Friday, December 11, 2009

Karmail Singh Refused Entry To Club Because He Wore A Turban

In an incredibly dehumanising and insensitive example of both religious and racial bigotry gentleman Karnail Singh turned up to a lunch at the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club (ed. cosmopolitan?) to honour his service to the community and was forced to return home because "headwear" was not allowed in the club. According to Hannah Norton of the Manukau Courier:

"Club staff told him the turban was "headwear" and wearing headwear in the club’s bar is against the club rules.He could wear the turban in the club’s function room but he would have to go through the bar to get to it. 

 photo Neil Duddy
But Mr Singh says taking his turban off was out of the question – it’s a religious requirement that’s seen him wear it since he was six years old. He even wears a small one when he goes to bed. "This is not headwear – this is part of my religion," he says. "
the article concluded with the following:
"When approached by the Manukau Courier, cosmopolitan club manager Patricia Rangi refused to comment claiming the paper covered "only bad news"."We don’t have a comment – it’s old news and the guy is wrong."

No. He wasn't.

He was being asked to submit to the equivalent of a strip search before being allowed to enter a social club, it's only a special brand of warped logic that can accuse him for being at fault.

But surely Pat Rangi's point of view isn't typical of many other New Zealander's?  I hear you ask. The story attracted pages and pages of responses from Herald readers and many of them supported both her and the club's stance. There are some very poor comments about religious tolerance and immigration. Here's the link if you want to read them, we won't be repeating them here.

 Today's posts - click here

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