Emeryville, California, USA: Harassed. Insulted. Embarrassed and humiliated are just few words to express how a Sikh couple felt after trying to have a fun night out at the movies. Like fellow Americans, a Sikh gentleman, Mr. Manjot Singh, took his wife out to the movies on a Saturday evening. Upon arrival at the AMC Movie Theatre in Emeryville, CA, Mr. Singh was singled-out at the concession stand. Mr. Singh reported, “As I headed back to the theater, tailed by guards, a manager took me aside and asked to speak with me.” He said, “I understand you are carrying a weapon sir.”. The manager said “I know all about Sikhs and we have a zero tolerance policy towards weapons.” Mr. Singh’s repeated explanations that his kirpan was not an offensive weapon but an article of faith were brushed away and ignored by the AMC Manager.
“My kirpan reminds me of my duty to my faith and a reminder to uphold justice and human-rights. To be singled out and reminded that I am a second class citizen and not truly American, even though I was born and raised here…is painful.” said Mr. Singh.
The couple contacted UNITED SIKHS for legal assistance. We are always working to ensure that Sikhs in America may enjoy religious freedom to wear the Kirpan as enjoyed in other western countries, e.g., in Canada and the UK. UNITED SIKHS is prepared to take all necessary measures to protect Mr Singh’s religious freedom rights, which are also guaranteed by the first amendment to the US constitution.“This continuous attack on religious freedom must be stopped,” said UNITED SIKHS Advocacy Director, Manvinder Singh.
UNITED SIKHS is requesting your help globally: please sign this petition. Help this couple secure their basic rights. By signing this petition, you will help make a difference for Sikhs across America. Upholding the 5 Ks or Kakaar’s (mandatory articles of faith for initiated Sikhs) are just as sacred to Sikhs as the Ten Commandments are sacred to the practicing Christian. Let’s fight for our rights and what we deserve in America.
UNITED SIKHS encourages you to read and share our Know Your Rights Manual. Help spread the word to your friends and family to help protect the civil and human rights of all. 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.
Source: United Sikh Org