Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Canada Sikhs Reach Out to BQ/Bloc Quebecois

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    OTTAWA — The World Sikh Organization of Canada reached out to the Bloc Quebecois Thursday in an attempt to calm a brewing storm about the kirpan, a ceremonial dagger carried by religious Sikhs.

    "We feel that there has been lot of rhetoric thrown around and that the only way to overcome any issues that the kirpan might pose to someone is to have a dialogue," said Balpreet Singh, legal counsel for the non-profit umbrella organization that acts as a representative body for Sikhs across Canada. "We're open to . . . hearing people's thoughts or any concerns that they might have about safety and we want to let people know about the meaning and significance of the kirpan and what reasonable accommodations have been found elsewhere."

    The Bloc suggested this week that federal Parliament buildings should consider a ban on the kirpan, following an incident at Quebec's national assembly in which Singh and three other Sikhs were denied entry by security officials for carrying the object.

    But Singh said he was surprised by the Bloc's position, raised by the party's whip, Claude DeBellefeuille, especially since it had endorsed a 2006 resolution in the House of Commons that recognized the importance of the five religious articles of faith for Sikhs, including the kirpan.

    "We've met with Bloc MPs in the past," he said. "We thought that they had a good knowledge about Sikh articles of faith and about the Sikh community in general and if they had a concern, we think it would have been best if they came to us and had a healthy discussion. It seems like this discussion has been turned into a little bit of a political game."

    Bloc spokeswoman Isabelle Monette said the party has never changed its position on the kirpan.

    "The BQ has the most profound respect with regard to the Sikh community and for what the kirpan represents for them from a religious and symbolic standpoint," she said in an email. "However, we believe there should be security rules surrounding kirpans being worn in Parliament just as there is at the national assembly."

    Singh noted Sikhs had previously approached the RCMP and security officials prior to last year's Winter Games in Vancouver, agreeing on a policy that restricted the length of kirpans for Sikhs who participated or attended the Games, and required them to keep the object under their clothes and secured in a belt so that it was not easily accessible.

    "We're not rigid in the sense that it's our way or the highway," he said. "We recognize that safety is important."

    Liberal MP Navdeep Bains, who has worn a kirpan in the House of Commons for more than six years since he was first elected in 2004, has also criticized the Bloc for raising the issue, suggesting that a proposed ban would be "un-Canadian." Bains had noted that he had even worn his kirpan in the U.S. during a visit to the Congress.

    NDP leader Jack Layton and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff both expressed their support Thursday for continuing to allow the kirpan in Parliament.

    "The kirpan is not a weapon, it's a religious symbol and it should be respected," Ignatieff said in Montreal.

    Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, a former B.C. premier, said that banning the object would cause Canada to regress rather than progress. He noted that the issue has been dealt with by many other countries, including the United Kingdom.

    "If there's any example that we should follow, it should be the United Kingdom because they have the experience of working with India and the Sikhs for over 300 years," said Dosanjh. "For me, this is an issue about inclusion and if someone came to the House of Commons . . . and said 'I wanted to carry a full-length sword as part of my observance,' I'd be the first to say that's wrong."

    A spokesman from the British House of Commons was not immediately able to say whether it had any official policy on the kirpan, but Singh said there have been Sikh MPs who have worn one in the past.

    Dosanjh said he was not personally a traditional Sikh, but he noted that his father and maternal grandfather were religious and managed to live their lives in a peaceful way.

    "My grandfather lived here for seven years in British Columbia and carried a kirpan on his body, unconcealed, and was never stopped by the police because here in British Columbia there's a long history of dealing with these issues," said Dosanjh.

    Tim Uppal, a Conservative MP from Alberta who is also Sikh, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Read more: http://www.canada.com/life/Sikhs+re...ament+kirpan/4140945/story.html#ixzz1Bd7RGBQ2
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    SALDEF Outreach Events Empower Sikhs of Atlanta Sikh Organisations Aug 20, 2011
    United Sikhs United Sikhs Aid Reaches Japan Sikh Organisations Mar 16, 2011
    Canada Halifax Sikhs Reach Out To Canadian Armed Forces Breaking News Mar 3, 2011
    USA Plymouth-Canton Schools, Sikhs Reach Kirpan Agreement Breaking News Jan 29, 2011
    Sikh News 4,000 Sikhs reach Pakistan for Nanak's birth anniversary Breaking News Nov 19, 2010

  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    khalji

    I have given you the benefit of the doubt, that you really are a kaur and really an adherent of Sikhi. I have also explained to you in a pm that these press releases you are posting are nothing more than advocacy by a group that probably does not represent as many Hindus as it claims to represent. You have posted the same twice, after I deleted the original thread,which is now raising my suspicions. Please do not let me down -- in thinking that you are trying to start a flame war on SPN-- either as a Sikh or as a Hindu. This is a serious matter. Any more posting of these press releases/advocacy statements, all they will all be deleted permanently. Thank you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. khalji

    khalji Canada
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    9
    So how do you recommend that people should become aware that they are doing this? Or do you suggest that we should allow them to do their mischief unopposed?

    I have seen no news reports of their activities yet so there was no choice but to post their release.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Khalji

    I have seen news articles that this has been going on. Now your point is a good one. We should know about it. But we should also consider the effect we would have as Sikhs posting Hindutva propaganda on a Sikh web site. It will make SPN look like a mouthpiece for the advocacy group in question. How important are they? If we pay attention to them, will they get more attention than they deserve?

    To me it looks as if they are taking advantage of political warfare between the separatist Bloc Quebecois and the liberal and moderate political parties at the federal level. The confrontation between BQ and WSO was perfect for them. It gave them a window of opportunity to abuse Sikhs and the Kirpan by crawling into bed with the BQ. Any other topic would not have served their purposes. On any other subject, they may not support BQ. So let us not help them further their agenda, or become their doormats and victims.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. khalji

    khalji Canada
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    9
    All right, as long as we are aware. By the way, what news sites talked about this? My friend sent me a link to that site, but I have not seen this on any news?
     
  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    I have Google Alerts set for a variety of subjects on sikhs, sikhi, sikhism and read articles that turn up every day. Yesterday or the day before there were I think 2 articles about the "hindu" reaction. But I did not keep the links or the alerts. These articles were mixed in with 8 to 10 articles about BQ and Louise Beaudoin. :)
     

Share This Page