The San Jose Mercury on Sunday ran an interesting article by Sargunjot Kaur regarding the challenges that Sikhs face in maintaining their custom of wearing turbans and beards while seeking to serve with public agencies like the Army and Police.
“Every Sikh should be able to engage in every job. We all have equal rights, and we are not going to kill our faith to gain those rights,” said Mohinder Singh, 67, head priest at San Jose Sikh Temple. “Doesn’t America mean freedom? Then why are Sikhs being pushed to give up their religion?”
For Sikhs, uncut hair, symbolizing the perfection of creation, is one of the five outward symbols of their faith. The turban and beard are the most visible signs of a (male) Sikh. In keeping with their religious vows to protect the innocent, Sikhs have served proudly in both military and police forces around the world. In the US, they are slowly gaining the right to serve without violating their religious convictions.
- Sikhs fight for right to wear turbans, beards in military, law enforcement
(San Jose Mercury News)