOOD HANDOUT FOODS. IF SOMEONE DOESN'T LIKE THESE AND WANT MEAT, THEY ARE PROBABLY NOT STARVING AND HUNGARY IN THE FIRST PLACE. I SEE PEOPLE BEGGING WITH CIGARETTES IN THEIR HANDS AND I WONDER, HOW DO THEY AFFORD THESE CIGARETTES BUT NOT FOOD AND ASK FOR MONEY ONLY. SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE ALSO GET DISABILITY BENEFITS FROM GOEVRNMENT AS WELL AND STILL BEG FOR EXTRA MONEY. BUT STILL THAT IS NOT FOR US TO JUDGE AND I GIVE THEM ONLY FOOD AND NO MONEY.

  7. Manjit Singh says:

    Oh ya,

    NUTS, GRANOLA BARS, RAISINS, CANS OF VEGETARIAN SOUP, READY MADE TEA, FRESH FRUITS AND VEGIES ETC. MAKE GOOD HANDOUT FOODS. IF SOMEONE DOESN’T LIKE THESE AND WANT MEAT, THEY ARE PROBABLY NOT STARVING AND HUNGARY IN THE FIRST PLACE. I SEE PEOPLE BEGGING WITH CIGARETTES IN THEIR HANDS AND I WONDER, HOW DO THEY AFFORD THESE CIGARETTES BUT NOT FOOD AND ASK FOR MONEY ONLY. SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE ALSO GET DISABILITY BENEFITS FROM GOEVRNMENT AS WELL AND STILL BEG FOR EXTRA MONEY. BUT STILL THAT IS NOT FOR US TO JUDGE AND I GIVE THEM ONLY FOOD AND NO MONEY.

  8. DJ Drrrty Poonjabi says:

    Being supported totally by donations we don’t turn them away. Couldn’t his donation be used by the local Langar you speak of? I can think of several options; send it by another person, mail or internet…donate to another charity

    Fail.

    We feed meals everyday and welcome the idea of others doing the same as our communities are certainly in need of more than we are able to do.

    Double fail for composing the above and then not explaining why the donation was turned away.

  9. Being supported totally by donations we dont turn them away. Couldnt his donation be used by the local Langar you speak of? I can think of several options; send it by another person, mail or internetdonate to another charity

    Fail.

    We feed meals everyday and welcome the idea of others doing the same as our communities are certainly in need of more than we are able to do.

    Double fail for composing the above and then not explaining why the donation was turned away.

  10. PCJ says:

    That's pretty pathetic. I guess people in parts of America are still ignorant….

  11. PCJ says:

    That’s pretty pathetic. I guess people in parts of America are still ignorant….

  12. seek the truth says:

    Why do these Christians have to honor the religious rights of Gurnam Singh Khera when Khera does not have to honor the Christian's religious rights, rules and traditions? The rules were clearly marked and everyone is expected to be treated the same as not to appear as people that discriminate against other people. "Special rules" based on religion is a form of discrimination, everyone must be treated the same. The rules did not forbid the religious man Khera from entering their temple, the rules forbid having his head covered while inside their building. Khera entered their temple/church but Khera did not want to honor their religious rules. Khera should have backed out with many apologies. Had the roles been reverse and your temple required heads to be covered and someone refused to cover their head, you expect the same respect. We decide which battles to fight and Khera chose this fight with the Christians and it does not glorify God.

  13. seek the truth says:

    Why do these Christians have to honor the religious rights of Gurnam Singh Khera when Khera does not have to honor the Christian’s religious rights, rules and traditions? The rules were clearly marked and everyone is expected to be treated the same as not to appear as people that discriminate against other people. “Special rules” based on religion is a form of discrimination, everyone must be treated the same. The rules did not forbid the religious man Khera from entering their temple, the rules forbid having his head covered while inside their building. Khera entered their temple/church but Khera did not want to honor their religious rules. Khera should have backed out with many apologies. Had the roles been reverse and your temple required heads to be covered and someone refused to cover their head, you expect the same respect. We decide which battles to fight and Khera chose this fight with the Christians and it does not glorify God.

  14. bumpkin says:

    seek the truth:

    please don't be ridiculous. it is not obvious that union mission was a church, and even if it was, most places of worship have lobbies and receiving areas for transactions with members of the public. khera was told to remove his turban and was reminded that he lives in the united states – the retrograde assumption being that turbans are un-american. the no-hats rule commonly applies to baseball caps and other hats that are worn for pleasure. turbans and yarmulkes and skullcaps are not worn for pleasure; they are the highest expression of faith for people of faith throughout the united states.

    get serious.

  15. bumpkin says:

    seek the truth:

    please don’t be ridiculous. it is not obvious that union mission was a church, and even if it was, most places of worship have lobbies and receiving areas for transactions with members of the public. khera was told to remove his turban and was reminded that he lives in the united states – the retrograde assumption being that turbans are un-american. the no-hats rule commonly applies to baseball caps and other hats that are worn for pleasure. turbans and yarmulkes and skullcaps are not worn for pleasure; they are the highest expression of faith for people of faith throughout the united states.

    get serious.

  16. P.Singh says:

    I hope this incident gets reported in the local newspaper….

  17. P.Singh says:

    I hope this incident gets reported in the local newspaper….

  18. RJ says:

    The full story as reported in Roanoke Rapids where the incident happened. As for Ron Weeks, the Minister in question, he’s not exactly what I’d call the “turn the other cheek” type of person. I’ve been in their thrift store where he spends a lot of time and he has a naturally abrasive personality.

    Lance Martin, Daily Herald Senior Staff Writer

    ROANOKE RAPIDS — Between the he said, he said banter of who was belligerent, comes the issue of respect of religions and policy.

    Gary Khera’s donation to a local non-profit group was declined because he refused to remove his turban, a symbol of the Sikh religion.

    Khera, a U.S. and Indian citizen, came to the Union Mission with his wife of 23 years, Gwendolyn, this week to donate cash or food. He said he was prepared to give a cash donation to feed at least 50 people.

    He usually mails his donation, but on Tuesday he decided to go in person.

    While the Union Mission claims Khera, 54, was disruptive, it doesn’t deny they refused his donation.

    The sign on the door leading to the lobby of the mission on Roanoke Avenue, written in 2-inch tall letters, tells visitors to turn off cell phones, forbids food or drink and requests all males remove headcovers.

    The turban, however, is part of Khera’s religion and is worn all day and he said while he respects the policy, the Supreme Court has ruled religious coverings do not have to be removed.

    He explained he was there to make a donation and the in-take director, Florence Williams, asked him to remove the turban. “When she said that I was really upset,” he said.

    Williams then declined to talk to him and talked to his wife.

    “I asked if there was anyone else I could talk to,” Khera said, and he was told the Rev. Ron Weeks, executive director of the Mission, was available.

    Khera said he was escorted to the alcove between the front door and the door leading into the lobby. He said Weeks would not shake his hand.

    Khera said he calmly tried to explain he was there to give a donation and that Williams wanted him to remove his turban. Weeks explained the policy and Khera was told if he didn’t follow the policy, he could take the donation elsewhere.

    The only difference in the recollection of the conversation by both parties is that Weeks and Williams say Khera was belligerent. In turn, Khera describes the Union Mission officials as belligerent.

    “We have policy and he didn’t want to abide by it,” Weeks said yesterday. “He gave the receptionist a bad time and decided to do a vengeance thing because he didn’t get his own way. This was nothing to do with the turban, nothing to do with his faith.”

    The policy, Weeks said, “Is that’s how we honor the Lord. It was not religion with him, he tried to make it religion. It was clear he wanted to argue and fight.”

    Asked if he knew Khera, a Roanoke Rapids resident and business owner, made yearly donations to the Mission by mail, Weeks said, “If he wants to continue donating it’s best he does that or stop and donate to someone else.”

    Asked if the Mission’s board of directors was aware of the incident, Weeks said, “This probably happens once a month. It’s not a big deal to us.” Jeff Holm, chairman of the Mission’s board, told the Daily Herald this morning that until he had more information he would not comment on the incident.

    Weeks said he didn’t believe the Union Mission was trying to deny Khera’s freedom of religion. If that is the case, Weeks said, “He’s trying to deny us ours. That’s his problem, not ours. He made the choice and didn’t like the outcome.”

    Williams said she was not trying to disrespect Khera’s faith. “I’m sorry it happened,” she said. “The sign says on the door all males take off their (headcovers). This is a church.”

    While Khera says it was Union Mission staff who were belligerent to him, he adds that it is not the point, it is the respect for his religion at issue.

    The Sikh religion teaches peace, he said, which is one of the reasons he applied for citizenship. “I’m proud to be a U.S. citizen,” he said. “You can tell the world what actual freedom is. You can practice any religion. You can have your dreams come true and make a difference in your family and your community.”

    Gwendolyn, who is dedicated to her husband’s culture and religion, said she was upset when her husband was asked to remove his turban. “The people are friendly,” she said of the temple she goes to with her husband. “They treat you as a family. The kids learn a lot. If you go to the temple you feel good, they respect you, they treat you like their own.”

    Khera said he has never been targeted for his turban before except in the aftermath of 9/11. When he visited the U.S. Supreme Court no one asked him to remove the turban.

    No one can question his patriotism, he said, and he speaks proudly of Sikh participation in World War I and World War II. “They are the best fighters,” he said. “In World War II and World War I, the British used them all over the world to fight.”

    His son, he said, is joining the Air Force. “It’s his dream to be an Air Force pilot.”

    His daughter started a newspaper at KIPP Pride High in Gaston and is raising money to keep needy students in school. “In our tradition in every temple, people of all races and religions sit on the same row and eat the same food.”

    While these temples are ready to fight for Khera on a legal level, he has declined to press the matter. “I have at least 10 e-mails from the temple, from legal defense telling me what to do,” he said. “I’m not looking to fight back so we can stay here and keep peace.”

    Khera will talk with the Halifax County Department of Social Services about another place to make his donation.

    “I just want to be heard,” he said. “We need more education about other religions. In our temple we read everything, we don’t go by one. We do everything in praise of God.”

  19. RJ says:

    The full story as reported in Roanoke Rapids where the incident happened. As for Ron Weeks, the Minister in question, hes not exactly what Id call the turn the other cheek type of person. Ive been in their thrift store where he spends a lot of time and he has a naturally abrasive personality.

    Lance Martin, Daily Herald Senior Staff Writer

    ROANOKE RAPIDS Between the he said, he said banter of who was belligerent, comes the issue of respect of religions and policy.

    Gary Kheras donation to a local non-profit group was declined because he refused to remove his turban, a symbol of the Sikh religion.

    Khera, a U.S. and Indian citizen, came to the Union Mission with his wife of 23 years, Gwendolyn, this week to donate cash or food. He said he was prepared to give a cash donation to feed at least 50 people.

    He usually mails his donation, but on Tuesday he decided to go in person.

    While the Union Mission claims Khera, 54, was disruptive, it doesnt deny they refused his donation.

    The sign on the door leading to the lobby of the mission on Roanoke Avenue, written in 2-inch tall letters, tells visitors to turn off cell phones, forbids food or drink and requests all males remove headcovers.

    The turban, however, is part of Kheras religion and is worn all day and he said while he respects the policy, the Supreme Court has ruled religious coverings do not have to be removed.

    He explained he was there to make a donation and the in-take director, Florence Williams, asked him to remove the turban. When she said that I was really upset, he said.

    Williams then declined to talk to him and talked to his wife.

    I asked if there was anyone else I could talk to, Khera said, and he was told the Rev. Ron Weeks, executive director of the Mission, was available.

    Khera said he was escorted to the alcove between the front door and the door leading into the lobby. He said Weeks would not shake his hand.

    Khera said he calmly tried to explain he was there to give a donation and that Williams wanted him to remove his turban. Weeks explained the policy and Khera was told if he didnt follow the policy, he could take the donation elsewhere.

    The only difference in the recollection of the conversation by both parties is that Weeks and Williams say Khera was belligerent. In turn, Khera describes the Union Mission officials as belligerent.

    We have policy and he didnt want to abide by it, Weeks said yesterday. He gave the receptionist a bad time and decided to do a vengeance thing because he didnt get his own way. This was nothing to do with the turban, nothing to do with his faith.

    The policy, Weeks said, Is thats how we honor the Lord. It was not religion with him, he tried to make it religion. It was clear he wanted to argue and fight.

    Asked if he knew Khera, a Roanoke Rapids resident and business owner, made yearly donations to the Mission by mail, Weeks said, If he wants to continue donating its best he does that or stop and donate to someone else.

    Asked if the Missions board of directors was aware of the incident, Weeks said, This probably happens once a month. Its not a big deal to us. Jeff Holm, chairman of the Missions board, told the Daily Herald this morning that until he had more information he would not comment on the incident.

    Weeks said he didnt believe the Union Mission was trying to deny Kheras freedom of religion. If that is the case, Weeks said, Hes trying to deny us ours. Thats his problem, not ours. He made the choice and didnt like the outcome.

    Williams said she was not trying to disrespect Kheras faith. Im sorry it happened, she said. The sign says on the door all males take off their (headcovers). This is a church.

    While Khera says it was Union Mission staff who were belligerent to him, he adds that it is not the point, it is the respect for his religion at issue.

    The Sikh religion teaches peace, he said, which is one of the reasons he applied for citizenship. Im proud to be a U.S. citizen, he said. You can tell the world what actual freedom is. You can practice any religion. You can have your dreams come true and make a difference in your family and your community.

    Gwendolyn, who is dedicated to her husbands culture and religion, said she was upset when her husband was asked to remove his turban. The people are friendly, she said of the temple she goes to with her husband. They treat you as a family. The kids learn a lot. If you go to the temple you feel good, they respect you, they treat you like their own.

    Khera said he has never been targeted for his turban before except in the aftermath of 9/11. When he visited the U.S. Supreme Court no one asked him to remove the turban.

    No one can question his patriotism, he said, and he speaks proudly of Sikh participation in World War I and World War II. They are the best fighters, he said. In World War II and World War I, the British used them all over the world to fight.

    His son, he said, is joining the Air Force. Its his dream to be an Air Force pilot.

    His daughter started a newspaper at KIPP Pride High in Gaston and is raising money to keep needy students in school. In our tradition in every temple, people of all races and religions sit on the same row and eat the same food.

    While these temples are ready to fight for Khera on a legal level, he has declined to press the matter. I have at least 10 e-mails from the temple, from legal defense telling me what to do, he said. Im not looking to fight back so we can stay here and keep peace.

    Khera will talk with the Halifax County Department of Social Services about another place to make his donation.

    I just want to be heard, he said. We need more education about other religions. In our temple we read everything, we dont go by one. We do everything in praise of God.

  20. seek the truth says:

    If Khera does in fact own a topless bar and serve alcohol as the paper has reported; how would that affect your opinion of him? Apparently the Christians are offended by his presence because of his chosen occupation not his turban. Toples bars do not honor God and they exploit young women. Maybe this town does not like being associated with this offensive person. Doesn't it seem a bit hypocritical for a man to lure other men in to his establishment to purchase alcohol by having women dance naked at night and then return a small donation to the UM that mainly services recovering alcoholics during the day? I can find nothing that serves God in this deal. Make it sound like your are defending his turban but the turban is not the issue, it is the sex stained money and his profession that is offensive. Topless bar owners are too similiar to pimps selling prostitution. Sex sells but it is wrong.

  21. seek the truth says:

    If Khera does in fact own a topless bar and serve alcohol as the paper has reported; how would that affect your opinion of him? Apparently the Christians are offended by his presence because of his chosen occupation not his turban. Toples bars do not honor God and they exploit young women. Maybe this town does not like being associated with this offensive person. Doesn’t it seem a bit hypocritical for a man to lure other men in to his establishment to purchase alcohol by having women dance naked at night and then return a small donation to the UM that mainly services recovering alcoholics during the day? I can find nothing that serves God in this deal. Make it sound like your are defending his turban but the turban is not the issue, it is the sex stained money and his profession that is offensive. Topless bar owners are too similiar to pimps selling prostitution. Sex sells but it is wrong.

  22. seek the truth says:

    Bumpkin writes,

    "please don’t be ridiculous. it is not obvious that union mission was a church."

    Maybe an "outsider" would not know it was a church but everyone in that town knows. Khera should have investigated to who and what he was giving his money. I think Khera wanted this conflict because he wants recognition. Look at the Union Mission website http://www.umrr.org/ they quote scripture of Jesus Christ and it is operated by ministers from it inception in 1951. This building does have a lobby and and the news accounts report Khera was escorted back to the lobby after making his way past it, Khera wanted this conflict.

  23. seek the truth says:

    Bumpkin writes,

    “please dont be ridiculous. it is not obvious that union mission was a church.”

    Maybe an “outsider” would not know it was a church but everyone in that town knows. Khera should have investigated to who and what he was giving his money. I think Khera wanted this conflict because he wants recognition. Look at the Union Mission website http://www.umrr.org/ they quote scripture of Jesus Christ and it is operated by ministers from it inception in 1951. This building does have a lobby and and the news accounts report Khera was escorted back to the lobby after making his way past it, Khera wanted this conflict.

  24. seek the truth says:

    No one can question his patriotism, he said, and he speaks proudly of Sikh participation in World War I and World War II. “They are the best fighters,” he said. “In World War II and World War I, the British used them all over the world to fight.”

    Why would you mention his patriotism? No one claimed he was not an American Citizen. The only complaint is he does not follow the rules of one church and you want to blow it into a race battle over a turban. God is truth, men betray God when they look for their own truth or betray truth.

  25. seek the truth says:

    No one can question his patriotism, he said, and he speaks proudly of Sikh participation in World War I and World War II. They are the best fighters, he said. In World War II and World War I, the British used them all over the world to fight.

    Why would you mention his patriotism? No one claimed he was not an American Citizen. The only complaint is he does not follow the rules of one church and you want to blow it into a race battle over a turban. God is truth, men betray God when they look for their own truth or betray truth.

  26. seek the truth says:

    Gwendolyn, who is dedicated to her husband’s culture and religion, said she was upset when her husband was asked to remove his turban. “The people are friendly,” she said of the temple she goes to with her husband. “They treat you as a family. The kids learn a lot. If you go to the temple you feel good, they respect you, they treat you like their own.”

    Could the truth be he was asked to step OUTSIDE the church or remove the turban in the church and he got angry because they asked him to remove the turban? It makes no sense for this minister to confront people and anger them unless they are doing something that offends their religious beliefs. Two cultures clashed in this story and everyone wants to make it into a lie that Christians do not honor other cultures. When the truth is this Sikh did not know or honor Christian culture and rules. Who needs to study the others cultures; the Sikh or the Christians?

  27. seek the truth says:

    Gwendolyn, who is dedicated to her husbands culture and religion, said she was upset when her husband was asked to remove his turban. The people are friendly, she said of the temple she goes to with her husband. They treat you as a family. The kids learn a lot. If you go to the temple you feel good, they respect you, they treat you like their own.

    Could the truth be he was asked to step OUTSIDE the church or remove the turban in the church and he got angry because they asked him to remove the turban? It makes no sense for this minister to confront people and anger them unless they are doing something that offends their religious beliefs. Two cultures clashed in this story and everyone wants to make it into a lie that Christians do not honor other cultures. When the truth is this Sikh did not know or honor Christian culture and rules. Who needs to study the others cultures; the Sikh or the Christians?

  28. Prem says:

    When the truth is this Sikh did not know or honor Christian culture and rules.

    It’s not ‘Christian culture and rules’ that a turban not be worn inside a hall. It was the rule of this particular ministry. Christianity has a long history and practise of head covering. I have travelled across the Christian world and seen head coverings in Orthodox Greek, Catholic and Presbyterian churches and cathedrals. I have known Coptic Christians and have seen head coverings being worn at Anglican churches and cathedrals. Not to mention the head coverings worn by nuns, patriarchs and fathers in all their variety, including a head covering worn by the Pope.

    You really should not equate the particular rules of this individual with the ‘culture and rules’ of Christianity. That would be an act of extraordinary egotism, and a denial of the plurality of the Christian faith, which is one of the glories of Christianity.

    I think that there was clearly an underlying prejudice involved in the initial encounter, when the gentleman was told that because he lived in America he should be beholden to the particular laws of the hall in question, because they somehow chimed with the wider laws of America, which displays a level of ignorance that is astonishing. You are perfectly within your rights to manifest your religious belief by wearing a head covering in America. Freedom of religion is hard wired into America’s very soul. So it is the person who made that statement that requires education about the principles of America.

    Finally, the whole tale seems to me to be a question of personality clash as much as anything else. As such, I commend Mr Khera for dropping the matter and not wanting to turn this into some kind of religious confrontation that would be welcomed by those who want an excuse to do exactly that. Basic Sikh principles of giving to those in need and religious toleration should be exemplified in Mr Khera’s conduct. Spread the word about Sikhism, but do so in a spirit of ecumenical friendship, that is what should be taken from this episode.

  29. Prem says:

    When the truth is this Sikh did not know or honor Christian culture and rules.

    It's not 'Christian culture and rules' that a turban not be worn inside a hall. It was the rule of this particular ministry. Christianity has a long history and practise of head covering. I have travelled across the Christian world and seen head coverings in Orthodox Greek, Catholic and Presbyterian churches and cathedrals. I have known Coptic Christians and have seen head coverings being worn at Anglican churches and cathedrals. Not to mention the head coverings worn by nuns, patriarchs and fathers in all their variety, including a head covering worn by the Pope.

    You really should not equate the particular rules of this individual with the 'culture and rules' of Christianity. That would be an act of extraordinary egotism, and a denial of the plurality of the Christian faith, which is one of the glories of Christianity.

    I think that there was clearly an underlying prejudice involved in the initial encounter, when the gentleman was told that because he lived in America he should be beholden to the particular laws of the hall in question, because they somehow chimed with the wider laws of America, which displays a level of ignorance that is astonishing. You are perfectly within your rights to manifest your religious belief by wearing a head covering in America. Freedom of religion is hard wired into America's very soul. So it is the person who made that statement that requires education about the principles of America.

    Finally, the whole tale seems to me to be a question of personality clash as much as anything else. As such, I commend Mr Khera for dropping the matter and not wanting to turn this into some kind of religious confrontation that would be welcomed by those who want an excuse to do exactly that. Basic Sikh principles of giving to those in need and religious toleration should be exemplified in Mr Khera's conduct. Spread the word about Sikhism, but do so in a spirit of ecumenical friendship, that is what should be taken from this episode.

  30. Suki says:

    I just wish that people that are outraged at the way Mr.Khera is treated whould show the same outrage at what is going in many villages of Punjab.

    In which Jatt Gurdwara will not welcome Dalit and other lower caste people into there place of worship.

  31. Suki says:

    I just wish that people that are outraged at the way Mr.Khera is treated whould show the same outrage at what is going in many villages of Punjab.

    In which Jatt Gurdwara will not welcome Dalit and other lower caste people into there place of worship.

  32. S Singh says:

    This looks like a KKK affiliated mission! The reply for the Rev. is most astonishing!

  33. S Singh says:

    This looks like a KKK affiliated mission! The reply for the Rev. is most astonishing!