In an unprecedented ruling on the wearing of kirpan by baptized Sikhs in the Courts of Manitoba, Chief Justice Archie Dewar of Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench ruled in favor of banning kirpan from the courtroom.

This ruling is condemnable and unacceptable to the Sikhs and the Federation of Sikh Societies of Canada.

“When the courts begin to interfere with the religious convictions of an individual, that law cannot and should not be respected’”’ a furious Mr. Gosal, President of the Federation said. Continuing he said, “This is a blow to religious freedom for all religions throughout the land and I welcome all religious people to join us in the fight of taking religion away from under the gavel.”

This ruling runs smack against the multicultural, multireligious and multiracial reality that is Canada.

“The ruling knocks the foundation of our religion and must be challenged. The Sikh identity is at stake. We will take this issue to the highest court of the land,’’ said President Gosal.

 It is ironic that this ruling is delivered on the very day the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada asked for help in the interpretation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The kirpan has already been taken into the House of Commons, the Supreme Court of Canada, the United Nations, International Court of Justice and such distinguished institutions. Justice Dewar was narrow, ill-advised and unjust in his decision.



Article extracted from this publication >>  February 15, 1985