Unshorn hair (‘Kesh’) are also an essential part of the Sikh Code of Conduct. This makes Turban an essential part of a Sikh’s attire. Like the ‘Kirpan’ issue, this is another issue where the Government and its departments as well as the wider Australian community need to be informed about the importance of the Turban for a Sikh. More importantly, in order to tackle the hate crimes and discrimination based on the ‘looks’ the Australian community is being educated about the distinction between a Sikh and other members of the community who may also wear a Turban or cover their head or perhaps may look the same due to other items of clothing (for example the salwar and kameez for the women).
In a recent speech the Minister of Citizenship Peter McGauran has committed that Australia will never ask Sikhs to do what the French Government has asked (in 2004) and in fact he has gone a step further by promising that he will find ways to put pressure on the French Government to lift the ban on the Turban for Sikhs.
Hopefully the Government will introduce measures which will allow the wider Australian community to be more aware and tolerant and not discriminate against someone wearing a Turban and not assume that they might be a terrorist.