The Irish Sikh Council has called for Sikhs to be allowed to wear turbans instead of caps when they join the Garda.
The call follows a case where a Sikh who volunteered to join the Garda Reserve was refused permission to wear his turban as part of his uniform. The Garda Síochána today rejected the call for any variation in the standard uniform.
Sikhs do not cut their hair for religious reasons and are obliged to cover it with a turban instead.
According to Harpreet Singh, President of Irish Sikh Council, asking a Sikh community member to get rid of his turban "is like asking him to remove his head".
Mr Singh instead called for Sikh gardaí to be allowed wear a turban carrying the insignia of An Garda Síochána instead of a standard issue hat.
"We strongly believe and accept that as an immigrant community we should respect and adopt cultural values of Irish community," he said. "But we would like to stress that integration is a two-way process. Integration can never be brought about by asking the migrant communities to give up their basic beliefs."
He said Sikhs in police and defence forces in the United States, Britain, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, and India are permitted to wear turbans. [Link]
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