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A question from a non-Sikh, only idle curiosity.


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Hi everyone,

Firstly, what a superb community; I have spent a couple of most enjoyable hours browsing the discussions in here.

I am not Sikh (I'm probably best described as agnostic) but I'm most certainly of a like mind with you regarding all of us being equal; I don't care for a lot of pomp and ceremony; people kicking off conflict for the sake of some old dogma makes me nauseous, and so on. Sikhism seems a thoughtful and benevolent set of beliefs to me.

May I ask a question. It seems as though the carrying of the kirpan might have lead to some pretty nasty times when travelling via airline, or, in fact entering any other area where security control is in force. So, is there any consistency in the way that the security people deal with this? I remember reading very soon after the 11/9 attacks complaints of grossly insensitive treatment of Sikhs regarding removal of turbans in public, but I can't help thinking that at the very thought of non-Christians having a knife in a public place (panic panic) that the powers that be would freak out completely.

Thanks for any answers, and I hope my question is in the correct forum.

j

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Not all sikhs carry kirpans.. i would say baptized ones would be more likely to carry them.. i dont know how they would get passed the stage of checkout at the airports.. but it is really degrading to know that people have been asked to take off their paags at airports.. i thought they had scanning devices that allow the people at airports to check turbans? so why ask them to take the turban off?.. this is out of order,,

anyways since u mension you are agnostic, isnt there a rock band called the agnostic front?

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Interesting question.

Although I'm not amritdhari (I Don't carry the kirpan yet),

some of my friends whom are, tie a small symbolic kirpan and wear it as a necklace on a thing black string around their necks while boarding airplanes. The symbolic kirpan usually has a blunt end, and they haven't faced any problems yet.

They simply pick up their original kirpan when they get off the plane.

It is understandable though, not everyone can trust another person with a knife on an airplane any longer.

It's for security measures, and I think everyone should be forced to stick to it, and the only means to get by is to wear a symbolic reference to the original kirpan.

I dont see the symbolic small kirpan as harmful to a Sikh or harmful to the general public.

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Orchids:

> it is really degrading to know that people have been asked to take off their paags at airports..

Here's a link to the pretty robust memo that the American Sikhs sent to their government to set matters straight.

http://www.sikhcoalition.org/Legal101601.pdf

Indeed, I agree it is *perfectly* out of order.

I like a nice Tom Waits or Beefheart song myself, but Google seems to agree there's that band, so maybe I ought to look out for some :-)

LegendarySiKH:

The neckware version sounds an excellent compromise, which will keep everyone happy. From my understanding, though, the knife itself is purely a symbol of justice. Seems a daft thing in a way, to have to take a symbol of something that is a symbolic item, but such is the madness of our society now.

What intrigues me most is the way that different rules would be applied in different places. For instance; my guess is that in an airport such as Heathrow, there may be very few problems. Here in Brussels, where there are fewer Sikhs, I think a kirpan may raise a couple of raised eyebrows but be allowed once it is known what it means. When one considers the US situation, I suppose the attitudes are less flexible :-(

rgds, and thanks for the replies,

j

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What intrigues me most is the way that different rules would be applied in different places. For instance; my guess is that in an airport such as Heathrow, there may be very few problems. Here in Brussels, where there are fewer Sikhs, I think a kirpan may raise a couple of raised eyebrows but be allowed once it is known what it means. When one considers the US situation, I suppose the attitudes are less flexible

it depends on how much exposure ppl have had to sikhs really, to someone whos never seen a sikh b4 will probably be scared that this person is carrying a "knife", at my workplace there is no other sikhs apart from myself and a friend, and because of security reasons we get scanned out at the end of the day to make sure no ones pinched anything, the guys there knew exactly what my kirpan was when they first saw it and were fine with it, one em was even saying "those are kadas on ur wrist right?" lol

when i travel abroad we are told to take our kirpan off, this is acceptable because u have to be understanding for other people, i would rather take my kirpan off to travel then have a non sikh put on a kirpan in the guise of a sikh and hijack the plane with it, bringing shame upon all sikhs and much unwanted contraversy

when we land at the destination, we embrace our kirpan again and do a ardas because we have been separated from our kakars:)

the following article is a good read

http://www.sikhawareness.com/sikhawareness...opic.php?t=1690

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