Turban ban stirs up fresh storm in New Zealand

Posted By: Staff
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Auckland, Dec 17(ANI): Sikh New Zealand National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, has said that he will lodge a complaint against the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club in the Human Rights Commission if it does not change its entry rules with regards to turbans.

Bakshi's comments came after a local Sikh community leader, Karnail Singh, was refused entry into the club to attend a function because of his turban.

According to reports, the Club staff had told Singh that the turban was considered headwear, and wearing headwear in the club was against its rules.

"So ridiculous that this is happening in this day and age in New Zealand, when the Sikhs have been part of our society for 120 years and even the police recognize the turban as part of their official uniform," The New Zealand Herald quoted Bakshi, as saying.

"The turban is no ordinary headwear, it is one of the very foundations and principal articles of our Sikh religion. I am allowed to wear the turban in Parliament. Why should a cossie club ban it from its premises?" he added.

Meanwhile, the commission said that they have received complaints against the club in the past as well for banning guests due to their religious headwear.

Earlier this year, the club had refused to let a Muslim international student enter its dining area, as she was wearing a religious headscarf.

"An outcome from that mediation was the club's agreement to review its rule on headwear and dress code," a commission spokesman said.

The commission also said that it would welcome Bakshi lodging a further complaint against the club over the latest incident, although it had already set a mediation date next month between the parties involved. (ANI)

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