Sikhs 'golden turban' protest over French ban

7th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

AMRITSAR, India, April 6 (AFP) - A Sikh organisation here called Tuesday on Sikhs worldwide to don a golden turban on April 13 - their holy day - to protest a French ban on such religious symbols in state schools.

AMRITSAR, India, April 6 (AFP) - A Sikh organisation here called Tuesday on Sikhs worldwide to don a golden turban on April 13 - their holy day - to protest a French ban on such religious symbols in state schools.

Manjit Singh Randhawa, of the "Sikh Nation Organisation", said they had also asked the United Nations to intervene in the matter.

"We have taken up the issue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights at United Nation office in Geneva," Randhawa told a gathering of hundreds of Sikhs here.

"The ban is unjustified and unreasonable," he added. "It's a direct attack and interference on the personal liberty on school going children."

The French parliament has passed a law to come into effect in September prohibiting conspicuous religious symbols in the classroom, including Islamic headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses.

The decision, intended to reflect France's strict separation of religion and state, has set off a storm of Muslim protests around the world.

Sikhism, founded in the late 15th century, requires men to wear turbans and forbids followers from cutting their hair.

There are some 20 million Sikhs worldwide, most of them in the north Indian state of Punjab.

© AFP
                                                                 Subject: French news


 

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