Akal Takht to launch campaign for universal identity of Sikhs RAVINDER SINGH ROBIN IN SWITZERLAND - Punjabnewsline.com Monday, 25 September 2006 LANGENTHAL CITY: Joginder Singh Vedanti said at the opening ceremony of a Gurdwara or a Sikh shrine at Langenthal city in Switzerland that the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal and spiritual seat of Sikhism, would try to dispel confusion about their unique culture. "We have representatives of the Sikh community working at various places. An effort is being made through the Akal Takht, to call in people from different religions and dispel the confusions regarding our identity," Vedanti said. Sikhs say laws in European countries target their religious tenets. For instance, France banned Sikh turbans in state schools in 2004, urging Sikhs to mobilise support against the law. Uncut hair covered by a turban is an article of faith of the Sikh religion, founded more than 500 years ago. A few members of the community had also said that they were being forced to appear bare headed for photographs needed to obtain official documents like identity cards and driving license. Ranjit Singh, a resident, said the issue of identity crisis among Sikhs needed to be addressed. "The Sikhs world over seems to have been plagued with some sort of identity crisis. Take for instance in France, Sikh children were not allowed to wear turbans. Secondly, we have been trying hard for the past several years to tell people who are the Sikhs really. We want to tell them that Sikhs are a nice community," said Singh. Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak, is an amalgam of elements from both Hinduism and Islam. Sikhs have their holy book, Granth Sahib, which are the works of its 10 Gurus alongwith Hindu and Muslim writings. It neither believe in idol worship, unlike the Hindus, but was a believer in 'Karma' (action) as the only means of attaining 'moksha' (salvation). Worldwide, Sikhs number more than 23 million but more than 90 percent of them live in India's northern Punjab province. Sikhs form only about two percent of the Indian population. However, migration since the early nineteenth century led to the creation of significant communities in Canada, the UK, the USA, Western Europe, Australia.