Friday, November 21, 2008

Sikh Americans and The Union Mission of Roanoke Rapids, NC


The incident reportedly occurred at the Union Mission facility in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Mr. Khera and his wife went to the facility to make a donation for a Thanksgiving Food Drive and expressed interest in sending their children to the facility during the Thanksgiving holidays to serve food to the needy.

Upon entering the facility, Mr. Khera was told by a receptionist that “this is the United States” and that he needed to remove his Dastaar (turban). When Mr. Khera attempted to explain the religious significance of the Dastaar, the receptionist refused to speak with him. When the Reverend in charge of the facility was summoned, Mr. Khera offered a handshake, but the Reverend reportedly refused to reciprocate and asked Mr. Khera and his wife to leave the facility, saying: “Go donate to some other place; we do not need your donations unless you remove your turban.”

Every Sikh Gurdwara—place of worship—throughout the world has operated the Guru Ka Langar—free community kitchen—for more than five centuries. At each Guru Ka Langar, volunteers of all faiths serve free meals to all visitors, regardless of race, religion, gender, caste, or social standing. In keeping with this tradition, Sikh Americans throughout the United States have routinely partnered with churches and other places of worship to feed the homeless and provide relief to victims of natural disasters.

“We are profoundly offended that a community center would repudiate a Sikh American because of his religion and refuse his Thanksgiving donation,” said Rajbir Singh Datta, National Director of SALDEF. “Religious discrimination has no place in the United States, and we call upon Union Mission to issue a written apology to Mr. Khera and the entire Sikh American community and work with SALDEF on efforts to celebrate religious diversity in the cause of helping the less fortunate.”

SALDEF urges you to contact the Union Mission of Roanoke Rapids to express your disappointment.

We commend Mr. Gurnam Singh Khera for bringing this matter to our attention. If you or your children experience discrimination, harassment, or violence because of your Sikh faith, please notify SALDEF at or via phone at (202) 393-2700.

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
1413 K St, NW, 5th floor | Washington, DC 20005
phone: 202-393-2700 | fax: 202-318-3344 |

Background information: Skihism is a religion primarily praticed in India.
See Also: Salvation Army and English ONLY


PuertoVallartaGirl said...

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Damn Mexicans said...

LOL, yeah the name's a gimmick to get people to click on us in search results. I added the gadget :)