Searching Sikh Turbans at airports shold be scrapped as this is an insult as well as degrading for Sikhs.  This has already started due to the introduction of yet another EU law passed in April allowing airport security to search turbans by hand in Europe.

There needs to be more influence in Brussells from the British Government as this is effecting Sikh Travelling and living in Europe.  If we are all nunder the EU banner then why are Sikhs banned from wearing Turbans in schools in France, they are not here.

Why do we need to struggle and campaign when a Sikh is told they can not wear thier Kirpan (small sword) or their Kara (iron/steel bangle).  These are part of the 5 K's and an integral part of the Sikh Religion.  The law allows us to wear these articles of Faith, yet schools have thier own laws and it ends up in the high court and destroys a child's education in the process. 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

The Regulation, which came into effect on 29 April 2010, requires hand searches and discourages the use of hand-held metal detectors if walk-through metal detectors suggest a passenger may be carrying a prohibited article.  This presents a major difficulty for turban wearing Sikhs as the walk-through metal detectors will almost always go off because Sikhs will be wearing a Kara (iron bangle) and if they are practising Sikhs they will be wearing a small Kirpan with a blade of up to 6cm, which now appear to be specifically allowed under the new Regulation (see later).

The Regulation is being interpreted as requiring hand searches of the Sikh turban, which as you will appreciate would be highly offensive and most insensitive towards Sikhs.  It will become an issue of considerable concern within the Sikh community and with MPs from 1 July 2010 when the new policy is to be implemented at Heathrow Airport. We understand other airports may already have started to partially implement the Regulation and there have already been complaints.

The Regulation (4.1.1.7) allows for the appropriate authority to create categories of passengers that, for objective reasons, shall be subject to special screening procedures or may be exempted from screening.  We suggest you write to and meet with Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP,the Secretary of State for Transport, as a matter of urgency and insist on Sikh turbans being exempt from hand searches and only subject to walk-through metal detectors (that have the inherent limitations described as regards Sikhs) and/or hand-held metal detectors.  An alternative is to ensure there are sufficient full body scanners for turban wearing Sikhs at all UK airports that will be able to detect if a passenger may be carrying a prohibited article.

Sikh from across the UK plan to hold a mass lobby of Parliament on 30 June between 1.30-4.30pm and hope that action can be taken by then to delay the implementation at all UK airports until an acceptable solution (i.e. exemption covering the Sikh turban) is found for turban wearing Sikhs. 

Sikhs are also looking for the Department of Transport to issue a letter covering the right of practising Sikh passengers to now be able to wear a small Kirpan with a blade of up to 6cm as implied by the new Regulation.  As the latter applies across Europe and the authorities other than in the UK may be oblivious to the right of practising Sikh passengers to be able to wear a small Kirpan we are looking for the Department to obtain suitable letters in relevant languages from its counterparts across the EU so British Sikhs when flying back from mainland Europe are allowed to exercise the same right as in the UK under this Regulation. 

We have visited Brussells but were not allowed to enter the parliment building as we wearing Turbans.  We have entered Westminster and I wonder if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India would be allowed entry without having to remove his urban.

I would laso like to point out that Sikhs played a vital role in defending parts of Europe during both world wars and not to mention Flanders Fields.  We as a nation are very disapointed that we have had lack lustre suport on Sikh Issued by the previous administration and hope this coalition supports Sikhs. 

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