October 26, 2016




  1. The statement in the above article should be verified. You report ““It is important to note that while issuing the order to lift the complete ban on Kirpan at Gurdwara of Rochester, Judge Rosenbaum referred to Sri Akal Takht Sahib as the supreme Sikh authority and acknowledged its influence over Sikh affairs around the globe,’’ the statement said.

    Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Khalsa lauded the board of trustees at Gurdwara of Rochester for getting the kirpan ban lifted and mediating to resolve the differences between the two factions.”

    When I checked the NEW (newseastwest) source at http://newseastwest.com/us-sikhs-applaud-lifting-of-kirpan-ban-at-gurdwara-of-rochester/ a different picture emerges.

    The statement regarding Akal Takht was made by “Sikh leaders” deputed by Akal Takht to investigate the problem.

    It is unclear that Judge Mathew A. Rosenbaum affirmed the supreme authority of Akal Takht in his official opinion. If he did he was crossing an important constitutional boundary. Similarly no US court has the power to affirm the authority of the Pope in Rome.

    This case was tried as a matter of administrative law and its jurisdiction pertained only to the management of the gurdwara. Did the management committee have the authority under its articles of incorporation to ban kirpan? The initial judgement was the result of inaccurate information stipulated by the gurdwara managers. The revised judgement was based on amended information. The judge’s ruling should not be misunderstood to have the weight of case law regulating the customs, beliefs and practices of the Sikh religion.

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