UNITED SIKHS
August 26 2010
11th Bhadon (Samvat 542 Nanakshahi)
Press Release

UNITED SIKHS launches the Global Protect Our Identity Campaign

Fremont, California: In wake of security policies and societal situations that threaten the Sikh identity across the world, UNITED SIKHS launched the global “Protect Our Identity” campaign to actively advocate for Sikh Civil Rights issues at a global level at the Gurdwara Sahib in Fremont, California on August 8, 2010. Under the aegis of the campaign, the Sikh community across the world will unite to form a collective voice strongly advocating for rights that protect the Sikh identity and way of life.

Sikhs face an unprecedented attack on their identity and dignity. Sikhs are being racially profiled daily in domestic and international airports and they are arbitrarily being stripped of their dignity by having to remove their turbans at security checkpoints in many European countries. In Kashmir, Sikhs live in a constant state of intimidation and have received death threats to leave the valley. French schools continue to ban the Sikh turban and make it difficult for our children to receive an education.  In some parts of Europe (i.e. Belgium) Sikhs are fighting just to be recognized as a religion.  Finally, justice continues to be elusive for victims of 1984 as courts stall not only the process of vindication but also reconciliation.

A multi-national, multi-dimensional campaign, Protect Our Identity will focus on issues of importance to the global Sikh community such as Right to Turban, airport security in European Union and United States, Anti-Bullying Initiatives, Rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Pakistan, Equality in employment, Right to Kakaars, seeking recognition of Sikhs as a religion and ethnicity in UK and US Census, and raising awareness of Sikhs and Sikhism to reduce acts of violence and xenophobia against Sikhs.

 
UNITED SIKHS Volunteers talking to Sangat members in Fremont Gurdwara, CA

The Protect Our Identity campaign is engaging in new initiatives seeking to confront emerging policies and practices globally that threaten the Sikh identity, and integrating existing projects that protect global Sikh civil and human rights.

Hansdeep Singh, Senior Staff Attorney at UNITED SIKHS says, “The campaign is a collective community voice against the onslaught of a movement toward religious suppression, the impact of which is most visible in Europe. This tide must be stemmed before the suppression of an external religious identity becomes an established norm in other parts of the world,” Hansdeep says. He adds, “Followers of Sikh values have been degraded, humiliated, and disparaged, and the external manifestation of the visible identity is treated with such contempt that it will only make it more difficult for the wearer to consistently endure this indignity.”

 
UNITED SIKHS Protect Our Identity Campaign Poster

Volunteers and UNITED SIKHS members across the Bay area are building teams to take the campaign to the Sikh community in several cities across the Bay area. So for our members and supporters in the Bay area, lookout for the “Protect Our Identity” campaign materials and presentations over the next few weeks and support the cause generously, both with your time and financially.

During the presentation at Fremont Gurdwara detailing the initiatives under Protect Our Identity, Loveleen Kaur, UNITED SIKHS volunteer implored the sangat to step up and support the campaign saying, "How do we as a community bring the compassion of Guru Gobind Singh Ji who made the ultimate sacrifices necessary to protect our identity?  If we don't save our identity, all the Sikh religious institutions will be nothing but monuments to a brave and selfless people that once existed.  Just like blood is the life force for human beings, UNITED SIKHS needs a continuous stream of support through seva and funding in order to fulfill its mandate of serving mankind."

 
Loveleen Kaur, addressing the Sangat at Freemont Gurdwara   Members of the Protect Our Identity Campaign Launch Team

SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF THE CAMPAIGN, IT BELONGS TO YOU!

The campaign is of the people, by the people, and will be spearheaded by dedicated volunteers from the community who will spread the rallying call of “Protect Our Identity” to members of their Sangat. The campaign is traveling to the United States East Coast and from there to different parts of the world. No matter where you are in the world, if you are passionate about the issues the campaign represents, and would like to contribute to the cause, volunteer with us, and be the leader in your community to talk about these issues and how they affects members in your Sangat. Join us by clicking here, and email us at law-global@unitedsikhs.org for any questions or concerns.

DONATE GENEROUSLY; WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

The Sikh community’s commitment to recovery efforts in Haiti personifies the Sikh principle of selfless service to humanity and earned us a mention in President Barack Obama’s address at the National Prayer Breakfast meeting. The Protect Our Identity campaign encompasses different initiatives that advocate for the community's right to practice their religion freely.

We need support from community members like you to help us to carry forward those initiatives and our mission. We see that we now need to do even more but only if we have a dedicated support system, and know that we can count on monthly recurring donations. No amount is too small. Monthly donations of $10, $20, $40, $50 or $100 will help by supporting this cause to protect the Sikh identity with respect and dignity.

Donate to UNITED SIKHS by clicking here.  Volunteer for Protect Our Identity Campaign!

To see a previous press release detailing UNITED SIKHS' advocacy work around the world, please visit: http://unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-25-12-2009-00.html

Issued by:
Kashmir Singh
Director
1-888-243-1690
law-global@unitedsikhs.org



Help us reach the $1 million mark in 1 year! Donate to the Protect Our Identity Campaign!

UNITED SIKHS' Return on Investment is 90%, which means for every dollar donated, 90 cents will go toward the cause and only 10 cents for operating costs, compared to other international organizations with operating costs of between 40% - 50%.

Click here to Donate.

Click here to Volunteer.

UNITED SIKHS would like to acknowledge the generosity of:

Fremont Gurdwara and the Sangat for allowing us time and for their attention

Speakers and Sevadaars

Loveleen Kaur

Jagmohan Singh

Hansdeep Singh

Sevadaars

Ashween Kaur

Balbir Singh

Baljinder Singh

Bani Kaur

Gurtej Singh

Harpreet Singh

Jagmeet Kaur

Jasdeep Singh

Manpreet Kaur

Manpreet Singh

Mona Kaur

Kashmir Singh

Jatinder Singh

Raj Budwal

Charanjit Singh

Hardip Singh

Amritpal Singh

Contact Us

You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the UNITED SIKHS, which will provide immediate relief and support to those in need. Call   1-888-243-1690 for more information. Contribute to UNITED SIKHS through local chapter in your country http://unitedsikhs.org/contact.php

OUR MISSION

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.