Turban ban prompts race debate in Republic…

THE Metropolitan Police Sikh Association has strongly criticised the Irish Republic’s police service over its refusal to allow a Sikh man in training for the Garda Reserve to wear a turban while on duty. The man has been told to wear a standard issue hat, prompting a debate in the south over whether immigrants should adapt to the values and norms of their new home, or whether their adopted country should show greater respect towards other religions and cultures. Elsewhere, Bock the Robber admits a degree of confusion (but comes down against the turban), while the response from Stormfront Ireland is predictable. On the other side of the fence, Sikhnet has started a campaign to overturn the ban. Wonder what the PSNI policy is? UPDATE: Will Crawley covered this debate in Sunday Sequence, which can be heard here. Noteably, Irish Integration Minister Conor Lenihan dodges the issue of whether it’s OK for Gardai to wear crosses or crucifixes… UPDATE 2: The PSNI has said: “Ethnic minorities in the PSNI will be allowed to wear a turban or other religious headwear on duty, provided it does not pose a safety risk”.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Brian Boru

    “Considering that Muslim Turkey actually bans the hijab in its own parliament and civil-service, I don’t see why we should have to be the ones to take a more liberal line.”

    Why don’t you see? Is it not blatantly obvious?

    We aren’t Turkey (or Saudi Arabia, or Iran…) where the state dictates how a citizen can dress. The principle here is religious tolerance – it differentiates us from tin pot middle eastern regimes.

    Harry Flashman

    “Incidentally why has no one who supports the turban wearer addressed the issue of a ban Garda in a burkha?”

    Because it’s similar to the issue of orangmen in priestly robes – there is no such issue. If you wear a burkha you’ll hardly be applying to join the Gardai as your religious beliefs will preclude you from basic activities like being in the company of a male who isn’t your father, husband, brother, etc, etc.

    “Or indeed as mentioned above a Rastafarian Garda in dreadlocks smoking dope?”.

    Likewise with rastafarianism – Police = Babylon. And smoking dope is against the law. Wearing a turban is not illegal (Ireland isn’t Saudi Arabia) and, afaik, there is no conflict between Sikhism and being a cop.

  • “We aren’t Turkey (or Saudi Arabia, or Iran…) where the state dictates how a citizen can dress.”

    On a point of information, that is exactly what we do when it comes to uniforms of the state police and the national army. We dictate exactly how a citizen dresses when he is in the police, down to the type of buttons on his jacket.

  • DK

    I think that the Guarda should change their rules. On the other hand, as a reciprocal gesture, it would be nice for the Sikhs to change their rules too. After all, a cop displaying outwardly their belief system is no longer perceived as impartial by the public and the relationship between the police and the public degraded as a result. Same logic that led to the RUC being given a makeover.

    Paid: “I suppose if Mr de Mendes was wearing a turban the Met wouldn’t have shot him for the crime of resembling a paki in a tube station”

    Have you ever been to a tube station? There are plenty of people “resembling a paki” – so your reason is nonsense. And your racism is noted.

  • Comparing the niqab and the turban is not valid and here’s why. For civil liberties reasons, officers must be identifiable (especially since the Guards vigorously dispersed some “activists” in Dublin a while back). The turban does not hinder this. The niqab does.

  • Ulster McNulty

    But we do

    “On a point of information, that is exactly what we do when it comes to uniforms of the state police and the national army. We dictate exactly how a citizen dresses when he is in the police, down to the type of buttons on his jacket.”

    Maybe you do in your country, they certainly do in Turkey, Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    But not here in the UK or Ireland, we don’t dictate what people should wear in order to conform to the official state religion (or official state secularism).

  • Pounder

    You miss the point Ulster. In the armed forces (which the cops are part of) you do have to conform to what the brass orders you to wear. There is a reason for the Uniform, as I pointed out on the last page, so that the public the be assured a uniform standard of service. You conform to fit the service not the other way arround, if you don’t like that don’t serve.

    In my opinion too many Sikh’s and Islamists expect the world to change to accomodate them. This is a western country and sure accomodations can be made to make them feel welcome as they certainly add to the multi-culturism you don’t see Jew’s Christians or athiests making similar demands.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Pounder

    “You miss the point Ulster..”

    No, I didn’t miss the point. My point was that in this part of the world the state doesn’t perscribe what people should or shouldn’t wear on the basis of religion (or secularism).

    The fact that the police, the army, staff in McDonalds, postmen, care assistant’s, pilots, nurses, firmen, shopworkers, etc,etc have to wear a uniform has nothing to do with any set of religious or secularist principles in this part of the world.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Pounder

    “you don’t see Jew’s Christians or athiests making similar demands.”

    That’s because their religion doesn’t require them to wear turbans, funnily enough.

  • Dawkins

    Atheists have religion? LOL

    And I do wish peeps would get the spelling right. Remember the rhyme: “I before E except after TH.”

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Erm, without wishing to be too simplistic…

    Monty Panesar (a practicing Sikh as far as I’m aware) manages to wear a baseball cap on top of his head with his no doubt luxuriant hair concealed in a patka when playing cricket for England. It seems to fit quite nicely. I’ve heard nobody condemning Mudhsuden for wearing a smaller and more practical version of a turban, includig the Sikh fashion police.

    Might I suggest that this recruit tries a patka as opposed to getting the loony liberal left to start condemning An Garda Siochana for a pretty standard uniform policy?

  • Pounder

    Dawkins I know Athiests don’t have a religion. However given the nature of our non-beliefs there are many things we could take offence to if we where so inclined. Instead we get on with it as do Jews Christians and others. It seems to me that Muslims and Sikh’s go to great lengths to make themselves victims of discrimination.

    The types of people who get on this way want to take a hard look at the boxer Amir Khan, he is a devout Muslim yet is proud to be British and celebrates his wins flying the Union Flag despite the fact that the flag is made up of the crosses of Christian Saints.

  • Dawkins

    Pounder,

    Why do you think Muslims and Sikhs distinguish themselves by taking offence, and other theists don’t?

  • Pounder

    It’s just an impression I’ve gotten. They seem to start riots at the drop of a hat in mainland Britain and France Threaten Jihad’s unless their every whim is jumped up to. In perticular the protest of the Danish cartoons. The western countries have a fine tradition of slagging off all and sundry via the medium of cartoon and media, yet only Muslims felt the need to take to the street in their hundreds and thousands threatening “death to those who insult Mohammad”. Truely a religion of peace and tollerance. The average Muslim Cleric makes even a wack job like Phred Phelps seem calm and reasonable.

  • “The fact that the police, the army, staff in McDonalds, postmen, care assistant’s, pilots, nurses, firmen, shopworkers, etc,etc have to wear a uniform has nothing to do with any set of religious or secularist principles in this part of the world.”

    I didn’t say it was. You claimed that the state doesn’t dictate what people wear. I correctly stated that when it comes to Police & Army it does.

    In every country in the world police wear a uniform of the states choice. That is the state dictating what people wear. Plain, simple, fact.

  • Dawkins

    Pounder,

    I can understand the Sikhs feeling persecuted. This seems to have been their default position for hundreds of years, with not a little blame attaching itself to the Muslims.

    I can also understand that the older ones feel a bit uncertain about their religion’s future. After all, young Sikhs in the Subcontinent are turning their backs on the more outlandish customs such as — yes! — turban-wearing and the non-cutting of hair.

    But what’s the Muslims’ excuse? Their religion is the fastest growing on the planet. They’re sweeping all before them, even in Europe. Why should they feel persecuted or beleaguered? I have to say I’m baffled.

  • No Comment

    We will be denied some student claiming an arrest was illegal because the guy did not have a polics hat on.

    OH! The shame of it.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    ‘We aren’t Turkey (or Saudi Arabia, or Iran…) where the state dictates how a citizen can dress. The principle here is religious tolerance – it differentiates us from tin pot middle eastern regimes’

    The US and France dictates how public servants dress,and the UK too to a degree. A secular code is the order of the day all round.
    Remember the recent debacle over the dress codes for Muslim females and Jewish boys in schools in France. Remember in the UK the female Muslim teacher who had to remove her veil when teaching in class. Remember the airline employee who was prevented from wearing the crucifix around her neck.
    The Garda dress code and how they see it is to be impartial when representing the law, to show no affiliation to any creed or code but the law of the RoI.

    However, in time it may change when the Sikh community reach more substantial levels in the RoI like the UK and attitudes change. The same for NI as the economy picks up.

    To each their god etc…….and may they keep it solely to themselves please.

  • Dawkins

    “To each their god etc…….and may they keep it solely to themselves please.”

    Amen :0)

  • Sue

    Well done to Amanda Burton for asking UK police to fit guns with smaller triggers ot end discrimination against women!