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"ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਵਿਰੁੱਧ ਕੁਫ਼ਰ ਤੋਲਣ ਵਾਲੇ, ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਦੇ ਵਿਰੁੱਧ ਬੋਲਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਸੋਧਣਾ ਹਰ ਗੁਰਸਿੱਖ ਦਾ ਫ਼ਰਜ਼ ਹੈ। ਇਹੋ ਜਿਹੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਨੂੰ ਜੇ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਅਤਿਵਾਦੀ ਕਹਿੰਦੀ ਹੈ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ ਅਤਿਵਾਦੀ ਹਾਂ।"
- Bhai Ranjit Singh (Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib)

Events to mark Filing of the first Religious Freedom Cases against France

December 12, 2008
Source: Mejindarpal Kaur

New York, NY - United Sikhs lawyers are filing on Monday 15th December 2008, the first cases against France since the law was passed in 2004 banning religious signs in schools, including the Sikh turban. The European Court of Human Rights (EctHR) last month dismissed a similar application by a French Sikh against France on grounds that even though the Sikh’s religious freedom had been violated by France, it was justified because the Turban is a security threat.

On December 13th: A Sikh Civil Rights Debate will be held along with the release of United Sikhs Global Civil Rights Report and a Lively Discussion by Sikh Leaders, Organizations, and Youth on Major Civil Rights Issues Faced by the Sikh Community World-wide.

Where: The Columbia Room, 4 W43rd St. NY, NY 10036
When: 2:30-5:30 pm

On December 14th: United Sikhs will be presenting the French and Belgian turban cases to the Sikh sangat

Where: Glenrock Gurdwara, 541 Prospect St., Glenrock, NJ 07452
When: 1:00-1:45 pm

On December 15th: United Sikhs Files Against France the Right To Turban (RTT) Cases Before the United Nations to Defend the Right to Education and Right to Dignity and Freedom of Religion also a Panel Discussion : Defending the Right to Faith, Belief, and Dignity in the Post 9/11 World

Where: United Nations Church Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, NY, NY 10017
When: December 15th - From 1:30-4:30 pm

The Sikh community globally is very disturbed by the decision of the EctHR. The application before the UN Human Rights Committee is therefore critical to the Sikhs who regard the Turban as an integral part of their being. A Turban wearing Sikh never removes his Turban, as is evident from the most public Sikh person, Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

The media conference will be followed by a Panel Discussion titled ‘Defending Freedom of Faith, Belief and Dignity in a Post 9/11 World’. The panel will comprise Chip Pitts, the president of the Bill of Rights Defence committee and former chair of Amnesty International, and representatives from ACLU, Human Rights Watch, EEOC, United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF),

UN Church Center 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 1.30pm 15th December 2008

Time Item
1:30 – 1:45 pm Registration of Delegates
1:55 – 2:10 pm Film – “Fighting For My Crown”
2:10 – 2:30 pm Briefing by United Sikhs Legal Team
2:30 – 3:00 pm Media Q&A
3:00 - 3:45 pm Panel A on “Defending Freedom of Faith and Belief in a Post 9/11 World”, Q&A
3:45 – 4:30 pm Panel B on “Defending Freedom of Faith and Belief in a Post 9/11 World – A Sikh Perspective”, Q&A
4:30 – 5:00 pm Address by Delegates
5:00 – 5:10 pm Closing remarks by United Sikhs
5:10 – 5:15 pm Vote of thanks by Kuldip Singh, United Sikhs Director

Panel A - Defending Faith, Belief and Dignity in the post 9/11 World
Chair: Avtar Singh, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)
Multi-faith Dialogue: A Solution for Democracy
---Lucinda Mosher, Interim Executive Director, Religions for Peace
Right to Dignity Post 9/11 - Achieving a Balance Between the Common Space and the Private Space
---Lynne Kates, Education and Outreach Center for Constitutional Rights
Laicite (French Secularity): the new oppressor of freedom?- Right To Turban (RTT) a case in point
---Clive Baldwin, Senior Legal Advisor, Human Rights Watch
How does a community without borders defend its civil and human rights (A challenge for the Sikh community)
---Chip Pitts, Board President, Bill of Rights Defense Committee,
Previous Chairman of Amnesty International USA
Hyper-secularism and Security: Twin Threats to Religious Liberty
---Eric Rassbach, National Litigation Director, The Becket Fund for Religious Freedom
Is legal advocacy an Effective Tool for Securing Freedom of Faith, Belief and Dignity for Minorities
---Dan Mach, ACLU National Litigation Director for Religious Freedom Projects
International Religious Freedom and U.S. Foreign Policy
---Bridget Kustin, South Asia Researcher,
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
We Shall Overcome
---Dr I J Singh, Author and NYU Professor

Panel B - Defending Faith, Belief and Dignity in the post 9/11 World -
A Sikh Perspective
Chair: Daljeet Singh, Chairman of Dharam Parchar Committee, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC)
Why is the Turban quintessential to the Sikh identity?
---Harpreet Singh, Legal Director, United Sikhs
The Sikh Response to Civil Rights Challenges post 9/11
---Amardeep Singh, Executive Director, The Sikh Coalition
Sikh values, history and civil rights
---Gurbachan Singh
Faith, Belief and Dignity as tested in the last five centuries
---Dr. Amarjit Singh
Sikh global problems and local solutions
---Dabinderjit Singh, The Sikh Federation UK
Legislative Reform to protect religious rights for minorities in the USA
---Harpreet Singh, ex-Council Member, Richmond California
Sikhs Civil Rights Declarations and Recommendations
---Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney, United Sikhs

Source: Mejindarpal Kaur, Legal Director, United Sikhs


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