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NEWS: Turbans get French Sikhs expelled

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posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 09:29 AM
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Three Sikh boys have been expelled from school outside Paris for breaking a French law banning pupils from wearing religious headgear in school. The boys - aged 14, 17 and 18 - were expelled after months of debate about whether an under-turban, or keski, was acceptable under the new law.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
The boys had been taught separately since returning to school in September. They are the first Sikhs punished by the new law, although several Muslim girls have already been expelled. The judgement was seen as a challenge to the French secularity law banning "conspicuous" religious items in the classroom.

One of the boys, Ranjit Singh told the AFP news agency: "We've been stuck in the cafeteria with photocopies of the course work since September," he said "We've fallen significantly behind with our school work, and want to remain in the public educational system."

Sikh males are required by religion to allow their hair to grow, and most wear a turban to keep the growth under control.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


In most French schools Sikhs have reached a compromise that has allowed them to wear the keski, a smaller version of the turban, to control their hair. This is not the whole turban. More than 12 Muslim girls have also been expelled from school for wearing headscarves.

Since their return they were segregated from the other students, and were finally expelled. This move hurts them now, and may hurt them in the future, all because they stood up for something they believed in.

A law is in place. It prohibits the wearing of religious symbols and also banned Christian crosses and Jewish skullcaps. I say: Right To Religion!




posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 09:48 AM
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A mind set that I cannot fathom.

We read this stuff and think: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to be left alone. What do the French think we they read this?



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 01:28 PM
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I can see all sides to this argument as i have sided with each at one time or another.

The point is to get everyone to look the same so there is a set uniform and people cant be judged or so forth.

But i think people should be allowed to wear whatever they want to go to school.

And i disagree with the fact at my college people arnet allowed to wear caps in lessons but the girls are allowed to wear the scarfs round there heads.

If i wanted to wear a cap in lesson then i would.



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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This is what the call a double edged sword I guess.

I kind of go with the French for not allowing religious symbols in School, at the same time kind of disappointed at the French for not letting people choose what they want.

I mean the french fought a revolution for freedom and now they are back to square one.

Surf



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 04:21 PM
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I understand what the French gov't is trying to do, but the thing is, when you ban something, it just makes people want to do it more. They risk stoking the religious fervor that France had done away with a century ago. I'd always admired them for beating down the Church and throwing off it's yoke, but this could backfire.

As for the Sikh turbans, I thought it was more of a practical item than a religious one. Lots of hair = need for something to keep it controlled.

[edit on 11/7/2004 by Flinx]



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by Flinx
As for the Sikh turbans, I thought it was more of a practical item than a religious one. Lots of hair = need for something to keep it controlled.


I haven't heard of pratical means of the turban, until recently.

I always thought that it was one of the certain number of things they had to do as part of the religion, among the list was carry a knife and a comb.

Although I agree it makes sense practically, but I am not sure which one came first, the religious or the practical need for it.

Surf



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by surfup

Originally posted by Flinx
As for the Sikh turbans, I thought it was more of a practical item than a religious one. Lots of hair = need for something to keep it controlled.


I haven't heard of pratical means of the turban, until recently.

I always thought that it was one of the certain number of things they had to do as part of the religion, among the list was carry a knife and a comb.

Although I agree it makes sense practically, but I am not sure which one came first, the religious or the practical need for it.

Surf


I got this from Wikipedia:

Today, Sikhs can be found all over India and also elsewhere in the world. The observant men can be identified by their practice of always wearing a turban to cover their long hair. The turban is quite different from the ones worn by the Muslim clergy. (In some countries, laws requiring motorcyclists to wear crash helmets had to be modified to accommodate them.) They almost universally use the surname Singh1 (meaning lion).

Of course, not all people named Singh are necessarily Sikhs. Sikh men are also supposed to have the following items on them at all times: a comb, special underpants, a steel arm bracelet and a sword or dagger. In modern society, of course, one cannot really carry a sword or even a large dagger, but even a good penknife or a miniature dagger is sufficient to express the symbolic meaning. They are known by many as the five 'K's.
***

I don't see anything in there saying that the turban is a religious item. At least it's not one of the five K's.

Ah well, I know we have at least one Sikh on ATS...maybe he can answer.



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 04:43 PM
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Quick google and this came up...

"When a Sikh man or woman dons a turban, the turban ceases to be just a piece of cloth and becomes one and the same with the Sikh's head. The turban as well as the other articles of faith worn by Sikhs have an immense spiritual as well as temporal significance. The symbolisms of wearing a turban are many from it being regarded as a symbol of sovereignty, dedication, self-respect, courage and piety but the reason all practicing Sikhs wear the turban is just one - out of love and obedience of the wishes of the founders of their faith."

www.sikhcoalition.org...

"The next time you see a Sikh, greet him or her and know that the turban you see is the same turban and stood up against oppression against those identified as lower castes in India, tyranny in WWI, the Nazi empire in WWII. As Sikhs tie their turbans each day, they should be heedful that it represents a very real commitment to the founders of the Sikh faith. The turban is deeply intertwined with the Sikh identity and is a manifestation of the mission given to all Sikhs - to act as a divine prince or princess by standing firm against tyranny and protecting the downtrodden."

Wilkepedia is right I guess, the turban is more than just a religious thing, according to the website.

Surf



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 06:00 PM
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Surf hit the nail on the head; not much i could add, being the only one raised in a Sikh family -- not practicing though, more or less a Buddhist than a Sikh -- i can understand the plight of these kids to keep thier turbans on.

I think there is a line to be drawn.

I was happy with those Muslim women went to school with thier Hijabs, as i am happy with these Sikhs children.

Deep



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by ZeroDeep
I think there is a line to be drawn.
Deep


The question is the location of the line, which everyone seems to disagree.

Surf



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 08:37 PM
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Well, at least the French are being consistent.



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by surfup

Originally posted by ZeroDeep
I think there is a line to be drawn.
Deep


The question is the location of the line, which everyone seems to disagree.

Surf


Yes, what should we allow? Where do we draw the line?



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 12:34 PM
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I will have to side with the French on this case.

It is their country. It is not India, or a Middle eastern country. The people that decide to move to France have to accept the fact that France has it's own culture and beliefs.

If the immigrants don't like it, they can always leave. Not being allowed to where a headscarf to school is a small price to pay for the economic advancement and liberties they receive under French rule.

I wonder if, say the tables were reversed, and American school girls in Iran would want to wear low cut jeans and half shirts to school. How many people would protest on their behalf? Or, if they wanted to wear crucifixes or rosaries?


[edit on 8-11-2004 by nathraq]



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by nathraq
If the immigrants don't like it, they can always leave. Not being allowed to where a headscarf to school is a small price to pay for the economic advancement and liberties they receive under French rule.

I wonder if, say the tables were reversed, and American school girls in Iran would want to wear low cut jeans and half shirts to school. How many people would protest on their behalf? Or, if they wanted to wear crucifixes or rosaries?


What if they aren't immigrants? What if they are born and brought up there for generations, but still maintain a tie with their ancestory?

Should we kick out every immigrant out if they don't agree with the principles of the majority?

Iran is another story, we all know how orthodox Iran and the other muslim countries are. On the other hand France is a modern day country boasting of freedom, is this the freedom they get?

Surf



posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 06:28 AM
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Of course not Surfup. Immigrants should not be kicked out. But the European countries are not America. They were not founded as a proverbial 'melting pot'. The French culture, and many European cultures in general, are thousands of years old. A person can be born in France of foreign ancestory, and still not be a citizen. Being born there does not make someone automatically a French citizen. It's not the principles of the majority that's at question; it's the culture of 1000 years speaking out. I am sure the average Frenchman/woman sees no problem with the headscarf ban. It is not part of their culture to wear them.

America is a whole seperate issue. It was founded on the principles of a great mixture of races. American culture is still in it's infancy. That is our mentality. I would have no problem with students wearing headscarves here. That is part of their culture, one of the many that make this country great.

The rest of the world though, is much older and have had their set of values for a millenia. It's old, archaic, and wonderful, all at the same time.

I still side with France.



[edit on 9-11-2004 by nathraq]



posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by nathraq
French culture, and many European cultures in general, are thousands of years old. A The rest of the world though, is much older and have had their set of values for a millenia. It's old, archaic, and wonderful, all at the same time.

I still side with France.


So your argument is that they shouldn't be allowed to wear headscarfs or show their religious symbols in public because the country in which they have been in existance for 1000s of years old?

Just because their culture has been existing for 1000s of years old it means that they have the right to disapprove the younger more 'inferior' culture?

I am not being anti-French or siding with the other side of the French just because someone from my country is involved, I am just arguing for both sides.


Orginally posted by Surfup
I kind of go with the French for not allowing religious symbols in School, at the same time kind of disappointed at the French for not letting people choose what they want.


Surf



posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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My point is this:

The guests( immigrants) in someone's house( France) should abide by the rules of the house. If they don't like the rules, the front door is always open.

Now, if I went to India(which I hope to some day!), and the law required all men to wear a headdress, I would comply with that law. No questions asked. Not saying there is a law like that, just saying I would follow the customs of the country I'm in (when in Rome....). How foolish would I look if I tried to break the law, or take matters to the court, over something like this? I am a guest in that country. I would compose myself as such.



posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 04:09 PM
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Just because their culture has been existing for 1000s of years old it means that they have the right to disapprove the younger more 'inferior' culture?

No. They disapprove their own culture as well. Absolutely no religious symbols (including christian cruxifices)are tolerated in all public buildings. If someone comes to france, he knows that.
It is the best solution. State and Religion remain seperated.
In Democracy, nobody is free. Everybody is opressed in an equal manner.
So if you let the christians wear their symbols, everyone else will want it too. To avoid problems with that, it is best not to allow anyone.


[edit on 9/11/04 by tsuribito]



posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 04:24 PM
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Nathraq is correct. Good posts.

I visited Egypt a number of years ago, and foreign women were required to dress appropriately on the grounds of a Mosque (meaning not short sleeves and/or shorts etc). Nobody complained that it was discrimination and they did as they were told. That's the law of the land.

So be it in France.



posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by nathraq
My point is this:

The guests( immigrants) in someone's house( France) should abide by the rules of the house. If they don't like the rules, the front door is always open.

Now, if I went to India(which I hope to some day!), and the law required all men to wear a headdress, I would comply with that law. No questions asked. Not saying there is a law like that, just saying I would follow the customs of the country I'm in (when in Rome....). How foolish would I look if I tried to break the law, or take matters to the court, over something like this? I am a guest in that country. I would compose myself as such.


My point is what if they aren't guests? I understand you don't become French citizens just being born there, but are you still a guest even after livign there your entire life?

We can't just classify all immigrants as guests and tell them they are just just live here, and are not part of the country. According to me, once you being to live in a country, it becomes your country and as long as you are there, you are its citizen, regardless of what the gov't thinks.

P.S: Don't worry India would never do such a thing, if it does I am revoking my citizenship.




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