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  1. I respect "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh", but tell me since gurbaani says god is the only thing that exists. "Sab Gobind hai sab gobind hai. Gobind bin nahi koi" . If god is only thing that exists, then how can there even be a concept like "victory" or "defeat". Its like me playing tennis with myself. its ridiculous . I am neither the winner nor the loser. For me to either win or lose, there has to be someone else ! But with god, there's no one else. Even things are him only. So "Waheguru ji ki fateh" is against whom . ? when waheguru is the only thing that exists . Also since everything is his , both good and bad, then why we say "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa" too. I am trying to understand. no offense Mods might consider moving this thread to Gurbani section. Sorry !
  2. ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ ਜੀ । When I jap naam for a long time, then say do Ardaas, my head automaticaly randomly twitchs sometimes etc. Do others experience this? If so why does it occur?
  3. Optometry Board Accommodates Student’s Turban, Allows Him to Use Alternative Instruments May 13, 2013 (New York, NY): The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) provided Ampreet Singh, a Sikh optometry student, a religious accommodation to use a non-standardized optometry instrument --- allowing him to wear his turban -- to complete the clinical skills portion of the national licensing examination. Recently, Mr. Singh successfully passed the exam, as well as the clinical skills evaluation, with a near perfect score. The national exam, which consists of three parts, requires optometry students to wear a head-mounted binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy instrument (BIO) for the clinical portion. However, Mr. Singh, because of his religiously-mandated turban, was unable to wear the head-mounted BIO. He requested a religious accommodation to wear an alternative but functionally equivalent spectacle-mounted BIO. Mr. Singh successfully used the spectacle-mounted BIO throughout optometry school. The NBEO, nevertheless, denied Mr. Singh’s accommodation request, citing concerns about standardization and asked him to proceed with the exam without completing the clinical portion. As skipping the clinical portion would have significantly decreased Mr. Singh's chances of passing the exam, he refused and contacted the Sikh Coalition. The Sikh Coalition advocated for Mr. Singh extensively. Initially, the NBEO refused to agree to a workable solution. After months of negotiations, the NBEO finally agreed to allow Mr. Singh to wear the spectacle-mounted BIO instrument and graded him on-site through the use of a teaching mirror and a proctor. This accommodation allowed him to complete the practical portion of his board examination while wearing his turban. "We applaud the NBEO's decision to provide Mr. Singh with a suitable accommodation consistent with his religious rights under state and federal law. It is alarming that the hurdle Mr. Singh faced in his career was not a difficult examination or coursework but the initial failure of a national licensing board to accommodate his religious beliefs. This accommodation embraces diversity in the optometry profession and will pave the way for other Sikhs," said Gurjot Kaur, Staff Attorney. Ampreet Singh is presently completing his last externship and is set to graduate this month. He will begin his residency in optometry in July. We wish him the best of success and re-affirm our commitment that no person should ever have to choose between his or her career and faith. To read the complete advisory, please click here. As always, the Sikh Coalition urges Sikhs everywhere to practice their faith fearlessly.
  4. Landmark Settlement for Sikh Middle Schooler Targeted by Bullies; Sikh Coalition Files Complaint; Justice Department Takes Action May 11, 2013 (New York, NY) - In an unprecedented victory for Sikh students nationwide, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a landmark settlement agreement with the DeKalb County School District (School District) in Atlanta, Georgia on behalf of a Sikh victim of school bullying. This is the first time the federal government has entered into a settlement on a school bullying matter involving a Sikh student. The settlement sends a clear message to school districts nationwide that they must take effective action to end bias-based bullying of all school children, including Sikh children. The Sikh middle-schooler, whose identity is being withheld because he is a minor, had been subjected to years of bias-based bullying and verbal and physical harassment by a number of different students. The Sikh student was referred to as “Osama,” a “terrorist,” and “curryhead,” and told he has a “bomb on his head,” and to “go back to your country.” These incidents occurred both at school and on the school bus. He also suffered physical harassment. In one incident, a few strands of his hair were cut by another student during class. The Sikh student reported these incidents to the School District and although it responded to some of the complaints by disciplining the harassers, the measures were ineffective in stopping the harassment. Since October 2012, the Sikh Coalition has represented the student and placed the School District on notice of ongoing harassment, and demanded safety plans and effective remedial measures to diminish the hostile educational environment, including anti-harassment training. After repeated inaction from the School District, the Sikh Coalition filed legal complaints with the Department of Justice, alleging violations of federal law. The Sikh Coalition’s complaints prompted a federal investigation that directly led to the historic public settlement. The settlement, which remains in effect until the end of the 2014-2015 school year, provides, in part, that: The school district will immediately implement a safety plan to ensure that the student is safe at middle school and at high school; The school district will make available a Punjabi interpreter for the student’s parents and ensure all essential written documents are translated into Punjabi if requested; The school district, working with a consultant mutually agreed upon by the DOJ, must develop and implement mandatory age-appropriate anti-harassment training for all students and staff who interact with students at the middle school and high school. The training must include a discussion on the root causes of religious and national origin harassment and harms, including post-9/11 backlash and the perpetuation of negative stereotypes impacting the Sikh, Muslim, Arab-American, and South Asian communities. Read the DOJ's Press Release Read the full settlement agreement Read press coverage in Atlanta Journal-Constitution Read press coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle This settlement demonstrates the DOJ’s commitment to ending the bias-based bullying and harassment of Sikh students. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, rates of bullying against Sikh children “range from roughly half to over three-quarters.” The Sikh Coalition’s various bullying reports confirm that Sikh students suffer high rates of bias-based bullying and harassment at schools nationwide. Read Sikh Coalition Bullying Reports and Resources Here Resources for Sikh Children & School Educators “Our schools should be places where children quench their intellectual curiosity, not places where they endure hatred and fear. Many students and parents do not realize that bullying can often be a legal problem, especially when a school district fails to take appropriate action. This settlement sends a clear message to schools nationwide that we will no longer tolerate inadequate measures to address school bullying. We commend the DOJ and the School District for ensuring the safety of Sikh youth and procuring this historic settlement,” said Gurjot Kaur, Staff Attorney at the Sikh Coalition. Jocelyn Samuels, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at DOJ stated, “Students of all faiths must be protected from harassment and other forms of discrimination. We commend the district for stepping forward and putting student safety first. We are encouraged by the district’s resolve to support and provide anti-harassment training on issues facing students from the Sikh, Muslim, Arab-American and South Asian communities.” “I think things will be better for my son now because of this settlement. I do not have the words to thank the Sikh Coalition for their work the past few months,” said the student’s father. “We can’t thank the Sikh Coalition enough for bringing us relief and for adequately handling an extreme bullying situation that our family has faced for years,” said the student’s sister. "I want other students, who may have been bullied like me, to always have hope and to know that it’s never too late to speak up,” said the Sikh student. If you or your child has experienced bias-based bullying in the DeKalb County School District and/or any other school district across the country,please contact the Sikh Coalition for legal assistance here. We urge all students to remember they are not alone. As always, we urge all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly. http://salsa.wiredforchange.com