Tag Archives: Sikh

Can I Pray In My Home With Friends?

Residents in Toronto are up in arms because a Sikh family invites dozens of people to their home for religious services. Two neighbors are furious because they look out their window and see cars parked on the street and people walking into a house where they will create incredible noise and disturbance by sitting quietly and praying. According to Angelo Gravina, “this subdivision is not zoned for religious services.” Right, if you want to pray to God head for the nearest church but God forbid you invite friends to join in prayer!

Naturally, government bodies are getting involved in this new dispute and writing reports and considering whether or not people can gather for prayers. We have zoning laws and restrictions and bureaucrats sitting in judgment where a human can pray. I wonder if people sat on their lawns and prayed if they would be breaking a law concerning public gatherings.
The owner of the home says quietly they do not party, they do not drink, they do not make noise, they simply sit quietly and pray.

Such is life in the 21st century.

To Turban Or Not To Turban, That Is The Question

Many Sikh boys wear a moderate version of the turban inside their helmet when playing hockey and Sikh men wear a similar sports-oriented vesion of the turban as the occasion requires. But, Baijinder Badesha, a devout man and a motorcycle enthusiast, didn’t want any interference in his right to wear a turban without any other impediment on his head. Badesha did not appear surprised when Ontario Court Justice James Blacklock, dismissed his constitutional challenge of a Highway Traffic Act provision that mandates helmets for motorcyclists. The judge told him, “unfortunately, no accomodation appears possible.”

Mel Sokolsy, lawyer for the defendant, aruged the law should be rewritten to accomodate the religious faith of the Sikh man. Justice Blacklock, did agree his decision impacted the religious freedom of Mr. Badesha, but felt societal safety requirements took precedent over a religious dress belief. Mr. Badesha has decided to park his motorcycle in the shed, maybe he will sit on it in moments of quiet peace– with his turban on his head.