Mr. Balpreet Singh, Office to the Legal Counsel at the World Sikh Organization of Canada, spoke to the Assembly about the Sikh religion and interfaith dialogue. This was his first time at an assembly like this and he touched on the points of similarity he found.
Mr. Singh shared a number of tenets of the Sikh religion, including the belief that living a spiritual life means rejecting rituals that lack meaning and changing the world around you.
He explained that Sikhs approach people of different faiths with an attitude of humility, acceptance and service, and so interfaith dialogue comes quite naturally. In Sikhism, the dialogue is highly important, and practitioners of the faith must be willing to ask questions, learn, respect and welcome people, even if in disagreement. This allows for understanding and builds a sense of community.
Mr. Singh’s work with the World Sikh Organization focuses on human rights law and religious accommodation. They believe that it is essential to defend freedom of religion, even if they don’t agree with the practices that are being defended. So, for example, even though Sikhs don’t veil, they will defend the right of Muslim women to do so.