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Pacific Husband And Wife Jailed For Attacking Sikh Taxi Driver And Ripping Off His Turban

Ishna

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A HUSBAND and wife will spend nine months in jail for attacking a Sikh taxi driver in Darwin who was racially abused, punched and had his turban ripped off his head.

Justice Stephen Southwood sentenced Angeline Kim Sollitt, 44, and Michael John Arbouin, 40 for the "unprovoked" and " malicious" attack on taxi driver Jagroop Singh.

"The turban is the crowning glory of the Sikhs. For Sikhs, the head and the turban are sacred - they must not be touched or insulted in any way," Justice Southwood said.

Ms Sollitt began verbally abusing Mr Singh when he picked her up with four others at the Dinah Beach Yacht Club last October,

the NT News reports.

"You are in Australia, mate, this is not your country. If you want to live in Australia, take this sh** off."

Mr Singh kept driving but did later pull over when Ms Sollitt got out and yelled "grab his turban, rip it off", before she ran to Mr Singh and tried to remove it.
She pulled it off, leaving Mr Singh dishevelled.

He attempt to radio in for help before Mr Arbouin threw him to the ground. Ms Sollitt then punched him in the face.

Mr Arbouin then said: "You see what happens with your turban? Now I'm going to rip your hair off."

The police arrived soon after to take control of the scene.

Mr Singh previously said that his main concern was for his faith.

"The turban is a symbol of faith. I only care that these people insulted my religion," he said.

READ MORE ABOUT MR SINGH'S ORDEAL AT THE NT NEWS.


Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/husband-and-wife-jailed-for-attacking-sikh-taxi-driver-and-ripping-off-his-turban/story-e6frg6n6-1226680580854
 

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Ishna

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The NT News article as some interesting extra sentences. Most of the comments are actually pretty good for a change, too.

There's no room in Australia for this kind of stuff ... In the 21st Century we should have learned some virtue and national honour. Many have come to our country to forge a better life, for themselves and their families: Whether Chinese, Greek, or Italian, they all added to the Aussie way of life, despite sometimes language and cultural differences.Primitive, meaningless and demeaning attitudes have become un-Australian and hurtful to those who have been abused. Bloody sad act, all round.
<CITE>Posted by: Paul M of Cairns Qld 1:13pm today</CITE>
<CITE></CITE>
<CITE>Total agreement with the judge on this one, similar things will happen in other places in the world the difference is that the law will protect you in Australia. That the real difference just ask anyone who has lived as a minority group somewhere else. If you can't respect others you deserve to be in gaol (jail for those who can’t spell).
<CITE>Posted by: Steve of Raby NSW 12:18pm today</CITE>
<CITE></CITE>
<CITE>I feel terrible for Mr Singh. Please, Sir, wear your turban with pride and encourage your son to do the same. Do not think the actions of these idiotic "patriotic" fools are shared by all who live in your city. An intelligent patriot would have realised that diversity enhances a nation. I'm proud to have you in my country and town.
<CITE>Posted by: Mother Hen of Palmerston 12:02pm today</CITE></CITE></CITE>
 

kds1980

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What really surprises me that this guy showed no resistance and even a woman was able to rip his turban off
 

spnadmin

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Sometimes a newly arrived immigrant may not know the extent to which self-defense is permitted by law. He might feel that if he fights back that would lead to trouble with the law, and possibly loss of residency or he could be deported. In cases like this you also have to look around at the local history to see what immigrants are experiencing in order to understand why the taxi driver behaved as he did. He may have been unnecessarily timid. or it might have made real sense not to fight back. He was outnumbered; the neighborhood may have been a bad neighborhood where trouble would multiply for him. Perhaps the area has a record of violence against Asians. How would the media play it up if a turbaned Asian male punched the woman in self-defense. No one can predict. The problem is the article doesn't help with details. The list of issues could be quite long.

The rest of us can't really know from a news article and from a distance without the details from context that fill the story in.

The bottom line is the woman did not get away with it.
 
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Tejwant Singh

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Let me add to what Spnadmin ji said. Once you are driving as a taxi driver, the passengers are behind you in the back seat. The taxi driver is vulnerable to the attacks from the back as he is trying not to have an accident which may put everyone's life in danger. If it was a parked car, then the driver would stand more chances to defend him/herself.

Well, the good news is that justice was served and more people Down Under came to know about the abuse which acts as a deterrent all over Australia.
 
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Sad family consequences:

"The court heard that Mr Singh was so ashamed following the attack that he cut his young son's hair and told him not to wear a turban."

- http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/07/17/322903_ntnews.html


A HUSBAND and wife have been jailed for nine months for a racially motivated attack which saw a turban ripped from the head of a Darwin taxi driver.

Mother Angeline Kim Sollitt, 44, and Michael John Arbouin, 40, were sent behind bars for the "unprovoked" and "malicious" attack against Sikh taxi driver Jagroop Singh.

In sentencing the pair, Justice Stephen Southwood said: "The turban is the crowning glory of the Sikhs. For Sikhs, the head and the turban are sacred - they must not be touched or insulted in any way.

"The concept of Sikhism includes universal acceptance of all humanity, belief in one God and the equality of all persons irrespective of their caste, colour, gender, nationality and religion."

Sollitt started racially abusing Mr Singh after he picked her and four other people up from the Dinah Beach Yacht Club, in Tipperary Waters, Darwin, in October last year.

She told him: "You are in Australia, mate, this is not your country. If you want to live in Australia, take this sh** off."

Mr Singh kept driving but pulled over on Tiger Brennan Drive to kick them out of his cab when the abuse did not stop. Sollitt got out and yelled, "grab his turban, rip it off", before she ran to Mr Singh and tried to remove it.

She eventually ripped it from his head, leaving his hair dishevelled.

The court was told that Mr Singh called for help over his radio before Arbouin pulled him backwards and threw him to the ground.

Sollitt then punched him in the face.

Arbouin told him: "You see what happens with your turban? Now I'm going to rip your hair off."

Police arrived and diffused the situation.

The court heard that Mr Singh was so ashamed following the attack that he cut his young son's hair and told him not to wear a turban.

Mr Singh previously told the NT News that: "The turban is a symbol of faith. I only care that these people insulted my religion."

Justice Southwood imposed head sentences of one year and nine months for both offenders.
 
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Harry Haller

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What really surprises me that this guy showed no resistance and even a woman was able to rip his turban off
absolutely right, what is the world coming to, even a woman was able to rip his turban off, maybe we should integrate this into everyday speech! Hey you there, what the hell have you done to my extension??? even a woman could have done a better job!
 

Harry Haller

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Sad family consequences:

"The court heard that Mr Singh was so ashamed following the attack that he cut his young son's hair and told him not to wear a turban."

- http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/07/17/322903_ntnews.html
this is the second time that someone has expressed shame after this type of incident in recent times. Shame is dependent on pride, no pride, no shame, I wonder if the reaction to this type of incident is down to ego, sorry, I do not think this about Sikhism at all, just personal pride and ego.

"son, I have saved you from a lifetime of shame"

In my youth, I lost my turban many many times, I never felt shame, anger maybe, but why should anyone feel shame?
 
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spnadmin

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In this article Mr. Singh apparently cut his son's hair. Was that to spare him the shame he himself suffered and feared his son might later have to endure? And with that shame comes intense emotions, including the feeling of lost identity.

Shame can be the result of pride and ego. Perhaps by letting go of pride and ego shame will be banished. However, in some cultures and, in particular, in traditional cultures, shame is taught and ingrained until it becomes a natural response. A response so automatic that the one who feels shamed does not even realize that reactions other than shame are possible, or even appropriate. Reactions that may follow one's feelings of shame can be equally unthinking and even drastic.

What happened to Mr. Singh was more than an assault on his person, but an assault on his identity. I might think it is over-reaching. He is the one responding to deeply felt inner reactions. Japan is a society where shame is considered a legitimate response to "loss of face." It is even today followed by suicide in some cases. We read recently how psychological suicide is committed by young men who become hermits when they lose face because they are unable to live up to modern-day expectations of school and business success. In other societies even today suicide is considered a legitimate response to rape. Shame and a person's responses to shame cling if they define a loss of identity and have done throughout the lifetime of a culture and from the childhood of an individual.
 
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Jan 26, 2012
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I (think) I get what kds1980 is saying. Truth is that a quite a few people I've spoken to feel that all too frequently there is a big gap between the reputation of warriors and ground realities of the community.

Sometimes it's like our people like to live off their great ancestors warrior reputation without even remotely reflecting their physical and mental bravery.
 

spnadmin

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Sometimes it's like our people like to live off their great ancestors warrior reputation without even remotely reflecting their physical and mental bravery.
And some say discretion is the better part of valour. I second Tejwant Singhji on his point. Singh ji was driving a vehicle when all of this happened. Reflecting on warrior ancestors might have been a mistake during the time covered by the episode under discussion.
 
Jan 26, 2012
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And some say discretion is the better part of valour. I second Tejwant Singhji on his point. Singh ji was driving a vehicle when all of this happened. Reflecting on warrior ancestors might have been a mistake during the time covered by the episode under discussion.
Or maybe we should start facing up to ugly truths as a people?

Apnay getting roughed up is becoming so common a tale in certain diasporas it certainly makes you think.

It's just a reflection really. The environment has changed and apnay don't seem to be what they used to be in certain departments. I think only a fantasist would argue that we still retain that conspicuous martial capacity that marked out our forefathers in this day and age. At least in any wholesale way.

For understandable reasons we are more concerned with day to day living than developing high levels of prowess in this department. No?
 

spnadmin

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:faujasingh:
Or maybe we should start facing up to ugly truths as a people?

Apnay getting roughed up is becoming so common a tale in certain diasporas it certainly makes you think.

It's just a reflection really. The environment has changed and apnay don't seem to be what they used to be in certain departments. I think only a fantasist would argue that we still retain that conspicuous martial capacity that marked out our forefathers in this day and age. At least in any wholesale way.

For understandable reasons we are more concerned with day to day living than developing high levels of prowess in this department. No?
I am not sure what "high levels of prowess" you are thinking of. In the US there is the "stand your ground doctrine" where the cab driver could have packed heat and shot the woman if he feared from injury to his person. Or just used well tuned crowbar if he did not have a license to carry a concealed weapon. "Stand your ground" makes one immune to prosecution away from home... for example in one's taxi cab. :swordfights:

Maybe in the US we should be thinking more seriously about our level of prowess, not unlike Gursant Singh Khalsa who is suing the state of California for permission to carry an assault rifle as one of his 2nd amendment rights to bear arms, but more importantly as part of his 1rst amendment right to carry arms as a Sikh, and member of a warrior race. :realangrymunda:

How far that would take us in Canada, Australia, UK, India, I frankly do not know.

I am not sure if that is an option in Commonwealth countries.
 
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Jan 26, 2012
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I'm glad you brought it up Admin. I grew up in a time when violent racist attacks against 'Asians' were commonplace. Eventually some people got fed up and fought back fiercely and violently and quelled the nonsense. Even though they were hopelessly outnumbered. It was a time when even the police were openly in support of the neo-nazis.

I find the situation in American perplexing and depressing. Here is a place where you are legally allowed to carry a gun and protect yourself, and you have all manner of civil rights groups that are conscious of attacks on minorities and yet all you generally hear about is Sikhs getting their ar5es kicked. No fight back.

I was talking to some young Bengalis from East London the other day and I made the observation that whilst members of that communities homegrown diaspora (in East London) appear to be getting more physically confident and stronger than their counterparts back home (presumably due to the environment), Sikh-Panjabis in the same area seem to become more passive and 'civilised' than their cousins back home. lol

Still, the real truth is that having men that are physically capable and able to engage in dangerous situations (for defensive purposes) is the last thing on apnay's mind in the diaspora. And frankly it shows. Sometimes it is embarrassing to proudly talk of being a 'warrior race' when even the descendants of slaves take less crap than us. lol

I guess this is a unavoidable consequence of being 'civilised'.
 
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Ishna

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Australian law favours pacifism. You can only use self-defence in proportion to the actual threat.

If a man has a gun slack in his hand and is talking sh*t, you're not allowed to shoot him. If he raises the gun and points it at someone, then you're allowed to shoot him.

In Mr Singh's case, what level of self-defence would be in proportion to the actual threat?

We walk a fine line between our "warrior reputation" and the law of the land.
 

kds1980

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Sometimes a newly arrived immigrant may not know the extent to which self-defense is permitted by law. He might feel that if he fights back that would lead to trouble with the law, and possibly loss of residency or he could be deported. In cases like this you also have to look around at the local history to see what immigrants are experiencing in order to understand why the taxi driver behaved as he did. He may have been unnecessarily timid. or it might have made real sense not to fight back. He was outnumbered; the neighborhood may have been a bad neighborhood where trouble would multiply for him. Perhaps the area has a record of violence against Asians. How would the media play it up if a turbaned Asian male punched the woman in self-defense. No one can predict. The problem is the article doesn't help with details. The list of issues could be quite long.

The rest of us can't really know from a news article and from a distance without the details from context that fill the story in.

The bottom line is the woman did not get away with it.
I don't think when you are in trouble situation the law of land comes into your mind .Either it is anger and courage to fight back or fear. I don't see courage in the story by the man.

Yes it is good that both are punished., but these things only happen in developed nations. what will a sikh man do if he is in Africa or or anywhere in world where law and order is not upto the mark
 

kds1980

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Let me add to what Spnadmin ji said. Once you are driving as a taxi driver, the passengers are behind you in the back seat. The taxi driver is vulnerable to the attacks from the back as he is trying not to have an accident which may put everyone's life in danger. If it was a parked car, then the driver would stand more chances to defend him/herself.

Well, the good news is that justice was served and more people Down Under came to know about the abuse which acts as a deterrent all over Australia.
Well it is written in article that woman ran toward the man and knocked his turban.It is not that she pulled it from behind
 

kds1980

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absolutely right, what is the world coming to, even a woman was able to rip his turban off, maybe we should integrate this into everyday speech! Hey you there, what the hell have you done to my extension??? even a woman could have done a better job!
Your sarcastic comment cannot change the world.The truth is sikhs always need to maintain such attitude where people will think twice to attack their turban, O/W every tom , **** harry will try to knock turban of the sikh. All he will end updoing is running to police and law asking for justice
 

akiva

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this is the second time that someone has expressed shame after this type of incident in recent times. Shame is dependent on pride, no pride, no shame, I wonder if the reaction to this type of incident is down to ego, sorry, I do not think this about Sikhism at all, just personal pride and ego.
When one's Identity/Pride is based on one's ancestor's deeds/standards -- instead of one's own -- then this will be common. It's not "How can I be the best "me"" -- it's "How can I be the best 200 year old idealized Sikh Warrior fighting the Moguls, ignoring the reality of life then and now"

Not because of pride, per se -- but because of this "fantasy image" they try to live up to.

And can't -- since they aren't their ancestors. Today isn't 200 years ago. How one lives, the dangers one faces -- very different today from 200 years ago.

But when every small incident is reframed and reviewed in the model of life 200 years ago then minor incidents get turned into major life-threatening, "shamed for life" events.

Respectfully,
Akiva
 

Ishna

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Akiva ji, Like +100, thank you.

Although I now sense an impending slippery slope discussion.
 
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