Sikhism

Popular Sikh Man Slain in Temple

January 25, 2000

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On January 25, 2000, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ajmer Singh Malhi, a 48-year-old Sikh man who was a popular teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland, California, was killed by a fellow Sikh during temple services at Gurdwara Sahib in El Sobrante, CA on Sunday, January 23rd. Joga Singh Sandher, a 35-year-old Sikh man from San Lorenza, CA, killed Malhi because he was upset that Malhi, in his role as temple secretary, prevented him from addressing the congregation. Sandher had addressed the congregation one...

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Domino's Settles Case Over Beard

January 8, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 8, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that Domino's Pizza announced that it has dropped its long-standing ban on bearded employees and settled a 12-year-old lawsuit that accused the company of discriminating against a Sikh man, Prabhjot S. Kohli of Catonsville, Maryland, who grew a beard in accordance with his religious beliefs. Tim McIntyre, vice president for corporate relations, stated that Domino's changed its policy because the public has become more accepting of beards. Kohli brought suit against Domino's in...

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Dating in the Sikh Community

December 22, 1999

Source: Long Island Voice

On December 22, 1999, the Long Island Voice published an article on the touchy topic of dating in the Sikh community of Long Island, New York. Currently, it is estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 Sikhs live on Long Island, many of whom are teenagers who wish to date. Dr. Jovita Crasta, assistant director of psychiatry at South Nassau Communities Hospital, stated: "Dating is considered a fearful thing for the Indians, because they see dating as licensed sex...Premarital sex is very strongly frowned on, especially for girls." One 19-...

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Gratitude Toward the Sikh Community of New Orleans

December 21, 1999

Source: The Times-Picayune

On December 21, 1999, The Times-Picayune published a letter written by Dominique Wheeler of the St. Philip Community Center, an agency of the Social Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Her letter thanks the Sikh community of New Orleans for their donation of food baskets which provided Thanksgiving meals to 55 families.

Sikh Cleric Cleared of Concealed Weapons Charge

December 7, 1999

Source: The Plain Dealer

On December 7, 1999, The Plain Dealer reported that the city of Mentor, Ohio dropped the concealed weapons charge against Gurbachan Singh Bhatia for carrying a kirpan. Through an interpreter, Bhatia stated: "I cried at night when I prayed to God...Since 1962, I have put it on." The kirpan was taken away from Bhatia on September 3rd in a minor traffic accident, when police officers noticed it and arrested him for carrying a concealed weapon. Mentor Prosecutor Ron Graham defended the actions of the police officers, stating that the...

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Sikh Cleric Cleared of Concealed Weapons Charge

December 6, 1999

Source: The Plain Dealer

On December 6, 1999, The Plain Dealer published an article on the upcoming court hearing for Gurbachan Singh Bhatia in Mentor, Ohio. Bhatia, who serves as a cleric for the Guru Gobind Singh Society of Cleveland, was arrested in September on a concealed weapons charge for carrying a kirpan. When members of his temple heard of the arrest, they launched an international campaign, informing the Sikh community via the Internet about Bhatia's case. The city of Mentor was flooded with phone calls and letters, including one from U.S....

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Sikh Ashram in Millis, Massachusetts

October 30, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 30, 1999, The Boston Globe published an article on the Sikh ashram in Millis, one of two Sikh communities in Massachusetts. The ashram, consisting of 25 housing units and a gurdwara, is comprised of Sikhs who lead typical suburban lives outside of the community, but are bonded by communal worship, meditation, and yoga practice. Jot Singh Khalsa, who lives in the Millis community, stated: "Living as a Sikh means trying to live each moment, each interaction, each relationship in a truthful way...Living in such close...

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Legal Fight Over Sikh-Owned Gas Station in Milwaukee

October 26, 1999

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On October 26, 1999, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article on the legal fight ensuing over a Sikh-owned gas station in an African-American neighborhood of Milwaukee. Neighbors have complained about the Citgo Quik Mart at Sherman Blvd and Capitol Drive which tends to attract loud noise, partying, and even gunfire from groups congregating at the station. Neighbors want the station shut down under a new city nuisance ordinance that has only been used against taverns and nightclubs. Raj Singh, spokesman for the...

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Sikh Temple in Washington Avoids Shut Down

October 2, 1999

Source: The Seattle Times

On October 2, 1999, The Seattle Times reported that the Sikh temple in Renton, WA fulfilled its obligation to put in landscaping, repair a roadway and erect new street lights on Talbot Road, and replace a wetland destroyed when the temple was built. The 23,000-square-foot temple opened last year with a temporary occupancy permit, but because of unfinished work, Renton's building official threatened to post a "No Occupancy" sign at the temple. Finishing the temple has been a point of contention for factions within the congregation...

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Sikh Priest Arrested for Carrying Kirpan

September 17, 1999

Source: The Plain Dealer

On September 17, 1999, The Plain Dealer reported that Gurbachan Singh Bhatia, a Sikh priest from Ohio, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after a minor traffic incident. The 69-year-old Bhatia, the first Sikh priest in Northern Ohio, was carrying a kirpan, or small knife, which is a Sikh religious symbol that shows one's willingness to defend one's faith. In previous court cases, the 1st District Ohio Court of Appeals overturned a Cincinnati Municipal Court conviction of a Sikh man for carrying a concealed weapon in...

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Sikh Summer Camp for Children

July 31, 1999

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On July 31, 1999, The Dallas Morning News published an article on Sikh Camp at the Sikh Temple of North Texas in Garland, TX. It is a two-week camp for children ages 5-14 that immerses Sikh children in their faith, which is an experience rarely felt in American culture. The camp, in its 14th year, has drawn 30 children this year. Ritika Vohra, whose two daughters attend the camp, stated: "This is an opportunity for them to socialize with one another, and that's one of the most important things that we can give them here."...

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Pluralism Project Affiliates Map Religious Diversity of Northern Ohio

July 31, 1999

Source: Akron Beacon Journal

On July 31, 1999 Akron Beacon Journal featured an article on the research of Northern Ohio's religious diversity by Pluralism Project affiliates. The "growth in religious diversity has been examined by two Kent State University researchers... Dr. David Odell-Scott, associate professor of philosophy... and Dr. Surinder M. Bhardwaj, a professor of geography... received a 1998 grant through the Pluralism Project at Harvard University to map the religious diversity of Northern Ohio... As a result of that work, the researchers have...

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Sikhs Celebrate 300th Anniversary of the Khalsa

April 19, 1999

Source: Sacramento Bee

On April 19, 1999, the Sacramento Bee reported on the 300th anniversary celebrations of the Khalsa which took place on Sunday, April 18th in Sacramento and Yuba City, California. Even with all of the celebrations, the Sikh New Year, Vaisakhi, is supposed to be reflective. Dr. Narinder Singh Parhar, a Roseville, CA internist who maintains Khalsa practice, explained that, "it's a time for (believers) to see if they've been good Sikhs. Are they sticking to the principles? Are they sticking to the causes?"

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