Irish Garda Reserve's Ban on Turbans Essay

3556 WordsMay 27, 200915 Pages
Cultural diversity in Ireland is a very broad and complex subject, which is historically embedded in Ireland’s approaches to assimilation and integration of ethnic minorities in Ireland. To address the Garda Reserve’s turban ban, this paper will examine the history of migration, the impact of monoculture on Irish Society, racism in an Irish context, methods of assimilation of minority group cultures in society, and cultural integration in societies. The Turban, also known as Dastaar is an object of faith made compulsory by the founders of Sikhism. Sikhism conscientiously works to create an egalitarian society committed to justice and equality. The Turban has been an inseparable part of a Sikh’s life since the origin of the faith in the 15th Century; it is a representation of a Sikh’s identity and pride (The Irish Sikh Council, 2004). In 2007 a member of Ireland Sikh’s community, applied to the Garda Reserve; a volunteer reserve section of An Garda Síochána created in 2006. The Sikh volunteer was advised that the wearing of a turban was not part of the official Garda Reserve uniform. This left it impossible for the volunteer in question to pursue his aspirations of becoming a Garda Reserve thus affecting his participation Irish society. The Minister of Integration, Conor Lenihan, stated in relation to the matter “If we are to take integration seriously, people who come here must understand our way of doing things (The Irish Times, 2007). In contrast to Mr Lenihan’s statement, the Government had published in 2003 a report titled, Integration – A Two Way Process which defines Integration as “the ability to participate to the extent that a person needs and wishes in all of the major components of society, without having to relinquish his or her own cultural identity”. Therefore, the Garda Reserve ban on wearing a turban clearly conflicts with this definition and a

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