Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference – UNITED SIKHS Blog Recognize The Human Race As One Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:45:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 UNITED SIKHS Welcomes Appointment of Melissa Rogers As New White House Faith Based Director Fri, 15 Mar 2013 05:19:22 +0000 Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

New York, NY, March 15, 2013:  UNITED SIKHS  welcomes the appointment of Melissa Rogers as Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

“Melissa’s leadership role and  focus on religion and policy will be very helpful while dealing with the advocacy components of faith based groups”  said Gurvinder Singh,  Director UNITED SIKHS.  “We welcome the choice of the President. ”

UNITED SIKHS looks forward to working with Ms. Rogers  to fully realize the potential of government partnerships with religiously-affiliated and community-based organizations and ensuring that basic human needs and social justice are firmly in place.

She previously was executive director of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, a board member of Public Religion Research Institute and the general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs.

Manvinder Singh
P: 646-315-3909
F: 810-885-4264

Sikhs Ask Canadian PM to Raise France’s Turban Ban at Meeting with French PM Thu, 14 Mar 2013 03:57:36 +0000 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

]]> 2
First Sikh American Offers Prayers at the 67th United Nations General Assembly Opening Session Fri, 08 Mar 2013 06:31:36 +0000

Community Update

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


  • 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.

Mar 06, 2013
25th Phagun (Samvat 544 Nanakshahi
New York, USA
:Jatinder P. Singh, a Sikh American and Associate Director, UNITED SIKHS, offered prayers at the United Nations 67th General Assembly opening session. The event, ‘United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony’, was part of the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. Organized by the Office of the President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and The Committee of Religious NGOs, this event was held at United Nations General Assembly Hall on February 14th, 2013.

Each participant was allotted a time of thirty seconds for their prayer. Jatinder P. Singh recited excerpts from the Mool Mantar accompanied by a musical piece played by Jon Blond on the flute. The following is an excerpt from Jatinder P. Singh’s prayer:

“Ik Onkaar, Satnaam… In this age of darkness this world is filled with maya, money, and weapons of mass destruction. The only answer to save this world is through prayers in the company of saints.”

Jatinder P. Singh also read the English translation of an excerpt from Sukhmani Sahib (Ashtpadi 7.3).

“In the company of saints all enemies become friends. In the company of saints, man becomes very pure…” He also added, “I truly hope one day, all the countries can get together at the United Nations and just pray for world peace.”

After delivering his prayer, Jatinder P. Singh was approached by members of the UN and other faith groups, who shared how they were moved by the positive and uplifting message of peace.

A flag ceremony followed the prayers. Flags of UN member nations were hoisted with a heart-warming welcome and blessing of peace upon each country.

The UN General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Comprising of 193 members of the United Nations, it provides a unique platform for multilateral discussions on the international issues covered by the UN Charter.

The event ended with closing statements from Ms. Monica Willard, President of the Committee of Religious NGO’s. There were over 1500 attendees from various organizations including Gail Bindley, UN General; Philippe Kridelka, Director of UNESCO; Ambassador Byrganym Aitimova,Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations; Reverend Father Mark Arey, Director of Inter-Orthodox group; Ms. Kiran Bali, Chair of the United Religions Initiative Global Council, and H.E. Ambassador T. Hamid Al-Bayati, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations.

Messages of world peace and prayers were offered by various religious organizations including:Tuwe Huni Kuin–Brazilian Amazon Huni Kuin community, Caroline Vasquez–Baha’i International community, Ven. Seong Won–Director, social affairs at Korean Zen Buddhism, Rev. Kathleen Stone–United Methodist Church, Swami Parameshananda–Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Lucy Schmitz–Ethical Culture Society, Apeksha Vora–Member, Anuvrat Global Organization, Rabbi Michael Weisser–Free Synagogue of Flushing, Imam Izak El M. Pasha–Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, and Nina Mistry–Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America.

UNITED SIKHS is humbled to partake in this event where representatives from various countries and religions were able to come together amidst international conflict and share common values of peace and pluralism.

Manmeet Singh
Staff Attorney, International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)
Tel: (646) 315-3909
Contact us | Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Follow us on TwitterTwitter  Connect on FacebookFacebook Read Our BlogBlog UNITED SIKHS TVYouTube

]]> 8
Allow Sikh Officers the Right to Maintain their Turbans and Beards- Sign the petition! Sat, 29 Sep 2012 15:28:28 +0000 29th Sep 2012  | 15th Assu (Samvat 544 Nanakshahi)

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


  • 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

New York, NY: UNITED SIKHS calls on all members of the Sikh community to take an active role in signing the petition enacted,  Sep 28th,  by City Comptroller John C. Liu. The petition calls  for NYPD to reform their dress code policies to allow Sikh officers the right to maintain their turbans and beards.

“The NYPD shouldn’t force Sikhs to choose between serving their City and honoring their faith,” remarked Comptroller Liu at the press conference this morning. “Changing these policies would show that New York City deserves its reputation as a global capital of religious acceptance.”

The MTA and Washington D.C. police department have already made changes to their policies to allow for religious freedom. It is now time now that NYPD do the same by opening their doors to diversity, integration, and religious freedom.

Jatinder Singh, Associate Director of UNITED SIKHS spoke at the press conference and quoted Martin Luther King as he observed, “‘The time is always right to do the right things, and I think the time has come that Mayor Bloomberg should make his move. This is the right time to amend the policies and allow New York City Sikhs to serve in the New York City police department with dignity, and practicing their own religion in full form as they wish, like any citizen is allowed today.” He concluded, “It’s about time that Sikh faces are shown in official places”. 

Comptroller Liu Addressing the need for Sikhs to serve in NYPD with their Turbans and Beards with New York City Community Jatinder Singh, Associate Director of UNITED SIKHS in NY addressing concerns. President of Sikh Cultural Society Dr Gurdev Singh Kang (Extreme Left), Comptroller Liu, New York State Assembly member-David I. Weprin, Advisor Gurdeep Singh Narula (Extreme Right)

If  New York City truly represents the capital of diversity in America, then the NYPD should have no hesitance in amending their policies to allow fully turbaned and bearded Sikhs to maintain their physical identity while serving their city.

Your help is needed to make this possible- please sign the petition and make sure to pass it on to all your family and friends.

Help us to continue our mission to serve the Sikh Community by making your tax deductible donation today.

If you feel you have been a target of a bias based crime/incident, please report it here.

To speak to a UNITED SIKHS representative directly, please visit to find an office near you.

Issued By:
Manvinder Singh, Director
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy
Tel: 1-646-688-3525;1-888-243-1690
Fax: 1-810-885-4264

Victory in California Sat, 08 Sep 2012 20:58:06 +0000 Governor Brown Speaks & Signs Legislation Bills AB 1964 & SB 1540 at Capitol Hill


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.

Sacramento, California: UNITED SIKHS thanks everyone who supported  in signing the UNITED SIKHS petition, all organizations and individuals in California who helped pass the SB 1540. A special thanks goes to Dr Onkar Singh Bindra who has been the pioneer behind SB 1540.  We also thank the organizations and the individuals who have done collective effort in the passing of the AB 1964. These are victories that belong to the community and show that justice is delivered through the statutes designed to protect the civil rights of all individuals and to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability.

Mohini Kaur said, “The Wisconsin tragedy has shocked the community. Unfortunately it required a tragic event this big to force the legislative assembly to move quickly and listen to the woes of the Sikh community. We welcome the changes but do it with a heavy understanding as to the price, the community has paid and remember the one’s who died.”  Miss  Kaur is the only Sikh who served on the History  Curriculum Adoption Committee and is the community outreach coordinaor in Central Valley for UNITED SIKHS.

Harpreet Singh, Legislative Director UNITED SIKHS, said, “We thank Governor Brown who has listened to the voice of the community and agreed to bring in changes. We also urge Governor Brown to look at  issues inclusive of domestic terrorism, census and issues related to hate crime within California. These bills are small step paving the way for bigger positive changes for the community.”

Dr. Onkar Singh Bindra, the pioneer behind SB 1540 (Hancock). He has been a watchdog to monitor information about Sikhism in the school textbooks of California. The change he has brought in school textbooks is just another example prompted by concerns about giving offense to any racial, ethnic or religious groups. He is a Retired Professor of Entomology & Project Manager of FAO(UNO)

S. Ram Singh, President of  American Gurdwara Council, said, “We are thank-ful to Governor Brown for passing these bills. But the community should understand that these bills are a very tiny step towards the inclusion of the Sikh Identity. For example, this will not include all our Kakkars to be included as a part of our Identity but will pave the way forward and should be continued.”

UNITED SIKHS also asks all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly and report any racially biased incidents to them. If you feel you have been a target of a bias based crime/ incident, please report it here

Please continue to support our work by making your tax deductible donation today by clicking here .

To speak to a UNITED SIKHS representative directly, please visit
to find an office near you.                                                            

Issued By:
Manwinder Singh, Director
International Civil Human Rights Advocacy

Tel: 1-888-243-1690; 1-510-999-7726, 1-510-421-0538

 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.


Action Alert: Support the End Racial Profiling Act Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:53:05 +0000 April 17, 2012 – Today, Senator Dick Durbin, Chairman of the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Subcommittee in the Senate Judiciary Committee, has convened the first  Senate hearing on racial profiling since September 11th. Over the past ten years, South Asian, Muslim, Sikh and Arab communities living in the United States have been targeted for heightened scrutiny by law enforcement based on their religion, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality. Examples include frequent searches by airport security and border inspection officers, mandatory registration of certain male nationals from predominantly Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, under the National Security Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program, and targeted surveillance of South Asian places of worship by federal and local law enforcement. In a statement for the record submitted for the Senate hearing,SAALT underscored the ongoing harmful effects of profiling on South Asian community members. 

 Profiling of South Asian community members continues to this day, as most recently documented in a report, In Our Own Words: Narratives of South Asian New Yorkers Affected by Racial and Religious Profiling. Issued by the New York City Profiling Collaborative including DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving, The Sikh Coalition, UNITED SIKHS, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), Coney Island Avenue Project, Council of Peoples Organization, and SAALT, this report highlights the impact of profiling on individuals sense of identity and belonging within the United States. Over the past several months, reports by the Associated Press have also revealed that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has been monitoring and infiltrating Muslim communities along the Northeast. Profiling simply does not work – it diverts limited law enforcement resources away from identifying actual criminal activity, undermines trust between police and affected individuals, and chills the civil rights of minority communities.   

 TAKE ACTION! Send a message to your Senators and Representative  asking them to co-sponsor the End Racial Profiling Act.  

It is long overdue that policymakers take action to prohibit racial and religious profiling in all its forms. In Congress, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan and Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland have introduced The End Racial Profiling Act (S.1670; H.R.3618). This legislation will address the harmful impact of profiling by prohibiting various forms of the practice, including in the travel and surveillance contexts; requiring training and data collection on profiling for entities receiving federal law enforcement funding; supporting law enforcement initiatives that do not result in profiling; establishing complaint mechanisms; creating privacy protections for individuals whose data is collected; and allowing affected individuals to file lawsuits to seek redress. SAALT has joined a diverse array of organizations and allies in supporting this landmark legislation in both the Houseand the Senate and urges community members to send a message to your lawmakers to co-sponsor this bill. Take a few minutes today to stand in support of civil rights and the South Asian community. 

Contact: Manmeet Singh
P: 646-688-3525 | 888-243-1690

]]> 1
No one should be punished for seeking UN help to defend human rights Tue, 18 Oct 2011 00:07:35 +0000 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 Thu, 29 Sep 2011 20:43:54 +0000


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

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 (, Tarnjit Johal (



Teach & Learn in Korea Fri, 08 May 2009 05:28:36 +0000 The ‘TaLK (Teach & Learn in Korea)’ program is inviting adventurous global leaders to teach English to students and to experience and learn about Korean culture. Sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

The TaLK program, sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science & Technology, invites adventurous global leaders, as Government Scholars. Participants will teach after school English classes in Korean elementary schools in rural areas while enjoying cultural programs.

‘TaLK’ will sponsor individuals interested in gaining personal and professional enrichment through teaching and learning in Korea. The program is open to citizens of countries where English is the national language. The program is seeking 630 TaLK scholars including renewals. More info >>>

Participants will receive Korean government scholarships and teach English in after-school classes of Korean elementary schools while enjoying cultural programs during their free time. Recipients will be placed at schools in rural areas in need of greater exposure to English and teach the language by forming one-on-one working relationships with Korean university TaLK Scholars. Candidates should have a desire to work with children, have a service-centered mind, a willingness to work in rural areas and have consideration for others with a positive attitude.


Participants’ service mindedness and caring heart will instill into the young students’ minds an ambition to learn English and allow them to embark on a journey of accomplishing their dreams.

– Application Deadline: April 20 (for early applications) or June 10, 2009

– Orientation: August 4-28, 2009

– First Day of Work: September 1, 2009

]]> 3