Thursday, September 25, 2008

How A Hindu Teen Turned Into a Terrorist - A Lesson For Parents

This is a lesson for parents on being communicative with your children and to be proactive in addressing their spiritual needs and questions they have as they struggle to make sense of the world. Letting other people stand in for you and take over your responsibility to guide your child on spiritual matters is a recipe for disaster as the Hindu family in this article found out too late.

In Canada, there are many resources such as Sikh youth camps, retreats, seminars, and Gurdwara sponsored activities that you can introduce your child to, so that they might be inculcated with the spirit of Sikhi and come to recognize the beauty in treading on the path of the Sikh Panth.

How a devout Hindu teen became a stranger to his parents on trial in an alleged terror plot


From Friday's Globe and Mail

August 8, 2008 at 4:40 AM EDT

TORONTO — A father's curiosity trumped all else on the day he
decided to ransack his 15-year-old son's room. He swept through the
young man's desk, shelf and closet in the family's Scarborough
apartment, silently praying his suspicions wouldn't be confirmed.

The smoking gun he found that day wasn't a girlie magazine or
sandwich bag filled with marijuana, but a copy of the Koran on a CD-ROM.

At the time, the devout Hindu thought he'd been struck with the
worst kind of parental disappointment. But five years later, after
spending $30 a day driving to and from a courthouse in Brampton to
watch his son go through Canada's first terrorism trial, he has endured
a worse fate - the experience of losing his son.

Although he has sat just 10 or so metres away in court from the young man, now 20, a religious gulf separates them.

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In recent interviews with Muslim mentors, including an imam the
young man clandestinely visited, and with his father, who believes his
son was brainwashed, there emerges a picture of a muddled young man
caught in an intense tug of war.

On one side, he seeks to please his strict, sometimes harshly
disciplinarian father and on the other, to follow his own flawed
interpretation of Islam.

His religious guides - at least the ones who aren't his co-accused
in the so-called Toronto 18 - agreed he was ignorant of Islam.

"He's a kid who doesn't know very much, if at all, about the
religion," said Muhammad Robert Heft, who was approached by the young
man at Paradise For Ever, a non-profit centre he runs in Toronto for
recent Muslim converts.

Mr. Heft was even more dismissive of the suggestion that the young
man could be a terrorist. "I think if you ask the real terrorists in
the world, they'd feel insulted, that he was nothing more than a Mickey
Mouse kid who was venting some of his frustrations and talking," he

At an alleged terrorist training camp in December, 2005, the young
man peppered RCMP mole Mubin Shaikh with questions about Islam, but Mr.
Shaikh testified later that they "never ... indicated to me any
reflective thought."

Raised in the Hindu faith in Scarborough, where ethnic grocery
stores stack bags of cassava chips alongside brass statues of Hindu
deity Lord Ganesha, the teenager made a transition to Islam that was
unexpected and tumultuous.

After emigrating from war-torn Sri Lanka in 1994, the family of
deeply devoted Hindus made weekly trips to local Hindu temples, said
the young man's father. The first sign his son was drifting away from
the faith was when the school principal called, telling him his son had
been asking to use the Muslim prayer room in the school.

The father was baffled: Each week his son followed the family to
temple, a place teeming with people kneeling before the statues of
deities and spreading holy ash across their foreheads. The school
principal was surely mistaken, he thought. But then he searched his
son's room. When he found a CD-ROM version of the Koran, he warned the
then-15-year-old to stay away from his Muslim classmates.

"By force they were taking him," the father said in a mix of Tamil
and English, a translator at his side. "At that time itself I would've
alerted police and he would've been saved."

But the young man's younger sister - the only family member the
father said his son acknowledges in court - sympathizes with him.

"I think he was searching for God. He was confused, I guess," she
said. "My parents don't understand. It's his decision ... I just wanted
him to be careful."

The young man's father persuaded the principal to seal off the
prayer room, thinking that once the meeting place disappeared, so would
the conversion process. But that only made his son seek out a new
hangout: the Salaheddin Islamic Centre. It was here that an imam at the
mosque, Aly Hindy, said the young man got to know many of his
co-accused in the Toronto 18, including the alleged ringleader.

Mr. Heft of Paradise For Ever said the young man seemed more
attracted to a group he could vent about his father to, rather than one
that would train him in the religion. "He was surrounding himself with
people who had never read the Koran cover to cover, who don't know
Arabic, who don't know very basic minimal things about Islam."

The father's patience was drained after he found Islamic literature
stored among textbooks in his son's school locker and watched his
religious observance manifest itself in a long, coarse beard.

The quiet young man wandered into Paradise For Ever at 15, seeking
refuge at the organization's emergency shelter and claiming he was
abused at home, Mr. Heft said.

"He was complaining that his parents were beating him up because he
was a Muslim ... that he had to pray in the bathroom." Mr. Heft could
not allow him entrance, since visitors must be at least 16 to stay at
the shelter.

The young man also visited Mr. Hindy at Salaheddin.

Kneading his forehead in his hands, the young man's father admitted
in an interview that he had beat his son, explaining that he believed
it was the only form of discipline left.

At 17, the young man dropped out of school and left his parents'
apartment for three to four weeks without a word, the father said.
Although old enough to stay under Paradise For Ever's roof and take
daily lessons on Islam, he instead fled to a Toronto mosque, where his
family found him. His father pleaded with him to return home, but he

It was that December that he attended an alleged terrorist training
camp near Washago, Ont. During target practice at the camp, the young
man unflinchingly fired at pictures of Hindu deities, a bold move to
prove to the others he was committed to Islam, Mr. Shaikh, the RCMP
informant, said in court. "[What] I told him was, 'Go home. Go to your
parents,' " he said.

In January, 2006, the family finally coaxed the young man to return
home. In a last-ditch effort to draw his son away from what he saw as a
dangerous brand of spirituality, the father brought Hindu priests,
Christian pastors and other religious leaders to the apartment to
counsel his son. The young man dismissed them all: "Everything you're
saying is a lie."

The turning point came later that year, in early June.

Two weeks after attending another alleged terrorist training camp,
the young man was arrested in the spectacular finale to a long RCMP and
CSIS investigation that rounded up 17 other suspects, 11 of whom still
face charges.

The young man spent months in custody, and his religious conviction
appeared to wane - or so his father thought. After he bailed him out of
jail, it seemed as if a fruitful new father-son relationship was being
born, the father said.

While shopping around for a house a short while after the young man
had returned home, the family stumbled upon one in Markham that seemed
worthy of a serious offer. But after noting that it was right beside a
mosque, the young man vetoed it.

"He ran back to the car and said, 'I don't want to live there any more,' " the father said.

But according to Mr. Hindy, the young man had only hidden his faith.
He secretly visited the Salaheddin mosque every week, peppering the
imam with questions. "Sometimes he'd run away fast because he said, 'I
don't want my father to find out I went to Friday prayer,' " Mr. Hindy

The seeming grace period at home unravelled as the months passed and this summer's trial date neared.

By April of this year, it seemed as if a stranger had moved in. The
young man appeared to be stitching together his own rules for living
from literal translations of the Koran. After reading about how the
Prophet Abraham circumcised himself at the age of eight, the young man
wanted to emulate him.

"He said he wanted to circumcise himself. I said, 'Are you crazy?' "
Mr. Hindy said. "If I open a book in medicine, I can't do surgery."

He told the young man to consult a doctor about the procedure, which
the young man's father said his son was serious about. Eventually, any
form of communication with his son became an ordeal.

"He was almost mad-like. ... He would go into the closet and sit
down like this," he said, closing his eyes, a blank expression setting
in over his face. "I'd say, 'Put on the TV,' and he'd say, 'No,
everything's corrupt on TV.' "

His parents had spent $3,000 on brand-name clothing to win their
son's favour after his release from custody. One day they came home to
find a mountain of shredded fabric and their son beside it, tearing
through shirts and pants with a pair of scissors.

After several months at home, the young man was reduced to a gaunt
version of his former self, declaring that most of the food was not
halal. He even turned away water, his father said.

In that last 1½months in his parents' custody, life was bleak. "He
said, 'I want to kill myself, I want to kill myself,' " his father said.

At his son's preliminary hearing on May 6, the young man tried to
walk out on his own trial. "I want myself out of this," he said.
"...This is not sharia court, that's the problem." He was rearrested
and taken to Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton where he has
since remained.

Disturbed by news reports of what happened that day, Mr. Hindy spent
45 minutes with the young man in jail, urging him to return to court,
explaining that Canadian law and Islamic law were not contradictory.
While the young man has remained in custody for three months, he has
been co-operative in court, acknowledging the judge, but ignoring his

His father said that, during clipped phone conversations every two
or three weeks, the young man tells his family that he doesn't call
more often because he doesn't want to burden them with collect-call

Mr. Hindy said he has become a stand-in parental figure and
religious tutor for the young man, guiding him on the phone every two
or three days. If the young man is acquitted, he plans to move into an
apartment with his sisters, Mr. Hindy said.

Although the young man's father said he understands that his home
may not be the right place for his son, he won't give up on him. His
plan is to send his son, if acquitted, to England to live with his

"He's an innocent kid," the father said. "He was cheated, he was forced."

Monday, September 01, 2008

Shooting in Sacramento at Bradshaw Road Gurdwara Annual Sports Event

I happened to be at the Gurdwara when all of this happened. The shooting didn't take place anywhere near the Sangat or the Gurdwara. No one was shooting at the Sangat or near the Sangat. There's a field about 70 metres away from the Gurdwara on the other side of a large parking lot area. That's where the shooting took place. Anyone suggesting otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about and is exaggerating the attack.

The annual sports tournie was taking place at the time over in the field. Talking to people after the fact and before the police really arrived in numbers, the one guy they caught got a well-deserved beating. The other guy managed to split and avoid the Singhs who would have given him a taste of their sticks and bats as well... The two shooters knew who they wanted to get and went after them.

This was the result of some conflict that happened somewhere else and they only came here looking for these guys to shoot because they knew they would be here at the event today.

There were a lot of people eating langar at the time all this happened and I was one of them. I didn't see the actual events take place, but talked to a number of people afterwards who were right there at the scene.

You can see a picture of the Escalade below in which the person who died was slumped in the back seat. A couple of Singhs tried to help the guy who got shot by trying to take him to hospital, but he was already gone before they could even get off the property. The police didn't let anyone enter or leave the premises for some time until after they had started taking people's details and information.

The person who died was in the escalade in the picture below.

The police wouldn't let anyone into the Gurdwara property.
or off the Gurdwara property.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why do People Insist on "Luthan Kitching" (Pulling Someone Else Down by the Legs)

I really wonder what some people get out of bringing other people down. If you want to do something with your life or stay put in life that's your choice, but to point out faults in someone else or some organization doesn't make sense to me when you won't do anything yourself.

Sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots is such a cop-out. I bring this up because of a conversation taking place at The Langar Hall, a site which I find, tends to take pot shots every now and again.

If you want to see the whole thing click here. Below is what I wrote in response to a post,
I don’t have a problem with legitimate criticism of any organization, but it seems to me that claiming women aren’t represented in the Panth as Gurdit claimed, or that Sikh organizations are only successful as a result of the contribution of female members only as Mewa Singh claims, is ridiculous.

Secondly, it seems that you have a problem with SCORE, why not engage them or the Kaur Foundation and find out why they nominated who they did and ask them about SPECIFIC Sikh women who may have been deserving and why they weren’t included?

A lot of times people would rather just sit on the sidelines and throw stones rather than take action. Sikhs should take action and NOT throw stones. That’s my point.

Not once have you or anyone else on this site, ever discussed what they did with regards to engaging an organization like SCORE when making such a post. Why criticize them when you won’t talk to them or at least let the readers know about what you did if anything to engage them?

All this post has done is lead to a couple of people making ridiculously sweeping statements about Sikhs or the Panth and likely misinformed many others about the state of women in Sikh organizations. Maybe where you are located there isn’t much participation of female Sikhs, but where I’m at they play significant roles, from doing Kirtan, sit on and make committee announcements to the Sangat at Gurdwaras, read the Hukamnama, etc…

The ONLY role I haven’t seen performed by a female Sikh is act as head Granthi. I’m not sure however, if any women has stepped forward who wanted to be the Head Granthi though.

If people have issues in particular locales, maybe that’s a function of THEIR community and NOT the Panth. Why don’t you call for people’s experiences where they are instead of generalizing with statements such as, ” Unfortunately, this lack of recognition of women in our community (which occurs on a much broader scale than any one organization) is one major factor fueling atrocities like sex-selective abortion.”

Maybe people are engaging in abortion because they aren’t truly Sikhs in the first place. Maybe there needs to be an education campaign highlighting that Guru Maharaj (Dasam Pitta) issued a Hukamnama saying that anyone killing a girl child should be ostracized by all Sikhs? Maybe people should be educated that committing an abortion is murdering one’s own child regardless of sex and is condemned by Sikh Dharm? Perhaps Sikhs who celebrate non-Sikh cultural events like Lohri should celebrate the birth of boys and girls equally?

It’s not about some empty awards, its about people truly believing in the teachings of the Gurus and understanding that Sikh Dharm preaches the equality of human beings in the eyes Waheguru. God cares about the soul and a person’s actions on Earth, not about gender, as per Sikh beliefs.

Marine Kaur and Singh, why should people who are talented in their field NOT be honoured? Since when was making money against Sikh belief? or Practice? Sikhs who excel in any given field that is in consonance with Sikh Dharm deserve any recognition they get.

If you want to have a big gala to honour people for other activities, why not get together with like minded people and do it? Why complain when someone else got up to do something? Have you took the time to realize that entrepreneurship is valued in our society and so Sikhs who excel in this are being honoured.

I’d like it if Sikhs were honoured based on character and selfless service as well, but not enough to start an organization, but if you start one, I’ll certainly support the idea and effort.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Green Shift - Something I Can Support

I was surprised and shocked by the plan proposed by the Liberals. It is bold and I believe does what I believe needs to happen, reduce income taxes while passing on the costs of pollution to those who would use those fuels that add to pollution in Canada. What a nice surprise.

I personally hated the Liberal Party after all the corruption and self-serving personal enrichment brought out in Ad Scam and the HRDC boondoggle, etc... and wanted to support the Conservatives in the next election. However, after seeing the performance of the Conservatives, in what I believe is a blatant attempt at creating ethnic and religious division in Canada through their policy of warming up to specific ethnic and religious communities, I was loathe to support the Conservatives and was wondering what I would do in the next election.

Now I have a viable alternative. I had questioned Stephane Dion, but this plan alleviates my fear that the Liberals would further tax the middle class. This seems on the surface at least to accomplish two goals in one plan - reduce taxes and reduce pollution through behavioural incentives. Great.

Now if only Stephane Dion would commit to effect a plan to counter countries that support Islamic Terrorism with not words but action, including but not limited to Military.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

U.S. State Dept. Report on Human Rights Practices 2007 - India

The following is an excerpt from the report released by the US State Dept. in March of this year, 2008. When the country you call home doesn't provide justice for violence against YOU based on your religion, is it really your country? or is the government and military an occupation force? Is the following how any country calling itself a democracy operates?

Here are a few quotes from the report, linked here.

The government made little progress, however, in holding hundreds of police and security officials accountable for many disappearances committed during the Punjab counterinsurgency and the Delhi anti-Sikh riots of 1984-94, despite the presence of a special investigatory commission.

The NHRC also continued to investigate 2,097 cases of murder and cremation that occurred between 1984 and the early 1990s. In May 2006 it ordered monetary compensation to the next of kin of 45 persons whom the Punjab government admitted were in police custody immediately before they were killed and illegally cremated. The NGO Ensaaf estimated that security forces killed and caused to disappear more than 10,000 Punjabi Sikhs and cremated 6,017 Sikhs in Amritsar in counter insurgency operations during the militancy.

There were no developments in the 2006 case filed by Paramjit Kaur Khalra, the widow of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, seeking prosecution of former police chief K.P.S. Gill in the abduction, illegal detention, torture, and murder of her husband. At year's end Khalra's case had not been tried in court. According to Ensaaf and other human rights organizations, in 1995 members of the Punjab police operating under Gill's command abducted and killed Khalra for investigating and exposing the disappearances and secret cremations of thousands of Sikhs in Punjab by security forces.

... The Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act of 1988 criminalizes the use of any religious site for political purposes or the use of temples to harbor persons accused or convicted of crimes. While specifically designed to deal with Sikh places of worship in Punjab...

...Under the Passports Act of 1967, the government may deny a passport to any applicant who "may or is likely to engage outside India in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India." In the past, the government used this provision to prohibit foreign travel by some government critics, especially those advocating Sikh independence...

...In November a key witness in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case involving senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler resurfaced two months after the CBI declared that he was unreachable. In December a Delhi court ordered the CBI to reinvestigate the 1984 riots case and file a fresh report. Tytler was accused of orchestrating the riots by encouraging Congress party workers, police, and mobs in Delhi to kill Sikhs and destroy their houses and businesses in retribution for the assassination of Indira Gandhi...

...NGOs asserted that custodial torture was common in Tamil Nadu, and one human rights lawyer claimed that all police stations in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, and Chandigarh have torture cells to "soften up" the accused prior to court appearance. However, increased reporting of custodial torture may be the result of greater awareness. The AHRC claimed that local police in Kerala continued to use torture and assault as a means of criminal investigation. According to the AHRC, though not verified by other sources, Gujarat interrogation centers function in public view. The suspects allegedly are brought in, kept in illegal detention and tortured as part of questioning...

...The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Manipur have special powers to search and arrest without a warrant...

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Response to Jodha at Langar Hall re: Xenophobia

I've been having a sparring match with Jodha at Langar Hall on a thread related to Xenophobia. I am putting my response here for all to read. If you want the context you can read the earlier back and forth at this link. I'm interested in the thoughts of Sikhs who read blogs one way or the other. Am I alone on this or are there other Sikhs who feel the same way.
Where to begin?

You wrote,
Your link to the “Investigative Project on Terrorism” shows a man holding a grenade in one hand and a book on Islamic Law in the other. This expert, Stephen Emerson, is a guest commentator on Fox News, the refuge of reality.
What does his being a guest on Fox News have to do with anything? Your comment is just another example of your closed-minded attitude at work. All sorts of people appear on Fox News or any other news station.

You wrote,
So why was CAIR not indicted? As as aside, may I ask, what is your viewpoint on the Israeli/Palestine conflict? Actually I can already guess, but do Palestinians have any grievances? What would you suggest to the Palestinian community? Hopefully AIPAC is recruiting!
Again, you don’t make any sort of cogent argument. Why bring Israel into the conversation? The last refuge for people like yourself is to bring the Jews into the conversation. What have the Jews ever done to the Sikhs? NOTHING. Palestinians themselves in their own mouthpiece the PA daily implicate Arabs as being the ones responsible for the Arab refugees on Jordan’s border. On the day Israel was born it was attacked by Arabs states from all sides in an attempt to destroy Israel and commit genocide of the Jews, and you have the gall to bring the Jews into a conversation that has nothing to do with them. Those people left their villages believing that they would return after the Jews were killed and Israel destroyed.

You wrote,
Clearly John Esposito, the Georgetown professor, is a liar and is out to ‘obfuscate’ concepts such as ‘taqiyya.’ Clearly the Christian websites that you suggested to me that announce “Allah – The Greatest Deceiver of them All” is a reputable source (Did you know that in the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak praises Allah - this supposed ‘greatest deceiver of them all?)
You seem to think that just because someone is a christian that they are automatically liars. I could have quoted from Islamic sources that explain the concept of Taqiyya or point to the use of deceipt by Muhammad himself, however, the level of your bias astounds. Tell me and maybe explain to the Sikhs who read this site if is a site run by Christian evangelists? How about Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library? Is that a Christian organization? Is the USC-MSA (university of s. california muslim students association) a Christian organization?

You wrote,
Clearly I hope these evangelicals soon produce a website about Sikhs so that, Kaptaan, you can quote them as accurate sources on Gurbani and Sikh concepts such as shahadat.
Your facetious and foolish comments just go to show your mentality. Several times you have tried this tactic of painting me with some brush or the other. Why you insist on always comparing Sikhs and Muslims in a similar light I don’t understand. You write about ‘muslimphobia’ amongst Sikhs, all the while wiping away Sikh experience as a legitimate basis for being wary of Muslims due to the first hand knowledge of Jihad, jizya, dhimmi status, and the like, not to mention the way Sikh Gurus and Khalsa warriors themselves became Shaheed. How about the Sahibzadhey? Were they the benefactors of Muslim kindness and compassion? It was a Qazi/ Maulvi himself that read the ISLAMIC sentence of death for them. I make my comments based on the words and actions of Muslims themselves who have quoted the Koran and Islamic sources as guides for the heinous murders of people such as Nick Berg and Theo Van Gogh, and you try to compare jihadi muslims with Sikhs. I am not an apologist for Islam, but your comments surely paint you with that brush.

You wrote,
you seem to claim some sort of knowledge. However your comments on ‘taqiyya’ and now that I know your sources are Christian evangelical websites definitely make me believe that you are ignorant about Islam, not ignorant in general (I don’t even know you), but definitely ignorant on Islam.
So Christians can’t tell the truth about what muslims themselves say about their own religion? I don’t claim special knowledge about Muslims, but perhaps you should use your internet skills and find what muslims themselves say about the subject. Maybe you should examine what translations of muslim sources such Sahi Bukhari (quoted as an authoritative source by muslims) and others say about Islamic practices. The sites I linked to above are also evangelical? Right Jodha?

You wrote,
If you believe that Muslims are evil, maniacal, ruthless boogeymen that are out to destroy the whole world and Sikhs are some sort of cowboys with white turbans that stand for all that is good and great in the world, then that is your world view.
Those are your words not mine. I have never referred to muslims as evil, etc… Why you insist on comparing Sikhs with Muslims again, I do not understand. Do you have some inherent animosity towards Sikhs, that you would continue to bring them into any conversation about the actions and behaviours of Muslims? What exactly are you trying to prove? Sikhs who commit heinous acts DO NOT quote gurbani when doing so. Muslims who have killed people in the most heinous ways find justification in the KORAN and actions of MUHAMMAD. Are those Muslim murderers all liars? Are they Islamophobes?

You wrote,
Rabb Rakha (did you know that the word ‘Rabb’ is actually from Arabic!)
What exactly does that have to do with anything? So what if there are words from Arabic, farsi and other languages incorporated in the Punjabi language, am I to feel some sort of kinship with the people who speak those languages? What’s your point? Did you know that Apple pie originated in Canada? Did you know the word Jarnail comes from the English word for the military rank General? Did you know that arab Christians use the word Allah to refer to god? Do you know that 1+1=2?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

O Mama

I've read a number of posts from various people touting one candidate or another this primary season... In light of last night's results, I saw something from Mark Steyn that makes sense to me.

I really have to wonder why any Sikh who supports the Democrats in the US, would abandon H. Rodham Clinton to support B. Hussein Obama?

BHO just seems too much like a "Johnny Come Lately", for me, and it seems for increasing numbers of Democrats and Americans, who generally don't trust him either.

HRC has supported Sikhs consistently as far as I can tell, along with her husband, while BHO referred to her disparagingly as the "Senator from Punjab". Instead of following the herd perhaps Sikhs should remember that a defining trait of Sikhs generally is to not forget a favour or a friend.

In my opinion, the Clintons have been friends of the Sikh community for years, and I am neither a Republican or a Democrat.

From The Corner,
Moving Barackwards [Mark Steyn]

Byron's analysis of the Clinton/Obama numbers is very sound, but I wonder if in dividing primary season into quarters he doesn't miss a cruder point: For the last three months, Mrs Clinton has been deemed to be in trouble and been urged ever more frantically to pack it in and get the hell out. Yet the more Senator Obama has been the nominee presumptive, the more Democrat voters have refused to warm up to him. In Kentucky, he lost not just the usual groups by the usual margins - white working-class men by a gazillion per cent, etc - but Mrs Clinton also won college graduates and "the young": two groups allegedly especially star-struck by the Obamessiah.

There's no precedent in modern primary history for a candidate growing weaker* the more his nomination becomes inevitable. His boast of finally getting a majority of pledged delegates - or whatever cockamie Democrat arithmetical milestone he reached last night - felt like a steam train running out of coal. He's still moving uphill, just about, but ever slower ...and slower ...and

If I were a party bigwig, I'd be unnerved by some of these numbers. The media have fallen for Senator Obama, but the louder they trill "I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love with a wonderful guy!", the more Democratic voters refuse to singalong.

By the way, if Hillary had been campaigning the way she's doing now this time last year instead of doing the queenlier-than-thou Barbra Streisand routine, she'd have won.

[UPDATE: *Poorly phrased: I should have said there's no precedent for a candidate getting "so weak". Obviously, presumptive nominees from Mondale to Dole managed to frost up the base as primary season wore on - but not to this degree, and not to the point where 50% of Democrat primary voters in Kentucky tell pollsters they wouldn't vote for Obama in November.]

05/21 07:52 AM

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sikhs Take Heart

I've been reading with increasing frequency about Sikhs in the news in Canada or in blog posts. Usually the only time as far as I can tell a Sikh is mentioned by religious belief is when there's something negative or a controversial angle to the story.

So when I saw a post on the blog Dust my Broom, and Mai of Road to Khalistan responding, I thought I should make my two cents known.

Here's what I wrote,
Since when did it become illegal or extremist in Canada to legally promote any particular cause? No one is going around killing people wantonly in the streets. There aren't any riots breaking out. No one in the Sikh community supports the people behind the Air India bombing. Some fool kid makes a bogus threat on the internet in a comment section and its the entire Sikh community that should be held accountable? Hold yourself and every other identifiable Canadian group to those standards and we can talk... When the MSM starts identifying every Euro-Canadian's ethnicity and religion when they commit a crime, let me know...

IF you think Sikhs who want an independent Khalistan are extremists, you should note that many of the Sikhs in Canada who believe in promoting an independent Khalistan were born free in Canada. We went to the schools here and learned about human rights and what rights actually exist in a free society. If anything Canada has afforded us the opportunity as Sikhs and Canadians to know what freedom of religion really means.

Using your logic of labeling Canadian Sikhs as extremists or fundamentalist if they want an independent Khalistan created, then any Canadian who supported an indepenedent homeland for Tibetans, Palestinians, Kosovars, East Timorese, Armenians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Irish, Croats, Bosnians, etc... are all extremists and fundamentalists.

There's something called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in this country and Canadian Sikhs will exercise their legal rights to the full. This isn't a popularity contest. In fact the more the MSM and canadian bloggers choose to turn Canadian Sikhs into some sort of bogey the less Sikh Canadians actually care what those detractors think.

Sikhs have fought and died for the Queen. We have every right to live and do what we want legally in Canada which is still under her authority. This is our homeland as much as anyone else's. Sikhs paid for the right to this land with blood and honour in both world wars and as part of the British Army in every country or land where the British Crown chose to tread.

You aren't so much interested in dialogue with Sikhs as you are in lecturing Sikhs about what they should or shouldn't do. No one in the Sikh community is promoting hate against anyone else. Sikhs don't hate Hindus or Muslims or Christians or Jews. No one preaches hate in our religious places. We just have something against anyone who has killed our co-religionists for wanting to practice our religion. We will oppose anyone who would deny us our religious rights, history or traditions. We've survived 3 attempted genocides. Our history is rich with bravery and courage. We are survivors and your words or labels will not deter us from the truth.

Our faith and recognition of our martyrs is non-negotiable. Now why don't you go enjoy your Saturday. I know I will.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bikramjit Sinh Majithia, Kirandip Sinh Kang and Sukhbir Sinh Badal???

Why would any self-respecting Sikh who loves Guru Granth Sahib Ji ever support such characters as these or be a part of Shiromani Akali Dal when its leadership disrespects the history of the Akali Dal and Sikh religious instruction by Guru Nanak himself (who disavowed idol worship and puja) by worshiping at a Hindu temple for political mileage and votes?

from the Tribune,
The culprits.
In a bid to give secular look to the Youth Akali Dal, its newly appointed patron and president, Bikramjit Singh Majithia and Kirandip Singh Kang, respectively, paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and the Durgiana Temple here today.

They are perhaps the first youth Akali Dal leaders who have visited a Hindu temple to offer thanksgiving to the Almighty over
their elevation.

They were accompanied by a large number of Youth Akali leaders, including Gurpartap Singh Tikka and Inderbir Singh Bolaria, both aspirants for the party ticket for Amritsar South and Dalbir Singh, a former Akali MLA.

The development assumes significance in the wake of the byelection, slated for May 22, even as their visit to the Durgiana Temple, some feel, may help in wooing Hindu votes.

Earlier, Sukhbir Singh Badal while reconstituting the working committee, Political Affairs Committee and other wings of the party had given sufficient representation to Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

Immediately after becoming president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Sukhbir Singh Badal had made his intentions clear that he wanted to make the party of all Punjabis, irrespective of their caste and creed. He had announced on January 31 that the SAD was not a party of the Sikhs of Punjab, but an organisation of the entire Punjabi community all over the world.

If such a person thinks that SAD will represent Punjabis all over the world, he is sadly mistaken, as most Sikhs outside India are wary of individuals such as him who try to water down Sikh beliefs and go against the Sikh religion by engaging in such anti-Sikh behaviour or policies.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Baisakhi

I'll be heading to Toronto for the Nagar Kirtan there. I'm looking forward to posting pictures of this year's event similar to what I posted last year. I hope you can all make it there as well.

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