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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