An incident where a Canadian Sikh was allegedly denied entry into an upscale restaurant has grown into an international campaign after details were posted on a popular social networking portal.
Gaurav Singh, an employee of a multinational bank, claims that after waiting in line for an hour to get into the Marlowe Restaurant and Wine Bar in Ontario on Saturday to celebrate a friend's birthday, he was told by the doorman and the manager that he would not be allowed in because of the establishment's no-headgear policy.
Singh's friends posted details about the incident on Facebook, a popular networking site originally developed for college and university students. Within no time an international campaign of support was launched, with hundreds of online responses to his plight pouring in from India, Britain and the US, the Star newspaper reported.
"What occurred was something I have never experienced in my 25 years in North America," wrote Singh. "I have travelled across the globe and I am sad to admit that the only location I have ever received such treatment was the country (of which) I am a proud citizen. There was no other reason other than my religious head covering."
Singh has already approached the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund and Mississauga-Brampton South MP Navdeep Bains.
"As you know, everyone consults their lawyer before they do anything nowadays," said John, the restaurant manager, adding that he was "under strict guidelines" not to discuss the incident.
"If you heard our side, you'd be shocked. Right now there are so many lies and accusations going around, it's unbelievable. The misinformation is unbelievable," he added.