Immigration Watch Canada denies involvement in 'f--- your turban' posters
These racist, anti-immigration posters targeting men in turbans were posted around the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.
After racist posters targeting people in turbans were posted around the University of Alberta campus Monday, an anti-immigration group whose website address on the bottom of the signs has denied any involvement in the hateful campaign.
“We wish to inform our supporters that we strongly condemn this flyer, and permission was not sought from our board for this to be circulated,” read a statement posted on the Immigration Watch Canada website. “We strongly believe in dissecting the immigration issue with constructive arguments, supported by irrefutable facts. We do not support flyers taking on a strictly vulgar and emotionally-charged narrative.”
Posters that read “fu*k your turban” on top of the image of a man wearing a turban sparked outrage from students and administrators at the university.
Campus security removed the offensive posters.
Along the bottom, the poster read “if you are so obsessed with your third-world culture, go the fu*k back to where you came from,” above the website address for Immigration Watch Canada.
According to their website, Immigration Watch Canada is an “organization of Canadians who believe that immigration has to serve the interests of its own citizens,” and advocates for dramatically reducing immigration into Canada.
This latest condemnation comes after the World Sikh Organization of Canada Alberta chapter vice president Tejinder Singh Sidhu called the posters, “a pathetic attempt at drawing the spotlight to deplorable views that have been rejected in Canada.” University president David Turpin has also said University of Alberta Protective Services is working to identify the person behind the posters.
In response, minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan tweeted that he is, “proud to be Canadian, proud of my service to Canada, proud of my turban.”
Prime minister Justin Trudeau added, “and we're proud of the enormous contributions Sikhs make to this country every day,” using the hashtag #MakeItAwkward – popularized by Edmonton mayor Don Iveson and Jesse Lipscombe after a video of Lipscombe confronting a man who yelled racial slurs at him from a car went viral.
On Tuesday, posters that read “Rock Your Turban” and “Funk Your Turban” began circulating around U of A campus in response to the campaign.
Five things about turbans:
What is a turban?
A turban is a type of head covering where cloth is wound around a person's head. They are commonly found in cultural communities in South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia as well as parts of Africa.
Who wears a turban?
Turbans are typically worn by Sikhs, who refer to their style of turban as the Dastaar and are also commonly worn by Shia Muslims. Historically, turbans have been worn in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Rastafari and Sikhism.
Why do Sikh's wear turbans?
Sikhs believe in maintaining their personal appearance in their natural form as a way of staying true to their religion, meaning they do not cut their hair. Sikh men and women will tie their long hair up in a turban and wear it as a symbol of honour, self-respect, courage, spirituality and piety to their religion.
How do you tie a turban?
Sikhs will first tie their hair in a knot at the top of their head before carefully wrapping metres of cotton cloth around their head, securing and covering their hair. Turbans are worn in different styles and colours, though most Sikhs will wear traditional orange or navy turbans for religious events, or red or pink turbans for special occasions such as weddings. Modern Sikhs often coordinate the colour of their turban with the rest of their outfit and sometimes decorate them with jewelry.
Do Canadian Sikhs wear turbans?
Wearing a turban is a personal choice, however with more than 468,000 Sikhs in Canada and 24 million followers worldwide, turbans are not out of place on Canadian streets.