A symbol of service...


The turban is a bigot detector. 


A robust transparency is necessary at this time in our history.
We pledge to advocate and participate in thoughtful disagreement.
Therefore it is our objective to actively promote diversity and cultural
competency, explore issues of color and gender, and inspire people
who have a history of being marginalized, using social media and other
means as platforms to inform various communities of the life experiences
and concerns of marginalized people with regard to the necessity for social
action, dialogue, inclusion, compassion, tolerance, and cultural literacy to
expand and improve human relations going forward, in order to better facilitate
the current worldwide shift in global consciousness from tribalism, instability,
and extremism, to harmony, cooperation and enduring peace. In addition, we
welcome and support other organizations that promote the transformation of
as taught by spiritual teachers like Guru Nanak Dev and others.

It remains true today, in the ancient tradition of ignorance
that people of faith and otherwise good sense hasten to
ostracize and demonize any person or group whose
beliefs, lifestyle, and customs are unlike their own.
People may not tell you how they feel about you,
but they'll always show you. Pay attention!
Watch these Captain America videos!

"The turban signifies a student. A student is
one who surrenders their ego." Hari Singh Bird

The Story of Turban Technology

"Sikhs have always been highly identifiable and this is with good reason.
We stand out to be easily identified as spiritual warriors. We are the ones
to be relied upon to stand up and to defend the weak and innocent. Are we
living up to that legacy at this time or has our community become insular?
Practiced to the fullest in accordance with the teachings of Guru Nanak,
Sikhism stands for pluralism and against tribalism." ACT For Diversity

Properly tying the turban enables one to command the sixth center, the Agia Chakra. Covering the head stabilizes the cerebral matter and the twenty-six parts of your magnificent brain, which are interlocked with the neurological system and the electromagnetic field. Covering one's head creates a focus of the functional circuit of the hemispheres, and tunes up the neurological system. The whole head should be covered, not just the Crown Chakra. A head covering that covers the entire head is acceptable; white natural fabric, such as cotton, is ideal. -- See SikhWomenTieTurban.com. See The Turban Is A Crown. 

BIGOT: A bigot is a person who is intolerantly devoted to his or her prejudices or biased opinions. In addition to its physiological benefits the turban acts serendipitously as an effective sociological filter, i.e., Bigot Detector.

See The Turbanators. See The History of The Turban. See Turban Technology. See New Yorkers Celebrate Turban Day. See GoodGuysWearTurbans.com. See Turban Myths. See Glossary of Sikh Terms. See A Sikh Sense of Humor. See Sikh And Ye Shall Find. See Views On Tolerance. See Tribal vs. Tribalism: An Important Distinction. See SAAAP.org. See MySikhSense.com. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? See DualityOptics.com. See Dastaar For Sikh Women. See Woman Claims Her My Right To Tie Turban. See Turban Is Bana. See The Turban As A Bigot Detector. See The Essence of Kaur. See ActForDiversity.com.

NOTE: It is NOT a customary practice of the adherents of Sikh Dharma to proselytize. Sikhs often express the term "Sat Kartar," meaning, "God is the Doer." In this sense meaning, only those with such destiny are to be Sikhs.

See Turbanators.com.

Tur·ban·a·tors: Those who are committed to the termination of injustice including bigotry, tribalism, racism, and misogyny; live by the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev; and who fearlessly wear a turban as directed by Guru Gobind Singh.

The turban, which is not just laid or wrapped around the head, is tied in a special way as to maximize the benefits to the wearer. The turban does not just sit on top of the head, it caresses the skull in such a way as to enhance the powers of the amazing human brain. Properly tying the turban enables one to command the sixth center, the Agia Chakra.

Covering the skull stabilizes cerebral matter and the twenty-six parts of your magnificent brain, which are interlocked with the neurological system and the electromagnetic field. Covering one's head creates a focus of the functional circuit of the hemispheres, and tunes up the neurological system. The whole head is covered, not just the Crown Chakra. Any head covering that covers the entire head is acceptable; white natural fabric, such as cotton, is ideal.

In America, the followers of Sikh Dharma are the only spiritual group whose practice includes the wearing of turban. Sikhs tie turban as a constant reminder to live life as a student (sikh). In addition to its technical aspects the turban acts serendipitously as an effective sociological filter, i.e., a Bigot Detector. See more at Turbanators.com. Also see Definitions.


In ancient times the Turban preceded the Yamaka and Crown
as the symbol of Spiritual Wisdom, Knowledge and Power.
Transformational gems and metals were placed
inside the Turban, and later the Crown.

An Ancient Advanced Technology
The science and benefits of tying turban

The Benefit to tying the turban is that when one wraps the 5 or more layers of cloth, the temples are covered, which minimizes any variance or movement in the different parts of the skull. In other words, wearing a turban automatically provides an acupressure-like cranial adjustment, which provides an aid to all mental activities.

"The Sikh turban is not just laid on or wrapped around the head, it is
tied in such a special way as to maximize the benefits to the wearer.
The turban does not just sit on top of our head, it caresses the head
in such a way as to enhance the powers of the amazing human brain."

Today, in North America, the only religious group that ties turban, are the Sikhs. The practice of wearing the turban has not only become a rarity in many religions, but to the unversed it is associated only with fanatical and militant world terrorists. Since the horror of September 11, 2001, the Sikhs have been profiled and mistakenly identified as being associated with the fanatical Muslim Taliban of Afghanistan. See Mistaken Identity Video.

In the days following 9-11, the Sikh community around the world became painfully aware that many people have very little knowledge of the Sikh religion. See In The Aftermath of 911. A great deal of confusion existed then, as some American Sikhs were attacked, some were killed, and questions continue to this day regarding the Sikhs and their high profile tradition of maintaining full beard and tying turban.

National Sikh Campaign 2014 Survey of Americans
Question: What is your impression upon seeing these people?

See The 'Turbanators'. See How To Tie Turban.  See Sikh Style Turbans. See About The Sikhs. See Hair. See Beards. See Turban Myths. See Views On Tolerance. See If Your Dad Doesn't Have A Beard.


The Turban Is A Crown


The Heritage of Tying Turban

Since the 19th century in North America the only religious group identified with the wearing of turban is the Sikhs. To American Sikhs as well as Sikhs the world over, the tying of turban is a sacred act. The tenth and last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), partly as an act of defiance in the face of the fanaticism and tyranny of the Mughal ruler of India at the time, Aurangzeb, instructed the Sikhs, just as Moses instructed the Israelites, to wear their God-given, unshorn hair under a Turban. Sikhs have sacrificed their lives to protect its honor ever since. The following is a collection of references on how the turban has been regarded throughout history.

Sikh Man       Sikh Woman

Once they enter the gates of the court, they are to wear linen vestments. They shall wear linen miter (turban), and linen drawers on their loins. -- Old Testament: Ezekiel 44:18-19

The name "turban" is found in this form in European languages only: Greek--turban, English--turban, turbaned; French--turban, tulband; German--turban; Italian, Spanish and Portugese--turbante; Dutch--tulbans; Romanian--tulipan; in Latin, it is the miter; and it is generally traced to the Persian sarband. In Turkish, sarik is the usual name for turban. In ancient Egyptian civilization the turban was considered an ornamental headdress. They called it pjr from which perhaps is derived the word pagari or pugree, so commonly used in the Punjab of India.

The Egyptians removed the turban at the time of mourning, a custom which prevailed in the Punjab up to the end of the 19th century. The Sikh apostle, Bhai Gurdas Ji humorously narrates an incident in his Vars, that when an elderly Punjabi came to his home with his turban accidentally off, the women folk took it to be a sign of mourning and started weeping and wailing although no one was dead. The old man's turban, off his head, gave a false alarm.

Turban in the Old Testament
"Put on the turban as the Lord has commanded Moses."

One of the commands of God to Moses was to wear turban as the symbol of prophethood, holiness and divine power. This was a command obeyed by Jews and Muslims for centuries, and ignored or forgotten by Christians.

They made the tunic of fine lines, woven work for Aaron and his sons, the miter (turban) of fine linen, the tall head dress and their bands all of fine linen, the drawers of finely woven linen, the sash of woven linen, as the Lord had commanded Moses. -- Exodus 39, 27

The Turban, the Tunic, and the Drawer as the Priestly Vestment: These three articles, the turban, the robe and the drawer continued to be essential parts of the priestly dress among the Hebrews after the exile. They all have an old independent history, and it is not easy to explain how they came to be combined into an independent priestly uniform.

These are the vestments they must make: breast plate, ephod, robe, embroidered tunic, turban and girdle. -- Exodus: 28-4

The Turban as symbol of Dedication, Consecration and Essential for Anointment: The anointing of men with missionary zeal and prophetic missions required some ceremonial activities like pouring oil and fixing some mark on the turban, which was actually the crown of the priests. In a more refined form these ceremonies have symbolically survived in the Punjab to the present.

They made a rosette of pure gold as the symbol of their holy dedication and inscribed on it as the engraving on a seal, "Holy to the Lord"; and they fastened it on a violet brand to fix it on the turban at the top as the Lord had commanded Moses. -- Exodus 39-29

He put the turban upon his head and set the gold rosette as symbol of holy dedication on the front of the turban as the Lord had commanded him. Moses then took the anointing oil, anointed the Tabernacle and all that was within it and consecrated it. -- Leviticus 8, 9

Set the turban on his head and the symbol of holy dedication on the turban. Take the anointing oil, pour it on his head and anoint him. -- Exodus 29-6

You are to make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, "Consecrated to Yahweh", as a man engraves a seal. You will secure this to the turban with a ribbon of violet purple; it is to be placed on the front of the turban. The tunic you must weave of fine linen and a girdle, the work of a skilled embroiderer. -- Exodus 28-36

The Kingly Turban: The turban was the symbol of royalty and was used in place of the crown. It was an article of kingly regalia. Throughout the Islamic world, it continues to be used in place of the crown where monarchy exists.

For Jerusalem's sake I will speak out. Until her light shines forth like the sunrise, her deliverance like a blazing torch, until the nations see the triumph of your right, and all kings see the glory. Then you shall be called by a new name, which the Lord will pronounce with his own lips. You shall be a glorious crown in the Lord's hand, a kingly turban in the hand of your God. -- Isaiah 62:2-10

Turban as the symbol of Stoic Courage in the Face of Grief: During mourning the people usually took off their turban, but the brave and the holy are neither supposed to weep, nor lament, nor take off their turban. They are to wear the turban as the symbol of stoic courage. You are not to lament, not to weep, and not to let your tears run down. Groan in silence, do not go into mourning for the dead, knot your turban round your head, put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your beard. -- Ezekiel 24:17-19

And you are to do as I have done; you must not cover your beards, or eat common bread; you must keep your turban on your head, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard. -- Ezekiel 24:17-19, 23-24

The Turban as Symbol of Dignity and Self-Respect: The turban, during the biblical world, as it is among the Indians and Arabs who wear it, was a symbol of dignity, self-respect and authority. A blemish on the turban meant a blot on one's character. So it was during the time of Old Testament prophets, and so it is now among the Sikhs and Arabs. An insult to the turban meant unbearable insult to one's personality. To take away the turban meant subjugating a person and humiliating him. During their freedom movement Sikh prisoners were forced to wear caps which they refused. "When God takes away the turban," says Prophet Isaiah; "he takes away the dignity of man."

That day the Lord will take away the ankle ornaments, tiaras, pendants and bracelets and veils, the expensive dresses, mantles, cloaks and purses, the mirror, linen garments, turban and mantles. -- Isaiah 3:22, 23

For Babylonians the Turban was Symbol of Youth and Strength: The turban and beard gave them such attractive personality that women who had not seen them were infatuated by their personality. No sooner had she seen wall engravings of men, paintings of Chaldeans, colored vermilion, men with sashes round their waists and elaborate turbans on their heads, all so imperious of bearing portraits of Babylonians from Chaldea, then she fell in love with them at first sight and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. Belts were round their waists and on their heads, turbans with dangling ends; all seemed to be high officers and looked like Babylonian natives of Chaldea. -- Ezekiel 23: 14-17

The Turban as Symbol of Justice and Charity: When Job surveys his life and protests his innocence, he recounts the good he did during his days of prosperity. He identifies the turban with righteousness and uses it as a metaphor for justice, charity and kingly dignity.

I had dressed myself in righteousness like a garment. Justice for me was a cloak and turban. I was eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. -- Job 29:14

Turban as Symbol of Purity: Now Joshua was dressed in dirty clothes as he stood before the angel of God. The angel said these words to those who stood before him: "Take off his dirty clothes, clothe him in splendid robes of state and put a clean turban on his head." They clothed him in splendid robes of State and put a clean turban on his head. The angel said, "I have taken away your inequity from you. He shall wear a sacred linen tunic and linen drawer to cover himself and he shall put on a linen sash around his waist and wind a linen turban round his head and these are sacred vestments and he shall bathe before putting them on. -- Zechariah 3:4-9

Thus a clean body, a clean white turban were prerequisites for spiritual development of clean mind and pure soul. -- Leviticus 8:9

The Turban has long been considered the crown of spirituality: It is essential to Sikh Dharma and also has a special significance in Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And it is interesting to note that in Islam, the angels and all the prophets are represented as wearing turbans.

Prophet Muhammad himself spoke strongly in favor of the turban, as can be seen from the following hadiths, i.e., sayings of Prophet Muhammad.

"The turban is a frontier between faith and unbelief."

"My community shall not fall away so long as they wear turban."

"At the day of the judgment, a man shall receive a light for each turn of the turban round his head."

"Wear turban, for thus you will gain in generosity."

"Wear the turban and thus distinguish yourselves from the peoples who came before you."

The Spiritual Technology of the Turban
Source: SikhDharma.org

From the time of the first Sikh Master, Guru Nanak, wearing a turban was part of the unique spiritual path that would become Sikh Dharma. Guru Nanak, himself, wore a turban and asked his students to do so as well. For thousands of years, in many different spiritual traditions, the turban served a unique and universal purpose. It assisted a person to experience, integrate and maintain their highest consciousness throughout the day.

How does the turban work? The top of the head, the place where babies have their "soft spot," is called the tenth gate. In yogic terms, it is also known as the crown chakra. Thousands of years ago, yogis and spiritual seekers discovered that the hair on the top of the head protects the tenth gate from sun and exposure. In addition, the hair acts as antennae, channeling the energy and life-force of the sun into the body and brain.

To amplify the effect, spiritual seekers would coil or knot their hair at the tenth gate -- also called the solar center of the head. In men, the solar center is on top of the head at the front (anterior fontanel). Women have two solar centers: one is at the center of the crown chakra, the other is on top of the head towards the back (posterior fontanel). For men and women, coiling or knotting the hair at the solar centers focuses the energy and helps retain a spiritual vibration throughout the day.

This hair knot (known as the joora) is traditionally called the "rishi" knot. In ancient times, a Rishi was someone who had the capacity to control the flow of energy and prana in the body. A "maharishi" was someone who could regulate the flow of energy in the body, meditatively and at will. The rishi knot assists in the channeling of energy in meditation (Naam Simran). If one cuts off the hair, there can be no rishi knot. By giving us the rishi knot and the turban, the Sikh Masters shared a very ancient technology for how an ordinary person can develop the capacity of a Rishi.

The next step after tying a rishi knot is to put on a turban. The turban covers the coiled, uncut hair. The pressure of the multiple wraps keeps the 26 bones of the head in place and activates pressure points on the forehead that keep a person calm and relaxed. Turbans cover the temples, which is said to help protect a person from the mental or psychic negativity of other people. The pressure of the turban also changes the pattern of blood flow to the brain. When you tie up your hair and wrap the turban around it, all the parts of your skull are pulled together and supported. You feel clarity and readiness for the day and for what may come to you from the Unknown.

The Divine Energy that governs the Universe and guides our own life is mostly unknown to us. Living with an awareness of that Divine Energy within oneself and the entire creation allows us to live our highest potential. Wearing the turban helps us experience that Divine Energy and to remember there is something greater than what we know. It is a spiritual practice where we take the highest, most visible part of ourselves and show that it belongs to the Creator. Wearing the turban also helps cultivate a sense of surrender to the Divine.

The turban is the Guru's gift to us. It is how we crown ourselves as people of Universal Consciousness who sit on the throne of commitment to our own higher Self. For men and women alike, this projective identity conveys royalty, grace, and uniqueness. It is a signal to others that we live in the image of Infinity and are dedicated to serving all. The turban represents complete commitment. For more information on how to tie a turban click here.

Turban: Dignity and Sovereignty

The turban became a requirement for the Sikhs on Baisakhi Day of 1699. The Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh, after giving Amrit to the Five Beloved Ones, gave us bana, the distinctive dress that includes the turban. It is helpful to understand the historical context of his action. See Baisakhi Day Videos.

During Guru Gobind Singh's time, the turban, or "dastar," as it is called in Persian, carried a totally different connotation from a European hat. The turban represented respectability and was a sign of nobility and royalty. At that time, a Mughal aristocrat or a Hindu Rajput could be distinguished by his turban. The Hindu Rajputs were the only Hindus allowed to wear ornate turbans, carry weapons and keep their mustache and beard. Also at this time, only the Rajputs could have Singh ("lion") or Kaur ("princess") as their second name. Even the Gurus did not have Singh as part of their name, until the Tenth Guru himself took that name.

The followers of the Sikh faith did not have the means to display aristocratic attire, nor were they allowed to, even if they did have the means. (Doing so was usually equivalent to a death sentence.) It was in this context that Guru Gobind Singh decided to turn the tables on the ruling aristocracy by commanding every Sikh to carry a sword, take up the name Singh or Kaur, and have kesh (hair) and turban displayed boldly, without any fear. This effectively made his followers see themselves on a par with the Mughal rulers. See The Turban Is A Crown.

It is said that in Sikh Dharma, there are no slaves, and there are no masters. It is a discipline that allows each person to live to their highest excellence, and the Sikh community is one of equals. The bana (dress) of a Sikh who has taken Amrit is the visible manifestation of the belief that each person is sovereign, noble, dignified and divine. and that no human being is higher or lower than any other human being. --

Turbans From Around The World

In North America, Sikhs are the only religious group that wear turbans. Sikh men and women wear a cotton turban that serves as a meditation aid that is related to acupressure meridians, and to cover their long and unshorn hair, which is never cut out of a deep respect for God's creation of the human body. Some Sikh men comb out their facial hair and then twist and tuck it up into their turban along with the hair from their head.

See How to tie turban. See Sikh Style Turbans. See Beards. See About the Sikhs. About the Sikhs. See Why Sikhs Keep Their Hair Unshorn. See If Your Dad Doesn't Have A Beard.

Sikhism originated in northern India and Pakistan in the 15th century and is one of the youngest of the world's monotheistic religions. There are an estimated 20 million Sikhs in the world, with some 2 million spread throughout North America, Western Europe, and the former British colonies. The Sikhs have been an established spiritual community in the United States for more than 150 years, since before the 1850's.

Sikh Woman       Sikh Man

Muslim religious elders from Yemen, often wear a turban wrapped around a cap known in Arabic as a kalansuwa. These caps can be spherical or conical, colorful or solid white, and their styles vary widely from region to region. Likewise, the color of the turban wrapped around the kalansuwa varies. White is thought by some Muslims to be the holiest turban color, based on legends that the prophet Mohammed wore a white turban. Not all Muslims wear turbans. In fact, few wear them in the West, and in major cosmopolitan centers around the Muslim world, turbans are seen by some as passé.

Afghan men wear a variety of turbans, and even within the Taliban, the strict Islamic government that controls much of the country, there are differences in the way men cover their heads. For example, he may wear a very long turban … perhaps two twined together … with one end hanging loose over his shoulder. The Taliban ambassador to Afghanistan, on the other hand, favors a solid black turban tied above his forehead. And some men in Afghanistan do not wear turbans at all, but rather a distinctive Afghan hat.

Muslim Cleric       Afghan Man

Iranian leaders wear black or white turbans wrapped in the flat, circular style as is the case of the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Greek word turban is thought to have originated in biblical times. The turban is called a sarband, or a dulband among Persians and in some areas of Iran.

Indian men sometimes wear turbans to signify their class, caste, profession or religious affiliation … and turbans in India can be very elaborate. However, turbans made out of fancy woven cloths and festooned with jewels are not unique to India. As far away as Turkey, men have used the head gear to demonstrate their wealth and power.

Iranian Cleric       Indian Aristocrat

The kaffiyeh is not technically a turban. It is really a rectangular piece of cloth, folded diagonally and then draped over the head … not wound like a turban. Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, has made the kaffiyeh famous in recent times. However, the kaffiyeh is not solely Palestinian. Men in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Persian Gulf states wear kaffiyehs in colors and styles that are particular to their region. Jordanians, for example, wear a red and white kaffiyeh, while Palestinians wear a black and white one. And a man from Saudi Arabia would likely drape his kaffiyeh differently than a man from Jordan. The black cord that holds the kaffiyeh on one's head is called an ekal.

Yasser Arafat       Nigerian Tribesman

Desert peoples of Africa and elsewhere have long used the turban to keep sand out of their faces. Members of nomadic tribes have also used turbans and white kaffiyeh, while Palestinians wear a black to disguise themselves. And sometimes, the color of a person's turban can be used to identify his tribal affiliation from a distance across the dunes. In some parts of North Africa many men wear a turban of a very light blue color.

Saudi Man

The Seattle Times
Understanding Turbans

Don't link them to terrorism. America is not a country where the majority of people wrap their skulls in cloth before heading out of the house. Perhaps that explains the current confusion over Turbans.

In many regions of the globe, swaddling the head in fabric is simply a natural response to the scorching heat and dust. Scholars believe it was an ancient people living under a merciless sun who first invented the turban.

Like other types of clothing, the turban means different things depending on who is wearing it and how it is worn. But in the wake of recent terrorist attacks, the turban, originally a practical idea for protection, has become a symbol many Americans associate with terrorists.

In SeaTac last week, a man was charged with attacking a turban-wearing Sikh cab driver, calling him a "butcher terrorist." In Seattle, a man was arrested after he allegedly tried to choke a Sikh, telling him, "You have no right to attack our country." In Arizona, a man shot a Sikh gas-station owner to death, later explaining to authorities: "I'm a patriot."

Hundreds of other assaults on Sikhs have been reported across the country, a trend that strikes many as bizarrely misguided.

Yes, Sikhs wear turbans. But they have no connection to the Islamic extremists now wanted by the US.

Rather, Sikhs are members of the world's fifth-largest religion, which traces its roots to northern India and espouses egalitarianism.

President Bush describes the new American enemy as shadowy and hard to find, which may explain why some Americans are grasping for a way to identify terrorists. But equating the ancient headgear with terrorism shows how little is known about turbans.

Lesson No. 1: All turbans are not the same. Fabric head wraps and head coverings are common in a wide swath of the world, from North Africa across the Middle East and into Central Asia. At times, turbans have even been found on the heads of fashion-conscious Europeans and atop the craniums of American pop-culture icons.

Like other types of clothing, the turban means different things depending on who is wearing it and how it is worn. To see every turban-wearer as a terrorist is like assuming every person who wears shoes is a criminal.

A turban is a very long and narrow piece of cloth (12 feet is not an unusual length) made of cotton, silk or synthetics. It is wound around the head and held on by its own tension, gravity, or a chin strap.

The English word turban is believed to have come from the Persian word dulband, a word which is also thought to be the etymological predecessor of "tulip" and of the Spanish word for hammerhead shark, torbandalo.

Though no one knows exactly when and where the turban originated, carvings left by the Assyrians, who lived 3,000 years ago in the area that is now Iraq, show turbans on the heads of kings. That means that before there was Islam, or even Christianity, there were turbans.

It also means that by 1000 BCE, the turban had evolved from a strictly utilitarian piece of clothing into something used to connote nobility and power. The turban is like other pieces of fashion in this way, said Brannon Wheeler, associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Washington.

Just as shoes evolved from a practical foot covering into an item of clothing that reveals a person's class and origins, so turbans evolved from a simple head covering into something that identifies people along cultural, religious, political and social lines.

Those seem to be distinctions many are unaware of. John Cooksey, a Republican congressman from Louisiana, recently offered this suggestion for weeding out terrorists: "If I see someone come in and he's got a diaper on his head, and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over and checked."

Cooksey later apologized, saying he was referring only to Osama bin Laden, but clearly the way he described the offending headgear shows a lack of turban savvy. In the picture of bin Laden posted on the FBI's Most Wanted list, the fugitive Saudi millionaire is wearing a white cloth turban wrapped in a circular, spiraling fashion.

This is not the type of head covering that requires what Cooksey called a "fan belt", a thick black cord known to people in the Middle East as an ekal. The ekal is used to hold on a kaffiyeh, the patterned head covering made famous by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Kaffiyehs are worn by men in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Persian Gulf states. They are rectangular pieces of cloth folded diagonally and draped over the head. And technically, they're not even turbans.

The American tendency to link turbans with terrorism may stem from the Iran hostage crisis, with its images of Ayatollah Khomeni and his black turban. But in most of the Muslim world, the wearing of a turban symbolizes simply religious or political power.

Many Muslim spiritual leaders wear a white turban wrapped around a spherical or conical hat known as a kalansuwa. But, cautioned UW history professor Frank Conlon, "Not all Muslims wear turbans, and not all people who wear turbans are Muslim."

In the past, emperors and leaders have worn grand turbans with feathers and jewels added as flourishes. Today, in rural regions from North Africa to India, poor farmers and nomadic people of various religions cover their heads with simple turbans, the colors and styles of which sometimes identify them as members of a particular tribe or community.

And turbans have uses beyond the obvious. In Morocco, old men have been known to store money in the folds of their turbans. In the desert, turbans are wrapped around the face and used as a protective gauze to keep blowing sand out of the eyes. Before there were police and handcuffs, legend has it that turbans were used to tie up captured enemies.

These days, in more cosmopolitan and urban areas of the Middle East, the turban is a bit out of vogue, seen as a relic of the past by young people clamoring for the styles of the West.

At the same time, in the US, the turban has been embraced among some African Americans, who see it as an Afro centric fashion. Soul singer Erykah Badu, for example, has often worn a towering turban.

The irony of the American focus on turbans in the wake of the terrorist attacks is that, at least in this country, turbans are a very poor predictor of a person's involvement in terrorist violence.

"Needless to say," said Ellis Goldberg, head of the Middle East studies center at the UW, "none of the hijackers was wearing any type of turban." --
Eli Sanders

Sikh Man One of Only a Few Sikhs in U.S. Army

Captain Tejdeep Singh graduates recently
from the US Army's Officers Basic Training

Sikh Woman First Turbaned Airline Pilot In America

Arpinder Kaur

The Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) reported today that Arpinder Kaur, 28, of San Antonio, Texas has become the first turbaned pilot hired by a commercial airline in the States. As a Sikh, she has helped pave the way for both Sikh men and women who wear a turban or dastaar to fulfill their passion for flying. No longer does flying just have to be an extra-curricular activity for these Sikhs, but it can also be an every-day job!

In March 2008, after resolving the issue of wearing her dastaar on-the-job, with the help of the Sikh Coalition, Arpinder Kaur was officially hired by American Airlines Corporation (AMR) as a First Officer. She filed her grievance for accommodation of her religious article of faith based on American Airlines’ allowance of “regulation approved hats". An agreement was reached that is consistent with state and federal anti-discrimination law. In June 2008 she finished her pilot training program and is now flying Embraer Jets for American Eagle, a regional airline that is part of AMR based out of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

When Arpinder Kaur was asked why she chose to do this, she said:

“Two of the reasons I did this were: first, my love of flying and, second, to set a precedent for the community so they know you can be in your Sikh appearance and do anything out there; so that my younger brothers and sisters, the rising generation, will pursue their passions while practicing their Sikh faith.”

Her passion for flying first started when at the age of 15 she got to sit in the cockpit of an airplane when moving from Panjab. Despite having a degree in Information Systems and her mother’s belief that it was too dangerous for a girl to be a pilot, Kaur has chosen to follow her passion, while using it as a means for supporting her family.

Kaur said it was the love and support of her husband, Pritpal Singh that pushed her forward on the path toward becoming a pilot. Kulbir Singh Sandhu, captain with AMR mentored her throughout her aviation career. From 2003 to 2005 Kaur was trained by Jesse Sherwood in Kansas. With the help of these individuals and others along with her own perseverance and determination, Kaur and American Airlines have shown that accommodation and not assimilation is the way to harness the strength of diversity in America.

Harinder Singh, executive director of the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) in San Antonio, Texas said, “This is a great day for the Sikhs in America. Religious accommodation, not assimilation, is what the founders of this great nation envisioned and we are thrilled American Airlines celebrates the rich religious and cultural diversity of all American populations." --

Be Sikh and be well.

See short film on Arpinder Kaur and “piloting".            

From a woman all men are born.
How then can any man degrade any woman?


The 12 Aspirations of the Sikhs

Believe God is Truth and Word is Guru.

Believe God is the One Creator, and all of Creation is God's manifestation.

Espouse the role of woman as representing the Universal Mother.

Maintain their hair and beard unshorn as God's gifts, and wrap their hair in a turban.

Refrain from eating flesh food, i.e., red meat, chicken or seafood.

Refrain from using tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

Perform sadhana,* i.e., spiritual practice before sunrise, and recite banis daily.**

Believe all religion and scripture is an expression of the One Creator.

Respect the rights and freedoms of all spiritual paths.

Espouse the sanctity of the path of the householder.

Maintain 'Chardee Kala' (an exalted and positive attitude towards life and other people).

Believe it is God's blessing to serve others, and to protect the weak.

*The word Sadhana is derived from the Sanskrit words Sa, meaning all, and Dhana, meaning blessings.

**Banis are specific passages taken from the Guru and read each day.

"The greatest reward of doing Sadhana is that the person becomes
incapable of being defeated. Sadhana is a self-victory, and it is a
victory over time and space. Getting up in the morning is a victory
over time, and doing it (sadhana) is a victory over space." Yogi Bhajan

"The job of a teacher is to poke, provoke, confront and elevate." Yogi Bhajan

"It is incumbent on those who know to teach those who do not know." Hari Singh

Good guys and gals wear turbans

How to tie turban is next.


Pages, Photos And Points To Ponder

Science and Practice of Meditation and its Benefits

I am a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty

Sing Along With These Born Again Americans

All About Sikhs From the U.S. Dept. of Justice

The 1974 Transition of Bhai Sahib Dyal Singh

See Why Sikhs Keep Their Hair Unshorn

See What Happens When You Meditate

To The First Teachers of Sikh Dharma

Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru

If Your Dad Doesn't Have A Beard

History of Sikhs In America Video

Lessons Learned From The Sikhs

The New York Times About Sikhs

Americans Get An 'F' In Religion

Life According To Yogi Bhajan

Hymns of Guru Gobind Singh

Mai Bhago Kaur - Sant Sipahi

The Grace of God Meditation

Ma Bhagavati...in Memoriam

The Physiology of The Word

Women: Wimps or Warriors

Women: The First Teachers

Sikh Women Wear Turbans

Ways To Tie A Sikh Turban

I Do Not Eat Dead Animals

Good Guys Wear Turbans

The 12 Signs of Kali Yuga

What Does Sat Nam Mean

Hymns of Guru Ram Das

Sikhs Around The World

Hear Music of The Sikhs

Men And Women of War

Chotskies and Chakras

Siri Guru Granth Sahib

All About Sikh Dharma

Sikh And Ye Shall Find

Religions of The World

Meditation For Women

Sikhs And The Turban

Who Is Guru Ram Das

The Sikhs As Warriors

All About Sikh Women

America The Beautiful

Mantra Pronunciation

Khalsa Martial Artists

Sikhs And The Beard

How To Tie A Turban

The Siri Singh Sahib

Songs of The Sikhs

Who Are The Sikhs

The 9-11 Backlash

3HO Legacy Links

Gurdwara Security

Science of Mantra

The Akal Takhat

Bigot Detector

Sikh Anthem

Punjab News

Sikh Women

3HO History

India News

About Hair

You are IT

Sikh Sites







Sikh Coalition helps get historic protections
for millions of students in New York State.


Sikh Coalition

Sikh Council on Religion and Education

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

See SensitivitySummit.com. See Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.
See The Homeless Banned And Jailed In 'Christian' America.
See Let's Have 'The Race Conversation' For Real, This Time.
See More Diversity Dialogues. See Institutionalized Racism.

See Required Reading. See Recommended Reading.
See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'?

See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism.

See A Native American's Thanksgiving Rebuke.
See What White People Need To Know.

See Americans Need To Pay Attention.
See What's Wrong With This Picture?
See A Case Of Unjust Enrichment.
See A Classic Case of Tribalism.
See What Tribalism Looks Like.

See Guidelines For Facilitators.
See For The People Of Color.
See What Is White Privilege?
See KRI Needs To Go To Jail.
See Jon Stewart On Racism.
See The Ubuntu Philosophy.
See TheMahanTantric.com.
See Example of Tribalism.

See ACT For Diversity.
See Comments Con.
See Comments Pro.

See Obama 43 To 1.
See My Main Point.
See Definitions.
See Questions.



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