Archive for the ‘Civil Rights’ Category.

Sikhs Ask Canadian PM to Raise France’s Turban Ban at Meeting with French PM

Sikhs Ask Canadian PM to Raise France’s Turban Ban at Meeting with French PM . 

Harper Should Raise France’s Turban Ban at Meeting with French Prime Minister: Canadian Liberal Leader.

Highlights:

  • UNITED SIKHS wrote recently to the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, requesting him to raise his objection to the French turban ban during his meeting this week with his counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault.
  • Sikhs globally believe that a ban on the turban is a betrayal of France’s motto- Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
  • Canadian Liberal Leader Bob Rae said in a statement today, “If we are to be a defender of rights, we must defend them around the world, including in France. We would encourage Mr. Harper to have a frank and open discussion with his French counterpart on this issue”.
  • Canadian Sikhs have also asked all Canadian Members of National and Provincial Parliaments to release similar statements supporting a Sikh’s right to his turban, urging Mr. Harper to raise this issue with the French PM. Continue reading ‘Sikhs Ask Canadian PM to Raise France’s Turban Ban at Meeting with French PM’ »

First Sikh American Offers Prayers at the 67th United Nations General Assembly Opening Session

Community Update

First Sikh American Offers Prayers at the 67th United Nations General Assembly Opening Session!

Highlights:

  • Jatinder P. Singh, a Sikh American and an Associate Director, UNITED SIKHS, offers prayers at the 67th United Nations (UN) General Assembly opening session conducted in the General Assembly building of the UN.
  • Over 1500 attendees, including UN President H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic and leaders from various religious organizations across the globe, joined hands to promote messages of world peace.
  • UNITED SIKHS is the first Sikh UN-DPI affiliated organization and is recognized by the United Nations since December 2007.
  • Click here to see the prayer. Continue reading ‘First Sikh American Offers Prayers at the 67th United Nations General Assembly Opening Session’ »

UNITED SIKHS Joins Elected Officials to Commemorate Illinois House Resolution 1193, Denouncing Hate Crimes Against Sikh Americans and Other Minorities

Palatine, Illinois: On Sunday, December 16th, UNITED SIKHS joined the South Asian and Sikh community at Palatine Gurdwara to commemorate the passing of House Resolution 1193 (HR 1193). This Resolution denounces the deplorable attacks on Sikh Americans and denounces hate crimes and hateful political rhetoric.

UNITED SIKHS worked with South Asian Policy and Research Institute (SAAPRI), Council on American-Islamic Relations Chicago (CAIR-Chicago) and the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago (Palatine Gurdwara Management Committee) in drafting the language and advocating for this resolution. “We hope the resolution will provide an agenda for even more specific laws for the future,” said Ami Gandhi, Executive Director at SAAPRI.

Rep. Biss (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Rep. Biss speaking to Palatine Gurdwara Sangat (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Ald. Pawar, Greg Bales, Rep. Biss and Sen. Murphy (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Ald. Pawar, Greg Bales, Rep. Biss and Sen. Murphy (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Rep. Mussman (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Rep. Mussman  speaking to Palatine Gurdwara Sangat (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palatine Gurdwara President Sukhdev Kaur began the commemoration by observing a moment of silence for the victims of the Newtown Connecticut shooting and making a request that the congregation pray for the families of the victims. Among the elected officials who made remarks at the commemoration and the press conference that followed were Senator Matt Murphy (27th District), Rep. Daniel Biss (17th District), Rep. Michelle Mussman (56th District), Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) and Greg Bales from US Senator Dick Durbin’s office.

Ald. Pawar, Sen. Murphy, Rep. Biss and Rep. Mussman (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Ald. Pawar, Sen. Murphy, Rep. Biss and Rep. Mussman (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Ekta Kaur, Ald. Pawar, Vikram Singh, Amrith Kaur, Rep. Biss, Sukhdev Kaur and Sen. Murphy (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Ekta Kaur, Ald. Pawar, Vikram Singh, Amrith Kaur, Rep. Biss, Sukhdev Kaur and Sen. Murphy (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Community at Press Conference (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Community at Press Conference (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are excited to work with our state legislators, faith-based groups, and policy organizations to promote tolerance and counter bigotry,” said Rabya Khan, Staff Attorney at CAIR-Chicago. “This resolution is a first step in acknowledging that there is a greater need to educate the greater Illinois community on Sikh Americans and other minorities,” said Ekta Kaur, Regional Director of UNITED SIKHS. She added “Our community and the Illinois government must work together to create further programs to help prevent hate crimes and uphold our civil rights.”

Shiva Singh, Ald. Pawar, Sen. Murphy, Vikram Singh and Rep. Biss (Photo courtesy of SAAPRI)

Shiva Singh Khalsa, Ald. Pawar, Sen. Murphy, Vikram Singh and Rep. Biss (Photo courtesy of SAAPRI)

Ekta Kaur, Ald. Pawar, Vikram Singh, Amrith Kaur, Rep. Biss, Sukhdev Kaur, Sen. Murphy, Rajinder Mago, Balwant Hansra, Ami Gandhi, Gurdwara Attendee, Ahmed Rehab (Photo courtesy of SAAPRI)

UNITED SIKHS, SAAPRI, CAIR-Chicago and Sikh Religious Society of Chicago with Elected Officials (Photo courtesy of SAAPRI)

Tejas Shah, Ekta Kaur, Ald. Pawar and Vikram Singh (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

Tejas Shah, Ekta Kaur, Ald. Pawar and Vikram Singh (Photo courtesy of CAIR-Chicago)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEE ALSO: Recent article by local journalist Mariam Khan, “State lawmakers’ new anti-hate resolution could boost Chicago’s immigrant-friendly drive.”

To volunteer in the greater Chicago area, please contact Ekta Kaur at ekta.kaur@unitedsikhs.org.

Vikram Singh
Pro Bono Counsel
UNITED SIKHS (Illinois)
Tel: 888-243-1690
vikram.singh@unitedsikhs.org

UNITED SIKHS – Recognize the Human Race as One

UNITED SIKHS, along with other NGOs meets with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to discuss on growing Human Rights concerns

October 24th, New York: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay met with over 20 NGOs on  October 24th at the UN Church Center in New York to address the growing human rights concerns  and also shared the updates on OHCHR’s activities. The meeting was moderated by Vice Chair for NGO Committee on Human Rights, Dr. Bobbi Nassar.

The Commissioner gave an overview of the OHCHR’s 2011-2012 activities. This included the workings of the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review, and, a great increase in the number of instances in which human rights (and the OHCHR) is gaining strength at the UN and in “post-2015 development” discussions. “The growing recognition of the centrality of human rights in the peace, security, development and humanitarian agendas, and trust in OHCHR is very rewarding,” Ms. Pillay noted. However, she warned that financial constraints are limiting the resources required to support her office’s mandated activities.

UNITED SIKHS questioned about the ban of conspicuous symbols such as turbans and headgears in schools and in general(in specific countries)which violate the very essence of human rights. The High Commissioner responded saying that “A faith group and minority have the right to practice and manifest their culture, religion and identity without discrimination and I oppose these principles and standards when I raise these matters with government. They have to find balance to accommodate diversity.”

US will continue advocating for equal rights as enshrined in the charter of UN.

 

UNITED SIKHS represents Sikh Community at the Annual Event of UN SUB-COMMITTEE FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACISM

UNITED SIKHS participated and represented Sikh Community at the SACRED SEASON PROGRAM organized by Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism on October 18th at Baha’i International Community’s United Nations Office in New York. The event invited leaders and speakers from different communities and religions to get together and converse on their views on the topic: THE IMPACT OF RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY AND BELIEFS ON RACISM, MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT. The event was facilitated by Dr. Bobbi Nassar, Co-Chair Ngo Committee on Human Rights and Mr. Bruce Knotts, Chair Ngo Committee On Human Rights.

Prabhkaran Singh, staff attorney with UNITED SIKHS was one of the speakers and represented Sikh Community at the event. “We as Sikhs believe that there is only one God, the same God for people of all religions. One of the motto of Sikhism and the UNITED SIKHS tag line is to “Recognize the Human Race as One”, essentially a class-less society where racism is not permitted. Every one should be allowed to exercise their right to freedom of movement & and residence within the borders of each state.” said Prabhkaran Singh. Bruce Knots in his closing remarks spoke about the challenges Sikh community has been facing since 9/11 and commended the community for its persistence.

Allow Sikh Officers the Right to Maintain their Turbans and Beards- Sign the petition!

29th Sep 2012  | 15th Assu (Samvat 544 Nanakshahi)

Allow Sikh Officers the Right to Maintain their Turbans and Beards- Sign the petition!

Highlights

  • UNITED SIKHS co-sponsors the petition with Comptroller Liu for NYPD to Reform Religious Garb Policy supported by Sikh Gurdwaras of NYC, Sikh Organizations and activists.
  • The petition can be found at http://comptroller.nyc.gov/sikh/

Continue reading ‘Allow Sikh Officers the Right to Maintain their Turbans and Beards- Sign the petition!’ »

Sikh gentleman from New Jersey has gone missing.

Glenrock, New Jersey:   A Sikh gentleman  Sukhvinder Singh  from New Jersey. has gone missing.

More information can be found here: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Police-Search-for-Missing-Winslow-Twp-Man–170337826.html.
Continue reading ‘Sikh gentleman from New Jersey has gone missing.’ »

Attention:​Venue Change for Senate Hearing on Hate Crimes on September 19th

Community Update
Washington DC, DC: The Senate Judiciary Hearing on Hate Crimes and Domestic Extremism is today,  Wednesday, September 19th at 2:30 pm (Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216 – Please note the location change). 

Even though the hearing is today, there are still many ways that your organization can show its support as well as resources to assist you.

1.       Attend the hearing and post-hearing press conference:  We need to pack the hearing room to emphasize the importance of these issues to all communities.  Also, a press conference will be held at approximately 4:30pm (immediately after the hearing) outside of the hearing room featuring allies supporting the hearing.  Please attend and encourage colleagues, local affiliates, and constituents to attend!  If you plan to attend, please fill out this RSVP form created by the Sikh Coalition so that we can get a sense of the number of people attending and the necessary space required.  If you cannot attend, you can also stream it here.

Continue reading ‘Attention:​Venue Change for Senate Hearing on Hate Crimes on September 19th’ »

Victory in California

Governor Brown Speaks & Signs Legislation Bills AB 1964 & SB 1540 at Capitol Hill

Highlights:

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signs the AB 1964(Yamada) SB 1540 (Hancock) today. State Senator – California Senate District 09. The Sikh community is thankful to Governor Brown for upholding the Civil Liberties by signing the bills. 
SB 1540  (Hancock):Introduced by State Senator – California Senate District 09: Introduced by Assembly Member Loni Hancock. This bill will now requires the California State Board of Education to consider the adoption of a revised the history-social science framework. Senator Hancock has spent nearly four decades as a forceful advocate for open government, educational reform, environmental protection, economic development, and social justice. UNITED SIKHS thanks Senator Hancock and her staff and also all indivduals, organizations and especially Dr Onkar Singh Bindra, the pioneer behind the bill
AB 1964 (Yamada) :  Introduced  by  Assembly Member Mariko Yamada- California’s 8th district. Provides reasonable accomodations to Discrimination in Employment. Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Allen, Cedillo, Dickinson, Fong, Bonnie Lowenthal, Senator Corbett, DeSaulnier, La Malfa, Lieu, Rubio, Steinberg, Yee. An act to amend Sections 12926 and 12940 of the Government Code, relating to employment. UNITED SIKHS thanks Assembly Member Yamada and her staff and also thanks sister organization, the Sikh Coalition that pioneered this bill.

Continue reading ‘Victory in California’ »

Update:4th Sep 12:05 am: DEATH THREAT RECEIVED BY A MILWAUKEE RESIDENT. PLEASE NOTIFY AUTHORITIES (CALL 911) IF YOU RECEIVE ANY THREATSJustin

Update
 4th Sep 12:05 am
 The Milwaukee police along with the FBI reached out to the home of the Caucasian male and found stash and a pile of guns . No arrest has been made of yet.  The security around the temple has been increased.

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http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1603