The English Defence League’s “Sikh” spokesman Guramit “Singh”, who recently posted a message on Facebook publicly announcing his resignation, was interviewed by BBC West Midlands radio a few days ago. The issue of Guramit’s potential excommunication was one of the subjects mentioned during his radio interview; it was subsequently discussed in detail by a number of other programme participants, and Guramit received no support whatsoever from any of them. You can read a full transcript of the programme here.
I will highlight a number of relevant extracts below:
Guramit: “At the end of the day I’m not representing the Sikh culture – the religion…..I don’t represent Sikhs, I don’t represent Hindus, Christians, Catholics, Muslims – I don’t represent anybody apart from people who are sincere to our cause. The members of the English Defence League, we represent them and that’s all I’m here to do.”
False. Guramit deliberately uses the characteristically Sikh name “Singh” during his public activities in conjunction with the EDL, even though it’s not actually his real surname. In one of Guramit’s earlier public statements, he explicitly claimed that he considers himself a “servant of the Sikh Nation”; he also explicitly claimed that he considers the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scriptures) to be his “Guru” and that Sikhism has “taught him a lot”.
Guramit has also now issued multiple public statements, in writing, repeatedly claiming that the EDL are the modern-day ideological counterparts of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh’s historical Khalsa, and repeatedly referencing (and grossly misrepresenting) Sikh theology & history in order to justify his own actions.
BBC: “The call to excommunicate you – wherever that’s gone, but that call was backed by six leading Gurdwaras [Sikh temples] in Birmingham and Black country, including Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha run by Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, one of the most senior Sikh figures outside of India. Does his signature, does the feeling of those six Gurdwaras about what you said, does that not make you challenge yourself about what you said?”
Guramit: “No it doesn’t. Because at the end of the day their signatures are on that statement through lies that they’ve been given…..they’ve been given lie after lie after lie after lie”
False. It has been a matter of the numerous signatories independently reviewing Guramit’s own activities involving the EDL, including his falsified assertions about Sikh theology & history and his repeated public statements demonising Islam, Allah, Muslims and the Prophet Mohammad, all of which are freely available unedited & in full online via Guramit’s multiple public speeches to the EDL (eg. here, here and here), multiple interviews with the BBC (eg. here and here), and multiple further examples of incriminating video footage of Guramit (eg. here and here), along with Guramit’s own articles published on the EDL’s main website. Guramit also wrote a bizarre, rambling “open letter” directly addressing the Sikh signatories (see Part 1, Part 2).
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Guramit continued making highly questionable statements in the rest of the BBC interview, including making the dubious claim that he has been studying Sikhism and can see himself becoming a baptised (“Amritdhari”) Sikh in the next few years. To make matters even worse (for himself), Guramit did not retract any of his falsified claims about Sikh theology & history, or his support for the EDL, or his numerous offensive statements about Islam, the Prophet Mohammad, Allah, or Muslims in general.
However, the BBC programme also included valuable contributions by Professor Gurharpal Singh, a leading Sikh academic at the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham who has previously highlighted the BNP’s similar “divide & rule” tactics involving Sikhs and Muslims; Professor Singh’s observations included the fact that Guramit is continuing to make distorted claims about Sikhism, particularly the fact that Guramit himself is actually very much a viable candidate for excommunication. Professor Singh has subsequently signed the joint statement condemning the EDL and any Sikhs who join them.
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Filed in: EDL,Muslim,Race politics,Religion,Sikh