Apparently I’m Raising Eyebrows At…

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Equality, Human Rights, Sikhism

On 19th March I wrote this article, asking whether; given that Sikhs are currently arguing their case for being allowed to carry swords to work, should we allow Jedis to carry lightsabers too?

It has been picked up by who have done me a wonderful favour by reproducing the entire article in a forum post. This kind act has generated me extra traffic over the past few days which is much appreciated.

It’s funny to me how they failed to see the sarcasm in my article, and I did chuckle at their response:

I would like to inform SPN membership that this article is the result of auto-posting by a news service.

It was not posted by a real human being among our membership. Obviously someone did write this article, which I personally find to be snide and derisive.

It makes light of matters of faith and constitutionally protected expressions of faith and speech, not to mention being derisive of Sikhism as practiced and adhered to by many of the panth.

It sets up a straw man argument by using terms such as “armed to the teeth.” Wearing a kirpan is hardly that.

So please do not think this article in any way represents the views of SPN leadership or any critical mass of its membership.

Thank you,
Narayanjot Kaur

So there you have it. I’m “derisive and snide”. Well, in response to that I guess I am pretty snide about kids using religion as an excuse to carry knives. It’s a ridiculous idea and anybody who argues in favour of it deserves to be ridiculed.

As the wonderfully funny Hardeep Singh Kohli points out in a recent Guardian article the kirpan is a remnant of a time when Sikhs actually had a need for a dagger because they were in genuine danger. There is no conflict with the teachings of Sikhism to wear a small dagger necklace or badge. There is no requirement for an actual size, bona fide dagger. So this ridiculous argument that we’re discriminating by refusing to allow such weapons doesn’t really stand up.

Just because a person makes a personal choice that they would like to wear a dagger, then tries to claim they HAVE to because of their religion, is not sufficient grounds to allow armed children.

A young atheist is banned from carrying a dagger to college . To make an exception for a Sikh, based on nothing more than that Sikhs personal interpretation of an ancient superstition, is more discriminatory than maintaining one rule for all.

I’m glad Hardeep Singh Kohli sees sense and gives us proof that Narayanjot Kaur from doesn’t speak for all Sikhs.

  1. Amar Singh says:

    “I’m glad Hardeep Singh Kohli sees sense and gives us proof that Narayanjot Kaur from doesn’t speak for all Sikhs.”

    So I can assume that your views on religion are shared by all atheists?

    Instead of listening to people or reading news reports, do some actual research into it yourself and then may be you will be able to comment on whether or not it is a requirement for an initiated Sikh or not.

    Hardeep Singh Kohli is not a devout Sikh, so may be look for a better and more reliable source? Its like asking someone who believes in God about there views on atheism. Pretty stupid, No?

    • I’ve never suggested or implied my views are shared by all atheists. So your assumption is pretty misplaced. Narayanjot Kaur spoke for the “critical mass of [SPN’s] membership” in his forum post. This may well be true, the point I made was that he doesn’t speak for all Sikhs. Hardeep Singh Kohli may only be one Sikh, but he is a Sikh none the less. Therefore, by definition, Narayanjot Kaur doesn’t speak for all Sikhs.

      I would like to know the logical pathway you took to reach the conclusion that I thought I spoke for all atheists. It is a major jump in logic.

      What you seemingly fail to realise is that in every single religion, anything which is a “requirement” is so because of the personal interpretation of a human being at some point in history. There are no “requirements”. Only opinions of people who’ve maintained ancient superstitions. What you call a “requirement” is so because many millions of people before you were alive also said, or wrote, it was so.

      You speak negatively of Hardeep Singh Kohli; and even draw a parallel between asking a religious believer about atheism, attempting to imply that Hardeep is as much a Sikh as a religious follower is an atheist. In other words you are suggesting Hardeep Singh Kohli knows nothing about being a Sikh. Simply because he doesn’t prescribe to the same personal interpretation of a Sikh’s “requirements” as you do.

      So in answer to your question; no it is not stupid to cite Hardeep Singh Kohli’s opinion on this matter. Your attempt to cast his opinion as unreliable based on nothing more than the accusation he is not as “devout” as you fall on deaf ears here.

      By implying that it would be stupid of me to ask a believer in god about their views on atheism, I must infer that you believe one can only hold opinions about their own personal religious belief. Seemingly I’m not allowed to have an opinion on anything relating to religion as I myself am an atheist. If that were true what an ignorant world we would live in.

      It is clear you view Hardeep with contempt. It’s a shame you miss the fact that he speaks with common sense. The position you advocate; where I can only speak of things I personally believe; and where I can only listen to the opinions of those who believe in whatever they’re talking about, does nothing but stifle discussion and learning. That seems much more stupid than listening to the opinion of Hardeep Singh Kohli. It could be argued that your use of the word “devout” is also misplaced as it relates to the level of commitment someone has to their faith. Hardeep appears to be committed and simply disagrees with your own implied interpretation regarding the kirpan.

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