How to Wear a Turban for Religious Reasons

Religion and religious custom often leave the practitioner open to ridicule, derision and even physical assault. The truth is many people throughout the world do not tolerate anyone wearing a turban since it is often associated only with fanatical and militant terrorists after the 9-11 bombings in the United States. It is often very difficult deal with the ignorance that fuels the hatred that many people who wear religious head coverings face, especially if they wear a turban.[1]


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    Remember that those who make fun of others based on their wearing of religious garments are usually ignorant and intolerant of others whose beliefs differ from their own religious beliefs. But sometimes people are just scared and lashing out is the only way they can express this. Not responding to their taunts will sometimes silence them.
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    Educate others by discussing your beliefs, when appropriate. Explain in detail that the turban's importance can be found in just about every culture and religion, beginning with the ancient Babylonians and running up to western religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as eastern traditions such as Hinduism and Sikhism. Show people a copy of the Old Testament and read from it, where it proclaims, “Once they enter the gates of the court”—implying God's court—“they are to wear linen vestments. They shall wear linen turbans.” Then explain your own personal reasons for wearing a turban as well as the personal religious beliefs that cause you to wear it[2]
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    If you are at school, Enlist the help of the principal to sponsor a religious tolerance day. Invite speakers such as lawyers or judges to explain to the assembly the importance of religious freedom and its protection by both the US Constitution and state law. It might even be a good idea to feature people from your own religion who wear different types of turbans, and have them explain the differences and when and why they wear each.
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    Speak to your spiritual leader about your situation. If possible, have this person visit the home of the person who is bothering you about your turban to speak to his/her parents and to discuss your religion's reasons that require you to wear a turban; this just might help stop any taunting.
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    Call the police if the situation becomes violent. In North America, one religious group that wears a turban is the Sikhs. Since September 11, 2001, the Sikhs often have been mistakenly profiled by the public as representing the fanatical Taliban group of Afghanistan. This resulted in President George Bush signing a federal law which, among other things, prohibits persecution of American Sikhs and all Americans who wear turbans.[3]


  • You do not have to deal this alone. There are many people who understand the importance of ecumenicalism and religious tolerance. They will stand with you if you just reach out.
  • Never lose your temper or self-control, if you can help it; because it only eggs to bully on to more abuse.
  • Ask other clergy in your community to step in. Explain the issues you are facing. Often they can help their parishioners understand things before people allow their ignorance and misguided passions to get in the way of reason.


  • Evil thrives when men of good will stand idly by. Get involved if you see someone being unfairly teased and mocked because of his religious dress. At the very least, call the principal, teacher or anyone else to step up and help the victim out. As a last resort call the police. You have the law on your side.
  • Taunting can be frustrating and can make one feel isolated. Never respond to words with aggressive behavior. As much as you may enjoy the feelings of punching some mouthy idiot's lights out, you would be wrong to take the matter into your own hands—and it will probably just make the situation more dire. Also, you could go to jail while your tormentor has the last laugh.

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Categories: Sikhism | Hinduism