Every so often Sikhs make the local news and the uneducated masses have a field day talking about terrorists. Then a Sikh comes upon that page and has field day talking about how we are a misunderstood population and how the commenter’s are ignorant. Everyone talks about the issue for a few days in their own little groups and move on but no real effort is made to educate the masses. Sikhs have a few big groups like Saldef, United Sikhs and etc that try to take responsibility for educating people but it is not effect as possible because the general public is not so involved. All Sikhs must take equal responsibility to educate the masses. That is only possible if we understand why we are so misunderstood, stand strong in our faith and then make efforts to educate.
It is very important to understand that must people that make the negative comments, usually having nothing against Sikhs and in most cases don’t even know what it means to be Sikh. Their fear, their harsh words are all stem from the turban, which they associate with terrorists. While it is true that most people that carry out terrorist attacks don’t wear turbans, it is equally true the videos we are shown off terrorist training camps, they all wear turbans. When people think of terrorists they see the image of a guy wearing turban, doing target practice or they see Osama Bin Laden. The turban wearing people become root of the problem terrorism for people that are mad at terrorists after 9/11. Its not Sikhs they hate; its the turban wearing people they are shown on tv practicing for jihad, they hate.
They don’t hate Sikhs, yet fearing them Sikhs took off their turbans. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the Sikhs the turban, it could get you killed for wearing it. Where was the fear then? Back then Sikhs were proud of being Sikhs and challenged the practice of not being allowed to wear the turban. They held their head up high (with turban on top) and faced martyrdom instead of taking the turban off. Today you get Sikhs that use the fear of death and being called a terrorist to take off the turban the first chance they get. We rather be slaves t o other peoples thoughts and beliefs, then stick up for ours own beliefs. Sikhs need to break free, learn their history, get guidance from Guru Granth Sahib Ji and wear their turbans with pride.
Only when Sikhs are proud of their appearance, understand their religion and are firm in their belief, they can get the masses to understand them. If each Sikh wore their his or her turban with pride and lived a Gursikh lifestyle; how can anyone believe the tv images over real life people? Its not fliers, lectures or a million dollar campaigns that are going to people understand how Sikhs are and stop being hurtful towards the turban, It is going to be each Sikh wearing their turban with pride and being extra kind and clearing up misunderstandings of the people around them. Put on the turban and a great attitude and watch the people come to you to be educated about Sikhism. When Sikhs become hostile to questions because they think everyone thinks of them as terrorist anyways, it just makes matters worse.
A little bit of patients and lots of education is going to be the key to changing the image of the turban. Sikhs need to educate themselves on why people don’t like the turban, their religion and then educate others.
A plea to all Sikhs get guidance from Guru Granth Sahib Ji and wear your turbans with pride.
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