Living by the Sword: The Free Exercise of Religion and the Sikh Struggle for the Right to Carry a Kirpan
Sikhism is a 500 year old religion with a growing presence in the United States. However, one of the articles of faith required for Sikhs, a kirpan (a ceremonial sword), conflicts with the norms of American life for these often misunderstood people. This paper gives a brief primer on Sikhism and discusses some of the day-to-day problems and recent issues facing kirpan-carrying Sikhs in North America. Upon reviewing the current state of free exercise jurisprudence as applied to the kirpan, I outline several suggestions for the acceptance and accommodation of kirpans.
Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Law and Society | Religion Law
Date of this Version
Rishi S. Bagga, "Living by the Sword: The Free Exercise of Religion and the Sikh Struggle for the Right to Carry a Kirpan" (January 12, 2006). bepress Legal Series. bepress Legal Series.Working Paper 902.