04 June 2013

Montreal Gazette: Excluded Sikhs urged to sue

Excluded Sikhs urged to sue

MONTREAL — The few hundred Sikhs in Quebec suddenly excluded from playing soccer because of a recent decision by the Fédération de soccer du Québec to ban turbans on pitches should sue for damages, says the head of a race relations centre.
“It is essentially about protecting minority rights and sending a costly message of deterrence to any institution that considers denying to members of religious minorities their constitutional – if the institution is public – or civil rights,” said Fo Niemi, executive director of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations. “Otherwise, there is no financial and legal consequence to discrimination.”
He said those who can no longer play because of their turbans could file a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission or file a civil suit in Quebec Superior Court, and the burden of proof would then be on the federation to prove that wearing a turban is a security risk.

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