Being a Junior in High School, and a Sikh American

April 24, 2003

Source: The Lawrence Ledger

On April 24, 2003 The Lawrence Ledger reported on "Parteek [Bansal, a junior at Lawrence {KS} High School.] As a practitioner of Sikhism — a religion of 22 million people that has roots in India — [Bansal] is required to wear a turban at all times and is not permitted to cut any hair on his body, resulting in a lengthy beard... Because the Sikh style of dress closely resembles that employed by bin Laden, Parteek — despite being neither Arab nor Muslim — has been the target of misguided rage since Sept. 11... He said that after Sept. 11, 2001, the Sikh community realized it would have to be proactive in educating others on the stark differences between their beliefs and that of al-Qaida... 'The only way to make people more knowledgeable about our religion was to become more involved with the community and to let the word out,' he said."