Friday, November 21, 2008

Ignorance

Note: I've included two other articles on this first story as well. ~~~~~~~~~

"Non-profit group rejects donation over turban"
November 20, 2008

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (AP) -- A Halifax County man was turned away from a local mission when he refused to remove his turban while trying to make a donation.

The Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids reports that Gary Khera, who is a Sikh, went to the Union Mission this week to donate cash or food. Khera said he previously had mailed in his donations.

A director at the mission asked Khera to abide by a rule asking males to remove all headcoverings inside. He refused, and then asked to speak to the executive director, who he said refused to shake his hand and told him that if he didn't want to remove the turban, he could make his donation elsewhere.

The Rev. Ron Weeks said his actions had nothing to do with Khera's faith or his turban.
EDIT: A FOLLOW-UP

"Roanoke Rapids charity rebuffs turban-wearing donor"

Nov. 20, 2008, ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C., WRAL.com

In which you can read the other "he-said" from the charity.

Mr. Khera is reported to have stated: "They should not turn away a donation for the needy, because they misunderstood someone else's religion."

Unfortunately, "they" misunderstood their own religion. You see, the article here points out that the charity considers their building to be "the Lord's house". In what scripture are men required to arrive bare-headed at a building? In reading the one scripture that considers men having their heads covered, you see that it is the men who are "praying or prophesying" who should not have their heads covered. Mr. Khera was not coming to pray or prophesy, but to donate money to the needy. But if it is merely a sign of respect to God to uncover one's head for those of this charity, then it must be understood that it is a sign of respect to others' understanding of God to let their hair grow long and keep it wrapped in a turban. I'm not saying it's "right" or "Godly" one way or the other. Just that we all need to think.

The article here also states that "Weeks said he may consider changing the policy because of the incident." One would certainly hope so.

EDIT: Second Follow-up


"Kids, Seniors Benefit from Mission’s Loss"
Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, November 28, 2008

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Central Asia: "Kyrgyz Draft Law, Like Others in Region, Will Restrict Freedom of Religion"
November 20, 2008

Right Side News: WASHINGTON-Kyrgyzstan has joined the roster of former Soviet republics that are intent on asserting state control over faith communities. In the process, these states are depriving many citizens of the freedom of religion guaranteed by their constitution and protected by international conventions
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A new draft law that has been passed by the Kyrgyz parliament and is awaiting President Kurmanbek Bakiev's signature requires that a religious organization have 200 members before it can operate legally, a steep increase from the 10 members previously required, prohibits children from participating in religious organizations, and bans the distribution of religious materials in public places. The draft law poses an existential threat to small denominations.

. . .

The Turkmen and the Uzbek governments prohibit all but clerics from wearing religious garb in public. The prohibitions directly contradict the 1981 Declaration of the UN General Assembly, which articulates that "The right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief includes the freedom, ‘To make, acquire and use to an adequate extent the necessary articles and materials related to the rites or customs of a religion or belief.'" The UN Human Rights Committee has noted, "The observance and practice of religion or belief may include not only ceremonial acts but also such customs as (...) the wearing of distinctive clothing or head coverings..."

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"Iranian female karate champion ousted from Tokyo games"
IranVNC; November 14, 2008

Washington, 14 November (IranVNC)—The first Iranian female contestant in the world karate championship contests in Tokyo was disqualified from competing moments after stepping on the mat.

Helen Sepasi, who represented the Iranian women’s Kata team, walked onto the mat wearing the Islamic head-covering, the hejab, to spar her Chinese rival, but bowed out of the games immediately after she was told that the rules of the game did not permit non-uniform attire.

Sepasi’s refusal to remove her veil was applauded by other women in the venue, according to Mehr News Agency.
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