'Sikh forced to take off turban'


'Sikh forced to take off turban'
RASHMEE Z. AHMED

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2004 08:22:55 PM ]

In Berlin, Muslim women rally against a ban of headscarfs in public
service.


LONDON: A Sikh man has been forced to take off his turban in order to enter a Paris government building, appalled British Sikhs have reported, as France prepares to introduce a controversial law banning the Sikh turban, Muslim hijab and Jewish yarmulke.

The incident, involving 50-year-old Jagmohan Singh from the Paris suburb of Bobigny, comes amid fresh reports that the French government has come with a unique compromise solution for French Sikhs: hairnets instead of turbans.

According to Gurdial Singh, a leading member of the French Sikh community , who had lived near Paris for 24 years, this was the first time he had heard of a Sikh being divested of his turban in France.

On Thursday, Mejindarpal Kaur of the campaign group UNITED SIKHS representing British Sikhs, the community's largest concentration outside India, indicated the French Sikhs' battle for the turban was not over.

A protester against a proposed ban on headcarves in Lille, northern France.

She said the "French Sikh community had felt reassured after French Education Minister Luc Ferry promised a solution for Sikhs to wear the turban". But now, the minister's promise is thought to be ambiguous.

Ferry reportedly said Sikh boys could keep their turbans provided they were "invisible". European Sikhs are understood to interpret the "invisible turban" as a hairnet.

It's still not clear if the community will acquiesce in this.