Call to International Agencies to Respect Sikh Turbans During Security Checks
The Sikh Diaspora is spread across the world. And Indian Sikhs travel widely. Whilst it is critical that international travellers are subjected to security screening processes, it is also critical that such processes do not violate basic rights and customs of any individual. Sikh turbans are, unfortunately, subject to insensitive treatment at times. We therefore ask you to stand with Jassi Khangura and petition the Government to take stronger action against countries with insensitive approaches to Sikh’s turbans.
We ask our Government to educate the international community as to the significance of Sikh’s turbans, and to encourage them to adopt more sensitive and appropriate procedures for carrying out security checks on those wearing turbans. National outcry only occurs when a well known individual has insensitive checks carried out. But every day hundreds and thousands of Sikhs who are not famous are also vulnerable to these checks. We ask the Government to request each country train their port security personnel:
- to work with local Sikh leaders to understand the importance of a turban, and how it should be treated and what it means to the Sikh community and individual.
- that a turban is not a hat, or an item of clothing, that can simply be removed like a jacket or a cap.
- that a Sikh man would not appear before any stranger without his turban, and to ask him to do so at an airport would be deeply offensive to that individual
- that any more intensive security screening involving a turban should be carried out in private and with great sensitivity to the Sikh involved.
We ask you to join our campaign and petition the Indian Government, including our Sikh Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to apply diplomatic pressure to the international community on this important matter.
Jassi Khangura, MLA
Qila Raipur, Punjab