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Re: Re: Sikhs boycott meeting with Pope
Other people need to learn that to Sikhs, the kirpan is a symbol of their religion. Sikhs also need to remember that people fear weapons. Some places allow Sikhs to wear their Kirpans as a right to express their religion [example Canada]. Some places have stipulations [in Californian schools, Sikhs are allowed to wear Kirpans, but they must be blunt and fixed so that it cannot be removed from its sheathe]. Other places ban it completely [Denmark, Sweden]. Even in countries where Sikhs are allowed to wear the Kirpan, there are always places where they are still banned. For example... airports.
Interesting note: Sikhs are not the only group to traditionally carry knives. In China, the Uyghur ethnic group traditionally carry knives, and are granted special permission from the Chinese government to wear them. However, they understand that there are certain places where the knife is classified as a concealed weapon [due to its small size and method of wearing], and must abide the rules of the area.
However, I do believe that since this was a meeting between religious leaders, that both sides should have come together and discussed the best way to accomodate both sides. Perhaps following the example in California schools, where Kirpans may be worn if they have been modified? What do you think?