"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Educational Consultation with Department of Justice (CRS) on Sikh Culture

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole Speaks at the Community Relations Service Sikh Cultural Competency Training Preview

Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, September 19, 2012

“It is a great honor to join all of you as CRS previews the Department’s new cultural competency training. I would like to acknowledge the members of SALDEF, United Sikhs, the Sikh Coalition and the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination for their ongoing assistance and support for CRS. (emphasis added) I would also like to recognize Harpreet Singh Mokha, the Regional Director of CRS’ Philadelphia office, who will conduct today’s presentation.

This training could not be more timely. The tragic events in Oak Creek, Wisconsin just last month are a chilling reminder of the need to do all we can to foster tolerance, understanding, and respect among the diverse faiths, communities and peoples that make up America. Sikh Americans have been part of the American family for many decades – and in fact this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the first Sikh Gurdwara in the United States. Yet many do not understand the long history of the Sikh faith and culture in America. It is our hope that with greater understanding of that rich history and the contributions of Sikh Americans, there will be greater respect for our common humanity.”

#RaiseYourShield

Great talk! "Dr. Prabhjot Singh is on a mission to makes healthcare more accessible. His “a-ha moment” came as he attended the funeral of one of his patients where he saw the man in context of his life and community, rather than the bare facts included on his chart. Singh realized that this man’s death had been the result of the collective failure of many systems—education, mental health, neighborhood safety, job placement, veteran support. In Dying and Living in the Neighborhood, Singh insists that we must discard our top-down approach to the healthcare system and that regardless of our leadership, the solutions won’t come from our government. We must rebuild our system from the neighborhood up." ... See MoreSee Less

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THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND LEGAL
ASSIMILATION OF SIKHISM, BUDDHISM,
AND JAINISM INTO HINDUISM

"Article 25, sub-clause 1 of the Indian Constitution guarantees
that “subject to public order, morality and health,
all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience
and the right to freely to profess, practice and propagate
religion.”38 However, its sub-clause 2 (B) and its corresponding
Explanation II is considered very controversial.
While Explanation I states that the wearing and
carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in
the profession of the Sikh religion. Explanation II in
sub-clause 2 (B) states, “Hindus shall be construed as
including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain
or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious
institutions shall be construed accordingly.”39 This
constitutional provision is very discriminatory, as it connotes
that even as a multi-faith state, India seems to be
concerned about the social welfare of only one religion
(Hinduism) and its religious institutions. The appended
Explanation II effectively groups Sikhs, Buddhists, and
Jains into Hinduism. Explanation II has also led to other
discriminatory laws against these religions, including
the Hindu Succession Act (1956), Hindu Marriage Act
(1955), Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956),
and Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act (1956). These
laws are largely viewed to force legal assimilation of
these religions into Hinduism, rather than recognizing
them as distinct religious identities."
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