D I S C R I M I N A T I O N    &    N A T I O N A L    S E C U R I T Y    I N I T I A T I V E    --    B L O G
  DNSI Home - http://pluralism.org/affiliates/kaur_sidhu/
  Pluralism Project - http://www.pluralism.org
  Harvard University - http://www.harvard.edu


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Passport rejected for Sikh boy, 7

[Tejwinder Singh Rai] got a letter in the mail from the U.S. Department of State rejecting his son Arunvir Singh Rai's application for a passport, in part because his son, now 7, was wearing a religious head covering known as a rumal in his passport photo.

"This is our religion," said Tejwinder Singh Rai, 38. "When your hair grows, you have to cover it."

The letter arrived just a few days after the Transportation Security Administration adopted a policy giving the nation's 43,000 airport screeners the power to scrutinize travelers who wear head coverings and subject them to additional searches, angering Sikhs across the country.

"A turban is not just a hat," said Amardeep Singh, executive director of the Sikh Coalition, a Manhattan-based advocacy group. "It's not something you just flip on and off like a Yankees cap."

The letter said Arunvir's photographs could not be used "because hats or other headgear, which obscure the hair or hairline, may not be worn in passport photographs."

The federal government does allow religious headgear in passport photos, but any applicant wearing a head covering in a photo must submit a signed letter stating it is being worn for religious purposes, said James Lawrence, a spokesman for the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs. He said the rule, instituted in 1994, applies to all religions.

But Sikhs in the metropolitan area are growing tired of having to explain themselves. In the face of reprisals after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, they embarked on a campaign to tell the public who they are. Now, many of the 50,000 Sikhs on Long Island and in New York City feel they have to start all over again.

"The frustration for Sikhs in the United States is that our articles of faith, particularly the turban and the beard, have become synonymous with the image of a terrorist," Amardeep Singh said. "We tend to have to explain to everyone who we are and what our faith stands for." [Link]

Labels: , ,


DNSI     direct link     0 comments   Email post: 



0 Comments:
Post a Comment

<< Home



About DNSI

The Discrimination & National Security Initiative (DNSI) is a research entity that examines the mistreatment of minority communities during times of military action or national crisis.

More Info:
DNSI Home Page




The Blog

Why a Blog?
The purpose of this web-log is to offer news and commentary in a fluid, dynamic format while our more substantive reports are forthcoming.

Recent Posts
U.S. Security official aims for 'workable solution...
TSA Administrator Kip Hawley Responds to Sikh Comm...
DNSI Co-Sponsors Letter to DHS Secretary Chertoff ...
Wrap-up of Coverage of Reaction to TSA Turban Scre...
US flight delayed after Iraqi men — who train U.S....
Owner says club didn't mean to single out Sikh
Wrap-up of Today's Articles on TSA Policy Regardin...
BBC: Irish police to review turban ban
Washington Times: TSA rule angers Sikhs
Ireland: Sikh council will not challenge turban ba...

Archives
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009


Etc...

Religious Diversity News-Pluralism Project









Blogroll
Into the Whirlwind
Human Rights in India
IntentBlog
Ethnic Confusion Britain
MrSikhNet
Anil Kalhan
Islamicate
Ultrabrown
Sepia Mutiny

Feeds, etc.











(c) 2005 Discrimination & National Security Initiative 1531 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138