New Zealand Club ‘Embarrasses’ Sikh, Bars Entry Because of Turban

Club in NZ barred a Sikh man from entering because of his turban a month after country praises another for saving kid

Published
World
2 min read
Gurpreet Singh. (Courtesy: facebook.com/gsbhinde)

A 30-year-old Sikh man working in New Zealand was barred from a club because of his turban, prompting him to lodge a complaint alleging religious discrimination.

Gurpreet Singh, a real estate agent, was not allowed to enter the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club in Auckland for lunch with colleagues as he breached the club’s no-headwear policy.

“We tried to explain to club staff that the turban was part of our faith and not something I could take off,” Singh was quoted as saying by The New Zealand Herald.

But they said ‘No, we have this policy and we are sticking to it. Instead of arguing we just left. I don’t know whether it’s being racist or ignorance, but what they did left me shocked and insulted. I was embarrassed by the incident.
- Gurpreet Singh

Further, a complaint was lodged yesterday of religious discrimination with the Human Rights Commission.

It’s just the standard rule we’ve had in our club for the last 50 years. It is to stop people coming in with beanies, with caps, with hoodies and this sort of stuff.
- John Stevens, President of the club.

This is not the first time such an incident has occurred in New Zealand. In 2010, a businessman was refused service at a golf club bar, again because of his turban.

New Zealand’s Sikh leaders will meet in Auckland this weekend to discuss how to prevent further religious discrimination against their community.

Earlier this year, seven Sikh men were barred from a Cricket World Cup match at Eden Park because they were wearing kirpans - a short, normally blunt, ceremonial dagger that is mandatory for all Sikhs to wear.

Ironically, the incident comes a month after 22 year-old Harman Singh, a Sikh Student in New Zealand was hailed as a hero for breaking religious protocol as he removed his turban to help save the life of a five-year-old boy.

(With PTI inputs)

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