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August 5th, 2012
06:20 PM ET

Explainer: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN)– Sikhism, the world's fifth most popular religion, is a monotheistic faith that believes in equality and service to others, Sikh officials say.

"Everyone is the same," says Raghunandan Johar, president of the Guru Nanak Mission of Atlanta. "There is no distinction, no caste system."

Navdeep Singh, a policy adviser to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, says Sikhs believe in freedom of religion, community service and inclusiveness.

At temples, or gurdwaras, where Sikhs hold services, everyone is welcome.

"You can come and be equal," he says.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Doing good deeds is important for you to be with God after death, Johar says. Sikhs believe that if you don't live a life full of good deeds you will be reborn and repeat the circle of life and death.

There are 25 million Sikhs around the world, Singh says, about 700,000 of which live in the United States. Most Sikhs are in India.

Sikhs do not have a particular day of worship, he says, but due to the American work week, Sunday is a popular day for services. Johar says his gurdwara has formal services on Wednesdays and Fridays, in addition to Sundays.

At a typical gurdwara, the doors open up at 6 a.m. for prayers. A formal service includes the singing of hymns and a team of leaders who have studied the faith reciting from the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism's holy scriptures. That book, more than 1,400 pages long, includes writings from Sikhism's 10 gurus as well as writers from other religions.

It is an example of Sikhism's inclusiveness, Johar says.

"There is not a single word of hate in it," he adds.

At the end of the service, congregants pray for the "well-being of the world" then head to the langar, the community kitchen that serves meals for anyone who wants one.

10 years after Sikh murder over 9/11, community continues to blend in and stand out

"(Founder) Guru Nanak said that if you want to meet God, serve the poor people," Johar says.

Gurdwaras around the world variously incorporate clinics, schools, guest quarters and community centers, which Sikhs say is a sign of the religion's values of service and equality.

The first gurdwara in the United States was built 100 years ago in California, Singh says.

Most Sikh men don't cut their hair and wear turbans and beards. Many American Sikh women dress like other Westerners or wear the salwar kameez, a traditional north Indian garment of a long shirt and loose-fitting pants.

Sikhism emerged more than 500 years ago in Punjab, in what is now India. It was founded by Guru Nanak, a non-practicing Hindu who was against rituals and praying to idols.

"He received a revelation," Johar says.

Guru Nanak taught a message of love and that all religions were good.

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"If you are Hindu, he said be a good Hindu," Johar says. "If you are Muslim, be a good Muslim. If you are Christian, be a good Christian."

Sikhs, he says, are taught two other important things in addition to serving others and serving God: Work hard and never beg.

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Belief • Houses of worship • Religious violence • Sikh

soundoff (1,169 Responses)
  1. chriskorus

    Like the part about: "If you are Christian, be a good Christian." Sad, but I read daily about Christians who seem to have forgotten everything that Christ said, preached, or did, based on what they say, preach, or do!

    August 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  2. Sherri

    Here is the address of the temple. It would be great if everyone sent a card of condolence. Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, 7512 S Howell Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154

    August 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  3. asngh

    Thank you CNN for this article explaining about Sikhs and covering this massacre. Please keep spreading knowledge about Sikhism. God bless you. Readers, please visit your nearest Sikh Temple and you will know yourself values of Sikhism, a modern religion!

    August 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  4. what the?

    M – What are you talking about, those comments below don't add up to what the DEMOCRATIC Indian government did to Sikhs in India.

    Are you telling me that
    1, Throwing COWS HEADS INTO HINDU TEMPLES, was an act of terrorism?
    2, Longowal threatens to disrupt Asian Games, was an act of terrorism?
    3, USA Khalistani G.S. Dhillon Barred From India, was an act of terrorism?
    4, Akalis demand autonomy and additional regions for Punjab, was an act of terrorism?
    5, Sikhs permitted to carry daggers in demestic flights, was an act of terrorism?

    In a normal Democratic country unlike India you would probably get a fine and maybe community service if that, for uttering those kinds of comments.
    Those comments should not go against humanity and give the right for someone to kill innocent people. I have to keep stressing the point that if you are a minority within a majority, how are you going to defend yourself when you are being attacked and no one listens to your needs and concerns, eventually you are going to stand up and arm yourself. If for 30yrs India has not brought anyone to justice for the killings of 1000’s of innocent Sikhs, what do you think was happening to Sikhs before 1984?????
    Sikhs were a peaceful minority, until the Muslim Mughals invaded and slaughtered innocent Sikhs and also Hindus, the Sikhs also took up arms to protect themselves and other minorities and then formed the Khalsa Army which in turn turned the tables and forced the invading Muslim armies to flee India after again 1000’s of Sikhs were killed?

    August 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • RasPutin

      Look up Air India Flight 182, and Narita airport bomb.
      Then try to tell me Sikhs were never terrorists. They killed 327 people in a 747, and intended the other bomb to kill almost 200, but that bomb got delayed so went off too early.
      In comparison to the 500 intended victims the Lockerbie Pan Am bomb only killed 270.

      August 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Hyderabadi

      I am from Hyderabad province of India, my parents and grand parents still remember the services Indian Sikh soldiers at the time of liberation of Hyderbad in Sept 1948, when Muslim militia Razakars massacring hindu majority. Great Sikh soldiers hunted down the muslim militants saved lives and property of millions of Hindus. In Hyderabad Sikhs were never identified alien to Hindu faith. every Hindu has highest regard to Guru Govind Singh a great warrior and protector or Native Indian faiths... Sikhism and Hindu,

      August 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • M

      what the?

      sir, you missed these, I wrote sequence of events but you missed these.

      Oct 8 1983 Militants in Golden Temple kill Hindus throughout Punjab [20]
      Oct 14, 1983 Hindu festival bombed in Chandigarh [21]
      Oct 18, 1983 Hindus protest bomb attack on temple [22]
      Oct 1983 Hindus pulled off from trains and buses and killed

      Please let me know what are these. Killing innocent people is act of terrorism or not? Don't tell me. I have grown up in Punjab and had seen these things.
      Yes, sikhs are nice people. But what happened in Punjab from 1978 to 1994 was really bad. There were few misled sikhs funded by Pakistans who killed many innocent people (including hindus, sikhs, ladies, kids). Yes, they were terrorists.Don't ignore the facts. When someone killed whether Hindu or Sikh is bad and should be punished.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  5. Truth

    To all people who are responding emotionally and looking at one side of the coin. Here is my answer.
    1) I never said that Sikhs did not have brave history or they are not hardworking or they were not living peacefully with Hindus before 1980. Infact, Sikhs are originated from Hindus. The elder son of each Hindu family would become Sikh to protect Hindus and their family against the atrocities of Islam. Islam did lot of atrocities on Hindus and other minorities and tried to convert them and Sikh forces were the one to protect Hindus against them. I respect them and I see Hindus and Sikhs as brothers.
    2) Now you should hear other truth as well. I don't deny that Indira Gandhi led Congress, suppressed separatist movement of Sikh with force. It led to some kind of transgression on part of government/forces who entered into Golden temple. But the truth is also that Extremist Sikhs who were killing innocent Hindus/other minorities in name of Khalistan were hiding inside Golden temple. They were given full protection by the religious authority and also funded by Sikhs from America and Canada. When they were killing Hindus (minorities) in Punjab, it was obvious that central govt. would intervene and stop massacre. They then assassinated Indira Gandhi and riot followed which was also fomented and done by Congressis. Still Hindus in large including larger Hindus group never took part in that and always criticized and protected Sikhs. BJP and RSS worked for Sikhs and still large voice in support on Sikhs.
    2) But what Sikh separatist did, they killed innocent Hindus in Punjab, exploded bombs in buses, aeroplanes and trains and killed innocent people included Hindus, Muslims and some sikhs as well,all in name of religion. They lined up Hindus in Punjab and killed them in broad day light. Many have to run away from Punjab.
    3) Now, any peaceful group will criticize massacres of innocent lives but what Sikhs in America and Canada did, they funded these terrorist organization. These Gurudwaras which are supposed to be peaceful place of worship became organization which support/supported Khalistan/Sikh terrorism.
    4) It is still easily visible if you go to these Gurudwaras that they have pictures of Bhindarawale (leader of terrorist group and authority as equivalent to Osama ) on their wall.
    5) I respect Sikh as a religion. I like all Gurus of Sikhs. I have most respect for Guru Nanak ji and I consider him as one of the greatest saint India produced alongwith buddha, Mahavir, Kabir, Rahim, Ramakrishna Paramhans, Vivekananda and others. My problem is with the present authority of Sikhism which has given it a very political dimension and infiltrated it with hate and intolerance, which includes SGPC and Akaal Takht Jatthhedaars and some political parties in Punjab.
    I rest my case here and you are welcome to criticize or praise.
    Thank you to all.
    Love, Peace and Tolerance

    August 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • A Hindu

      Good to see that you learnt to adopt a more balanced tone.

      All the violence that you mention happened more than 2 decades back. Most Sikhs of today don't embrace violence. In fact, they assimilate peacefully. Is it not time to move on and be good and peaceful ?

      If one insists on raking up the past and riling up muddy waters all you get is dirt.

      Let us all move on, please.

      August 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • OneSky

      PEACE TO ALL-LOVE TO ALL!!!! FOR I AM OneSky I will lead this world into PEACE AND LOVE!!!!!!! OTA LAHAWEN.

      August 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Joshua

      Dude!!! you seem to have way too much time on your hand. Hats off to you. The purpose of this article was to tell world about Sikh religion, and from my cursory glance at all the many many comments that you have made, makes me wonder why are you hell bent on telling the world that Sikhs are terrorists.... you are no different from Michael page.. filled with hatred against Sikhs....now that you have done everything you could in convincing the readers that these Sikhs are terrorists.... why don't you start shooting them as well..... SHAME ON YOU!!!!

      August 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Truth

      @ Joshua, I am sorry if truth hurts people. I have no intention of saying anything bad but truth. As far as my taking arms, I am an Atheist. It is only religious bigots who kill people all over the world. My point is religion is dangerous even in most sophisticated and tolerant way as it teaches exclusion. How about not considering who is who in this world in terms of religion or race. Then nobody will have any reason to kill which somehow religion has provided from centuries. As far as my time is concerned, Yes I think one should always be ready to provide information as an informed person has best chance of taking right decision.

      August 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • VB

      Those who killed innocent Indians before 1984 i n the name of Khalistan movement were terrorists. And the man who killed innocent sikhs in Gurudwara in Wisconsin is a terrorist too. what was done by terrorists before 1984 does not justify killing brave, innocent, hardworking, fun loving family oriented sikhs. All those, who take innocent lives and destroy families deserve are terrorists.

      August 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  6. neeto

    Whatever happened should have not happened..... not only with sikh but with anybody.... humans are created equally... i dont understand that a human being can hate someone to that extreme that they will actually go to a temple and starts shooting just because they way they are or the way they appear in appearance.... insane...... please spread the words of love and knowledge amongst the coming generation so stuff like this doesnt happen to anybody anywhere in the world...... treat everyone like the way you wanted to be treated

    August 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  7. Bobby

    If Sikh's are really peaceful, why did they blow up the Air India flight from Vancouver back in the 1980's?

    August 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Namita

      Air India flight bombing was tragic. However, that was an individual action. Have you ever ever read the Sikh community as a whole approving the actions of people who killed innocents. Further, if you read the book the Soft Target, you will get to know that the Indian Agencies played a strong role in the mishap.

      Second, please refrain from spreading venom against Sikhs, at the least during this tragedy.

      August 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • A Hindu

      Why should anyone trust your prejudice?

      August 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • crowded

      That is like asking, if Christians really are peaceful, then why were blacks slaughtered in Birmingham and other places in the 1960s by Christian people. I know Sikhs and they really are peaceful, and teach peace and tranquility just like this article says. They are all about meditation and achieving a higher state of being, not killing people to try to make more room for themselves in heaven. The bombing you speak of was carried out by a very small fringe group who are not mainstream Sikhs at all.

      August 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • singh

      My friend this means your are not aware of facts then... go and see how indian agencies infiltrated Gurudwaras in Canada and spread venom so that community gets more infuriated with the genocide of 1984. It was through agencies help that bag which was carrying bomb goes unchecked so that Indian govt can cover their barbaric acts against sikhs and in return potray Sikhs as terrorists and justify their actions. Even Hindus which are killed in Punjab are not from khalistani sikhs they are from cats of govt which want to polarize hindus and Sikhs and create wall between them whereas in fact sikhs are fighting for the rights of Punjab which includes all communities not only sikhs.

      Kindly see this video and see how your indian govt operate against Sikhs :

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVepy5-FyTw&w=640&h=360]

      August 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Sean

      One person did that. Sikhs are amongst the most peaceful and amazing people we have. We have a very large and amazing community in Vancouver, BC. Visit a Sikh Temple, stay for a meal and talk to the people there and you will understand.
      Many of my friends are Sikhs and still to this day I value their friendship.

      August 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Paresh Joshi

      Do you mean the Government headed by sikh prime minister Ma mohan singh does try to tarnish sikh's image?

      August 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  8. A Hindu

    What has happened is very tragic and must not have happened. It shows that there are too many ignorant, hateful people who will go on a rampage with no qualms.

    All the people who insist on maligning the Sikh religion as violent, listen up!

    Sikhism was born out of the preachings of Guru Nanak who was an exalted spiritual soul. He preached peace and co-existence.

    However, the 17th century Islamic Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was a fanatic. He ruthlessly plundered and persecuted all non-Muslims in India. In response to that, the Sikh warrior movement, the Khalsa was started. They protected not just the Sikhs but also Hindus of that time. In fact, they waged some of the bravest wars against the Mughals and the Pathan Invaders.

    All in all, the Sikhs defended the Indian civilization and continue to do so. The number of Punjabi Sikhs in the army would probably outnumber those from any other state in India.

    In the modern age, Sikhs adapted very well. They thrive in the USA by working hard and being enterprising. They assimilate very well and contribute to the society. To hate them would mean prejudice and lots of it.

    All the facts I quote are available online, try not to hate.

    August 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  9. Jazza

    Wow reading all these posts justs reinforces my beliefs... there is no real need for religion in this world. The world would be a much better place if we were not distinguished by religion but were just identified as human beings.

    August 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  10. what the?

    I'm assuming that truth is a Hindu and Seyedibaris a Muslim...Firstly these so called terrorists that truth is referring too were trying to defend their faith and religious freedom in the country (India) that they have fought for, for hundreds of years. After the Hindus orchestrated attacks on thousands of Sikhs by the Hindu government and in particular Indira Ghandi they had no other option but to pick up arms and defend themselves against murdering Hindus. Sikhs only make up 3% of the population of India and have defended India for centuries during the British Raaj and the Indo/Pak wars.
    How many Hindus and Muslims fought in the first and second world wars and how many of them were decorated for bravery????
    How many Anglo/Hindu or Anglo/Muslim wars took place during the British Raaj, while they were trying to defend India against the British?
    Can truth answer the question about how many Anglo/Sikh wars there were?
    There are over 5 million Sikhs spread across the globe, mostly in the U.K, Canada, USA and Australia, and considering they are a small minority they are one of the most successful immigrant communities in the world. They are successful in business, education, and are known for their hard work and loyalty. They are a proud race of hard workers who own properties and generally don’t rely on government handouts and welfare unlike the Muslims in the U.K/USA/Canada who freely take huge hand outs and are not known for their work ethics.....

    August 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Avi

      Sikhs are peace loving and return to society every respect, the hate mongers that are so crazy and right wing they cannot hear us to educate or satiate their evil lusts or their desire to destroy any thing different or enlightened. So i would like to speak to each of you reading, If you have any light in you please stop spreading hate and falsehoods. Open your eyes and lift your voices and condemn the evil in the world and make a change for better before you leave this world!

      August 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • M

      what the ???

      You are wrong Sir. Terrorism in Punjab didn't start after Blue-Star Op. in 1984. It was there before 1984? and they were killing innocent people and hiding in Golden Temple. I am also sikh but you can't deny the truth. Please read this out.

      Aug 16, 1981 Militants in Golden Temple meet foreign correspndents [6]
      Sept 9, 1981 Jagat Narain, Editor, Hind Samachar group murdered [7]
      Sept 29, 1981 Separatists Hijack Indian Jetliner to Pakistan [8]
      April 26, 1982 Cows' heads thrown in Hindu temple [10], [11]
      Apr 11, 1982 USA Khalistani G.S. Dhillon Barred From India [12]
      July 1982 Chief Minister Darbara Singh escape assassination attempt [13]
      Aug 4, 1982 Akalis demand autonomy and additional regions for Punjab [14]
      Oct 11, 1982 Militants attack parliament [15]
      Nov 1982 Longowal threatens to disrupt Asian Games [16]
      Oct 1983 6 Hindu bus passengers killed [17]
      Feb 27, 1983 Sikhs permitted to carry daggers in demestic flights [18]
      May 3 1983 Bhindranwale living in Golden Temple threatens violence [19]
      Oct 8 1983 Militants in Golden Temple kill Hindus throughout Punjab [20]
      Oct 14, 1983 Hindu festival bombed in Chandigarh [21]
      Oct 18, 1983 Hindus protest bomb attack on temple [22]
      Oct 1983 Hindus pulled off from trains and buses and killed

      Also, please read the below article to tell who are sikhs

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Punjab

      August 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  11. "Truth" is a Troll

    Stop spreading your hate and misinformation. Thousands of Sikhs were extrajudicially executed between 1984 and 1994 in Panjab. A simple search on the websites of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty Internation will reveal this. Go home and keep your Hindutva nonsense to yourself.

    August 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Bill Maher Nails It

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAvDtPz33w0&w=640&h=360]

    August 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Avi

      One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace ~

      By His Command, some are high and some are low; by His Written Command, pain and pleasure are obtained.

      Some, by His Command, are blessed and forgiven; others, by His Command, wander aimlessly forever.

      Everyone is subject to His Command; no one is beyond His Command.

      O Nanak, one who understands His Command, does not speak in ego. ||2||

      August 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Truth

    How Sikhs are peaceful? Sikhs in North America and Canada, are not sorry about all the killings they did in name of religion. Their religious places still fund money for Khalistan terrorists . They still have pictures of those terrorists on the wall of their Gurudwaras. Pictures of terrorist who took innocent lives and they still glorify them as martyr. This is happening at so called religious place of peace. Therefore, instead of being politically correct, I am calling spade a spade. If they want to get away from their killing past they should ask sorry to millions of Hindus in Punjab, who were displaced and to families of Hindus who were killed. They should remove those terrorist from wall of their place of worship. In many ways, Sikhism today is equivalent to Islam.

    August 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • bobsmith

      Troll: Sikhs aren't Muslims. And only a very very small minority of Muslims are jihadists. (In fact, it's probably a smaller proportion than the proportion of Christians that are jihadist.)

      Your 4th grade teacher is wondering why you're not in class.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Justice

      In your attempt to slander the Sikh people, you have quickly forgotten that a homicidal maniac killed seven people. You say the Sikh people support terrorists? Really? Prove it. Show me where money is funneled to terrorist organizations. Provide pictures of the terrorists hanging on the walls of the gurdwara as well as their names. I know that you can't, which makes you a slanderer. Stop hating and judging those that are different than you.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Ance

      Wow! you are not going to spare any opportunity to spread venom against Sikhs. There is no difference between the shooter and some one like you, both filled with hatred towards a particular sect. And yes, there were innocent hindus who were killed by few militants belonging to Sikh faith in 1984. However, all of those miliitants were killed by police. Hence, the justice prevailed for the Hindus. Now, what about thousands of innocent Sikh families killed by Hindu majority in a state sponsored genocide? And not even a single person was convicted. Where is justice in that?

      August 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Avi

      http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=1

      August 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • "Truth" is a Troll

      Human Rights Watch says otherwise.

      http://www.hrw.org/news/2004/12/16/dead-end-punjab

      Get your facts straight. You're asking Sikhs to apologize for being the targets of genocide? Keep your hate and misinformation to yourself sir!

      August 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • ACTUAL TRUTH

      @truth, while you are asking educated hindus about punjab also ask them what our gurus did for them and how the gurus gave up their lives for them....as for your other comments, yes, there are certain individuals or groups that are not the greatest human beings but dont all races/cultures/religions have these people? Take a look at the stats. Note that I am from Canada so they might be a little different from the stats in the US, but lets see, child molesters are usually white. Am I going to say all white people are? Gang members in Canada are asian,indian, african american,yet our biggest gang is Hells Angels, who by color are white! I am asking you to reply to my comments (think first). I am sikh ,belong to a gurudwara that is modern,I have short hair, tattoos, and probably dress just like you (whatever color,religion you are) and I am proud to be Canadian and get goosebumps when I hear about USA troops helping the world with their heroic efforts. The difference would be my color and my tattoo plasterd on my body stating ONE GOD.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Get Over it

      Yes, there WAS religious extremism from the Sikhs 20 years back. Get over it. Sikhs were equally persecuted in revenge for Indira Gandhi's death.

      Now that there has been peace for more than 2 decades, we should get over the past and move forward.

      In general Hindus and Sikhs have no problem with each other. I have many Sikh friends and they are wonderful people. The Sikh's raised an army to defend Indian civilization against the persecution and atrocities of the ruling Islamic kings in the 17th century. Later, Ranjit Singh etc. fought many brave wars against the subjugating British empire. India as a whole, including benefited from the Sikh bravery. To this day, Indian army boasts of a number of brave Sikh soldiers.

      There is every reason why Hindus and Sikhs can and must co-exist peacefully. So, GET OVER IT, move forward.

      - I am not a Sikh

      August 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Real Fact

      It is only due to Sikh Guru’s sacrifice that Hinduism exists, that is the fact. Check with your parents.

      August 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Raghu Singh

      There are always bad apple in every religion and community but main thing is the philosophy of a religion. This article seems to be about what Guru Nanak and Sikhism teaches to its followers. Hindu religion teaches non violence and love for all but what happened in 1984 to Sikhs and to Muslims in Gujrat. But we cannot blame Sikh or Hindu religion.

      August 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • JJ

      All Indians are nothing but bunch of greedy, hypocritical, and ass kissing people. To observe this just go to any Indian airport and see how they treat their own people.
      When it comes to direct completion they suck, 1 Billion waste of spaces and they can't even win one gold medal. They can only suck up and and hate each other based on some biased. All of you need to shut up.

      August 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Paresh Joshi

      I like Raghu Singh's comments. Being Hindu with lots of singh friends I am amazed how people give in so easily to hate.

      August 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  14. Peace

    Sikhs are the most peace loving people I have seen. They are the most hard working too. Every Sikh, be it anywhere in India or any part of the world will never beg, he will earn the money and make a living. Please learn more about this culture and you will come to know that they are real good people.

    August 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Truth

      No, Sikhs are not that peaceful. They are totally alienated from teachings of their Gurus. They have done lot of Bloodshed in the name of religion from mid 80s to mid 90s. They have become a political religion and these North American and Canadian sikh funded money for Sikh terrorism in name of Khalistan and religion. They still regard Khalistani terrorists as the martyr and you can easily see pictures of those terrorist at the wall of Gurudwaras all across the world. They have killed many innocent lives and all Gurudwaras and people who funded Khalistani terrorist has innocent blood on their hand. Who can forget Kanishka Air India flight bombing?

      August 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Adam

      Read about the Jains

      August 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • joe800

      ...peaceful enough for two of Indira Ghandi's Sikh bodyguard's to murder her....

      August 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • "Truth" is a Troll

      @ joe800: Look at why they assassinated her.

      "Truth" is no different in his hatred than last Sunday's shooter. Here is a Human Rights Watch report that should soak up much of his venom: http://www.hrw.org/news/2004/12/16/dead-end-punjab

      August 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Ms Ell

      I have many Sikh friendswho respect me as they would a Phua. In the cross country trucking trade, such consideration for a female driver was rare and very much appreciated. I had time and opportunity to study the Sikh religious beliefs. In answer to their attack on Indera Ghandi, I was told it was a retaliation (right or wrong?) for a Hindu attack on the Sikhs while praying in THEIR temple. Perhaps one with enough concern can check this out for me. Meanwhile, I remain abhored at this recent attack on Sikh worshipers. I have NEVER felt so genuinely welcomed as when I attended a Gurdwara with a fellow truck driver some 15 years ago. They are excellent vegetarian cooks too! They can do more with a chapati and potatoes than this meat-eater could ever imagine! 🙂

      August 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  15. ASingh

    Most Sikhs in the US do not wear a turban or have beards. Only orthodox Sikhs wear a turban and beard.

    August 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Delbre

      According to the code of conduct, you should know that if you dont wear a turban you are not a sikh. you can call yourself whatever you like, but the truth is the truth.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • "Truth" is a Troll

      The Sikh Rehit Maryada does not draw definitions of who is a Sikh and who is not. Stop being so close-minded. The sahajdaris will adopt Guru roop when they feel divinely inspired, your tactics do nothing to promote that.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  16. Truth

    Sikhs are not that peaceful. They are totally alienated from teachings of their Gurus. They have done lot of Bloodshed in the name of religion from mid 80s to mid 90s. They have become a political religion and these North American and Canadian sikh funded money for Sikh terrorism in name of Khalistan and religion. They still regard Khalistani terrorists as the martyr. They have killed many innocent lives and all Gurudwaras and people who funded Khalistani terrorist has innocent blood on their hand. Who can forget Kanishka Air India flight bombing?

    August 7, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Jeff W.

      I know that you are not comparing religions. This comment has to do with pointing out one "other" religions transgressions and aggressions. Christianity has massacred in their God’s name, the “holy war against the Muslims and the Salem witch trials just to name a few.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Truth

      @ Jeff, when you talk of Christians's holy war, I am sure you won't find christians supporting them today. You don't see glorifying of crusaders in churches or even now funding of these kind of group from churches. On the other hand, Sikhs in North America and Canada, are not sorry about all the killings they did in name of religion. Their religious places still fund money for Khalistan terrorists . They still have pictures of those terrorists on the wall of their Gurudwaras. Pictures of terrorist who took innocent lives and they still glorify them as martyr. This is happening at so called religious place of peace. Therefore, instead of being politically correct, I am calling a spade a spade. If they want to get away from their killing past they should ask sorry to millions of Hindus in Punjab, who were displaced and to families of Hindus who were killed. They should remove those terrorist from wall of their place of worship. In many ways, Sikhism today is equivalent to Islam.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Jeff W.

      In response to "Truth." I guess that I have looked only at the people responding to the shootings. Maybe they are lying or misleading facts about their religion. I am not one to ignore what other people tell me to look at. I WILL look at the "whole forest" as a general representation. I do still, at 57 years old, want to believe in people and they way all the people have come across is as hard working and peaceful. So I will take another look BUT I will not judge an entire religion based on their distant past or a few "wakcos." By the way...... Thanks for pointing out a different point of view.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • "Truth" is a Troll

      @ Jeff W. – Don't listen to "Truth." This individual is a hate monger who takes pleasure in spreading misinformation. Take a look at this Human Rights Watch report if you want a good introduction to the violations that took place in Punjab throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Thanks.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  17. Jeff W.

    While I do not believe in any deity, anymore, to attack any group as peaceful and having such ideals as this is unconscionable at the very least. We ALL should respect each other and live in peace. I know peace won’t happen until we evolve mentally. This may happen in the next million years or so IF we don’t blow ourselves up or if we keep multiplying and using all our resources up before that happens.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • "Truth" is a Troll

      You hit the nail right on the head brother. The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Michael

    Sikhs aren't all that peaceful, who killed Ganndhi? A Sikh very close to him.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Facts

      Gandhi was not killed by a Sikh, he was killed by a Hindu

      August 7, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • rajan

      Indira Gandhi was killed by her Sikh Bodyguard.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Jeff W.

      And Judas betrayed Jesus! This is just more proof that there are people that should be removed from society in general.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • squashleo05

      facts you certainly don't know your facts,indira gandhi was killled by her sikh bodyguard,after she had ordered the blowing up of one of their two holiest shrines,the golden temple, in india,all part of india's bloody quelling of an attempt by sikhs to gain independence,their own land,which would be called khalistan,land of the pure,with a religious connotation attached,reference to their khalsa.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • squashleo05

      hindus however do claim that they started this religio of sikhism,hope you're reading this seyedibar,because they wanted to develop a corps of fighters,according to them,they would go to every house and ask for a son,or their eldest son,for,desh ki raksha,to help protect our land,and all the sikh tennants,have to do with being a warrior,for instance,not cutting hair,for how you will you find a barber in a battlefield,and on and on,so you were right in a way michael,they are known as warriors,and amongst themselves are very proud of their warrior heritage.i did not believe the fact that they were created by hindus,untill i had two different hindus,one a physician ,and the caucasion wife of one tell me this!

      August 7, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Truth

      I agree with you. Sikhs are not that peaceful. They are totally alienated from teachings of their Gurus. They have done lot of Bloodshed in the name of religion from mid 80s to mid 90s. They have become a political religion and these North American and Canadian sikh funded money for Sikh terrorism in name of Khalistan and religion. They still regard Khalistani terrorists as the martyr. They have killed many innocent lives and all Gurudwaras and people who funded Khalistani terrorist has innocent blood on their hand. Who can forget Kanishka Air India flight bombing?

      August 7, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • "Truth" is a Troll

      "Truth" really needs to get a life. If it weren't for the sacrifices of Sikhs over the centuries you'd be sitting in a Mosque instead of bowing before your idols. Show some respect for the sacrifices of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji for preserving your ability to practice your Hindu religion in the face of Islamic intolerance.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  19. opinion

    Seyedibar, your comment is extreme;y insensitive and ignorant!

    August 7, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  20. Seyedibar

    Sikhs are nothing special. Just another primitive philosophy leftover from the bronze age, built on the fabricated existence of a god. Except these ones were ridiculous hats.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • "Truth" is a Troll

      I love how Atheists preach against God with hate-filled vitriol that ultimately equals that of many pushing "religion." I guess you've gone 360 degrees from that which you despise.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Phew!

      Please do not advertise your ignorance so proactively.

      August 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Sheri

      Sikhs are hats? Or, they used to be hats and now they're something else? Maybe wallets or bedspreads? Gloves, maybe?

      August 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.