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The Sikh Coalition Alert

June 6, 2011

  • UPDATE: Dear Los Angeles area Sikhs,

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

    Last week we sent you an advisory about our case seeking to protect the right to maintain kesh in prison.  (See below.) We asked you to attend an important hearing scheduled for today in which the case would be heard.  We want you to know that both sides have reached a tentative settlement resolving the case.  Thus, during today's hearing, we will be asking for the judge to sign off on the settlement.  We will not be making substantive arguments about the case. 

    Thank you for supporting the right to maintain kesh in prison!


    Your Help is Needed to Maintain the Right to Keep Kesh!

    Dear Los Angeles Area Sikhs,

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

    Under current California regulations, all state prisoners must shave their beards to 1/2 inch length!  The state makes no accommodations for religion. Our client, a Sikh prisoner, was punished for refusing to cut his beard to 1/2 an inch.

    The Sikh Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit asking the court to force the state to stop punishing our Sikh client for practicing his religion, and to get rid of the beard rule state-wide.  The case will be heard on Monday, June 6th at 1:30 pm in federal court in Los Angeles.   We need Sikh community members to attend the hearing to show the judge the importance of this case to the California Sikh community.  Please attend the hearing!  Please ask your Sikh friends or family to attend!

    The details are:

    Who: Sikh community
    What: Seminal Hearing on Basra v. Cate case - Motion for Preliminary Injunction
    When: Monday, June 6th @ 1:30 pm
    Where: US District Court Central District of California, 312 Spring Street, Los Angeles CA 90012, Courtroom 6 (Judge Stephen V. Wilson)
    Why: So that the right to practice Sikhi is protected at all levels of government

    Sometimes people ask why the Sikh Coalition takes cases on behalf of prisoners.  We work to ensure that the right to practice Sikhi is protected at all levels of government - and for all Sikhs in America.  Every Sikh has the right to practice their faith. However, right now, the 1/2 inch beard rule means that it is not legal to be a Sikh while imprisoned. 

    For questions, please email harsimran@sikhcoalition,org.  Thank you!

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