Kathuria Speaks Out Against French Ban on Religious Symbols

January 16, 2004

Source: Sikhnet


On January 16, 2004 the Sikhnet reported, "On Friday, January 16th, U.S. Senate hopeful Dr. Chirinjeev Singh Kathuria issued a strongly-worded statement outlining his position on proposed legislation in France that would make it illegal to wear obvious religious signs in schools.

Dr. Kathuria, a turbaned and bearded Sikh currently running in the Illinois Senate Republican primary, said in his statement, 'Freedom and acceptance is the key to secularism. Trampling over the rights of your own citizens...cannot achieve secularism.'

Next month, the French legislature will take up the issue of banning obvious religious symbols from schools. At issue are the Muslim veil, the Jewish skullcap, large Christian crosses and possibly the Sikh turban.

'Sikhs, like Muslims and Jews, cover their heads to show respect for the founders of their faith,' Kathuria said in his statement. 'For Sikhs, especially male Sikhs, turbans have always been an intrinsic part of their religion; it signifies liberation from slavery. Removing their turban is considered disgraceful and humiliating...'"