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RE: [xml-dev] Hate crimes against Sikh Community......

Salaam Alekum Satwinder,
Thanks for the links. They took me back a few years to when I was
traveling through the Middle East and Asia to the night we spent in the
golden temple at Amritsar and were made to feel *very* welcome, as I was
made to feel everywhere from Jordan to Nepal. Wherever and whenever I
had a problem with my motorbike I would search out the local Sikh
mechanic to be sure of an excellent and honest repair job. I owe you
guys a lot.

Unfortunately since Tuesday it has been reported on the BBC that 2
Pakistani taxi drivers have been shot in NYC and that yet another 16
Palestinians have been murdered in Palestine (that is on top of the 800
so far this year).

I just hope that all of this hatred stops and that all people of
whatever race, creed or religion can get past this bloodlust unscathed.
Unfortunately I think we might be on the eve of more deaths of innocent
women and children again at the hands of Americans (who is right and who
is wrong?). Let's hope I am wrong.

Ciao Chris

XML/XSL Portal

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Satwinder Mangat [mailto:smangat@adobe.com] 
> Sent: 14 September 2001 19:08
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: [xml-dev] Hate crimes against Sikh Community......
> Sorry for using this bandwidth to educate ourselves about 
> Sikh religion. The followers of Sikhism are called Sikhs 
> (people with beard and turban) and now have become target of 
> hate crime since last few days. Sikhs are neither Muslims nor 
> Hindus and have nothing to do Osama bin Laden.
> For slides on Sikhism and its history: check out
> 	http://www.maboli.com/seva/sikhi/index.htm
> Please forgive me if you think I shouldn't have this e-mail 
> to this mailing group. We are a global society and learning 
> about each other will make this world a peaceful place to 
> live. If you agree, please share information about Sikhism 
> with family and friends so that innocent Sikhs don't become 
> target of hate crimes because of their visible identity.
> Thanks
> Satwinder Mangat
> ==============================================================
> ==============
> =================
> Sikh community in America would like to join their fellow 
> Americans in condemning the horrific acts that took place on 
> the morning of September 11, 2001. Sikhs are saddened by the 
> tremendous loss of life from these actions, and their 
> thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. 
> Sikhs pray that the United States Government is able to 
> swiftly bring those responsible for these atrocities to justice.
> Since many Americans commonly mistake Sikhs for followers of 
> Islam, or associated with Osama Bin Laden because of turban, 
> there are reports of violent attacks directed against members 
> of the Sikh community. Sikh community request Amercian fellow 
> citizens to educate themselves about Sikhism so that innocent 
> Sikhs don't become soft target of hate because of their 
> visibile identity. Sikhs are neither Muslims nor Hindus and 
> has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.
> The Sikhism originated in Punjab state of India about 500 
> years ago. The brief introduction to Sikhism is given below. 
> Check www.sikhs.org, www.maboli.com www.sikhnet.com, 
> www.sikhmediawatch.com for more details on Sikhism.
> All Sikh Americans extend their prayers and solidarity to 
> those who have been affected by this devastating act of 
> terrorism, and hope that the diverse members of our nation 
> can come together as one in this time of national crisis.
> ==============================================================
> ==============
> ==================
> Introduction to Sikhism
> =======================
> A way of life and philosophy well ahead of its time when it 
> was founded over 500 years ago, The Sikh religion today has a 
> following of over 20 million people worldwide. Sikhism 
> preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all 
> times, truthful living, equality of mankind, social justice 
> and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is 
> open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined 
> in the Sikh Holy Book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
> Who and What is a Sikh?
> ========================
> The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple', 
> Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and 
> teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The wisdom of these 
> teachings in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (holy book) are practical 
> and universal in their appeal to all mankind.
> "I observe neither Hindu fasting nor the ritual of the Muslim 
> Ramadan month; Him I serve who at the last shall save. The 
> Lord of universe of the Hindus, Gosain and Allah to me are 
> one; From Hindus and Muslims have I broken free. I perform 
> neither Kaaba pilgrimage nor at bathing spots worship; One 
> sole Lord I serve, and no other. I perform neither the Hindu 
> worship nor the Muslim prayer; To the Sole Formless Lord in 
> my heart I bow. We neither are Hindus nor Muslims; Our body 
> and life belong to the One Supreme Being who alone is both 
> Ram and Allah for us." (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Granth Sahib, 
> Raga Bhairon pg. 1136)
> "Any human being who faithfully believes in: (i) One Immortal 
> Being, (ii) Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind 
> Singh, (iii) The Guru Granth Sahib, (iv) The utterances and 
> teachings of the ten Gurus and, (v) the baptism bequeathed by 
> the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other 
> religion is a Sikh." (Reht Maryada, Sikh Code of Conduct)
> Philosophy and Beliefs
> =======================
>  - There is only One God. He is the same God for all people 
> of all religions. The Sikhs will worship only God. They will 
> not set up any idols, gods, goddesses or statues for worship 
> nor shall they worship any human being.
> - Basic tenents of Sikhism are:
> 	a) Honest labour and work (Kirat Karna) are the 
> approved way of living ones life. It is considered honourable 
> to earn ones daily bread through honest work and not by 
> begging or dishonest means.
> 	b) Sharing with others (Vand Chhakna) is also a social 
> responsibility. The individual is expected to help others in 
> need through charity.
> 	c) Community service (Seva)is also an intergral part of 
> Sikhism. The free community kitchen (langar) found at every 
> gurdwara (Religious place of
> Sikhs) and open to people of all religions is one expression 
> of this community service.
>  - The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before 
> it reaches the human form. The goal of our life is to lead an 
> exemplary existence so that one may merge with God. Sikhs 
> should remember God at all times and practice living a 
> virtuous and truthful life while maintaining a balance 
> between their spiritual obligations and temporal obligations.
>  - The true path to achieving salvation and merging with God 
> does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but 
> living the life of a householder, earning a honest living and 
> avoiding worldly temptations and sins.
>  - Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting 
> places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, 
> idol worship etc.
>  - Sikhism preaches that people of different races, 
> religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It 
> teaches the full equality of men and women. Women can 
> participate in any religious function or perform any Sikh 
> ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.
>  - Sikhism stressed the full equality of women, rejecting 
> female infanticide, permitting widow remarriage and rejects 
> purdah (women wearing veils).
>  - Normal Family life (Grasth) is encouraged, celibacy or 
> renunciation of the world is not necessary to achieve 
> salvation. The devotee must live in the world yet keep his 
> mind pure. He must be a soldier, a scholar, a saint.
> History and Practices
> =====================
> The founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak who was born 
> in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding and 
> criticized the blind rituals of the Hindus and Muslims. Guru 
> Nanak passed on his enlightened leadership of this new 
> religion to nine successive Gurus. The final living Guru, 
> Guru Gobind Singh died in 1708.
> During his lifetime Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa 
> order (meaning 'The Pure'), soldier-saints. The Khalsa uphold 
> the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a 
> social conscious. The Khalsa are men and women who have 
> undergone the Sikh baptism ceremony and who strictly follow 
> the Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions and wear the 
> prescribed physical articles of the faith. One of the more 
> noticeable being the uncut hair (required to be covered with 
> a turban for men) and the Kirpan (ceremonial sword).
> Before his death in 1708 Guru Gobind Singh declared that the 
> Sikhs no longer needed a living and appointed his spiritual 
> successor as Sri Guru Granth Sahib, his physical successor as 
> the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh felt that all the wisdom needed 
> by Sikhs for spiritual guidance in their daily lives could be 
> found in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Eternal Guru of the 
> Sikhs. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is unique in the world of 
> religious scriptures because not only is it accorded the 
> status of being the spiritual head of the Sikh religion, but 
> besides the poetry of the Gurus, it also contains the 
> writings of saints of other faiths whose thoughts were 
> consistent with those of the Sikh Gurus.
> Sikhism does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru 
> Gobind Singh. The Guru felt that they had become corrupt and 
> full of ego. Sikhs only have custodians of the Guru Granth 
> Sahib (granthi), and any Sikh is free to read the Guru Granth 
> Sahib in the Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) or in their home. All 
> people of all religions are welcome to the Gurdwara. A free 
> community kitchen can be found at every Gurdwara which serves 
> meals to all people of all faiths. Guru Nanak first started 
> this institution which outline the basic Sikh principles of 
> service, humility and equality.
> The most significant historical religious center for the 
> Sikhs is Harmiandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) at Amritsar in 
> the state of Punjab in northern India. It is the 
> inspirational and historical center of Sikhism but is not a 
> mandatory place of pilgrimage or worship. All places where 
> Sri Guru Granth Sahib are installed are considered equally 
> holy for Sikhs.
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
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