ICHRA-Canada – UNITED SIKHS Blog https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog Recognize The Human Race As One Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:31:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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



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Sikhs Ask Canadian PM to Raise France’s Turban Ban at Meeting with French PM https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/03/sikhs-ask-canadian-pm-to-raise-frances-turban-ban-at-meeting-with-french-pm/ https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/03/sikhs-ask-canadian-pm-to-raise-frances-turban-ban-at-meeting-with-french-pm/#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 03:57:36 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1858 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.


  • 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.
Toronto, Canada: UNITED SIKHS wrote to the Canadian Prime Minister earlier this week asking him to raise his objection to the turban ban in France, during his meeting with his French counterpart, who is currently visiting Canada.

“It is not very often that the people of a nation write directly to their Prime Minister about the threat of their identity in another sovereign state,” UNITED SIKHS’ director, Ranbir Singh, said in the letter to the Canadian Prime Minister.

“Unless France allows Sikhs to wear a turban in schools and on ID documents photographs, the Sikh turban would be deemed to be banned in France, which will be a betrayal of France’s motto – Liberté, égalité, fraternité,” the letter added.
“Globalization in the 21st century has made human rights a border-less right. It is now no longer acceptable to say that we cannot interfere with the ‘internal affairs’ of a sovereign state (France). The precedent was set in the previous century when the world joined the Blacks of South Africa to fight apartheid – an ‘internal affair’ of a sovereign state. Just as the Blacks of South Africa could not remove the color of their skin, Sikhs cannot remove their turban and strip themselves of their identity,” the letter said. You may read the letter in full here.
Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on Stephen Harper’s meeting with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault:
“France’s decision to ban the wearing of turbans and other religious symbols in identification photos, government schools and public spaces has received international criticism and flies in the face of religious freedom. As a result of this ban, many Sikhs are denied access to employment, public health care and social benefits that require a government identification card. It should be an issue of great concern to this Conservative government and all Canadians.
After the much-publicized launch of Canada’s new Office of Religious Freedoms, today’s meeting is an ideal opportunity for this government to come to the defense of minority rights and walk the walk on religious freedoms. 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.”In 2008, UNITED SIKHS’ attorneys filed three cases against the French turban ban in schools and ID photos before the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC).

Victory was achieved at the UNHRC in the cases of both, Bikramjit Singh and Ranjit Singh. We await to hear the outcome of Shingara Singh’s case. If there was any doubt about the legality of France’s action, the eminent jurists of the UNHRC recently pronounced unequivocally that France had violated the human rights of both Bikramjit Singh and Ranjit Singh by denying them their religious right to wear a turban.
However, France has not overturned their ban and continue to enforce it on Bikramjit Singh and Ranjit Singh despite UNHRC’s decision. All Canadian Sikhs, UNITED SIKHS’ team members and the global Sikh community urge and seek the support of the Canadian Government, Leaders of New Democratic Party, Liberal Party of Canada and all Members of the Parliaments to help raise this ban.

Sukhwinder Singh
Tel: 1-905-672-2245
Contact us | Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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No one should be punished for seeking UN help to defend human rights https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2011/10/no-one-should-be-punished-for-seeking-un-help-to-defend-human-rights/ Tue, 18 Oct 2011 00:07:35 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1170 No one should be punished for seeking UN help to defend human rights“The UN exists to serve those in whose name it was conceived … “WE THE PEOPLES”
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

HIGH-LEVEL panel discussion

 “Stopping reprisals for cooperating with the UN in the field of human rights – a priority for all”

FRIDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2011, 13:00 – 15:00

 Conference Room 4

You are cordially invited to attend a discussion by eminent panellists with various and complementary experiences and perspectives on ways to address this worrying practice.


Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights

H.E. Ambassador Klara Breuer, Chief of Cabinet of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary

Mrs. Mehr Khan Williams, Chair of the Board of the International Service for Human Rights

Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

Mr. Philip Alston, former Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions


The side-event is organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with the support of the Government of Hungary

Refreshments will be provided



SAFAR Our Journeys Connecting: Our stories, visions & paths https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2011/09/safar-our-journeys-connecting-our-stories-visions-paths/ Thu, 29 Sep 2011 20:43:54 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1127


Our Journeys
Connecting: Our stories, visions & paths

OISE,  University of Toronto
252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Canada


Join academics, community members and organizers  from across North America at “Our Journeys” as we bring to light the high caliber of research being carried out to explore and openly discuss collective past, present and future of geneder equality.
Conference is open to all & Registration is FREE or PWYC.  All attendees must register online at http://ourjourneys.eventbrite.com

8:00 Registration & Breakfast
9:15 Keynote Panel: Reconnecting the Disconnect – A Sikh Feminist Gosht
Prof. Nikky-Guninder Kaur, Geetanjali Chanda, Mallika Kaur

10:40 Break
11:00 Panel 1: Disrupting History
Deep Singh, Jaspal Kaur Singh, Brian Keith Axel, Tejpreet Kaur
12:30 Lunch

1:30  Panel 2 A | Gursikhi: Intersections, Parallels and Gaps
Simran Jeet Singh, Kirpal Kaur. Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa, Sonia Arora
Panel 2 B | Lived Experiences: Sikh Women, Work and Society
Ravneet Kaur Tiwana, Bandana Kaur, Kazi Abdur Rouf, Manprit (Preet) Kaur Virdi

3:00 Break

3:20 Panel 3A | Violence: Causes and Solutions
Jesleen Singh, Semran Kaur Mann, Malika Kaur Bhola, Gunisha Kaur

Panel 3B | Herstory: Bringing Untold Narratives of Womanhood to the Forefront
Harloveleen Kaur, Prabsimran Sachdev, Tavleen Kaur, Harminder S. Mann

4:50 Panel 4A | Gender and Sexuality:  A Lived Reality Unrecognized
Kaveri Qureshi, Gitanjali Kaur Singh, Ranjanpreet Nagra
Panel 4B | Diaspora and Culture: Resisting Social Pressures
Sharanpal K Ruprai, Gada Mahrouse & Indu Vashist, Satwinder Kaur Bains, Jaspreet Gill
6:30 Closing Remarks and Reception

RESEARCH +  SAFAR   =  HELPS Policy Makers , Community, Orgs
Research: The Sikh feminist perspective is inherent within Sikhi’s fundamental message of equality and egalitarianism, however research and scholarship exploring Sikh feminism exists in limitation, has restricted access and is widely unacknowledged

SAFAR: Safar’s mission is to conduct, collect and openly share research that analyzes and addresses the  issues of gender inequality.

HOW IT HELPS: In addition to encouraging education and academic advancement amongst the community, open access to this research will provide grassroot community organizations,  policy makers, and NGOs, with resources and support to strengthen their work for action towards addressing gender inequality.

For more information please contact:
Preet Kaur Virdi (preet.virdi@gmail.com), Tarnjit Johal (tarnjitjohan@gmail.com)