Religious

About SIKHISM

Friday, May 8, 2020

We believe in equality, tolerance, and respect for all, because sick values are American values.

In the Sikh religion, a genuinely strict follower is one who cultivates the spiritual self while likewise serving the communities around them.

Sikhism originates from Northern India and is the world's fifth-biggest organized religion. Today, there are approximately 30 million Sikhs worldwide. Sikhism was established 500 years prior when a man named Nanak strolled the South Asian subcontinent encouraging people that all ways lead to One God, all individuals are equal, and every one of us can encounter opportunity through cherishing and serving others. "Sikh" signifies "Searcher of Truth." "Sikh" signifies “Seeker of Truth.” This reminds me of my magnificent comic “Super Sikh Comics LLC” that I had to close down a few years ago.

Super Sikh taking charge. This comic was created by Ravi Singh to counter the stereotype that all villains (terrorists) wear turbans. He wanted to change the misconception by creating a hero character in a turban.

As a faith rooted in love, Sikhism values the equality of women and men and condemns any discrimination pertaining to gender, race, caste, creed, or color. “Sikhism values are American values.”  Here are three core tenets of the Sikh religion: meditation upon and devotion to the Creator, truthful living, and service to humanity.

Believers are expected to uphold the values of honesty, compassion, generosity, humility, integrity, service, and spirituality in their daily lives. Sikhs are expected to offer prayers every day, and the prayer ends with a wish for the happiness of all mankind. A Sikh place of worship welcomes all individuals regardless of their faiths.

The 5Ks are an important part of the life of Sikhs both men and women. In this spirit, Sikh men and women uphold five articles of faith, or the 5 Ks, which include kes (long, uncut hair), kara (steel bracelet), kanga (wooden comb), kirpan (small sword) and kachera (soldier-shorts).

Albeit minimal recorded proof exists to clarify why these specific articles were chosen, the 5 Ks continue to offer the Sikh community a collective identity and one community bound together based on a shared belief and practice. Throughout my life (mostly in America) I can tell that Sikhs cherish these articles of faith as endowments from their gurus.

Turbans are a significant part of the Sikh identity. In South Asian culture, wearing a turban naturally showed one's economic wellbeing. The Sikh gurus embraced the turban, to a limited extent, to remind Sikhs that all people are sovereign, royal, and equal.  Like the articles of faith, Sikhs regard their turbans faith as endowments from their beloved gurus, and its meaning is deeply personal.

Basic Understanding of Sikhism

» Sikhism is the world's fifth-biggest religion on the planet and the third biggest monotheistic religion in the world.
» The turban expresses a Sikh's commitment to protect and stand up for the values of equality for all people and justice for all.
» Sikhs value the five articles of faith - kes (long, uncut hair), kara (steel bracelet), kanga (wooden comb), kirpan (small sword) and kachera (soldier-shorts).
» Sikhs believe in an omnipresent formless God called Waheguru (Wa-HEY-guru).
» Sikhs believe that there are numerous pathways to God and numerous roads to look for the truth.
» Sikhs see men and women as equal in all aspects of life
» Sikhs believe all human beings are equal regardless of race or caste.
» Sikhs believe in the freedom to choose and practice religion openly.
» Sikhs are required to perform community service and share with the less fortunate.
» Ninety-nine percent of turban-wearing Americans are Sikh.

Sikhs in America

Sikhs in America have constantly stood up for their rights.

In 2017 NBC reported “The Tennessee State Board of Education last week approved new social studies standards that, for the first time ever, include Sikhism — a decision Sikhs viewed as a victory in combating bias, discrimination, and violence against the Sikh community. “This is a good step forward,” Rajdeep Singh, interim managing director of programs at the Sikh Coalition, which advocated for the inclusion of Sikhism in the revised standards, told NBC News. “In the post-9/11 environment, Sikhs have experienced school bullying, discrimination in the workplace, and hate crimes because of the way they look and because of ignorance of who we are and what we believe.”

There are roughly half a million Sikhs in the United States. Sikhs have lived in America for over 150 years, helped build the Transcontinental Railroad, served valiantly in every major world war, stood at the forefront ofcivil rights struggles, and were first responders on 9/11.

The first Sikh community entered the United States via the West Coast during the 1890s. They started encountering segregation promptly upon their entrance. The first race riot focusing on Sikhs occurred in Bellingham, Washington, in 1907. Irate crowds of white men rounded up Sikh workers, beat them up, and drove them away from town. The segregation proceeded throughout the years.


While growing up, my family and I have heard of and experienced this discrimination. In the 1970s, when 52 Americans were taken captive in Iran, the discrimination was rampant and racial slurs like “Ayatollah,” and “raghead” were hurled at most of the Sikhs. These slurs reflected the racist backlash against those who fitted the stereotypes of Iranians.


I had a rough childhood growing up in Illinois during these times. “I have had my good share of embarrassing moments in public, whether it was being beaten up by the school bully I or being turned down for a job.”
The same racist backlash recurred in the early 1990s when the U.S. engaged in the Gulf War. The racist attacks spiked again after 9/11, this time because Americans did not know about the Sikh religion. This was associated with popular stereotypes of what terrorists look like. Sikhs were discriminated against because of how they look.


Currently, in comparison to the past decade, cases of violence against Sikhs have surged since the election of President Donald Trump. According to the Sikh Coalition, Americans Sikhs are now being targeted in hate crimes more frequently. This has gone to a point where Sikh men have been brutally assaulted.

Summation

Sikh Gurus took a firm stand against injurious practices concerning the Status of Women by advancing equity between genders. The Gurus always call on their followers to adopt respect for women and humanity in general in their day to day conduct. Irrespective of caste or status in life, equality for all is paramount in Sikhism. Every human being should respect the rights of others and offer a more peaceful environment for people to live in by upholding equality, tolerance, and religious freedom and respect for all.

Good Karma for those who comment...