Toronto Star: PQ legislation would ban religious symbols from government offices, schools, hospitals, paper says
Mukhbir Singh, the World Sikh Organization of Canada’s vice-president for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, said any such legislation is unnecessary, a likely violation of peoples’ individual rights of religious worship, and a distraction from more pressing public concerns like the economy. “There’s no problem that’s being solved by this,” he said in an interview. Quebec’s Sikh’s were singled out earlier this year after the provincial soccer federation banned turban-wearing boys from playing the game over unexplained safety concerns. The move provoked national outrage and international snickering, but was supported by Quebec Premier Pauline Marois. The Quebec Soccer Federation cancelled the turban ban only after an extraordinary intervention from FIFA, the sport’s international governing body, to say that turbans should be allowed on the field. The battle provoked expressions of support for Quebec’s Sikhs, but also profound concerns within their community, he said. “The worry is about where this is going to stop.”Read more
Meantime, Prem Singh Vinning, president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, condemned Sunday's vandalism. "We strongly condemn this act," he said. "Any attack on any religious place of gathering, it's not acceptable to society." As for the vandals, Vinning said, "The full force of the law should come to effect on these individuals. We should stand in solidarity with our Hindu community."Read more
“If they’re trying to cause friction between the two communities – I don’t think they’re going to succeed,” said World Sikh Organization of Canada president, Prem Vinning. “Acts like that only will bring us closer together where we stand up for one another as Canadians.”Read more
According to the executive director of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, Sukhvinder Kaur Vinning - who is an organ donor herself - the issue is a lack of knowledge. "(Organ donation) really fits well with our values as people and if our body can help someone, great," Vinning said. "It sincerely has to do with a lack of awareness of the idea, the lack of conversation, because this is not a conversation you have in India ...(and) there's always new immigrants coming (to Canada)."Read more
It's an unfortunate episode that should never have happened, says a Sikh spokesman, but some good resulted from the political and cultural furor over the Quebec soccer federation's now-reversed ban on Sikh head coverings.
"It should never have gotten so complicated to begin with," said Balpreet Singh of the World Sikh Organization of Canada.Read more
Prem Vinning of the World Sikh Organization of Canada told CTV News Channel Saturday that the Sikh community in Quebec was “relieved” the ban on players wearing the traditional Sikh turbans, patkas and keskis on the pitch had been dropped.Read more
The Quebec Soccer Federation announced Saturday that it reversed its decision to ban Sikh turbans from soccer pitches and as a result, had its suspension lifted from the Canadian Soccer Association.
The QSF's executive committee unanimously passed a motion on Friday to comply with the international governing body of soccer, FIFA, which allowed male players in Canada to wear head covers, said Brigitte Frot, QSF executive director.
The provincial federation may have one more hurdle, however. The head of the World Sikh Organization of Canada wants to see registration opened up again to accommodate kids who missed signing up because of the ban.Read more
“We hope [the Quebec federation] will do the sensible thing and lift the ban,” said Balpreet Singh, spokesman for the World Sikh Organization of Canada. “We look forward to the day when all children can play soccer regardless of their faith and background. At the end of the day, it was really about letting these kids play with their friends. It confuses us why it had to go this far.” He noted that registration for organized soccer is over and hoped the deadline would be extended to allow Sikh children around Montreal to return to the field.Read more
Mukhbir Singh, vice-president for Quebec and the Atlantic region for the World Sikh Organization, says he’s thankful for FIFA’s stance.
He said the public support has been uplifting and refreshing.Read more