Crime and Punishment

Should have been a Defensive Kirpan Use: Sikh family assaulted; threatened at knife-point.

160713_inn_washington_de20edcdf30d06593c43b3dbb3f8c5f5.nbcnews-ux-600-480

Kettle Falls Inn image via nbcnews.com

Brandon Kilgore was arrested by police after he broke into the hotel-apartment of Preet Moudgil, making racist comments and threatening Moudgil and his family with a knife. Kilgore, 28, had come to the lobby of the Kettle Falls Inn to request a shower seat for his room when he began making a boor of himself, dropping references to Guantanamo Bay among other things. From there the situation escalated quickly.

From Spokesman-Review:

Moudgil, whose parents are visiting from India, said that before he had a chance to get a shower seat, the man came back with a knife.

“He said, ‘I’m going to cut you up because you’re a terrorist,’ ” Moudgil said.

Moudgil said the man tried to break down the door between the office and the lobby but was unable to enter. He left the lobby but tried to enter the apartment, attached to the inn’s office, where Moudgil and his family live. Moudgil secured the first-floor doors and windows, but Kilgore eventually entered through a sliding-glass door accessible only by the roof, court records say.

Inside, Kilgore raised his knife and pushed Moudgil’s father, according to court documents. Pooja Moudgil, Preet’s wife, said her father-in-law was able to avoid getting stabbed and ran out of the house. When Kilgore began the disturbance, her mother-in-law was putting the Moudgils’ 3-year-old to bed. She fled the home with her grandson when Kilgore broke in, Pooja Moudgil said.

After Kilgore left the residence, a friend called to the scene by Pooja Moudgil took Kilgore to the ground and took his knife, police said.

Good on the family friend. Probably should have been a Defensive Gun Use.

Not that being a racist ass is ever excusable, let alone assault with a deadly weapon, but it is ironic that Kilgore’s anti-Muslim bigotry was directed at a Sikh. Sikhs are not Muslim and have actually been persecuted by Sunni Muslims throughout history.

Of interest to students-of-the-knife, Sikhs are required by their religion to carry a ceremonial dagger called a kirpin. We have written about this case where a Sikh student in Seattle was exempted from the school’s zero-tolerance policy on knives and allowed to carry his.

kirpan

Sikh kirpan

While we are on the subject of religious exemptions for Sikhs, on a case-by-case basis, Sikhs in the US Army are being allowed to maintain their beard and turban in uniform. One notable example is Captain Simratpal Singh, a decorated veteran of Afghanistan, who became the first active-duty officer to be granted such accommodation following a lengthy court process.

From SikhCoalition.org:

April 1, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Last night, the U.S. Army granted a Sikh American officer a long-term religious accommodation allowing him to continue serving his country while maintaining his articles of faith. The landmark decision makes Captain Simratpal Singh, a decorated combat veteran, the first active duty Sikh soldier to receive approval to maintain his articles of faith while actively serving in the U.S. Army.

2016-cpt-singh-accommodation-header

Captain Singh graduated from West Point with honors in 2010, but was forced his first week to make the untenable choice between his religion and his career in order to serve. Following failed attempts to obtain an accommodation, he cut his hair and shaved his beard. After successfully completing Army Ranger School, a Bronze Star tour in Afghanistan, and receiving numerous other accolades in various military positions, Captain Singh filed a religious accommodation request on October 21, 2015.

Partially off topic, but a cool story, and Captain Singh looks like a badass. Thank you for your service Sir.

h/t DR

 

Discussion

5 responses to ‘Should have been a Defensive Kirpan Use: Sikh family assaulted; threatened at knife-point.

  1. Nope. The Army shouldn’t have caved. Everything these days is about compromise and accommodation. Where’s that got us? Hundreds of years of tradition down the tubes with the stroke of a pen.

    • I certainly understand your position, but I have much less problem with this as opposed to the lowering of fitness requirements to let women occupy combat roles.

      Give me a true warrior with a beard over an out of shape feminist any day.

      • I don’t see this one as the Army “caving,” rather, they utilized the existing waiver system in the way it was intended. And it’s not like Singh was being unreasonable, either, it clearly says that he conformed to standards until his exemption waiver went through.

        As far as fitness requirements go, I think it’s time for a more objective standard. Even if women were just kept to existing male standards, a 5’2″ 105 pound anyone is not showing the same level of physical fitness as someone 6′ and 190 pounds, even if they do the exact same number of push-ups. In contrast, in order to be able to fight fires with the Forest Service, the pack walk is 30 (or 35?) pounds, 3 miles, 45 minutes, no running. Regardless of age, sex, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *