Sharon Persaud – UNITED SIKHS Blog https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog Recognize The Human Race As One Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:45:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tips for a Mouth Healthy Halloween https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/10/tips-for-a-mouth-healthy-halloween/ https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/10/tips-for-a-mouth-healthy-halloween/#comments Tue, 29 Oct 2013 20:16:44 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=2065

Wishing you a Happy and Safe Halloween- From UNITED SIKHS

 

Halloween is around the corner, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health challenges.

Here are some ways you can help your children stay mouth healthy during Halloween and year-round:

  • Eat Halloween candy and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
  • Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Besides how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
  • Avoid sticky candies that cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
  • Drink more water. Drinking optimally fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
  • Avoid beverages with added sugar such as soda, sports drinks or flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.
  • Children over the age of 2 should brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Be careful with braces. Halloween candy can be a nightmare for someone who wears braces, but it doesn’t have to be. Trick-or-treaters who wear braces should avoid nuts, popcorn, tortilla chips, hard candy, caramel and other chewy candies to keep their braces safe and intact. However, there are plenty of other things that trick-or-treaters who wear braces can enjoy, like chocolate!
  • Visit a dentist. Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to treat.

Fun alternatives to candy

If you are concerned about the amount of candy that your child will receive, try rationing it over a few weeks. Another alternative would be to let your child trade in Halloween candy for a video game, book, toy or trip to the movies. You can also have your child set aside half of the Halloween candy and donate it to an organization such as a local soup kitchen. By reducing the amount of candy your child eats and by teaching your child that moderation is important, you won’t have to worry about things like tooth decay and Halloween will still be fun.

 

Here are healthy treat alternatives for parents to hand out on Halloween night to help trick-or-treaters avoid painful teeth and gums throughout the year:

  • Sugarless gum
  • Sugarless candy
  • String cheese

 

Parents can also give out fun toys and other gifts like Halloween stickers, Halloween pencils and erasers, temporary tattoos, vampire teeth, toothbrushes and floss, which will certainly help trick-or-treaters keep their smiles cavity free.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Sources: American Dental Association (ADA), Canadian Dental Association (CDA)

This information is brought to you as part of The Sikh American Families Oral Health Promotion Program is an initiative of the UNITED SIKHS’ Community Empowerment and Education Division. The project is supported by the Dentaquest Foundation’s National Community Committee’s Oral Health Initiative and addresses oral health promotion in the Sikh American community in New York and New Jersey. Additionally, it also helps build capacity for community engagement for oral health.

Our partners in this undertaking are the New York University Prevention Research Center, New York University College of Dentistry, Gurdwaras across New York and New Jersey and community members.

 

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Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Begins Today! Are You Ready to Get Covered? https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/10/affordable-care-act-open-enrollment-begins-today-are-you-ready-to-get-covered/ Tue, 01 Oct 2013 20:39:35 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=2058 Highlights
  • Starting today, millions of Americans across the country will be able to shop for, compare and enroll in more affordable health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • UNITED SIKHS supports the #GetCovered project to educate communities about the importance of open enrollment in the new Marketplace.

  • For further assistance, contact ceed-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

October 1, 2013 — Starting today, millions of Americans across the country—for many of whom health insurance was just a dream before the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”)—will be able to shop for, compare and enroll in more affordable health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

To maximize the enrollment of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, UNITED SIKHS has joined a national outreach strategy lead by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC (Advancing Justice-AAJC).

As part of the strategy, community organizations and health centers centered in 16 target states are providing translated educational information and enrollment support to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to ensure that they understand what health reform means, know their health insurance options and are able to find a plan that works for them.

“It is important for many community members to understand what they are eligible for and what their options are,” said Dr. Rucha Kaur, Project Manager of the UNITED SIKHS Community Empowerment and Education Division. “At UNITED SIKHS, we are working with partners nationwide to ensure that the needs of our community are met and that our community members get all the support they need to make informed choices.”

UNITED SIKHS supports the #GetCovered Tumblr project to educate communities about the importance of open enrollment in the new Marketplace. The #GetCovered Tumblr will feature people from across the country sharing in their own words why it is important for them to #GetCovered. The goal is to build both awareness about the health reform law and new opportunities for coverage, as well as address questions and concerns about the law.  To participate in the #GetCovered project, visit GetCovered2013.tumblr.com.

For more information about health reform and resources available in English and Asian and Pacific Islander languages, visit APIAHF’s health reform resource center at www.apiahf.org.

For further assistance, especially in Punjabi, contact us at ceed-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

Visit www.healthcare.gov for more information about the Marketplace and how to enroll.

Issued by:

Jasminder Kaur

Community Education and Empowerment Division (CEED)

ceed-usa@unitedsikhs.org

www.unitedsikhs.org

Tel: 1-718-441-6644

Contact us | Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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UNITED SIKHS Youths Taking the Next Step in Education and Awareness https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/09/united-sikhs-youths-taking-the-next-step-in-education-and-awareness/ Fri, 13 Sep 2013 20:42:50 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=2031

– Over 70 campers and 20 volunteers attended UNITED SIKHS Gurmat Camp, click here to view pictures.

– UNITED SIKHS youths memorable weekend in Oak Creek, WI, click here to view an album.

United States- We were all saddened and in disbelief at the tragedy that transpired at the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin last year. We lost five brothers and a sister. But in essence our sense of sanctity was jolted and our nation shaken. It is at this moment that we must pause to remember: Paramjit Kaur, 41; Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65; Prakash Singh, 39; Sita Singh, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; and Suveg Singh, 84.

These are the times which define who we are as a people and the fortitude we carry within must carry us forward. It emboldened us and UNITED SIKHS restated our pledge- To Educate, to Empower and To Protect our community in order to recognize the human race as one. Our children must be the first source we educate so they can protect and empower themselves as they progress in life.

gurmat campEnlight of this, UNITED SIKHS followed the anniversary weekend with the start of their annual Gurmat Camp in Wolcottville, Indiana. The UNITED SIKHS Gurmat Camp is an annual event designed to bring young Sikhs together from across North America. This year, the camp was held from August 4th through August 10th. The goal of this week-long experience was to foster an environment where young Sikhs are exposed to Sikh principles and disciplines, in the hopes of encouraging a love for the Sikh faith. The camp was structured to encourage relationships that strengthen a spiritual experience through Sangat. This Gurmat camp experience provides a glimpse into the Sikh way of life but it is the Sangat created that helps provide the dedication to continue the lessons learned when returning home. In addition, this year’s theme of the camp was “Environment.” Campers were also taught the importance of keeping the environment safe; including water safety, disposal of garbage, avoid wasting, and sharing with others so there is no wasting.

UNITED SIKHS Camp Coordinator, Jaswinder Kaur, was delighted with the success of this year’s camp. She said, “Seeing the smiles and pleasure on the faces of our next generation as they attended classes and performed activities that reflect the teachings of Guru Nanak is so fulfilling.”

Volunteers and parents shared many activities with the campers, ages 7-20. Activities include canoeing, archery, walking the high ropes, and rock wall climbing.

20130803_122212 UNITED SIKHS also salutes six of our youth volunteers who participated in the 6K Chardi Kala Memorial Run in Oak Creek, WI on August 3rd, 2013. Ekamjot Singh, Hardave Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Pardeep Singh, Rajvir Singh, and Sawinder Singh made the trip from Texas to honor the lives lost at the Oak Creek, WI shooting by partaking  in the 6K memorial run and by performing seva at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. They drove 16 hours each way and some missed school while others missed work. UNITED SIKHS is indebted to the dedication and commitment shown by these youths and earnestly desires that more come forth to stake leadership within the community.

The memorial event attracting over 700 people, was an opportunity for volunteers to represent the community, interact with the local Sikh community of Oak Creek, as well as people of other diverse faiths. The congregation was able to perpetuate the concept of “Chardikala” by celebrating their diverse faiths, performing seva, and uniting together for a common cause. As Rajvir Singh, UNITED SIKHS volunteer shared, “The 6K memorial event symbolized that in the face of tragedy, a community can and will come together stronger than ever, despite their differences, in order to celebrate the value of life.”

“We Are One” was the message of the weekend, with Chardi Kala being the theme. The run displayed that the youth are capable of playing a vital role in the betterment of today’s society.

“It was truly our honor to be welcomed with such warm hearts and to meet real life heroes like Lieutenant Brian Murphy,” said UNITED SIKHS volunteer Sawinder Singh. When Lieutenant Brian Murphy was asked, “What did you take away from this experience that you will take with you forever?,” he replied, “The Bigger Picture,” meaning that he realizes there is more to life and that personal sacrifices are needed for something bigger than oneself. Lt. Murphy endured 15 rounds of bullets as he was face to face with the shooter but still persevered in performing his duty. Other notable names in support of the event included Mr. Stephen Scaffidi, Mayor of Oak Creek; Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, Army Doctor; and Gurpreet Singh Sarin, American Idol Contestant.

20130823_152807For four weeks, UNITED SIKHS held a Summer Camp for children, ages 7-13 at the UNITED SIKHS Educare Center in New York. Children were exposed to many activities including anti-bullying strategies, leadership exercises, tutoring in all subjects, team building, religion, arts & crafts and much more. UNITED SIKHS Program Coordinator Jaspreet Kaur expressed much excitement about the first ever camp at the Educare Center. She said, “Coming to camp each day was not only fulfilling for the students but also for us teachers and volunteers. The children learned so much valuable skills that will definitely make a positive impact on the upcoming school year.”

UNITED SIKHS proudly sponsored this trip for these youths and for any youths wanting to engage in tangible seva, do contact us at volunteer@unitedsikhs.org.

 

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UNITED SIKHS Remembers and Prays for the Lives Lost on 9/11/01 https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/09/united-sikhs-remembers-and-prays-for-the-lives-lost-on-91101/ Wed, 11 Sep 2013 18:55:51 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=2026

The day has come again… the day we never saw coming…the day that changed the nation forever… the day that impacted the lives of everyone who lives in America.

Americans will never forget the tragic event that took place on September 11, 2001. A tragedy that changed the New York Skyline, took innocent lives, and brought America even closer together.

A day of great loss and sorrow has birth a nation’s love, compassion, solidarity and bravery among brothers and sisters of all races.

UNITED SIKHS remembers those innocent lives lost on this unforgettable day. We continue to pray and hold vigils for the departed and their families. UNITED SIKHS is proactively working with the United States Department of Justice to make sure events like this never happen again.

Life of the Post 9/11 Victims

While our country remembers the lives of those lost on 9/11, let us not forget those who have become a target because of the tragedy that occurred on the unforgettable day.

Being misidentified in America since 9/11 has been harmful and disheartening to those Sikhs that call America their home. Many incidents have occurred in the past twelve years that leave many Sikhs wondering when this will end. Organizations like UNITED SIKHS will continue its fight to empower and educate all about the principles and beliefs of Sikhism.

The lack of education of who Sikhs are have caused much confusion worldwide. Many see the turban as a sign of terrorism but this is not true. Since September 11, the world has been gripped by fear such that many minority communities, including the Sikh community, have suffered a backlash through misinformation and ignorance. The first reprisal killing after Sept 11 was of a Turban wearing Sikh in Arizona, who was mistaken as belonging to the group which perpetrated the 9/11 incident. Sikhs due to their unique appearance have since been a target of hate and bias crime and discrimination. Every week, UNITED SIKHS receives reports from Sikh adults and children who are victims of race/biased/hate crimes and from those being denied their rights to practice their religion. A Sikh’s right to wear his articles of faith has been challenged in schools, the workplace, prisons and other public places. Sikhs suffer increased harassment at airports because they wear the Turban.

Below you can find a list of a few of the incidents that have a occurred:

Sept. 15, 2001 — Mesa, Ariz.: Four days after the infamous attacks of 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49-year-old Sikh, is shot and killed outside the gas station he owned by Frank Silva Roque. When police approached to arrest him, Roque says, “I’m a patriot and an American. I’m American. I’m a damn American.”

Nov. 18, 2001 — Palermo, N.Y.: Three teens burn down Gobind Sadan, a gurdwara (Sikh temple) in New York, because they thought it was named for Osama bin Laden.

Dec. 12, 2001 — Los Angeles, Calif.: Surinder Singh Sidhi, a liquor store owner in Los Angeles who took to wearing an American flag turban after 9/11 out of fear of being attacked, is beaten in his store by two men who accused him of being Osama bin Laden.

Aug. 6, 2002 — Daly City, Calif.: Sukhpal Singh, brother of Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was the first Sikh murdered following 9/11, is shot while driving his cab.

May 20, 2003 — Phoenix, Ariz.: Fifty-two-year-old Sikh immigrant and truck driver Avtar Singh is shot in his 18-wheeler while waiting for his son to pick him up. As he is being shot, he hears someone say: “Go back to where you belong.”

Aug. 5, 2003 — Queens, N.Y.: Members of a Sikh family are beaten outside of their home by drunk individuals yelling, “Go back to your country, Bin Laden.”

Sept. 25, 2003 — Tempe, Ariz.: Sukhvir Singh, a 33-year-old convenience store owner, is stabbed to death by Bruce Phillip Reed. It is not labeled as a hate crime. Representatives of the Phoenix Sikh community issue a statement that says, in part, “Together we can help others to evolve past hate and fear by continuing to organize to reach out to others with increased understanding, respect, and support. May our collective prayer be that God preserve and protect the honor of all people, our nation, and our world.”

March 13, 2004 — Fresno, Calif.: Gurdwara Sahib, a local Sikh temple, is vandalized with graffiti messages: “Rags Go Home” and “It’s Not Your Country.

July 12, 2004 — New York, N.Y.: Rajinder Singh Khalsa and Gurcharan Singh, cousins on their way to dinner at a restaurant, are beaten by two drunk white twenty something men. The attackers describe Gurcharan’s turban as a “curtain.” When Rajinder tries to intervene, saying that Sikhs are peaceful, he is beaten unconscious and suffers a fractured eye socket, among other injuries.

May 24, 2007 — Queens, N.Y.: A 15-year-old student has his hair forcibly cut by an older student at his high school. The scissor-wielding 17-year-old showed the Sikh a ring inscribed with Arabic, saying, “This ring is Allah. If you don’t let me cut your hair, I will punch you with this ring.” Afterward, he cuts the younger boy’s hair. A main pillar of the Sikh faith compels followers to keep their hair uncut.

May 30, 2007 — Joliet, Ill.: A decorated U.S. Navy veteran of the Gulf War, Kuldip Singh Nag is approached by a police officer outside of his home for an expired vehicle registration tag. The officer reportedly assaults Nag with pepper spray while hurling expletive-laced anti-immigrant statements. ]

Jan. 14, 2008 — New Hyde Park, N.Y.: A 63-year-old Sikh, Baljeet Singh, has his jaw and nose broken when attacked outside his temple by a man who lived next-door. David Wood, the attacker, had apparently disturbed members of the Gurdwara in the past.

Feb. 28, 2008 — Bryan, Texas: A Sikh man is assaulted in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Though the assailant called him a terrorist, punched him in the face and head and knocked his turban off, the Sikh man does not suffer major injuries.

June 5, 2008 — Queens, N.Y.: A ninth grade Sikh is attacked by another student, who tried to remove his patka, or under-turban, and had a history of bullying the boy.

June 5, 2008 — Albuquerque, N.M.: A vehicle belonging to a Sikh family is defaced with the message “F*** Allah!” and a picture of male genitalia.

Aug. 4, 2008 — Phoenix, Ariz.: Inderjit Singh Jassal is shot and killed while working at a 7-Eleven. No clear motive is found.

Oct. 29, 2008 — Carteret, N.J.: A Sikh man, Ajit Singh Chima, goes for a walk in his neighborhood. He is attacked by a man who casually leaves the scene afterward. Nothing is stolen.

Jan. 30, 2009 — Queens, N.Y.: Three men attack Jasmir Singh outside of a grocery store. Racial slurs are heard. A broken glass bottle is used. Singh loses vision in his left eye.

Nov. 29, 2010 — Sacramento, Calif.: Harbhajan Singh, a cab driver, is a attacked by passengers, who call him Osama bin Laden.

March 6, 2011 — Elk Grove, Calif.: Two elderly Sikh men in traditional garb, out for a daily afternoon walk, are shot and killed. The perpetrator is not found.

May 30, 2011 — New York, N.Y.: Jiwan Singh, an MTA worker and the father of Jasmir Singh, who was assaulted in early 2009 in Queens, is attacked on the A train and accused of being related to Osama bin Laden.

Feb. 6, 2012 — Sterling Heights, Mich.: A gurdwara (Sikh temple) is defaced with graffiti that includes a gun and references to 9/11.

Aug. 5, 2012 — Oak Creek, Wis.: A gunman is shot dead by police after he opened fire in a Gurdwara during Sikh prayer services, killing six.

May 5, 2013 — Fresno, Cal.: 81 year old Piara Singh was beaten with a steel pipe outside a Fresno Gurdwara in what police have determined to be a hate crime.

July, 30, 2013– Riverside, Cal.: Riverside Gurdwara near Los Angeles, California reported  the words “Terrorist” and “Terrist!” scrawled on the brick walls surrounding the Gurdwara and parking lot.

Terrorist, we are NOT. Terrorism, we DO NOT promote. America IS our home too. Help us to continue to bring awareness to Sikhs and Sikhism. Help us so we can make sure events like these including the massiveness of 9/11 never occur again.

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Religious Tolerance or Religious Embrace? Memorial Service Honoring the Six Slain Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/09/religious-tolerance-or-religious-embrace-memorial-service-honoring-the-six-slain-sikhs-in-oak-creek-wisconsin/ Wed, 11 Sep 2013 00:42:46 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=2019

“Spreading Love and Peace, Defeating Hate” Attendees and Speakers at the

Garden State Sikh Association Gurdwara, 977 Washingtonvalley Road, Baskingridge, NJ

on August 24, 2013

 

Bridgewater, New Jersey- UNITED SIKHS and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), together organized a vigil/memorial service in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Oak Creek Tragedy last year. The memorial event was hosted by the Garden State Sikh Association Gurudwara Sahib in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The theme and topic of the event was “Spreading Love and Peace, Defeating Hate.”

The congregation was addressed by Hon’ John Jay Hoffman, Acting Attorney General of New Jersey and Mr.Edward Dickson, Director, NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. AG Hoffman was kind enough to attend the service with his wife and spend a Saturday afternoon interacting with community members. AG Hoffman while addressing the gathering said that he was extremely saddened by the tragedy in Oak Creek. He ensured that Sikhs and other communities should be rest assured that his department will not sleep unless they have secured all houses of worship in the state. He discussed how uncomfortable he was using the term “religious tolerance” in explaining how people should be respectful of different faiths and said the correct word should be “embrace.” He explained we should embrace people of other faiths and not just tolerate them.

AG Hoffman also praised Director Dickson along with the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness for the work their continuous efforts. Director Dickson informed the gathering about the achievements of his department including conducting workshops over the past year to train security coordinators and community members of various houses of worship in the state. He went over a dashboard and a timeline of OHSP’s work over the year in engaging closely with Presidents and security coordinators of various houses of worship to conduct workshops and threat based trainings on how to secure houses of worship, how to identity threat factors and suspects, and active shooter workshops. Director Dickson informed of OHSP’s significant achievements on the aforementioned fronts after the Wisconsin massacre and will continue to conduct more training and workshops. He acknowledged and complimented the efforts of UNITED SIKHS in working together with NJOHSP to develop a Sikh primer for law enforcement. He also acknowledged the efforts of UNITED SIKHS in working with the Department of Education to include information on Sikhs and Sikhism in the New Jersey School curriculum.

The Sikh turban is still seen as a symbol of hostility in the paranoia that has gripped the nation after 9/11. All the aforementioned incidents indicate that there is still a section of people that equate the Sikh turban with Islamic extremism.  These people fail to understand the fact that this is a country of immigrants; that their fathers or forefathers were also immigrants and there is no set of rules, or a set definition of an American appearance. There is still a pressing need for more awareness campaigns to educate people about the fifth largest religion in the world, Sikhism.

Dr.Gurparkash Singh, Director of UNITED SIKHS, gracefully conducted the stage as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Other speakers at the event include: Nina Chanpreet Kaur, MSEd; Scot Pruiksma, Founder of Interlocking Arms; Howard Norgalis & Filipe Pedrose, Councilmen

Bridgewater Township; Rev Moises Bogdady; Dr. Ellen J Lindeman; Timothy Burk; Anju Bhargava, Hindu American Seva; Dr Ali Chaudry, Islamic Society of Basking Ridge; Hafiz Samiullah Chaudhry, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; and Micheal Tiger, Anti-Defamation Leagure, NJ.

UNITED SIKHS Staff Attorney Manmeet Singh spoke on the topic of “Spreading Love and Defeating Hate.” He narrated Bhai Kanahaiyaji’s story to to illustrate the importance of the principle of spreading love and defeating hate in Sikhism. The story contained an account from 1704 during the battle of Anandpur Sahib when fellow Sikhs complained to Guru Gobind Singh ji, pointing out that Bhai Kanahaiyaji was serving water to the wounded soldiers from the enemy camp. Guru Gobind Singh summoned Bhai Kanhaiya and explained that he had received a complaint about his actions on the battlefield.

Guruji said, “These brave Sikhs are saying that you go and feed water to the enemy and they recover to fight them again – Is this true?” Bhai Kanhaiya Ji replied “Yes, my Guru, what they say is true. But, I saw no Mughal or Sikh on the battlefield. I only saw human beings. And, … Guru Ji, .. they all have the same God’s Spirit? – Guru Ji, have you not taught us to treat all God’s people as the same?” The Guru was very pleased with the reply. Bhai Kanhaiya Ji had understood the deep message of Gurbani correctly. Guru ji smiled and blessed Bhai Kanhaiya. Guru Ji said, “Bhai Kanhaiya Ji, You are right. You have understood the true message of Gurbani”.

Mr. Manmeet Singh also spoke about the Wisconsin massacre and the various hate crimes that were perpetrated against Sikhs around the country even after the massacre. Prominent among them were the recent scribbling of the word “terrorist” twice on the walls of a Gurudwara in Riverside, California; the vicious attack on 82 year old Sikh, Piara Singh, after he had just exited his local Gurudwara for a morning walk. Singh’s attack was confirmed as a hate crime; the attacker, a 29 year old male named Gilbert Garcia was arrested. The police reported that upon Garcia’s arrest, he shouted that he hated “those people” and wanted to bomb their temples. The shooting in Port Orange, Florida where a Sikh man named Kanwaljit Singh was shot multiple times while driving a car with his 13 year old son sitting next to him, was also mentioned.

UNITED SIKHS thanks Mr.David Leonardis, OHSP, and Director Dickson for leading and coordinating this event; as well as all the activities and efforts that OHSP had undertaken in the aftermath of Wisconsin to make all the Houses of Worship safe and secure; and  their efforts to achieve grants for those houses of worship who need them. We strongly believe that such trainings play a pivotal role in thwarting similar attempts by misguided people to attack the congregation. We hope that these trainings, workshops and grants will continue until there are strong systems in place at all houses of worship to prevent such tragedies. We also thank AG Hoffman for his promise to the community, and his inspiring and insightful message that he gave to the  congregation. Special thanks to all the speakers who took time out of their busy schedules to give insight on the topic at hand.

Please click here for a link to the album from the event.

 

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Oui Oui- All in Favor of the Patka! https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/06/oui-oui-all-in-favor-of-the-patka/ Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:18:16 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=2002

Photo Credit: PC / Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press

Quebec, Canada- Sikh players are no longer limited to playing soccer in their backyards. They are back on the soccer field. Over a year of disappoints and dreams crushed for about 200 soccer players in Quebec, Canada, has ended in victory as the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) has lifted their ban on the patka during soccer games.

UNITED SIKHS team led the advocacy to revoke this ban for over a year. Constant contact with the affected families as well as lawmakers were included in the efforts. About two weeks prior to the decision, UNITED SIKHS Directors Sukhwinder Singh and Ranbir Singh, along with UNITED SIKHS community advocate Deepinder Singh met with the Hon. Bal Gosal, Canadian Minister of Sports, at his office in Brampton, Ontario, to discuss the ban on patkas and turbans by QSF. During their meeting, the team was encouraged to continue their efforts by the Minister and assured that he will assist in driving the message of eliminating religious barriers being set by QSF.

UNITED SIKHS led the advocacy with:

– June 2012- QSF issued ban on patka in June 2012

– June 2012- June 2013 Persistent contact with the affected families

– June 7th, 2013 – Coordinated with Canadian Ministers exclusively, including Minister of Sports Bal Gosal for lifting the ban on the Patka in Quebec

–  Reached out to various soccer clubs and other soccer associations in Canada and UK to seek support about the ban

– Circulated statements made by International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) which clearly states its ruling to allow the Hijab and Patka on field

– Lobbied directly with the Prime Minister’s office about the ban

– June 14th, 2013- Further clarification from FIFA about specific instructions on the Patka during a soccer game were issued. These specifications includes that the patka should not be hanging one over the neck, should be neatly tied tightly, and the color should be matching the uniform of the club.

– June 15th, 2013- QSA lifted the ban of the Patka for Sikh players

UNITED SIKHS Team would like to thank the all of our supporters and those who helped us out in the fight against the ban including: Canadian Minister of Sports Bal Gosal, Councilor Mary Deros (Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension), Conseillère de la Ville, Membre du comité exécutif, Indépendant (IND)-), Narinder Singh Minhas , Surjit Singh and Rupinder Singh (Sikh Vision Association). Our appreciation is extended to the Sangat of Montreal as well.

The fight for revoking the ban brought solidarity and support across Canada and the world. “The best outcome of all this is many of our fellow supporters and parents from other ethnic backgrounds withdrew their children from playing soccer under protest we should identify them and honor them,” said UNITED SIKHS community advocate Deepinder Singh.

A ‘Soccer in Solidarity’ event, will take place at Marcel-Laurin Park (2345 Boulevard Thimens, St-Laurent, H4R 1T4) from 2:30PM until 7:30PM, on June 23, 2013. The event will be a soccer match, with participants of all religious, class, creed, and gender affiliations.

UNITED SIKHS along with other organizations will celebrate this grand victory on Canada Day, July 1st. There will be an exhibition soccer match and UNITED SIKHS will sponsor a trophy along with WISE. All are invited to this celebration. Details will be available on UNITED SIKHS Facebook Page.

UNITED SIKHS continues to encourage you to practice your religion to the freely. Fighting for religious accommodation is a daunting task because of the vagaries of national and international laws, but UNITED SIKHS will continue, nation by nation, to promote and protect Sikh articles of faith.

For UNITED SIKHS to continue its efforts (both domestically and internationally), we need your assistance, so please donate. You may donate online or in person to a UNITED SIKHS chapter near you. For details of our chapters, please visit our contact page.

Issued By:

Sukhwinder Singh

Director, UNITED SIKHS Canada

223B-2980 Drew Road

Mississauga Ontario L4T-0A7

Ph: 905-672-2245/416-895-4100

unitedsikhs-canada@unitedsikhs.org

www.unitedsikhs.org

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