Just interviewed Amrik Singh - the Sikh Nottingham Trent Uni law student who was told to leave a Mansfield club for wearing a turban. Says he felt heartbroken and victimised. But hopes his story will educate those ignorant of his religious rights. pic.twitter.com/T3p83irMtA— Sarah Teale (@SarahTealeTV) March 10, 2018
Amrik Singh, 22, is British, but his religion appears to have been the only attribute that mattered to the security at a Nottingham pub.
The Sikh student was at Rush Late Bar on Friday drinking with friends to celebrate a law school module completion when he was “dragged” from the establishment by security, he said in a Facebook post that has since been deleted.
According to The Independent, the Nottingham Trent University law student’s recorded exchange with the bar’s staff shows that he tried explaining that the turban was a religious requirement. Unfortunately, he was reportedly told that he should remove it if he wanted to stay.
Adding insult to injury, the bar employee allegedly added that he “didn’t think you were allowed to come in a pub and drink anyway.”
After the incident, Singh told his friends on Facebook that he was “heartbroken” about the entire ordeal.
He explained that instead of alcohol, he had been drinking coke with his friends, but because he refused to remove his turban, the bar’s bouncer had him removed.
After asking to talk to someone in charge and filming the exchange because he felt victimized, Singh said he was eventually allowed to go back into the bar.
Still, the whole thing hit a nerve with the Sikh Briton.
“My ancestors have fought for the British Army,” he wrote in his post. “Furthermore, me and my parents were born in Britain and all uphold British values. I was eventually let back into the venue but was told that I would not be allowed back in in the future because of my headwear. This experience ruined my night.”
In his post, the student added that his experience, while not without precedent, turned out better than it could have because he is well-spoken and can defend himself. But others might not be as lucky.
After the incident, the bar issued a statement saying that the employee involved in the incident had been suspended and that they would be investigating the occurrence.
Thankfully for the student, the ordeal prompted an outpouring of support from friends and even from people who didn’t know him personally. While he did delete the post later, he did so only after thanking people who sent him supportive messages.
Many congratulated him on Twitter as well.
Well done Amrik Singh for bringing this everyday discrimination to public attention. We had a similar bad experience at @Bar_Rumba few years ago from an African-Caribbean bouncer ??. When we complained later on, the manager said we don’t have any proof ??. ???????? for recording.— AJAS ???????? (@sjahazad) March 11, 2018
While this isn’t the first incident involving a Sikh who was treated poorly because of his turban, the fact that a business refused service to him because of it is beyond upsetting. After all, it’s 2018, and discrimination based on religious beliefs is completely regressive.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Flickr user Thijs Paanakker