The Counties Manukau Multicultural Council has thrown its weight behind the Sikh community in opposing a decision of the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club to bar entry of Sikhs wearing turban.
The Council, formerly known as the Counties Manukau Ethnic Council passed a unanimous resolution to the effect at its recent Annual General Meeting.
The club has banned Sikh community volunteer Karnail Singh from entering its premises, saying that the turban breached its no-headwear policy.
The Sikh Council of New Zealand is reported to have filed a complaint at the Human Rights Commission, opposing the ban.
The Counties Manukau Multicultural Council President Gul Zaman said the Sikh Turban was an article of faith and not a matter of choice.
“The Turban should not be equated with ordinary headgear. This is either due to ignorance or blatant discrimination against a hard working community that has contributed immensely to the development of New Zealand for more than 120 years,” he said.
Mr Zaman said his Council had appealed to the Cosmopolitan Club to reconsider its outdated discriminatory policy, respecting the multicultural and multiethnic composition of the New Zealand society, especially in Manurewa.
Attack on taxi drivers
In another statement, the Council also condemned the increasing spate of attacks on taxi drivers in various parts of the country.
Mr Zaman said the thugs who attack taxi drivers would be depriving genuine public of the service provided by the taxi industry.
“Apart from providing a vital service, taxi operators are trying to make a living in a difficult economic climate. They should be allowed to do their job without the fear of getting mugged or killed,” he said.
He said the Council appreciated the efforts of the New Zealand Police and the Government in tackling the problem.
“It was heart-warming to hear that the alleged killer of Auckland taxi driver Hiren Mohini has been apprehended in China and will face trial in his native country,” he said.
Thirty-nine-year old Hiren was killed in the Mt Eden area on January 31, 2010 (Indian Newslink, February 1, 2010 and other issues).
Photo : Gul Zaman