News

Sikh businessman, Fleet reach out-of-court settlement over discrimination charge

SMART, Fleet Bank Reach Historic Agreement to Provide Improved Services to Sikh American Community, Reaffirms Commitment to Diversity and to Accommodate Sikh Religious Practices Washington, DC — A leading national Sikh advocacy group and the nation’s seventh largest retail financial institution, reached a broad-reaching agreement in which Fleet reaffirmed its commitment to diversity, including its […]

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Sikh Attorney, Organizations Successfully Lobby Federal Bureau of Prisons to Stop Illegal Turban Searches of Sikh Visitors

Washington, DC – The Federal Bureau of Prisons clarified its policy allowing Sikh visitors to federal prisons to wear their religiously mandated turbans during security searches in response to concerns raised by Sikh American groups after a Sikh attorney was barred from visiting his client in a federal prison. Ravinder Singh Bhalla asserted his first […]

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SMART Meets With Department of Justice

Washington, DC – The Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART), a Sikh American civil rights advocacy group, alongside leaders from the Arab American Institute and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), met with attorneys from the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Department of Justice Community Relations Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, […]

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SMART Conducts Educational Seminar For Department Of Justice And Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore, M.D.– The Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART), a national Sikh civil rights advocacy group, conducted an educational seminar December 7, 2001 for the Director and employees of the Department of Justice Community Relations Service. Trainers from the Baltimore Police Department and members of various Maryland County Human Relations Commissions were also in […]

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SMART Encourages Sikh Americans to Publicize Guru Nanaks’s Gurpurab

Germantown, MD — The Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART), a national civil rights advocacy group, encourages all Sikh Americans to publicize Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Gurpurb on November 30, 2001, with their local media outlets and to educate local communities about Sikhism. On Friday, November 30, Sikh Americans across the nation will be […]

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FAA’s New Security Regulations Address Illegal Turban Searches

Washington, DC — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued a new set of directives today that specifically address the issue of racial profiling and turban-searches facing Sikh Americans at airports. This new guidance explicitly explains the importance of the Sikh turban and kirpan, and describes how to be sensitive and respectful during conducting search of […]

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SMART Conducts Presentation For Federal Agencies

Washington, D.C.– The Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART), a national Sikh civil rights advocacy group, gave a presentation to staff members from the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, and the Department of Transportation on Thursday, November 15, 2001. This presentation was part of SMART’s ongoing efforts to educate the federal government […]

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DC Mayor Williams meets with Sikh Americans

WASHINGTON, DC – Sikh Americans met on November 1, 2001 with DC Mayor Anthony Williams and DC Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi to thank them for their leadership and to discuss anti-Sikh intolerance incidents that have been occurring in the aftermath of September 11 terrorist attacks. The hour long meeting focused on Sikh concerns in […]

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Sikh Asked to Hand Over Turban Before Boarding Plane

Satpal Singh Kohli was about to board a Southwest Airlines flight from Albuquerque, N.M., to Los Angeles Oct. 22, when ground crew at the security gate demanded that he hand over his turban to them before he enplaned. When Kohli protested, telling them that as a Sikh his religion forbade him from baring his head […]

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Carrying Kirpan During Air Travel

Germantown, MD – The Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART), a national Sikh American civil rights advocacy group, advises all Sikhs traveling on a commercial aircraft in the United States that the carrying of a kirpan on the individual’s person or carry-on luggage is prohibited by law. The applicable federal regulation states: ” . […]

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