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  • CNN has posted a history of bias against Sikhs - more reason for people to learn about religions before they attack anyone:...

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Hackers group Anonymous takes down Vatican website:

  • WGN-TV calls doomsday prophecies "an illusion":

  • RT @graceishuman: Really,? Asking people JUST LEAVING the service how they felt about it? Tacky, tacky, inappropriate

  • Whitney Houston's funeral service really took the world to church. Love Pastor Winans' honesty, very moving.

  • #teacher ? Here are appropriate responses to situations with your Jehovah's Witness student:

  • #Teachers: Want to know why your Jehovah's Witness student won't say the pledge and how to respond?

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CNN just reported that a shooting at a Sikh temple took place at 10:40 am this morning near Milwaukee, WI. As of 1:42 pm, people were still trapped inside the temple. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people inside and their families.

Here is a quick backgrounder on Sikhism:

The major players: 10 gurus, teachers who passed the torch onto one another until the tenth guru told Sikhs to follow the eternal guru one year on Baisakhi Day. The first guru was Guru Nanak Dev whose life and preaching resulted in the founding of Sikhism.
The major scripture: Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the eternal guru, a collection of the teachings of the ten gurus and writers from other religions. It is the so-called “head” of the Sikh religion, though Sikhs do not worship the book as an idol.
The major tenets: There is only one God, he cannot take human form, one should devote oneself daily to remembering God, one should reject rituals (such as fasting, yoga, and pilgrimages) as one should focus more on good conduct and right mind than things connected to the world
The goal: To break the cycle of death and rebirth and merge with God
Encouraged practices: Meditation, following the teachings of the gurus, service, and charity
The social connection: Equality for all sexes, races, castes, and creeds; social responsibility and community service emphasized

Learn more about Sikhism.

Ever wondered why Sikhs carry small swords?

Ever mistaken a Sikh for a Muslim?

Want to know why Sikhs traditionally do not cut their hair?

RT writer Jackie Walker Gibson recently wrote a post for Teaching Tolerance (a mag and website for teachers) describing certain Sikh traditions that could lead to discrimination in schools. The post is intended to educate teachers on Sikhism so that they can demonstrate understanding in the classroom.

Check out the full post at

Created by, 2011

Today, Sikhs are celebrating Guru Purab, the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji – founder of the Sikh religion.

Who was Guru Nanak?

Guru Nanak was born near Lahore in modern-day Pakistan in 1469. He received a vision to preach about God; as a result, he taught that there is only one God and one unified humanity. The roots of some of his ideas can be traced to both Hinduism and Islam.

Learn more about Guru Nanak on the BBC Religion site.

How are Sikhs celebrating?

Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak’s birthday today, if you’re going by the lunar calendar. The celebration is one of the gurpurbs, or festivals associated with the life of the Sikh gurus.

Two days ago, Sikhs began a continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture, which was to be finished by the start of the festival. Today, Sikhs take the scripture out in a procession, decorating the guru. The gurdwaras, or places where Sikhs gather, are also decorated for Guru Nanak’s birthday. Sikhs may also eat special holy food (called prasad) today and light lamps.

Check out this video from Sify about Guru Purab.

Learn more about Sikhism on

Created by, 2009

The United States Army recently decided to allow a Sikh captain/physician to wear Sikh articles of dress while on active duty.

Capt. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi will enter active duty in the Summer 2010. Thanks to his individual appeal, he will be allowed to continue wearing his dastaar and kesh while on active duty.

Kesh what?

Baptized Sikhs are required to keep five articles of faith at all times.  These are:

  1. Uncut hair (considered a part of the body, can be covered with a turban)
  2. A comb (which must be used at least twice a day)
  3. A bracelet (a reminder of vows)
  4. A sword (for self-protection only)
  5. Under shorts (a reminder of self-restraint)

Uncut hair is called kesh and dastaar is the turban used to protect it. These symbols show one’s devotion to the Sikh religion. Religious garments have deep meaning; asking someone to remove a garment could make them feel as though they are denying their religion.

Learn more about challenges to the turban and other head coverings on

What’s the point?

The Army decision goes against the 1986 Army ban on “conspicuous” religious articles of faith. Sikhs will likely continue to ask for permanent change to the ban.  

The decision seems to imply that the Army is beginning to accept and understand Sikh culture. Religion Transcends encourages US institutions to continue to be open to the traditions of the world’s religions, allowing rather than banning balanced religious symbolism.

Want more Sikh news? Watch Religion Transcends for a Sikh holiday backgrounder next week.

Created by, 2009