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.

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