30 May 2008

PETITION: Golf Digest Depicts Fifth Sikh Guru as "Golf Guru"

SALDEF requests that this be widely distributed, so here it is:


Golf Digest Depicts Fifth Sikh Guru as "Golf Guru"

SALDEF urges retraction and apology for gross irreverence of Sikh faith

Washington D.C. – May 29, 2008: The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), the nation’s oldest Sikh American civil rights and advocacy organization, calls upon Golf Digest to apologize for the depiction of Sikhism’s Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, as a “Golfing Guru" in its May 2008 edition.

Sign the Petition expressing your displeasure about the image to Golf Digest

On page 66 of the publication appears an article titled “The Golf Guru” which answers reader's questions about general topics associated with golf. The beginning of the article features an image which, at first glance, appears to be a South Asian man dawned in a turban and beard, holding a golf club and wearing a golf glove. The image used is an obvious play on words where consumers have their questions answered by a “Golf Guru.”

However, under closer examination, the image Golf Digest uses appears to in fact be a widely distributed picture of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Sikhism’s fifth Guru. Guru Arjan Dev Ji was instrumental in strengthening the message of equality and freedom of the Sikh faith. He stood up against all types of religious oppression and denounced social segregation.
SALDEF has contacted Golf Digest publisher, Thomas Blair commenting, “While we understand the message that Golf Digest attempted, and failed, to send to their consumers, the decision to use the specific picture shows the cultural and religious ignorance of Golf Digest staff and senior executives.”

SALDEF urges the community to sign the petition to voice your displeasure in the use of the image in their publication.

SALDEF would like to thank Sartaj Singh Dhami and Harjit Singh Sandhar for bringing this depiction to our attention and for allowing us to use the photo above which was taken from Mr. Dhami's blog, Restoring the Pride.

Please distribute this widely to family, friends and at the local Gurdwara