An interesting issue:

I recall the turban controversy in the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police - our national police force) in the late 1980's. Many of the rank & file whom I knew were very troubled by the question of whether to allow someone to wear a turban as part of dress uniform. I thought the day to day uniform issue was less controversial as officers often go bare headed but may be speaking out of ignorance.

The officers with whom I was friend or acquaintance seemed not to wish to exclude minorities from the force and seemed totally focused on the issue of the tradition which is very important to many members of groups. A few were quite resentful that the change was certain to be imposed by government but the unhappiness was alleviated to some degree when I mentioned that my understanding of the wearing of the turban had greater significance than a religious label.

Correct or not, A Sikh acquaintance once told me, were someone to attempt to remove his turban, that his religion required that he do them harm. When I mentioned this, the police sat back and started to grin, excepting for the few who needed explanation. When the predictable happened, that a turban wearing officer encountered some drunken racist who tried to remove his turban, the officer might be required to whale the tar out of the idiot, If this resulted in charges, the human rights people would have to rise in his defense. Wouldn't that be poetic!?! (VBG)

This will be a difficult two sides issue on many levels. Quebec have a history of imposing quite draconian rules as evidenced by the language act, for example.


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