These are challenging times for people who live as conspicuous religious minorities. From Quebec’s proposed “Charter of Values” to American Muslim-Bashing, the pressure to conform is still a great threat to cultural diversity.
Sikh men are often the target of this xenophobia. With their turbans and the controversy about their ceremonial knives, they stand out in western countries. In the UK, noted photographer and stylist Pardeep Singh Bahr is spreading the word about what being Sikh really stands for with his video poem, “Don’t Freak I’m Sikh”:
I love the way he compares his “uniform” to the British Beefeater, and talks about the humanitarian values he is sworn to uphold. In an age when showing a turbaned man in a Gap ad causes outrage, and Westerners extend their already-ignorant Islamophobia to Sikhs, we could use a little more mutual love and understanding.