In the wake of 9/11, the Metropolitan Transit Authority begin requiring Sikhs to sport MTA logos on their distinctive turbans, as if to signal to passengers, "It's OK, these guys are on our side. " The Sikhs now have an ally in the fight to rid their religious garments of MTA branding as the City Council has joined the Sikh Coalition in calling for an end to the practice.
Sikh-ing to Make Turbans Unbranded
City Council calls for MTA to end logo requirement on headdresses
"No one should ever, ever, under any circumstances, have to choose between their livelihood and their religion," City Councilman David Weprin told NY1.
A letter bearing the signatures of 27 of 51 council members was sent Tuesday to New York City Transit President Howard Roberts calling for an end to Sikh branding.
The MTA claims that they are concerned about riders not being able to recognize unbranded Sikhs, but the coalition contends that transit officials have been unable to cite a single instance of such confusion. A standard MTA worker's uniform has at least three other logos showing.
"The idea that a Sikh worker is not recognizable unless he has a logo on his turban is complete and utter nonsense. And today we call for the MTA to end its turban-branding policy and ensure that our city workers can freely be part of the city fabric without discrimination and without humiliation," said Amardeep Singh, Executive Director of Sikh Coalition.