WSO Calls on India to End Mob Lynchings & Protect Minorities

Ottawa (July 25, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is gravely concerned by the increasing number of mob lynching attacks perpetrated by radical Hindutva terror groups and calls on the Indian government to do more to protect minorities.

Attacks on religious minorities have been escalating since 2014. In the past two months, over 20 murders by radical Hindu “cow protector” lynch mobs of mainly Muslim victims have been reported across India. 

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Canadian Sikhs Bodies Call For Action on Afghan Sikh/Hindu Issue

Ottawa (July 11, 2018):  Following the tragic suicide bombing attack against a delegation of Afghan Sikh and Hindu leaders on July 1, in Jalalabad that took 19 lives, over 50 Canadian Sikh gurdwaras and organizations from across the country have joined together to call on the Canadian government to help save Afghanistan's minority Sikh and Hindu communities.  Meetings and press conferences were organized by major Sikh gurdwaras and societies in the Toronto and Vancouver areas last weekend. The press conferences were also attended by members of Alberta MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar's family.  Bhullar championed the cause of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus before his tragic passing in November 2015.  The gurdwaras and societies have urgently called on the Canadian government to:

  1.    Recognize Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan as vulnerable minorities and develop an appropriate plan of action to directly evacuate them from their current situation without requiring them to first go to a third country.  
  2.    Fast-track the files of the 65 Afghan Sikh & Hindu refugee families who have been privately sponsored and whose files are under process.

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, "the situation for Afghanistan's Hindus and Sikhs continues to deteriorate. Gurdwaras and Sikh societies from across Canada are united on this matter- urgent action is needed to save these vulnerable minorities before it is too late. Before his passing in November 2015, Manmeet Singh Bhullar championed this issue and brought it to the attention of the Canadian Government.  We need the Government of Canada to urgently act to process the refugee applications of these vulnerable minorities on an expedited basis and to create a program that would allow Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan to be directly evacuated to Canada. We fear that any further delay may result in further tragedy and loss of life." 

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status

WSO Condemns Deadly Blast Targeting Sikh Minority in Afghanistan

Ottawa (July 1, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply disturbed by the suicide bomb attack on a Sikh and Hindu delegation today in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, which killed at least 19.  The delegation of Sikhs and Hindus was going to meet Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani. According to reports and sources reporting to the WSO on the ground, the delegation included many high-profile Sikh leaders and community elders from Jalalabad and Kabul.

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WSO Statement on Edson Mosque Arson

Calgary (June 20, 2018): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply concerned by the mosque fire in Edson, Alberta over the weekend. Fire officials believe the blaze, which took place during the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr was the result of arson. The fire damaged the entrance to the mosque.

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WSO Announces New Executive Director

Toronto (June 19, 2018): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Jaskaran Singh Sandhu as Executive Director.

Jaskaran is a Toronto area lawyer and community advocate who earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 2008, and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Windsor Law School in 2011.

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WSO Welcomes Supreme Court Decision on Religious Membership

Ottawa (June 1, 2018). The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark case of Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses v. Randy Wall (‘Wall’). This case deals with the right of a private religious organizations to decide their own membership. In a unanimous 9-0 decision released yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the appeal and affirmed that courts will not interfere in the decisions of private organizations. The WSO was an intervener in this case.

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WSO & Peel School Board Launch Sikh E-Module

Brampton (May 28, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada, in partnership with the Peel District School Board, today launched the Sikh Faith E-Module. The E-Module, intended for students, their families, staff and our community partners will share information on Sikh faith, culture, heritage and much more. The Sikh Faith E-Module is the culmination of several years of collaboration and effort and will provide information on best practices when interacting with and educating Sikh students.  The launch took place today at North Park Secondary School in Brampton. 

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WSO Human Rights Defender Alert: G.N. Saibaba Denied Adequate Medical Treatment in Custody

Ottawa (April 25, 2018):  Disabled activist and teacher G.N. Saibaba continues to face serious health issues while being held in Nagpur Central Jail in India.  Saibaba was convicted and sentenced by a Maharashtra court to life in prison under Indian anti-terror laws on March 7, 2017 after being accused of “unlawful activities”, conspiring to commit a “terrorist act” and “membership of a terrorist organization.”  Saibaba is, according to reports, 90% disabled and requires the assistance of a wheelchair.  He also suffers from several other serious health ailments including acute pancreatitis, cardiac complications, hypertension and a spinal disorder that inhibits use of his left should and hand. 

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WSO Calls on Montreal Police to Accommodate Turbans

Ottawa (April 12, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada has written to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Montreal police chief, Martin Prud’homme in support of the call for the accommodation of religious headgear such as turbans and hijabs by the by the Montreal police.  The issue had recently been raised by Montreal city councillor Marvin Rotrand. 

Rotrand noted that federal defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, who served as a police officer in Vancouver, may not have had his application processed had he applied in Montreal because of his turban. 

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Overwhelming Response to #AskCanadianSikhs Forums

Ottawa (April 11, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada received an overwhelming response to a series of panels it hosted this past weekend in Edmonton, Surrey and Brampton entitled, “#AskCanadianSikhs: When Canadian Sikhs Spoke Out”. The panels featured prominent U.K. journalist Sunny Hundal as well as other public relations and media specialists. Hundreds of young Canadian Sikhs and others, including journalists and members of other community organizations attended the events in person and thousands more via the online stream.

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