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Canada Sikhs Banned from Playing in Turbans

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Sikhs banned from playing in turbans
    News Date: 4th June 2013 View Comments: (0)

    http://www.businessghana.com/portal/sports/news.php?op=getNews&id=36767&news_cat_id=3

    See related story at Quebec Soccer Federation Sticks to Turban Ban http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottaw...-sikhs-left-out-of-soccer-turbans-banned.html

    Sikh youngsters who want to play football in Quebec who wish to continue wearing their turbans while doing so have been told to "play in their backyard". The Quebec Soccer Federation is insistent that the religious headwear cannot be worn during official matches for the safety of players. The Associated Press reports that the rules mean as many as 200 young players are unable to play in the Canadian province, the only one in the country which enforces the rule.

    ''They can play in their backyard, but not with official referees, not in the official rules of soccer,'' Brigitte Frot, director general of the provincial association, told a media conference call when asked what she would say to a five-year-old who wanted to register for a team with their friends. ''They have no choice.''

    Quebec is the only province in Canada that has balked at allowing turbans on the field. As a result, about 100 to 200 youngsters are unable to play.

    Despite a directive from the Canadian Soccer Association in April calling for provincial governing bodies to allow turbans, Frot said Sikhs would have to take their complaints to FIFA.

    ''They have to knock at FIFA's door,'' she said.

    Conservative MP Parm Gill has written open letters to both the Quebec and Canadian associations expressing his disappointment at the situation and urging a compromise.

    "It is incredibly unfortunate and insulting that, in a nation that prides itself on diversity, such discriminatory regulations are allowed to stand," he said in a statement. "There is no valid reason for a ban on the wearing of turbans or other religious symbols during athletic competitions."

    Balpreet Singh, a spokesman for the World Sikh Organisation of Canada, told The Canadian Press that the organisation is exploring its options and is considering taking legal action, he said.

    Frot said her organisation was simply taking its cue from FIFA, which does not explicitly state in its regulations that turbans are allowed to be worn during matches. However, the world governing body recently relaxed its rules about the wearing of the Muslim hijab after studies into its safety were carried out, and Frot anticipates a similar course of action for turbans.

    ''We have an obligation as a federation to put player safety first,'' she said. ''FIFA has done this work for the hijab and, when they've done it for the turban, I have no doubt that FIFA will put out a directive authorising it and we'll be happy to follow suit.''
     

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    #1 spnadmin, Jun 5, 2013
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Sikh soccer player longs to play again

    Ryan Remiorz,The Canadian Press

    http://www.therecord.com/living-story/3412660-sikh-soccer-player-longs-to-play-again/

    MONTREAL — Aneel Samra took up the Quebec Soccer Federation on its suggestion that he play in his own backyard.

    It didn't work out very well.

    His Montreal-area yard is a shade over a dozen square metres. It's mostly made of stone, except for the surrounding flower bed. The protruding balcony is also an obstacle.

    The turban-wearing teen said Wednesday that he remains hopeful there might be a resolution to a dispute that has made international news this week.

    Samra is one of an estimated 100 to 200 Sikh soccer players — most of them young — who have been forbidden from playing by the provincial federation.

    The head of the association, asked during a news conference what she would tell a child who wanted to play soccer, replied that she'd tell him to play in his own yard.

    Dribbling the ball in his yard Wednesday, Samra said he's perplexed by the decision to uphold a year-old ban on Sikh turbans, patkas and keskis, without any evidence they pose a safety risk.

    The 18-year-old said the comments from the soccer federation were pretty disrespectful. And he said the public comments he hears and reads — that Sikhs can simply remove their headgear while on the pitch — demonstrates a lack of understanding of his religious faith.

    "It's a lack of education," Samra said.

    In fact, he argued, it would probably be more dangerous for devout Sikhs to play without headwear, given their long hair.

    "It's actually safer for the individual wearing to play with the patka on because it would keep the hair intact," he said. "If we played without it we'd play with the fear of having it come unravelled or having our hair pulled."

    Samra played only sparingly in a house league in 2012, thanks to a referee's discretion. But he didn't bother to sign up this year after learning referees were told to uphold the rule or face sanctions.

    Samra said he got a supportive phone call from federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

    He says Trudeau called his father Wednesday to discuss the issue. The family are Liberal party supporters. Samra said he's also buoyed by the governing Tories' response.

    In Ottawa, Trudeau spoke about the Quebec ban again during a news conference, calling it a "grave error" to exclude young people from a sport they want to play.

    Major federal parties have expressed frustration with the ban, to varying degrees. Provincial parties have been less vocal on the issue.

    Quebec has spent the last several years embroiled in heated debates about religious identity. The provincial PQ government is preparing a plan, expected this fall, that will likely restrict religious head-coverings like the Muslim hijab and the Sikh turban within public offices.

    The PQ claims to have strong public support for its measures. Indeed, the PQ government has released a poll suggesting just that. That poll also shows crushing opposition to allowing religious clothing to be added to sports outfits.

    But one academic says it would be a mistake to call Quebec an intolerant place.

    He says there are clashing political currents in the province, which has led the way many times on rights issues in Canada.

    "I think it would be misleading to tar Quebec with the same brush," said Daniel Cere, a religion and human rights expert at McGill University.

    "I think there's more to the tradition — there's more complexity ... There's a lot of antagonistic forces at work, and Quebecers are not of one mind on these issues."

    He notes that it was Quebecers, in 1832, who became the first people under British rule to extend citizenship to Jews, thanks to small-l liberals like Papineau and Lafontaine. Even today, he said, Quebec leads the way in terms of funding diverse religious schools.

    He said prime ministers who stemmed from that tradition include Wilfrid Laurier and Pierre Trudeau, with the result being Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He said such leaders were shaped by the experience of being a minority within Canada.

    He said that "rouge" political strain, which also included politicians Therese Casgrain and Claude Ryan, is now looking for a champion.

    "We don't have the political leadership right now that is up to the task," Cere said.

    "Where's the political leadership? The vision? The intellectual leadership?"

    Now there's a clash between two strains of secularism: those who favour a laissez-faire version against others, like the current PQ government, who prefer a more state-enforced version.

    That common aversion to public displays of faith flows from Quebec's religious history, says someone intimately familiar with the topic.

    Gerard Bouchard, who co-presided a provincial commission on minority accommodation, said Quebecers are more suspicious of religion than people elsewhere in the country.

    "Quebec's history has something to do with this," Bouchard said.

    "The abuses committed by the Catholic clergy, especially toward women, and the forms of oppression practised here, left very bad memories. They left a negative legacy that, for example, has been one of the driving forces behind feminism here ...

    "That shows up, I'd say, in what we see in this incident with the turbans — it shows up once in a while."

    He said that factor is less strong in the rest of Canada whose traditional relationship with religion, he argued, was more positive.

    Both Cere and Bouchard expressed frustration at this latest soccer decision.

    Bouchard said court decisions have established limits on practising religion in public — and the turban ban doesn't meet any of them, he said. He said there's no demonstrable threat to safety, or to the outcome of a game, or to anyone else.

    "I believe that in this case the only explanation is the malaise that people might feel at the sight of a religious symbol," he said.

    "I don't see anything else. And that is an explanation that clearly doesn't hold up in court."

    The ban ignored a non-binding directive from the Canadian Soccer Association, which has called for provincial associations to allow turbans by extending an existing rule that allows Islamic hijabs for girls. The world soccer governing body has no clear rule regarding Sikh headwear.

    Quebec is the only province that has balked at the CSA directive.

    A few petitions were circulating on the internet on Wednesday, along with a Facebook page calling on the Quebec Soccer Federation to reverse its decision.

    That online group was also encouraging people to call a number of companies that sponsor the federation, including dairy giant Saputo and convenience store operator Couche-Tard.

    Couche-Tard said in a statement that its partner, the soccer federation, made a decision based on safety and since the company is no expert in soccer, it will defer to them.

    The other companies did not immediately return calls seeking comment. A spokesperson for the soccer federation also did not return a call.

    One member of Quebec's Sikh community said it's important to get those young children affected by the federation's ruling back on the pitch in some capacity.

    Mukhbir Singh, vice-president of the World Sikh Organization for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, said "We don't want the children to miss out on soccer. I think what we're worried about is how they'll perceive themselves and their identity in the long-term."

    Singh said they hope to organize a few exhibition matches and let the children play.

    "I think we're trying to reach out to people in the soccer community to see if we can salvage something for these children here," he said.

    Samra said he's not sure why the federation cited safety as a reason for the ban: "I have played basketball with (the patka) on, which is a lot more physical (than soccer) and it's never fallen off and I've never had an injury."
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

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    I am sure this ban, which is illegal will be resolved soon in our favour. FIFA will intervene eventually because they want soccer to become a common sport in India of 1.2 billion and in the Middle East where in the latter, the 2018 World Soccer is going to take place. FIFA would not like any Federation from any nook of the world to segregate some people because of their religion. Otherwise Soccer would not be called Jogo Bonito(in Portuguese)-the Beautiful Game, as it is known all over the world but Jogo Feio- The Ugly Game.

    The following are the encouraging signs.

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/life...eaks+against+Quebec+turban/8494340/story.html
    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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    #3 Tejwant Singh, Jun 8, 2013
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  5. Inderjeet Kaur

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    Things have progressed. The CSA has suspended the Quebec Soccer Federation.

    :cheerleader:

    http://sports.ndtv.com/football/news/209087-turban-ban-prompts-suspension-of-quebec-federation

     
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  6. spnadmin

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    Yes.. a new thread posted on that early this morning.
     
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  7. Inderjeet Kaur

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    #6 Inderjeet Kaur, Jun 11, 2013
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  8. spnadmin

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    Jewish leaders unite with Sikhs to oppose Quebec soccer ruling


    http://www.asianpacificpost.com/art...-unite-sikhs-oppose-quebec-soccer-ruling.html

    By: David Koschitzky, Chair
    Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

    Last week the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) upheld a decision to require Sikh players who want to play in league-sanctioned games to remove their religious headgear.

    What’s at issue is that, without legitimate reason, QSF has decided to restrict access by some children to the clear benefits of organized sport – benefits like the opportunity for youth from all backgrounds to unite around a shared experience and the inclusivity in sport that can bridge communities and strengthen society. These are in addition to the evident long-term health benefits of sport for children of all ages.

    The Sikh community has opposed this ruling, which has also been criticized by several federal MPs. Media in Quebec and elsewhere have also weighed in against the decision.

    The QSF states that its position is based on safety concerns and the regulations of FIFA, the international organization that oversees soccer regulations. Interestingly, FIFA does not explicitly ban such headgear and, without making any change to the written regulations, has recently permitted female players to wear headscarves. No injuries have been reported in connection with players wearing turbans, patkas or keskis.

    Safety is important, but it doesn’t appear to be a reason for concern here, so the Centre's Quebec Chair Eric Maldoff immediately wrote to the QSF requesting it rescind its decision and allow Sikh youth the opportunity to play without infringement of their religious freedom. I also wrote to FIFA expressing our support for their past efforts to accommodate religious head coverings during game-play and asking them to issue an interim statement upholding the acceptability of religious headgear on the soccer pitch. Given that the QSF has cited FIFA regulations in its decision, we believe it is appropriate for FIFA to respond. Although, there has been no official response to our letter yet, a grassroots email campaign, as reported in a Sikh news site, did engender what seems to be a positive response from FIFA. We have also received a number of emails from members of the Canadian Sikh community expressing their gratitude for the Centre's public stance on this issue.

    Implications go far beyond the soccer pitch. As proud Canadians and proud Jews, our community has historically spoken out on issues affecting freedom of religion, which not only affect us but also strike at the core of Jewish values and our historic experiences throughout Diaspora.

    Here in Canada, we would feel slighted and excluded if we were told that our kippot must be removed in order to participate in team sports. It’s not difficult to understand how others must feel.

    In two short years we’ll mark the 30th anniversary of a landmark Human Rights case – Bhinder v. CN National – regarding the right of a Sikh employee to wear his turban in the workplace. Through one of our predecessor organizations, Canadian Jewish Congress, our community intervened in that case. The decision went against Bhinder, and the battle might have seemed lost. However, since then, the understanding that accommodation was a means to inclusion and not a granting of special privilege very soon became an important part of what Canadians understood diversity to mean.

    The voice of the Jewish community was heard loudly throughout that debate, which is one which we take pride in continuing, and rules and regulations in the workplace have come a long way since then. Let’s hope the same will be true on Quebec soccer pitches.
     
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  9. Admin Singh

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    FIFA Statement on Head Covers

    Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 2.40.42 PM.png

    FIFA has sent a letter to the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) on 13 June 2013 to inform the CSA that:

    Following communication between the CSA and FIFA, the matter related to Law 4 – The Player’s Equipment, the use of head covers and the situation arisen within the CSA has been presented to the members of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for discussion.

    The IFAB has exceptionally agreed to extend the conditions of the current experiment previously approved by IFAB in October 2012 (as per FIFA circular no. 1322, see PDF on the right hand side), and to allow male players in Canada to wear head covers as well, as long as the following conditions are respected:

    The head cover must:
    • be of the same colour as the jersey
    • be in keeping with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment
    • not be attached to the jersey
    • not pose any danger to the player wearing it or any other player (e.g. opening/closing mechanism around neck)

    The letter sent by FIFA to the CSA on 13 June 2013 authorises the CSA to permit all players to wear head covers as described above, in all areas and on all levels of the Canadian football community.

    This matter will once again be discussed by the IFAB in October 2013, before a final decision is reached at the next Annual General Meeting of the IFAB, taking place in March 2014.

    http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/ifab/news/newsid=2109325/index.html
     
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  10. Inderjeet Kaur

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    With FIFA and CSA and the Canadian Jewish community for us, how long can Québec hold out?

    I have heard that the young Quebec players are also revolting (although not as revolting as their leaders!) against not being able to play teams outside Québec.

    BREAKING NEWS.

    Stay turned here for Québec's complete capitulation tomorrow. They'll try to make it look like Peace With Honour. Or will they say "wait till Octobre?"

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/quebec-controversy-fifa-says-turbans-ok-on-the-soccer-pitch-1.1325444
     
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  11. Lorraine

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    Hi,

    Hello,

    I'm not a Sikh. I visit this site sometimes out of interest. I have a question for forum members.

    During this recent debate around turbans, the Devoir newspaper of Montreal cites "leaders from the Canadian Sikh community" who support the Quebec Soccer Federation banning of turbans from the playing fields. The article (it's in French; this is a rough translation) says: "In their [the leaders'] opinion, it is extremist groups that require the turban to be worn and this is an 'illegitimate' request. 'It is time for newcomers to show that they are capable of compromise," commented the Sikh author Bikram Lamba, who himself wears a turban." (Full article is here: http://www.ledevoir.com/sports/socc...r-ontariennes-privees-d-un-tournoi-a-montreal)

    My question: what do you think of this position? Do you think Sikh boys who wear the turban while playing soccer are extremists, or being compelled by extremists? Thank you!

    (For the record, I think the turban ban is an embarrassment.)
     
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  12. Harry Haller

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    not the good Doctor Lamba who also wants the Kirpan banned in Canada?
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    Lorraine ji

    Welcome to the forum. You drive home an interesting point. The quoted material is here

    This is the paragraph you refer to - QFT. The paragraph is fishy. The paragraph refers to "the leaders of the Sikh community in Canada." Who are they? No names mentioned. Then it goes on to say, "There are some extremist groups who insist (my translation) on the turban..." Again I ask, who are these groups specifically? So far we have 2 statements that count for less than hearsay. There is a lot of hinting around and no one or no group has been named. The alleged leaders go on to say that the extremist groups are "forcing an illegitimate request". Because we do not know who the "leaders" are and do not know who the "extremists" are either, all we have so far is shadow-boxing. The paragraph goes on to assert that "it is time" that the "new arrivals" (?) show that they are "capable of compromise." Again unidentified new arrivals, which I presume is a reference to new immigrants.

    Now when I connect the dots I get this... someone is trying to intimidate immigrants by making it seem as if there are legitimate leaders in the Sikh community who are scandalized by the illegitimate demands of extremists -- except all the parties to this melodramatic dialog - who they are we cannot tell. Even fishier: the paragraph comes at the end of a new article that pretty much covers the facts of a recent new story in which travel permits were denied to soccer teams in who had planned to play in Montreal.

    Put it together. A concocted paragraph is disguised as news by piggy-backing on another story that is factual. It is not journalism. It is a charade. The motivations for this can only be ascertained by considering the political agenda of the paper in which it was printed, its editorial board, and the biases of the writer/s.

    Lorraine ji, The expectation that Sikh men tie dastar is enshrined in the Sikh Rehat Maryada or code of religious practice from 1925. It is not a secret; and it is not a subject for negotiation. Sikhs alone can chose to ignore the rehat. Non-Sikhs cannot decide for Sikhs whether they can or should ignore the rehat. Neither can Sikhs who are trying to cozy up for reasons one can only imagine.

    I am going to put aside any other thoughts that I have about articles of faith, the concept of fair-play, freedom of religious expression in Canada or anywhere else, xenophobia, the history of Quebecois separatism, the character building aspect of athletics, the importance of accountability and accuracy in journalism, the several years long history of attempts to suppress the wearing of kakkars (Sikh articles of faith)in Quebec, and routine slander of Sikhs. Why? Because the important point right now - I really do not like to have my intelligence insulted by text masquerading as news coverage.
     
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    #12 spnadmin, Jun 15, 2013
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  14. Harry Haller

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    http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-story/3074922-sikh-wants-kirpans-banned/

    pity he doesnt understand and cherish Sikh values!
     
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  15. Luckysingh

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    Thank you for the post.
    However, I think Bikram Lamba himself has EXTREME views in calling turban wearers extremists.
    I believe this is the same Sikh who a year or two ago openly demanded the Canadian government to BAN kirpans for ALL Sikhs !!

    Even if his argument is that the turban wearers wear a patka (a small bandana like head cover),- which most of them do anyway, then he is still way off the mark.
    The safety risk is much higher if the Sikhs wore nothing and let their long unshorn hair to flow naturally whilst playing on the field !!!
    They should look at how Sikhs manage themselves and hair in other sports like wrestling, hockey, tennis, rugby..etc.....etc..
     
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  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    the Frenchies are Super IDIOTS...as long as my son was "visiting" his patka was OK..but since he got approval to get his Work Visa..the Embassy here rejected his turban photo..then even the Patka photo...finally when he refused to tremove the patka..the guy at the mebassy told him to just push the patka higher so the forehead was more visible..then that photo was atatched to the visa..hes in paris now..idiotic frenchies...in France and in Quebec..
     
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  17. spnadmin

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    I would not even argue about the Le Devoir article on its merits. Why go on the defensive - which we do again and again? No explanation or justification of dastar is needed. If the Canadian Soccer Association figured it out, then why not Mr. Bikram Lamba? His statement based on un-named leaders and extremists suggests either he has been taking a nap, or has an agenda of his own, or associates with news venues that have scanty regard for accurate information and reliable sources.

    There is no need to justify ourselves every time someone gets the itch to deliberately misunderstand the Sikh Community. Advocates spoke out, CSA has taken the high ground and has done the right thing. For Bikram Lamba to extend the debate is laughable.
     
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  18. Harry Haller

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    If there is no enemy within, the enemy without can do you no harm.

    African Proverb
     
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  19. spnadmin

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    NRI held for duping firm
    Tribune News Service

    SAS NAGAR, Nov 15 — Five days after he landed in India on a sponsored trip to work out the details of a project on marketing research for an immigration company, Dr Raja Bikram Pal Lamba is cooling his heels in police custody.

    The 58-year-old non-resident Indian from Canada, driven by his weakness to impress high-profile people in society had planned to make it big by duping the proprietors of an immigration company, Worldwide Immigration Consul-tancy Services. He made his sponsors pay around Rs 5 lakh for his hospitality before his dream was shattered.

    ...Questioning by the police revealed another facet of Dr Lamba’s life. After doing his Masters in English in 1964, he worked as lecturer in DAV College here before moving to Kurukshetra Regional College. From 1969 to 1982, he remained at Desh Bandhu College, Delhi. He worked with different companies from 1983 to 1999 before moving to Canada.

    Read more http://www.tribuneindia.com/2000/20001116/cth1.htm#5


    With followup at SPN


    Bikram Lamba who wants Kirpan banned in Canada Turns out to be an Imposter, arrested in India at http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-news/30079-bikram-lamba-who-wants-kirpan-banned-1.html
     
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  20. Lorraine

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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts in reaction to my post above.

    I agree with the point a few of you made that the Devoir piece I cited was shoddy. May I also add, this newspaper is extremely influential in Quebec.

    A major challenge of living in a country with increasing numbers of immigrants is to understand cultures different than those of the majority making up the host society. For some of you, this or that aspect of Sikh culture and practice may be obvious, but that may not be obvious for others like myself who grew up literally not knowing a single Sikh! So it is difficult to know how to interpret certain things that come up. Your providing opinions and insights is really helpful and though a few of you appeared to resent having to "go on the defensive," I'd say it is very helpful that people in the "attacked" community patiently explain, again and again if needed, why this or that action is taking place (eg., wearing turbans on a soccer field). Don't forget, in Montreal, for instance, there are immigrants and descendants of literally hundreds of nationalities. It is not easy to understand and decipher the behaviour manifested from so many groups, as I am sure you can understand! This is a challenge the collective "we" face.

    More comments welcome, but please, refrain from using derogatory language like "Frenchies." All this type of approach does is put the French-speaking majority on the defensive, to no one's gain. Thank you.
     
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  21. Harry Haller

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    In Gyanijis defence, that is almost a compliment given some of the terms he is fond of

    lol lol lol :mundahug:
     
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