The World Sikh Organisation (WSO) expresses its concern over the decision of the Akal Academy in Punjab to force non-Sikh students to wear turbans, an essential part of the Sikh identity. Sikhism is a faith of tolerance and respect for all others. “Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are cornerstones of the Sikh faith said,” Ram Raghbir Singh Chahal, WSO’s International President.
In 1675, the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Jee, in continuing the unwavering stance of the preceding Sikh Gurus against religious intolerance, sacrificed his life defending the right of non-Sikhs to practice their faith freely. Sikhs throughout history have been guided by this devotion to the principles of religious freedom and have not forced their beliefs onto others. In fact, they have worked and fought to defend the rights of all others to believe and practice as they wish. “The sanctity of the our religious scriptures (Guru Granth Sahib) should be preserved rather than the brick walls of a school,” said, Gian Singh Sandhu, WSO’s Senior Policy Advisor.
WSO urges the management of the Akal Academy to reconsider its decision in light of Sikh principles and to ensure that freedom of religion and expression are enshrined in its curriculum and practices, as required by the Sikh faith.
The World Sikh Organization (WSO) is a non-profit international organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Sikh Diaspora, 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.
For more information, please contact Maj (retd.) Jasbeer Singh, Media Relations, Tel. 780-457-3333, Cell. 780-235-6000, Email: [email protected]
Gian Singh Sandhu, Tel. 250-305-2440, Email: [email protected]