Sikhs Want Rules Bent, Hearing Told

November 29, 2007


Source: The Gazette

Wearing blue turbans, steel wrist bracelets and business suits - and speaking entirely in English - a delegation of orthodox Sikhs made a long-awaited appearance yesterday at the Bouchard-Taylor commission.

The small community at the centre of the kirpan dagger controversy that sparked Quebec's reasonable-accommodation debate wanted to defend itself against accusations by "uninformed people" that the Sikh minority wants to impose its values on society. But in the end, its leaders sent a different signal.

Unwilling to speak a word in French, calling for such things as Christmas trees to be banned from public institutions, and suggesting that all religious holidays should be recognized - like in India, where they're from - the baptized Sikh men made it clear they want to hang on to the symbols that set them apart.