UNITED SIKHS-Canada – 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 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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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)



Vicky Dhillon in Haiti – Press Coverage by South Asian Focus https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/02/vicky-dhillon-in-haiti-%e2%80%93-press-coverage-by-south-asian-focus/ https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/02/vicky-dhillon-in-haiti-%e2%80%93-press-coverage-by-south-asian-focus/#comments Wed, 17 Feb 2010 20:29:12 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=757

Popular Brampton City Councillor and social activist Vicky Dhillon (centre) with Canadian Forces, medics and other volunteers from United Sikhs helping in Haiti relief efforts in Port au Prince.

City Councillor Vicky Dhillon is representing Brampton in Haiti, to encourage more groups and organization to come forward and help.

He is also helping United Sikhs there in its humanitarian aid effort.

Last week, during a city council meeting, Mayor Susan Fennell announced Dhillon was due to leave for Haiti.

Dhillon, who left over the weekend, will be in Haiti until Feb 22.

He is carrying 1,500 shirts, printed ‘Brampton Care Haiti’, lots of tooth-brushes, dry food, shoes, etc.

Fennell had also appealed to Bramptonians to donate summer clothes for our friends in need in Haiti.

“City of Brampton and the Sikhs have a strong and vibrant community and we want our Bramptonians to have an opportunity to assist Haiti once again to become a strong and vibrant community,” Dhillon said.

“Together we can make a difference during this extremely difficult time,” he added.

Community initiatives

A number of community organizations through the GTA have continued to raise funds to help alleviate the plight of Haitians.

Both Mississauga Ram Mandir and Brampton’s Hindu Sabha have collected funds for Haitians in distress, as have several gurdwaras, Islamic centres and associations.

Humanity First, a Canadian relief organization, also held a successful fundraising event early this month at Woodbine Banquet Hall in support of Haiti Earthquake Relief. More than 500 people attended the event and $124,000 was collected.

Humanity First volunteers who recently returned from Haiti after the relief work gave an eyewitness account of situation on the ground and how Humanity First is helping the affected people.

More than 55 volunteers including aid workers, doctors, surgeons and paramedics have been on the ground in Haiti to provide medical aid and logistical support to the victims of the earthquake. Thousands of patients have been treated at its three camps.

Volunteers are also assisting a local orphanage and a camp of more than 5,000 people with food and other logistical support. The team on the ground is also assessing future rebuilding and rehabilitation projects.

Source: http://www.southasianfocus.ca/community/article/86248

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VICKY DHILLON REPRESENTING CITY OF BRAMPTON IN HAITI https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/02/vicky-dhillon-representing-city-of-brampton-in-haiti/ https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/02/vicky-dhillon-representing-city-of-brampton-in-haiti/#comments Mon, 15 Feb 2010 02:37:44 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=750   14th Feb 2010, Santo Domingo: UNITED SIKHS welcomes Councillor Vicky Dhillon from Brampton Ontario. He is on a sewa mission to serve the Haitian community that has suffered an incalculable loss.  We are humbled that people from all walks of life are here serving the Haitian community. A note that was emailed about him from his fan is attached below:



By: Surjit Singh Flora

BRAMPTON: The people of Haiti continue to struggle in the wake of the devastating earthquake there. While many have already generously donated their time and money, the situation is still grim in the island nation and Haitian people are stil…l in dire need.
After the quake United Sikhs launched in 48 hours a global humanitarian aid effort to assist with rescue and rehabilitation efforts in Haiti and start serving the fresh food.
Brampton Mayor Susan Fennel, at City Council meeting on Wednesday February 10, proudly announced that Councillor Vicky Dhillon from Ward 9-10 will be going to Haiti to represent Brampton. Once there, Dhillon will encourage more groups and organization to come forward and help Haiti. Besides, Dhillon would boost the United Sikhs by helping them. The Sikh community always proud of him because he always rise to the occasion for the community cause.
Bramptonians should also be proud of him as he has been leaving for Haiti from Feb 14 to Feb 22 to represent the city of Brampton.
Dhillon would be carrying 1500 shirts, printed ‘Brampton Care Haiti’, lots of tooth brushes, dry food, shoes etc. Mayor Susan Fennell has also appealed Bramptonians to donate summer clothes for our friends in need in Haiti.

“City of Brampton and the Sikhs have a strong and vibrant community and we want our Bramptonians to have an opportunity to assist Haiti once again to become a strong and vibrant community. Together we can make a difference during this extremely difficult time,” Vicky Dhillon said.

Surjit Singh Flora
Email: flosurj@aol.com
80 Redpoll Court , Brampton, ON L6Y 4A5 CANADAS


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Humanitarian Response Highlights/Key Priorities-Pakistan https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/09/humanitarian-response-highlightskey-priorities-pakistan/ https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/09/humanitarian-response-highlightskey-priorities-pakistan/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2009 05:40:33 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=454 humanitarianhubsanddistribpoints-pak1st Sep 2009, Peshawar: Jean-Maurice Ripert of France has been appointed Special UN Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan

UN completed a high-level mission to Mingora in Swat District to assess the prevailing humanitarian situation

All 4,830 schools occupied by IDPs have been vacated and rehabilitation of schools has started

Situation Overview: According to the government, as of 24th August over 233,450 families of the 329,000 families registered and verified by the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)  Government as Internally Displaced People (IDPs), have returned to their places of origin.  The districts to which the people have returned are: Nowshera, Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda and Swabi. The above is again based on the reports from the UN.  Many of the IDPs still haven’t received the IDP status as they have been living with their friends and families.  The Sikhs who came from Khuram Agency and Orakzai Agency fall in this category.

Number of camps closed : 13
Camps still open: 17 (across the NWFP)

Updates from Swat and Buner: Humanitarian actors, mainly NGOs, INGOs and the Red Cross/Red crescent are operating in the District. With the increasing humanitarian presence, a coordination mechanism will have to be established in consultation with the District Authorities, which is the focus right now. The immediate priorities for the people in the Swat and Buner district are:
1) Food Security
2) Livelihood Recovery
3) Health
4) Education
5) Restoration of water supply schemes

More updates to flow from Buner region in the upcoming days.

Security:  The security situation in the NWFP region remains vulnerable and unpredictable.

Amardeep Singh
UNITED SIKHS Humanitarian Aid Coordinator -Peshawar

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UNITED SIKHS MULTI-FAITH PRAYER https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/06/united-sikhs-multi-faith-prayer/ Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:38:28 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=291 JOIN UNITED SIKHS – as we conduct a Multifaith Prayer alongside CanadianHART (Canadian Humanitarian Appeal for
Relief of Tamils) to stand in solidarity with your fellow Canadians who have been, and continue to be devastated, by the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka.
Months of military assaults have left their loved ones, and thousands of other innocent civilians injured or killed, destroying the livelihoods of much of the Northern population of Sri Lanka. At the same time, hundreds of thousands have been traumatized and displaced by the violence, and are without sufficient food, water or sanitation. While we try to come to terms with a tragedy that continues to unfold, we invite you to join us for a solemn evening of reflection, where we will pay our respects for the lives that have been lost, and pray for those which hang in the balance, dependent on us as members of the international community, to act immediately. The present inaction in the face of this crisis, cannot be allowed to continue.
Please join us June 11, as we engage with questions of how we can create a turning point in the humanitarian crisis, and help bring the aid desperately needed, to those who continue to suffer in the aftermath of the war, through our different faiths and united cause.


Earth Science Building
The University of Toronto
Room # B143

33 Willcocks Street,
Toronto, ON,
Thursday, June 11, 2009

6:00pm to 9:00pm

UNITED SIKHS Joins Khalsa Academy and Snatam Kaur for Simran Workshop https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/04/united-sikhs-joins-khalsa-academy-and-snatam-kaur-for-simran-workshop/ Wed, 29 Apr 2009 16:40:54 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=179 Simran Workshop

Empowerment and Education are fundamental concepts in Sikhi and that is why UNITED SIKHS has an entire directorate dedicated to it.

This week UNITED SIKHS – Canada will be working with Khalsa Academy by assisting at “An Evening of Nam Simran” with Snatam Kaur.

This workshop offers the opportunity to learn and practice the quantum technology of sound current. Through chanting and meditation, one can experience the combined effect of body, mind and spirit. This workshop is targeted to the youth, regardless of background. Please join us in the universal chanting and prayers and uplift the consciousness of humanity.

100% of proceeds will be used for future programs by Khalsa Academy.

To purchase tickets call 905-820-3038 or order online at www.khalsa-academy.com

Action Alert: May 1st, 2009:The NY Immigration Coalition Rally https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/04/action-alert-may-1st-2009the-ny-immigration-coalition-rally/ Tue, 28 Apr 2009 20:44:53 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=173 May 1, 2009 Rally: 1:30pm in Madison Square Park!

Join The New York Immigration Coalition and over 20 labor unions and community organizations on May 1st, 2009. As President Obama’s First 100 Days come to an end, we call for three critical policies that are essential to the nation’s economic recovery:

~Just and Humane Immigration Reform!
~Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)!
~Health Care for All!

The rally will run from 1:30-3:30pm in Madison Square Park (23rd and Broadway in Manhattan, nearest trains: R/W/6/F/V to 23rd St).

Please see the flyer for details, to become a co-sponsor, and to RSVP!

For more information, contact Frances Liu, Immigration Advocacy Field Coordinator, at FLiu@thenyic.org.

To Co-sponsor click here!

Amneet Singh