Update: Good News Rescue Mission Welcomes Sikhs

April 3, 2003

Source: Record Searchlight


On April 3, 2003 the Record Searchlight reported that the "Good News Rescue Mission has notified local Sikhs that their services are no longer welcome... A March 27 letter from mission director the Rev. Jim Dahl to Kawaljit Singh followed an earlier conversation between the men. Singh said Dahl's message was clear in the two-page letter... 'They basically said they didn't want people helping at the mission who weren't Christians,' Singh said Wednesday... Dahl explained that he and others, whom he declined to identify, were increasingly troubled with what they viewed as the Sikhs' self-promotion. Some churches have recently expressed discomfort with the presence of Sikhs, who have served three meals at the mission since shortly after Sept 11, 2001... 'At first we had them there to help people know that just because someone has a turban and they're different doesn't mean they're terrorists,' said Dahl, who was named mission director Feb. 1... 'We've had them come back but it seemed they kept adding to the platform of Sikhism. We're not religious-based but Christian-based. And Sikhism is not a Christian-based religion. They come here wearing the turban. It was the promotional part — inviting the media — that got to us. And each time, there was more coverage.' Singh said the Sikhs never sought press coverage and that self-promotion is the antithesis of Sikh beliefs."