23 August 2012

Globe And Mail: Invited to Quebec legislature, Sikhs then barred for carrying kirpans


They came to the National Assembly to support a woman's religious right to wear a niqab in Quebec but four members of the World Sikh Organization of Canada were turned away because of another religious flashpoint - the kirpans they were carrying.
The four Sikhs had been invited to appear before a legislative committee debating a bill that deals with the reasonable accommodation of religious minorities. But the group never got through the metal detectors at the entrance of the National Assembly building as security agents ruled the kirpans, or ceremonial daggers, they carried were a potential weapon ...
But head of security [SQ officer] Pierre Duchesne said he doesn't believe the rules should be changed. "In my opinion it [the kirpan] is a knife … It isn't because it's worn by a Sikh and that it's a religious symbol that at some point it won't be used by a crackpot. Sikhs can also have mental problems," he said.

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