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Should Sikhs wear Kirpan daggers in public?

Sikhs should be allowed to wear their ceremonial daggers - Kirpans - in schools and public places, says a leading Sikh judge. What is your reaction?

Sir Mota Singh QC has criticised schools who stop pupils from wearing the Kirpan and the Kara (a steel bangle), two of the five "articles of faith" that must be carried at all times by baptised Sikhs.

The department for Children, Schools and Families says it is up to individual governing bodies to make their own policy on the carrying of the Kirpan.

Do you agree with Sir Mota Singh? Should the Kirpan be allowed in schools and public places? Are you a Sikh? Have you experienced discrimination because of religious artefacts you wear?

Sikh judge criticises Kirpan ban

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Published: Monday, 8 February, 2010, 09:28 GMT 09:28 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 10:21 GMT 10:21 UK

My worry isnt the Sihk's carrying this as a ceremonial/ religios part of clothing....hasn't caused any problems in the past....unlikely to cause any problems in the future.

My worry is that others will abuse and use this 'loop hole' in the law to justify carrying a knife, or indeed avoid any reprocussions of carrying one by claiming religious purpose.

Is this realistic? Do we have something in place to stop this being abused?

Thunderpants, Looondon

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 10:20 GMT 10:20 UK

builders carry swiss army knives, axes, hammers when on trains to/from work in their toolboxes/and belts around their waist. As long as a Sikhs kirpan is a blunt small ceremonial symbl of their faith i dont see a prob. Their not allowed on planes! What are the crime statistics involving Sikhs and kirpans? There you go! sikhs has been granted to carry a kirpan after they paid a heavy price fighting alongside British Soldiers in ww1 n ww2. Let us question Multiculturalism entirely n be one then

Daniel Verma, London

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 10:17 GMT 10:17 UK

No they should not carry daggers, they are offansive weapons and we live in the UK which seems to have been forgotten by many individuals.

mark, london

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 10:17 GMT 10:17 UK

To all the people who commented that this is a Christian country and if you don't like then go back to where you belong -

How many times have you been to church in the last year? Do you actually know anything about Christianity or do you just rant and rave?

I defy any of you xenophobes to find me a passage in the Sikh holy scripture that advocates violence, hatred, animosity to any peoples.

The scripture is full of love for all of Creation.

your comments

BritishSikh, London

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 10:15 GMT 10:15 UK

Surely our laws must apply to all. If a Sikh teenager can carry a knife then why can'tall teenagers carry one? We can't discriminate on grounds of religion as far as application of the common law is concerned.

des, Newbury

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 10:14 GMT 10:14 UK

I believe the voices in my head are right and that I should carry about a machete wherever I go. They said they'll stop speaking to me if I don't.

Do I BELIEVE in my head voices any less? No. Then why can't I have a dangerous weapon in my trousers too?

[Squeakable], Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 10:13 GMT 10:13 UK

I find it worrying that Sikhs who have been born and brought up in this country are being told to 'go home' for carrying on a lawful activity.Personally I find it insulting and offensive.I would ask the moderators to reject any similar future posts. There is clearly an unsavoury undercurrent more suitable to a BNP manifesto
Billy Bragg is refusing to pay income tax on the basis it rewards the bankers. This is clearly illegal.I wonder if he will be met with similar calls to leave the country

Dalbir Singh, London

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:40 GMT 09:40 UK

"it is already legal for Sikhs to wear Kirpans"

Worrying, very worrying.

Worrying that this weapon has been legalised.

Worrying that a special priviledge appears to have been granted to part of our society.

[Gabriel_Oaks], Edenbridge, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:33 GMT 09:33 UK

Laws are made to protect people. It is not a black / white law with regard to knives. The law allows the carrying of knives for a lawful purpose. If you went to town and bought some carving knives how do you get them home? How about a travelling butcher? The knife laws are to stop violent criminals. A sikh carrying this dagger as part of his / her traditional dress is not a criminal and as such the law does not relate to them. Think of the broader picture.

mark, chesterfield

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:33 GMT 09:33 UK

All our fellow British Citizens to which ever religion or caste they belong. They have to understand the difference between a knife and a ceremonial/religious Kirpan( Dagger) .Since its origin in the 18th Century it has never been used to harm some one or for selfish gains. As the person can only carry it after becoming baptised and agrees to follow the strict rules of self decipline.It is like arming the army rather than the other way around , as the person carrying it is called a KHALSA (PURE)

PREET SURI, HAYES

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:33 GMT 09:33 UK

An item is only an offensive weapon if the intention is there to use it as such....

[MrSBaldrick], Dunny-on-the-Wold, United Kingdom

Fine....well you try stolling down the high street with a dagger strapped to you, and when you get stopped by a policeman try arguing that it is only an offensive weapon if you intend to use it as one. With any luck the policeman will be laughing so much you will be able to get away.

The really funny thing is, I think you actually believe what you said.

Election Please, Hampshire, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:32 GMT 09:32 UK

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Giving people an excuse - religious or not, to carry a lethal weapon in a public place is madness.

How can our society on one hand daily realise the tragic (increasing) effects of knife crime THEN give people special permission to do that very thing.

We live in a democratic country - if people don't like that then with all due respect simply go back to Asia.

Blake Williams, Cannock

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:32 GMT 09:32 UK

"This is a Christian country, abide by our rules or GET OUT......simples#

A. Flitcroft, Woodbridge"

Probably not an outstanding example of Christian attitude.

[SlaveofBaal], Orpington, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:26 GMT 09:26 UK

I am getting tired of repeating myself, but here goes: it is BECAUSE we believe in equality that wearing the Kirpan is LEGAL for Sikhs.

I'm sure this won't stop the avalanche of 'one rule for all', and 'obey the law of the land' arguments, but these arguments CANNOT BE USED in favour of a ban.

Mr Brush: liberty of conscience is not without qualification. Sikhism is tolerated because we believe it should be. I suspect we'd refuse religious rights to hatred / explosives / human sacrifice

Sebastian Robins, Cambridge

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Added: Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:25 GMT 09:25 UK

Carrying our sacred Kirpan is for religious purposes only, we are a very tolerant peace loving religion, and we do not carry them to cause anyone harm. It is already law in this country to allow us to carry them, there have been no incidents so why even bring the subject up, obviously to raise racial tension in my opinion. Leave us alone and concentrate on the real issues in this country, or log onto Facebook as that's all we seem to be interested in these days.

Ranjit Singh Jagdev, Handsworth

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