Forum To Educate About Sikh Faith


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
In hopes of educating the community about the Sikh religion and its customs, Plymouth-Canton Citizens for Diversity and Inclusion sponsors a public forum 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6, at St. Thomas a'Beckett Catholic Church, 555. S. Lilley Road, south of Cherry Hill, in Canton.

The forum comes after Plymouth-Canton Community Schools banned the kirpan, a non-violent religious symbol that resembles a dagger, from school property after a Bentley Elementary fourth-grader was found wearing a blunt-edged object to school earlier this month.

Anne Marie Graham-Hudak, who chairs PCCDI, said the forum is intended to educate residents about Sikhism and to push back against misconceptions that have arisen following the incident.

“We are concerned about this being turned from a school policy to an attack on a community, and that's what we want to avoid,” she said. “We want to show how Sikhs have contributed to the community and explain more about their culture and customs.”

Under their religion, baptized Sikhs wear the kirpan to represent a commitment to peace and to symbolize the defense of the weak. It is not meant as a weapon for violence.

Graham-Hudak said the Jan. 6 forum, sponsored by PCCDI and hosted by St. Thomas a'Beckett Catholic Church, is expected to include representation from the Canton-based gurdwara, the Hidden Hills Gurdwara of Plymouth and the metro Detroit area's InterFaith Leadership Council. | (313) 222-2238