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  1. #1
    Growler's Avatar
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    Thoughts on this??

    Richbrau shuts out turban wearer
    Sikh businessman turned away from restaurant in dispute over head covering

    BY PAIGE MUDD
    TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Nov 25, 2006


    A Sikh software executive visiting family in the Richmond area was denied entry Friday night to a popular Shockoe Slip restaurant because he refused to remove his turban.


    Hansdip Singh Bindra, 37, was shocked when management at Richbrau Brewing Co. told him he had to remove his "hat."

    "It was incredibly embarrassing. It's not a hat. When I wear a turban, it's a part of my body. It's a gift from God," said Bindra, who lives in Long Valley, N.J. "It's like asking a Jewish person to take off his yarmulke."

    Richbrau owner Mike Byrne said yesterday that the restaurant's policy forbids head coverings.

    "We have a policy where no bandanas or headgear is allowed, and we enforce it," he said. "I think the issue is he's quite clear on what our policy is. It's not a discrimination policy. It's simply no headgear."

    Bindra was out with his two male cousins who live in Chester and a male friend, all of whom are Sikh but do not wear turbans.

    The turban is a religious symbol for many Sikh men, who cover their long hair in public. Sikh men also wear beards.

    Bindra, who was born in India but is a permanent U.S. resident, said he was allowed into every other downtown Richmond bar he went to Friday night -- Tiki Bob's Cantina and Have a Nice Day Café in Shockoe Bottom and The Tobacco Company in Shockoe Slip. He has never visited the Richmond area before. He never goes out in public without his turban.

    Byrne said the no-headgear policy is meant to keep Richbrau safe.

    "We don't tell you how to groom. We're not trying to make a social statement," he said. "Most of our policies are regulated toward having a safe environment and having people feel safe. Certainly, religion or race has nothing to do with policy."

    Restaurant owners are allowed to set a dress code, but federal law prohibits them from discriminating on the basis of race or ethnicity.

    Bindra is executive vice president of Innov8 Computer Solutions, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in business software and consulting. He graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and earned a master's degree in information systems from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J.

    Yesterday, he contacted the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, based in Washington, about the incident.

    Manjit Singh, who founded the group 10 years ago, said this is the first recent incident of alleged discrimination reported in Virginia. The organization investigates about 50 complaints nationwide each year.

    "It's unfortunate that in this day and age, discrimination still occurs," he said. "Wearing a turban is not like wearing a baseball cap. It's a mandatory part of the Sikh faith."

    The Sikh religion has 24 million followers worldwide, with half a million Sikh men, women and children in the United States. The largest populations are concentrated in New York, New Jersey and the area around San Francisco Bay.

    The religion originated in modern India, Singh said, adding that most people in the United States who wear turbans are Sikh. He added that people of the Sikh faith are often confused with Muslims.

    In 2003, Bindra made headlines when he sued Delta Air Lines. He claimed a flight attendant mistakenly referred to him as a Middle Eastern Muslim when she saw his turban, and she flagged him as a potential security risk on a 2002 flight from Cincinnati to Dayton, Ohio.

    He settled his case in 2004 for an undisclosed amount of money.

    Richmond's Sikh population is growing, Singh said, with two gurdwaras Sikh places of worship -- in the Richmond area. The Washington area has about 12,000 Sikhs.

    Singh said his group will investigate Bindra's complaint and possibly ask Richbrau to explain and change its headwear policy, as well as offer Bindra an apology. The group is currently investigating a recent incident in San Francisco in which two Sikh men were reportedly denied entry to a bar because they wouldn't take off their turbans.

    "This is 2006, for God's sake," Bindra said. "The other pubs in Richmond were OK with me. This was one bad apple. We're all Americans. We might look different, but we're all Americans. I'm proud of who I am."

  2. #2
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    It's a private club. They should be allowed to refuse entry to anyone they want.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  3. #3
    BigDawg's Avatar
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    Thank you. All establishments have the right to refuse entry to anyone. Plus I dont see where this is discrimination, if he requires ALL people not to have a headdress of any type its not discrimination. So now lets see if the ACLU or some other organisation jumps on this and again tries to squash the rights of a business owner.
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  4. #4
    Ducky's Avatar
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    I think he was embarassed because he would have had turban hair under it. I know hat hair looks pretty damn goofy. And they didn't exactly infringe on his rights, anyhow. He just wanted to go in and not follow the house rules, so he was free to go elsewhere. Some people think that just because it's a business, they can go in however they want. Essentially, he was in violation of the dress code. But his type would probably be pissed if it was a suit and tie establishment, and he was wearing an informal dashiki or baggy pants and a wifebeater, and was subsequently denied entry.

    His outlook seems to be "Hey, I'm different! Accept me or I'll sue!"
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  5. #5
    JLK's Avatar
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    that is not discrimination. it is a policy the applies to everybody at that privately owned business. this individual seems to just be sue happy.


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  6. #6
    HardNoseBull's Avatar
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    This is not discrimination, if there were any form of discrimination it would be against wearers of any form of headgear, this guy is wants to create waves.How many members of the jewish faith have had to remove the headgear, all i would imagine, also I have friends who are sikh and not all of them wear a turban, it is not mandatory as they stated in the article. I love the way(being sarcastic here) people from foreign cultures come to North America and decide to implement their views and beliefs on our culture, this is great example of North American beliefs not working well with another culture or religions belief. That being said if i went to one of there home countries and tried to impede my christian views on their sihk views I would be punished. the same as going to a muslim country and not obeying muslim law. I'm tired of people coming to my country and teling me I'm wrong and racist cuz I don't have the same cultural or religiouse views of theirs.
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  7. #7
    Growler's Avatar
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    For some background on the club itself, it is located in a downtown area which has been to have quite a bit of shootings around 0200 hours when the clubs begin to close. It is not a grungy jeans and tshirt establishement. There are usually two off duty officers that work there. And there have never been hats of any kind in there.

  8. #8
    OFK's Avatar
    OFK
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    Businesses post their policies, no one else is trying to go against the policy, they have their rules and so many fucking people are hell bent on disrupting others by challenging those rules "just because" they have the freedom to do so. People are tired of this mentality.

    If you are being a dickhead, a fuckstain, whatever you will not be welcome in my establishment. There I said it, I am a racist against dickheads and assholes and those who do not follow the same rules as every one else.

    No one seems to respect anyone or anything anymore.

    I have grown tired of those who insist on this behavior.

    OK so there was a potential terrorist threat a "some" college campus and security knows what to look for and warnings have been posted throughout schools and students are put on alert.. Lets stick a bright yellow turban on our head and sneak around campus taking pictures, going around like a sneaky little cartoon character and when the cops ask me my name, I can lay down and scream racist! Good grief this shit has to stop.

  9. #9
    bayern's Avatar
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    Tough Crap, if he don't like it, he can go to McDonalds.

  10. #10
    Virginian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Growler View Post
    For some background on the club itself, it is located in a downtown area which has been to have quite a bit of shootings around 0200 hours when the clubs begin to close. It is not a grungy jeans and tshirt establishement. There are usually two off duty officers that work there. And there have never been hats of any kind in there.
    Amen to that, I got turned away from that place because I didn't have a collar on my nice shirt. Had to buy one of their shirts to get in. Bastards. But it's their place, they make the rules.

  11. #11
    Aegis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
    Amen to that, I got turned away from that place because I didn't have a collar on my nice shirt. Had to buy one of their shirts to get in. Bastards. But it's their place, they make the rules.
    Yeah, but what if it was "against your religion" to wear a shirt with a collar? Maybe you could get the ACLU to dispatch a strike team to launch a litigatory assault and make the Big Money.

    Just kidding. Sounds like the restaurant has a pretty defensible "no hats" policy. I would be disappointed if they don't stand their ground.

  12. #12
    CountyFourteen's Avatar
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    I hear 7 11 would gladly serve him as well
    Any Post I make is my opinion only!
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  13. #13
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    At least he didn't get shot like over in Kashmir.

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  14. #14
    Julia Guest
    He forgot his drivers licenses and had to go to mcdonalds, thats awful..haha

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