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Sikh News Canadians view Hinduism positively, not Islam and Sikhism

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Admin Singh, May 4, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

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    TORONTO: Canada may claim itself to be the most multicultural country in the world, but Canadians still harbour prejudices and racial
    stereotypes, says a survey by the nation's premier magazine.

    According to the survey by Maclean's weekly, almost half of Canadians believe that Islam promotes violence. More than a quarter of them also view Sikhism as encouraging violence.

    On the other hand, Hinduism is the most positively viewed religion after Christianity in Canada, according to the survey.

    When the respondents were asked whether they thought that "the mainstream beliefs" of the major religions "encourage violence or are mostly peaceful," only 10% said Christianity taught violence.

    On the other hand, 45% said Islam stood for violence and hatred. Nearly 26% viewed Sikhism as promoting violence.

    While 70% said they hold a positive view of Christianity, 41% said they viewed Hinduism positively.

    Showing how deep anti-Semitism is still in this liberal country, 44% respondents said they would not want their children to marry a person of Jewish faith.

    Even fewer said they would be comfortable with their children marrying a Sikh or a Muslim.

    Worse still, 62% Canadians said opposed changes to laws to accommodate new ethnic immigrant groups and minorities.

    In the French-dominant province of Quebec, this figure rose to 74%.

    As part of the survey, 1,002 Canadians from all walks of life were selected randomly to elicit their views on various religions.

    The magazine said Canadians like to think of their country as a model of multi-ethnic and multicultural harmony, but when it comes to the major faiths other than Christianity they harbour shocking biases.

    Requesting anonymity, a Toronto-based Sikh leader said, "The survey shows that the Air India bombing of 1985 and the on-going violence among the Indo-Canadian Punjabi youth in British Columbia have created stereotypes about the Sikhs."

    Among the more than a million South Asians in Canada, Sikhs and Hindus are the two biggest groups.
     
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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Correct me If I am wrong but I heard That there are Gangs of sikhs in canada involved in illegal activities If this is true then how could they sikhism positively
     
  4. Admin Singh

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    Could you please provide full details in this matter for an enhanced analysis of the situation.
     
  5. kds1980

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    December 23, 2002: The Roots Of Gang Warfare (B.C. Sikhs Must Look Hard At Themselves) - Immigration Watch Canada

    December 23, 2002: The Roots Of Gang Warfare (B.C. Sikhs Must Look Hard At Themselves)

    December 23, 2002

    THE ROOTS OF GANG WARFARE

    B.C.'s Sikhs must look hard at themselves

    RENU BAKSHI

    HE LEFT THE nightclub in his usual fashion -- the envy of the room, a beautiful woman on his arm. As he hailed a cab for the short ride to his posh condo in downtown Vancouver, a man with his history had to know he was pegged. "It all happened so fast," the cabbie would say as his fare lay bleeding, riddled with bullets on the road. Robbie Kandola. To youngsters and hangers-on, he was a name they knew and feared. To police investigators, he was a toe tagged No. 54.

    In the past 10 years in Greater Vancouver, Kandola had been the 54th young man killed in an Indo-Canadian gang war over drugs, money and women. The showdown of bravado has claimed victims execution-style on city streets. Suspects have forced victims to swallow gasoline before lighting a match. Some have been shot at close range at nightclubs. Others have just vanished without a trace.

    While the mode of attack varies, victim profiles are interchangeable. Their obituaries describe men in their early 20s. Eulogies honour "nice" boys from good families. Most discernable of all, the victims are predominantly Sikhs whose background, by birth or by family, is in India's Punjab region. No other Indian sub-community in the nation has lost so many young men to murder. Even with large Hindu and Muslim populations in Canada, this ****** gang war is unique to B.C.'s primarily Sikh community.

    With 50-plus murder files -- most unsolved -- and the threat of more looming, police investigators are scratching their heads. For years they've searched for answers, ever hesitant to ask a controversial question finally posed publicly by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Wally Oppal: "Why has the Indo-Canadian community raised a disproportionate number of killers?"

    Some people may cringe at the "stereotype," or gasp that such a discussion dare take place in an age when Canada has sworn in its first Indo-Canadian premier. But Justice Oppal is himself a Sikh. The truth is, the majority of the Punjabi community has contemplated the question, but chosen to quash it. Fear of legitimizing media coverage maybe? Or harming an already fractured community image? Not likely. This is a community that protects itself through denial.

    There's really no dodging this bullet. A Punjabi boy's aggression and contempt of the law can be traced to misguided religious beliefs and his family's traditional practices. Most of the 50-plus victims come from this same complex culture.

    From the moment a Punjabi boy opens his eyes, his parents hand him the keys to the Porsche of life. From now on, his mother will ride in the back seat, literally and figuratively, putting her son ahead of the world. Her boy will have the privilege of eating a warm meal, without the chore of clearing the dishes alongside his sister. In a fit of childhood rage, he will kick and punch his mother, as his father and grandmother look on, taking great pride in their boy's supposed courage.

    It is the same cycle in most Punjabi households. All Indos, as we tend to call ourselves, have witnessed parents, grandparents and relatives mourn the birth of a girl, even today, while celebrating news that an heir to the throne is born. As Indos, we know too many sisters who were raised under a microscope of discipline and fear, burdened with the terror of defying their parents or shaming the family. All the while, their male counterparts are heralded as the Kings of the Castle, allowed free rein. "That's my boy," Dad will say, as the little guy steals a sip of his Johnny Walker Red Label.

    Vancouver police Insp. Kash Heed knows the Punjabi culture well. He grew up in a Sikh family. Heed, now Vancouver's top drug cop, says he's embarrassed by the stigma facing his community. " 'That's my boy, that's my boy' has gone out of control," Heed says. "You have fathers and mothers praising their sons when these boys are involved in illegal activity -- drug trafficking and murders. But these parents are still going 'that's my boy' based on that old family principle."

    Heed agrees Punjabi boys grow up in a testosterone-fuelled environment run by an iron-fisted patriarch. In too many cases, violence is the tool with which the head of household settles disputes with his wife, as well as other members of the family. RCMP in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, where many Sikhs live, say a disproportionate number of the domestic disputes their officers attend involve Sikh couples, and the disputes are almost always sparked by alcohol.

    Eventually, a young boy will become a young man and step into a community that thrives on bravado -- a world where everything is a grudge match, a fight to the finish. From Sunday sermons at Sikh temples to Friday nights at bars, police files show that disagreements among Punjabi men are regularly settled with the use of force. The difference is, youngsters have replaced the holy Sikh sword with machine guns.

    Five centuries ago, Guru Nanak founded Sikhism, a religion designed to promote equality among people. Although it evolved into a warrior religion, it was intended to uphold bravery in the face of evil. But the very essence of Sikhism, its spiritual struggle for human rights, has been *******ed by misguided men bent on gaining power and exacting revenge. The Sikh teaching, "When all else fails, only then raise your sword," no longer applies to defending the defenceless. It is an excuse to use violence to settle the score.

    This is especially true in Greater Vancouver, where interpretations of Sikh principles have led to terrible bloodshed. Three orthodox Sikhs are currently awaiting trial in the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people. Authorities believe the bombing was a Sikh separatist message for India's dominant Hindu government.

    Heed says there are numerous high-profile examples in Vancouver of Sikhs using delusional personal readings of religion to settle disputes. People, he says, need to look no further than temple "leaders" in B.C. whose battles for political power have been captured repeatedly on video for the six o'clock news. "Once, an item on TV showed a religious Sikh leader taking a big sword and slashing someone in the stomach," Heed says. "That happened at a temple. The image played over and over on TV."

    Violence is even part of Punjabi pop culture. Songs that play on local radio stations encourage Sikhs to be proud of their identity at all costs. Some lyrics go as far as encouraging youngsters to pick up pistols and rifles to fight for "justice."

    Bravado, Heed says, is part of the male species in general, but among Punjabis there are dangerous contributing factors. "Couple bravado with Sikh religion, couple it with the Punjabi culture and attitudes, and a lack of positive role models -- look what you have."

    What you have are young men who lack discipline and direction, young men who find adventure in earning fast money in the drug trade. Young men primed for violence.

    The catalyst for many teenage Sikhs may have come in 1994. Two young men gained notoriety far beyond the Sikh community when they used the evening news to exchange blatant threats. Weeks later, one of them was gunned down on a busy street in broad daylight. Television images showed paramedics working feverishly to save him from the gunshot wounds. The man charged but acquitted in his murder, Bindy Johal, emerged a hero among young men. "All of a sudden this behaviour was glorified," Heed recalls. "If kids wanted to make a name for themselves and settle schoolyard fights, they saw this as the way to do it."

    Those schoolyard fights have evolved into hunting season on Vancouver's streets. These days, gangsters are dying at the rate of one per month; Johal himself was later gunned down. It's a harsh reality, yet the Sikh community refuses to hear the wake-up call. Justice Oppal calls it willful blindness. "You tell me why a parent with an unemployed 23-year-old son driving a BMW doesn't think there's something wrong with that picture," he says. "Our sons are getting slaughtered but parents and the community are in a state of denial."

    Even after their sons are murdered in drug-related shootings, parents have often spoken on record to reinforce their sons' "innocence." Police officers have also described incidents where parents have slammed doors in their faces when they try to deliver news of the murder.

    Characteristics of Vancouver's gang problem are now emerging in Britain and the U.S. Authorities in northern California say only 25 per cent of their Indo-American community is Sikh, yet violent Indo gangs are made up almost entirely of Sikh youngsters. California parents are also caught in the cycle of denial. They say their sons are not part of gangs, they're just "boys being boys."

    Over the years, Oppal has seen a drastic increase in the number of young Indo men caught up in B.C.'s justice system. "The community can blame the police, they can blame the courts, they can blame society at large. But it's time we started looking inward." Oppal says the community and police need to work together to stop the killing spree, but he admits that ignorance in Vancouver's police department has contributed to the problem. "Police have never taken the time to get to know the Indo-Canadian community. This is what happened in the United States in inner cities where police are seen as the invading army. Police have no respect there."

    Heed agrees. He questions why police officers show up at the annual Indian Diwali festival wearing uniforms and stern faces. "When police go to other communities' events, they go in a community-policing role to meet and greet people," he says. "Why is it that at Indian events, they show up in a strictly enforcement role?"

    That may be changing. In Vancouver, an important first step between police and the community took place on June 15. Police officers faced off with members of the Indo community at a forum designed to build trust and help solve the city's gang problem. During the session, the split between police and the community was clear. Homicide officers expressed concern about the "conspiracy of silence" Sikhs use to protect their sons at the expense of solving murder investigations. Members of the community responded with accusations of racism. Why isolate "Indo" violence and host a forum, they asked.

    The statistics, however, won the day. Nearly 60 victims. Hundreds more gang members involved in the drug trade -- many of them "targeted" for murder, police say. That drove a strong debate against the aggression that has become an integral part of Sikh culture, religion and family values. Indo teachers, social workers, police officers and politicians called for community reforms to stop further bloodshed.

    At this stage, Oppal admits, some youngsters cannot be saved. "We just have to write them off," he says. Heed says police may have trouble keeping up with the deadly war. "The killings show no sign of slowing down," he says. "Eventually murder suspects become victims."

    Since Robbie Kandola's death in June, four more Indo men have made it onto the list of victims, one a university student who was only 18. Another was clinging to life last week after five men were shot in a Surrey parking lot. The sad reality is, none of these young men ever had a fair shot at life. That chalk outline on the sidewalk is the final page of the religious and cultural blueprint that was used to raise them.

    Renu Bakshi, who comes from a Punjabi background, is a reporter with CTV in Vancouver.

    To comment: response@macleans.ca

    http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/canada/article.jsp?content=77258
     
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  6. spnadmin

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    This is incredible. Even a skeptic like me cannot believe this.
     
  7. Rani Sandhu

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    one needs to consider where the survey took place, who particpated, how the facts were drawn......or who particpated in the survey....the data drawn could be biased if it didn't incorporate immigrant population or if it was completed by a particular race.....we need to question the facts/data to jump into conclusions......
     
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  8. spnadmin

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    Rani ji

    The survey might be flawed as you say -- but the news media have covered some alarming events that in turn would influence public opinion. If television news is showing these kinds of events, and not covering the positive events, advocacy, achievements, and civic contributions of Sikhs in Canada, then the public will indeed come away thinking negative thoughts.
     
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    #7 spnadmin, May 11, 2009
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  9. Rani Sandhu

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    I totally agree with you Antonia Ji,

    The youth really needs to be directed, even in schools, they segregate themselves into groups or small gettos...which is very problematic.....then comes the language barriers where the parents are not able to interact with the teachers....we need to set role models for them...get them involved in teh community....youth especially the south asian have such a negative views about community work...they are always looking for incentives.....we need to get them involved....have them participate in programs/services that are directed towards them.....I have worked with the youth...it is not easy to motivate them..but we have to try.....also it has to come from the policy level.....getting help for them in schools especially where the parents have language barriers, kids don't get homework done....or the new immigrants that become target of poverty.....youth really needs help....technically they are the future of this nation........
     
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  10. polpol

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    Last year there was lots of talk about reasonable accommodation towards immigrants. Here in Quebec there are not many Hindus or Sikhs probably because of the language. We have lots of muslims mostly from french speaking Maghreb. The media also have an important role in the way people see other cultures. Muslims are in a way the first victims of terrorism as they are all being profiled as violent.
    There were some incidences that exasperated Canadians. The Sikh who went to court and gained the right to wear a turban along his Mounted Police uniform certainly irritated some since the uniform is such an important symbol of Canadian identity. Here in Quebec, a young Sikh lad accidently dropped his knife (sorry I forgot the real name, Kurpan?), in the school yard during recess and the parents were shocked to know he was carrying a weapon since weapons are not aloud in school especially after there had been some bloodshed in schools. The boy got permission to keep his Kurpan(?) after his parents went to court and this made most people think "What ever happened to the old saying, IN ROME, live like a ROMAN?". In Quebec people are particularly xenophobic because up until recently they were a closely knit hegemonic society and being a tiny minority in the midst of an aglosaxon ocean, they tend to paranoi about their survival. They are indeed a historic abberation because they were supposed to dissapear through assimilation a long time ago but instead they survived mostly because of the Catholic Church that dominated until the 60's through xenophobia and fanatism and had them multiply like rabbits. Unlike some Sikhs and some muslims the Hindu generally don't ask for any particular treatment so that may explain Canadians' attitudes. But in any case people should not abstain from coming to Canada or even Quebec because Canadians are truly nice charitable people. I guarantee that a Sikh family can settle in a remote village were people say they don't appreciate strangers but one can be positively sure that these same people will get together and assist the immigrant family as much as they can with immense generosity. I arrived here with my family in 62 and Quebec was just starting to get out of the dark ages. It was difficult and I still feel a stranger but it's not that bad. My poor father left Egypt to escape muslim fanatism and he found himself face to face with Catholic fanatism which was much worse. We were not even aloud to attend the same schools as other kids because we were not Catholic (though we were Christians), but my parents fought and we were accepted. Anyways, I think both the immigrant and the host must make some effort of acceptance and respect. The immigrant must abstain from showing that he is here only to get citizenship and economic advantages and he must think that there are obligations not only rights. The host must make an effort to fight ignorance and xenophobia.
     
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  11. polpol

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    My previous post was in response to the survey presented in the beginning by Aman Singh.
    I just read the other threads and I sincerely question that the problem about Sikh youth is strictly a Sikh phenomenon. The problems raised are the same for Latinos, Chinese, the natives,etc. Maybe the problem is more severe within the Sikh community but that's only a matter of degrees. I think the problem is that big cities like Vancouver and Toronto are becoming urban jungles like elsewhere where nobody is safe and where parents lose control not only of their children but of themselves. This is particularly difficult with immigrant families that go through extreme psychological stress. My advice to anyone who thinks of migrating would be to chose a smaller city (like Quebec city),less anonymous, where people get to know each other and where ethnic communities are smaller, to avoid the ghetto effect and to allow immigrants to interact more with the locals.
     
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  12. BhagatSingh

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    I reckon the public gatka demonstrations, preached as being a "Sikh martial arts" to the crowd, do not help that figure. To the common folk, that looks like a violent religion.

    And what about that Bombing of the Air India flight?
    ------------


    But does Sikhism actually promote violence?
    Mostly NO.

    "When all peaceful means have failed, it's right to raise the sword"
    (Famous Sikh quote, apparently said by Guru Gobing Singh ji)

    This quote on itself doesn't promote violence. But imagine some idiot who thinks sitting on your ***, doing nothing, is the only peaceful method. So when he gets up to do something, its not writing a book or having live dialogue, but its to go kill some guy (most likely to shut him up) in... ... I don't know...Brampton!

    The concept of martyrdom that is a big part of Sikh tradition only serves the violence. It makes it easier to die for the individual, it alleviates the fear of death, which only complements their violent actions... that if they die during their deed they are liberated as a Shaheed.

    The end result is... icecreammunda
     
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    #11 BhagatSingh, Jul 8, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  13. Vikram singh

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    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Cjashan%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style>media do play key roles in setting the Political agenda by determining what news is to be covered, how <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Cjashan%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->much, and in what context.As Rani Sandhu said who particpated, how the facts were drawn......or who particpated in the survey....the data drawn could be biased if it didn't incorporate immigrant population or if it was completed by a particular race.....we need to question the facts/data to jump into conclusions......
     
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  14. harbansj24

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    Kanwardeep Singh ji is right. Unless Sikhs learn to get back to the spirit of basic Philosophy of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh and not interpret to suit their self serving needs, we will continue to fail.

    We are in the danger of being reduced to a clannish and tribalistic lot. We need to seriously introspect and not just react aggressively or defensively to all the negative opinions and continue to moan that the whole world is against the Sikhs.

    Sikh philosophy is the best ever to have been propounded. But for whatever reasons, the modern Sikhs are failing it.
     

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