Sikh Outcry Against Religious Symbols Ban Surprises Government Officials

January 7, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On January 7, 2004 The New York Times reported on the French Sikh community's request of an exemption for their turbans from to the preposed ban of religious symbols in public schools: "The Sikhs' outcry so late in the game has stunned and dismayed French officials and experts involved in the commission. 'Why didn't the Sikhs come forward, why didn't they protest while we were doing our investigation?' Bernard Stasi, who led the commission that produced the report, said in an interview. 'I have finished my job and it's too late to change the report. Now it's in the government's hands.' He acknowledged that no French Sikhs were among the more than 200 people interviewed by his commission during its six-month investigation."