Meet the English Defence League’s Asian poster-boy


by guest
21st January, 2010 at 9:30 am    

contribution by Secunder Kermani, published first at The Samosa

Ever since its formation last year, the English Defence League (EDL) has insisted it is not racist and doesn’t have a problem with ordinary Muslims, just radical extremists.

Amit Singh is a British-born Sikh and EDL activist who will address the EDL’s demonstration in Stoke this Saturday to try and show British Asians that the group is neither racist nor anti-Muslim. But as I discovered, scratch beneath the moderate surface and a very different picture of the EDL’s Asian poster boy emerges – one of vitriolic rants against Muslims in general.

Amit Singh is a British-born Sikh in his late 20s, and one of the leading EDL activists in his hometown in the Midlands. He was introduced to me by an EDL spokesman, himself of mixed-race descent. He told me that people like Amit were of crucial importance in highlighting the fact that the EDL weren’t racist, and in helping spread the group’s message within their own communities.

Amit’s doing his speech to highlight the fact that we’re not white supremacist, skinhead boot boys basically,” the spokesman explained. “It would be a hell of a lot nicer to get more multicultural people there.” He said he wanted support from as many different communities as possible, including, he said, moderate Muslims.

* * * * *

The EDL website highlights Amit’s role in an advert for this Saturday’s demonstration in Stoke: “We will have two speakers; one is a Sikh, and the other is one of our black members, both proud Britons, and both of whom have volunteered to help start the year off strong by telling the UAF [Unite Against Fascism] exactly where they can stick their dishonest claim that we are racists.” Amit isn’t named as the Sikh speaker on the website, but both Amit and the EDL spokesman confirmed it was him.

When I first spoke to Amit, he assured me there was a growing number of Sikhs joining the group to protest against militant Islam – although in reality, the numbers are unlikely to be more than a small handful out of Britain’s large Sikh community.

Amit told me he had joined the EDL after he was sent an invitation on Facebook to join a group opposing the organisation’s march in Nottingham in December. “I googled EDL and I read what it was about, and I thought to myself straight away, ‘well this is a really good cause why are we marching against them?’ Once I had spoken to a few people on their Facebook site and on the EDL forum I got involved and I’ve been marching ever since.”

English Defence League demonstration - photo: ReutersBut Amit was insistent that the EDL wasn’t against Muslims per se: “We’re not here to be anti-Muslim, anybody in the group who is anti-Muslim will be kicked out. We’re here to fight against Muslim extremism.

If Hindus were doing what the Muslims are doing, if Sikhs were doing it … whoever was to do it in this country, we would fight against them. I can understand that it can look like we’re singling out Muslims but we’re not, we’re not here to do that. We’re against Muslim extremists.”

* * * * *

I was slightly troubled by some of Amit’s views but on the whole they didn’t seem too radical. He was certainly friendly with me, as were most of the other EDL members I had spoken to.
So I was shocked when I added him on Facebook – his profile was littered with racist jokes and offensive rants he had posted against Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad:

You know what, ive got an inkling the profit muhammed was really a bit of a adultering, raping, hate preaching looting Cunt!! Anyone agree, or is it just me????

the muzzies wanna keep away from me im just looking for an excuse im fucked off at the mo fuck the pakis … i just think we shud burn the cunts now!!

Be careful if you go out driving today… driving conditions are awful, ive just come off the road and hit a muslim!! It took me 10 minutes, 2 fields and a golf course, but I got the fucker!!

Hes one of the greatest naturalist of all times, searched the world and showed the british public animals and plants from across the world through the aid of television, and I congratulate him on his retirement, but please before you do retire sir richard attenborough [sic], any chance you can find me a moderate muslim????

[Comment aimed at a Muslim who insulted the EDL] hey amir how many times have u fucked your sister today, ure all a bunch of pedos, piss off back to pakistan!!

It would be unfair to automatically take someone’s Facebook comments as gospel, but the frequency and sheer vitriol of the statements, and the approving comments left by other EDL supporters, seem to give the lie to Amit’s and the EDL’s claims not to be prejudiced against ordinary Muslims.

When I asked about him about these comments Amit claimed that he had been receiving death threats from Muslims at the time, and that this had provoked him into writing many of them. He also said he had an outspoken sense of humour and that many comments were intended as jokes.

He did however admit that he viewed Islam as an inherently extremist religion. “I do believe that the majority [of Muslims] believe in these extreme actions … From what I’ve been told and what I’ve read it is an extremist religion.

He pointed to preachers like Anjem Choudary and Abu Hamza as proof of this and said they were responsible for this impression of the faith.

However, while Amit may be right that the EDL is not racist in the traditional sense – it seemingly has no problem with blacks, Sikhs or Hindus – its claim to oppose only violent extremist Muslims rings hollow.

————————

A longer and more detailed version of the article is over at The Samosa


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Meet the English Defence League's Asian poster-boy http://bit.ly/4L1jp7




  1. MiriamBinder — on 21st January, 2010 at 9:56 am  

    You just have to love the way they respond with the appropriate ‘key words’ to questions and issues raised in conversation yet have the courage of their convictions when it comes to demonstrating as indicated by the photograph of a demo where the placard carrying ‘peaceful protester’ is hiding his/her no doubt very handsome visage in the folds of a hoodie …

    Excusing rabid anti-Muslim rants with the old ‘I was receiving death threats’ is another oldie but goodie … very handy ;) From what I recall it was one of the reasons Islam4UK cancelled (ahem)its last couple of demonstrations …

    It is just another form of extremism.

  2. Jai — on 21st January, 2010 at 10:44 am  

    Secundar,

    Good article. Amit’s attitude towards Muslims is certainly disturbing, especially as he is representing himself as a Sikh in this matter (I happen to be a Sikh too). The symbol combining the Sikh ‘khanda’ with the EDL is also offensive and effectively an oxymoron.

    If you haven’t read these before, please take a few minutes to read the following articles about the real stance that Sikhs (and Sikhism as a religion) are supposed to have towards Muslims and Islam, as per certain historical precedents during periods when some of Sikhism’s pivotal figures had to deal with their era’s equivalent of radical/militant Islam. You may wish to show these articles to Amit too, particularly in relation to the following:

    He did however admit that he viewed Islam as an inherently extremist religion. “I do believe that the majority [of Muslims] believe in these extreme actions … From what I’ve been told and what I’ve read it is an extremist religion.

    He pointed to preachers like Anjem Choudary and Abu Hamza as proof of this

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6688

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6771

  3. joe90 — on 21st January, 2010 at 11:26 am  

    Amit Singh sounds like a complete nutcase i see those kind of comments he made from the most idiotic of racists who view black and asian people as nothing but dirt. It is a usual trait people say one thing on their webpage or in the media and then claim oh im no racist or in this case a rabid islamaphobe.

  4. Dalbir — on 21st January, 2010 at 12:08 pm  

    What a dick.

  5. Deep Singh — on 21st January, 2010 at 12:45 pm  

    Jai wrote:

    “The symbol combining the Sikh ‘khanda’ with the EDL is also offensive and effectively an oxymoron”

    Too right! If this is the symbol being adopted by EDL, then Sikh organisations across the UK need to work to stop this abuse of the Khanda insignia right away.

    Would be interesting to see what Amit’s view is of the growing number of Gurdwaras in every UK town (I recall Southall alone having Gurdwaras in double digits!)

  6. Dalbir — on 21st January, 2010 at 1:43 pm  

    You’re right something has to be done about the abuse of the Khanda.

    Typical waspy, can’t fight his own battles and drags dumbass Singhs into the battle.

  7. asquith — on 21st January, 2010 at 2:16 pm  

    I’ve lived in Sjoke all my life. I can tell you he’s going to get a rude awakening if he thinks the sort of people who turn out to this can tell the difference between one “paki” & the next.

    Most of the EDL & its camp followers are simply not clever enough to join in the game the organisers are playing. They will not accept the likes of Amit or Rajinder “BNP” singh.

  8. Deep Singh — on 21st January, 2010 at 2:21 pm  

    “Typical waspy, can’t fight his own battles and drags dumbass Singhs into the battle”

    With due respect, I cannot see what value this statment has, the ‘waspy’ as you put it, clearly are fighting their own battle and I would say very well indeed if they are able to garner support from ‘dumbass singhs’ such as Amit and Rajinder.

    The problem around ‘non-white’ support for the EDL here lies with Amit and Rajinder, not the “waspy”.

  9. Jai — on 21st January, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

    Deep Singh,

    Would be interesting to see what Amit’s view is of the growing number of Gurdwaras in every UK town

    Someone should also remind Amit that Guru Hargobind actually had a mosque built for the Muslims who had settled in the town he founded, which was recently renovated via a joint project involving both Sikhs (including Nihangs) and Muslims, as detailed in the second PP article I mentioned in #2.

    The first article involves Guru Gobind Singh’s stance towards Muslims.

  10. Deep Singh — on 21st January, 2010 at 2:40 pm  

    Jai – wholly concur!

  11. asquith — on 21st January, 2010 at 2:45 pm  

    Say, has anyone heard from “Reza” in recent times? I don’t know if he was banned or if he just stopped commenting, or what.

  12. Dalbir — on 21st January, 2010 at 3:14 pm  

    the ‘waspy’ as you put it, clearly are fighting their own battle and I would say very well indeed if they are able to garner support from ‘dumbass singhs’ such as Amit and Rajinder.

    The problem around ‘non-white’ support for the EDL here lies with Amit and Rajinder, not the “waspy”.

    You talk like their is no precedent of Singhs being roped into wasp initiated conflicts. Besides, you should see how many yob type waspys are trying really hard to get ‘up for it’ Singhs on board these days. Not that they have any respect for Singhs, they are just trying to exploit/use them. Funny thing is, when you talk to these pricks they usually have a surprising level of knowledge on Anglo-Sikh relations/history, even if it is seriously skewed by a supercillious neo-imperialist perspective.

    But you are right in that the onus should be on Amit and Rajinder. In their own minds, they are stupidly following the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ credo I imagine. No surprise they are bumlicking simpletons from up north or the midlands.

    Fools.

  13. Deep Singh — on 21st January, 2010 at 4:17 pm  

    Dalbir,

    I will take from your closing statement that we have agreed on the focus of the matter lies.

    That being said, with regard to your earlier comment
    “You talk like their is no precedent of Singhs being roped into wasp initiated conflicts”

    There is nothing in my foregoing statements which alludes to this, the events of the late 1800s and early 1900s under the British Raj and the support that the Raj received from predominantly Jatt Sikhs (who in turn were awarded their much prized land rights – see Punjab Land Revenue Act 1887 and the latter Punjab Land Alienation Act 1900) is a great example of how Sikhs became such ‘loyal’ subjects of the Crown, happily buying into the eugenics inspired rhetoric of a “Martial Race”.

    What is particularly telling about the culture that permeates many Sikh Societies in the UK is the extent to which these matters (re: British propaganda of the Sikhs as a “Martial Race” and policy of the British Raj to only recruit Amritdharis) are still cited as some form of positive recognition of the status of Sikhs, blissfully unaware of the racist notions that underlie the entire matter and the simple fact that the Sikhs were, well quite frankly, played.

  14. sonia — on 21st January, 2010 at 4:36 pm  

    could his facebook account be hacked?

  15. sonia — on 21st January, 2010 at 4:39 pm  

    anyway he’s from the indian subcontinent, we are always anti ‘the whole group’ – and when it flares up, it ain’t pretty. where else does this so-called ‘communalism’ violence come from? luckily most of the time its restricted to people only ignoring each other as ‘suitable’ marriage partners.

    funny he thinks his EDL lot can tell the difference between sikhs and muslims :-)

  16. sonia — on 21st January, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    what makes it so ironic though is that these patriotic extremists are so all into the same ideology. religious extremists, nationalist extremists – same thing, same mean spirited ‘ooh i must save my house/tribe/nation and take it to glory! don’t want any outsiders (or lets tax them or treat them like 2nd class citizens) all convinced of their uber-superiority within nature/the natural system – whether due to ‘god telling them so’ or not – just thinking it to be so, doesn’t seem to make a difference). one lot have their leaders in the metaphysical level and the others don’t . Otherwise, both lot want political power and their empire to be top dog.

    really when will they see that themselves???¬

  17. Kismet Hardy — on 21st January, 2010 at 5:09 pm  

    ” ive got an inkling the profit muhammed was really a bit of a adultering, raping, hate preaching looting Cunt!!”

    Even as a hardcore ex-Muslim I find cutting and pasting such a sentiment, which I’ve inadvertently re-pasted, of a dickhead really rather quite offensive to read. Tawba tawba tawba

  18. jookymundo — on 21st January, 2010 at 5:13 pm  

    Another Sikh another bum boy for the white man, is it really that suprising?

  19. Naadir Jeewa — on 21st January, 2010 at 5:14 pm  

    There’s a lot of fake racist hacking going on, what with Rod Liddle and all. Is it the Chinese government, I wonder?

    I think Dalbir nailed it @3.

  20. Dalbir — on 21st January, 2010 at 7:45 pm  

    Deep@12

    Just a phase we went through with LOTS to learn from. What you mentioned also possibly highlighted how British policy helped strengthen caste based discrimination between Singhs.

    We have lots of stuff to shake off and understand from our experience with Johnny Saxon. Don’t think that some people are not questioning how we got bitched and what they were up to exactly. Brits are experts at manipulating and appealing to one’s haumai when they want something. Simple peasant pindus swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

  21. Juv — on 21st January, 2010 at 9:36 pm  

    How can they claim to want moderate Muslims to join their hateful group? Seeing a poster saying “no more mosques” would be offensive to ANY Muslim. Amit is clearly Islamophobic and extremely prejudiced. As a Muslim I could not bring myself to read all the distasteful “jokes”.

    If people are under the impression that the majority of Muslims support terrorism of any sort then perhaps they should take the time, face their fears and actually converse with another Muslim. On the other hand, we as Muslims cannot deny that it is now our job to actively assure people that we are peaceful and that we come from a religion of peace. Yes it is unfair, since we did not bring this upon ourselves, but by not taking responsibility for the actions of others and by not showing the true Islam, we are being very unproductive.

    That said, EDL’s concept and ideology is completely wrong and anyone who really believes in what they stand for are simply ignorant. They are really pushing the boundaries of freedom of speech.

  22. marvin — on 21st January, 2010 at 9:49 pm  

    jookymundo — on 21st January, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Another Sikh another bum boy for the white man, is it really that suprising?

    Perhaps a Spectator blogger should retaliate with a post titled “More homophobia and racism at Pickled Politics”.

  23. KJB — on 21st January, 2010 at 11:50 pm  

    Deep Singh @ 12 – my gosh, I’m glad somebody else mentioned the way so many Sikhs buy into the ‘Sardar’ construction of the British!

    Amit Singh is a fucking moron, but sadly I am not surprised. My own family (who are supposed to be educated professionals) have expressed similar sentiments in the past. Religious ignorance tends to merge with a misguided sense of Indian patriotism (y’know, India vs. Pakistan) and the result is this kind of historically-illiterate BS.

    Did he miss all the stuff in Sikhi about how Sikhs should fight for the downtrodden? We’re not in the days of the Mughal Empire at the moment! The 9/11 and 7/7 bombers certainly appear to have succeeded in sealing off Muslims from everyone else, and now the media and the likes of Amit Singh are finishing the job for them. Oh, the irony.

  24. douglas clark — on 22nd January, 2010 at 1:00 am  

    KJB,

    Thanks for the word ‘sardar’. I am, presumably British, and I ain’t no sardar.

    Did you miss all the stuff about class in British society? I’d argue, if you’ll let me, that working class Britons in the UK were treated as badly as anyone in the Empire. And, back in those days, there was a pretty ginormous working class, a small artisan class and a tiny gang of upper class bastards. Who ruled us all.

    There is absolutely no benefit, that is obvious to me at least, to 99% of the UK population over the period of Empire.

    We suffered in slums, we were exported when we were inconvenient to the ruling class, we were starved to death for fun if Jonathan Swift is a judge; you can download a read at it here:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1080

    We were stuck in fucking coal mines and died. We were used as cannon fodder in the first world war, and died. And then the bastards had another war. We were fucked about as much as anyone else in history by the aristocracy.

    Bitter about that whole era?

    Moi?

    Fucking right.

    I am getting fairly pissed off with the idea that the exploitation of humans is a racial thing. It is, and always has been, a class thing.

    And they will, exploit you and abuse you and me, and anyone else they can get their hands on. For that is what they fucking well do.

    We now have an intermediary class that think an enormous amount of themselves.

    They are called journalists or media punters. It is now that they tell us what to think or say.

    Sunny Hundal has finally realised just what an artisan class that actually is. His nemesis was Catherine Bennett, mine was Madeleine Bunting.

    And that was a long time ago.

    The pile of drek that is social organisation and control falls apart when people are given the freedom to speak for themselves. It seems to me that we have sometimes elevated fools to comment in newspapers. And that newspapers will defend their own.

    It also seems to me that they are no better than us, you or me. That their opinions, despite their ubiquitousness, are probably rather cheap.

    There are a lot of people that comment here that have more to say, more ‘bottom’ than any journalist.

    Which is rather to cut away at the idea of journalism as a profession.

    I do not agree with everything that is said here, you’ll have noticed, but your right to say it is something I hope I’ll always support.

  25. Deep Singh — on 22nd January, 2010 at 11:19 am  

    Dalbir,

    I appreciate your view and whilst this is discussion is moving at a slight tangent, to address some of your points:

    This was hardly ‘just a phase we went through’, during the mid-late 18th century from the rise of Banda Singh Bahadur through to the establishment of the Sikh ‘Misls’ (Confederacies), a similar trend is noticed. I highlight these below:

    (a) With the rising popularity of Banda Singh Bahadur came the first established Sikh Kingdom (Banda Singh striking its first coin in honour of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh). This is the period when history shows a mass adoption of Sikh practice by Punjabi Jatts in particular. The driving motive being the seemingly real possibility of sharing in the rising socio-economic status of the Sikhs – which was precisely the same thing with the British Raj, where one sees Jatts in particular siding with the British for purposes of securing land rights and government employment.

    (b) As Sikh political power consolidated, we see the rise of the Sikh Misls, again it is interesting to observe the history of the Misl leaders, save for the Ahluwalia, Ramgarhia and Shaheedi (Nihang) Misls (who had an established Sikh religious heritage), all other Misl leaders were in fact very recent converts, largely from Jatt tribes, adopting the external insignia of the Khalsa for similar reasons as above (i.e. the seemingly real possibility of Sikhs establishing a Raj).

    Nontheless, it was a Jatt Sikh of the Sukerchakia clan who consolidated the fragmented Misls into what became the Sikh Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh wherein we see at last a truly secular and just rule (desecrated by political machinations on part of the British Raj using exactly the same rhetoric described in my earlier posts, such that the Sikh empire literally collapsed upon itself and British annexed Punjab without having to even fire a single shot).

    The latter establishment of the Patiala Jatt Sikh Maharaja dynasties in the 19th century and their continued support of the Raj to retain their land titles explains how the British administration was able to influence several aspects of Sikh religious life through their controls over the Gurdwaras via the Patalia Maharajas and their patronage of the Nirmala Akharas (a scholarly establishment from the 19th century Sikh empire).

    Insofar as the caste system is concerned, this is a hang over from wider Indic cultural trends and not unique to Sikhs alone, Christians, Muslims and Atheists in India are all impacted by this matter to this day. For the Sikhs, as described above, with the rising population of Jatts and their ascendency into economic and political power, they naturally adopted the customs of the previous ‘upper classes’ (typically the Hindu Brahmins and Khatris) establishing themselves in their place.

    This trend, again is not unique to Sikhs, one can find similar parallels to this within the wider Indian society (for both Hindus and Muslims), in modern Japanese history and amongst other colonised nations.

    Whilst it is tempting to see this as “simple peasant pindus swallowed it hook, line and sinker”, history again shows that there were several players from the upper echelons of society who sided with such tactics (Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala and the Patiala Nirmala Sant Akharas being two such examples).

  26. Deep Singh — on 22nd January, 2010 at 11:25 am  

    Douglas Clark wrote:

    “I am getting fairly pissed off with the idea that the exploitation of humans is a racial thing. It is, and always has been, a class thing”

    This is precisely the underlying notion to my posts above – the racial and/or religious identities are little more than a dressing which sadly cloud the underlying issue: social ascendency into upper classes to ultimately have access to ‘unlimited’ resources.

  27. Deep Singh — on 22nd January, 2010 at 11:28 am  

    KJB: “Deep Singh @ 12 – my gosh, I’m glad somebody else mentioned the way so many Sikhs buy into the ‘Sardar’ construction of the British!”

    The British Raj would award the title “Sardar Bahadur” to favoured Sikh subjects (similar to knighting one as a ‘Sir’).

    That said, there are references to Sikhs being referred to as Sardars under the aforementioned “Misl” period which predates the arrival of the British.

  28. persephone — on 22nd January, 2010 at 12:28 pm  

    We cannot wholly blame others for the caste system (which was rife before colonialism etc) or attribute asian support of the EDL/BNP to ‘upper class’ aspirations since both the EDL/BNP purport to align themselves with,and target, the so called working class.

    There is no excuse for hatred.

    On that count, as others have already said, I too object to the use of the term ‘whitey’. Thats not because I am aspiring to join the ‘upper class and unlimited resources’ of the EDL, or want to be a Sardarniji or am a coconut.

    Its simply because I find racist terms offensive.

  29. persephone — on 22nd January, 2010 at 12:34 pm  

    As to protecting the khanda, can religious symbols be trademarked like brands or design copyrighted to stop someone like the EDL from using them?

  30. Ravi Naik — on 22nd January, 2010 at 1:24 pm  

    But as I discovered, scratch beneath the moderate surface and a very different picture of the EDL’s Asian poster boy emerges – one of vitriolic rants against Muslims in general.

    The term “discover” is a bit of an overstatement, no?

    As to protecting the khanda, can religious symbols be trademarked like brands or design copyrighted to stop someone like the EDL from using them?

    Ignoring seems to be the best course of action. Amit is an ignorant Brit like other EDL members. Being brown and a Sikh doesn’t shield him from stupidity, hate and bigotry.

  31. Dalbir — on 22nd January, 2010 at 2:45 pm  

    Deep

    I’ll take our little tangent further.

    The way I see it, people entered the Sikh movement with different motivations. Whilst I do believe that many Punjabi Jatts did enter the fold for reasons of faith, it seems pretty much evident that many also converted for more utilatarian reasons as mentioned by yourself. Conspicuous Khalsa military success (made by a mixture of members from so called castes including so called lower ones), could not have been lost to observers in Punjab. Yes, many probably saw it as real opportunity to free their lands from foreign overlords and this influenced their decision to join. Another factor is the ‘can’t beat them join them’ mentality. We have extant records of battles between Jatt tribes and Sikh bands taking place in the late 1700s. We know that the Sikh inspired movement was infinitely more successful than solely Jatt based ones (there was at least one of the latter that was crushed into oblivion by Moghuls). So at least some Jatts are likely to have joined the winning side for obvious benefits. But you need to understand that more Punjabi Jatts converted to Islam than Sikhism in anycase and many remained Hindu.

    BTW, I wasn’t blaming the caste thing on Brits, I was just suggesting their policies didn’t help to level things in society as was patently desired by the faith’s founders. Their policies seem to have exacerbated the situation. The ideas they introduced of Scythian, Aryan antecendents of many Panjabis also played a part in fanning haumai as much as the Indic shit. This still effects Sikh society today as you noticed. Some of their theories were a spring off from rampant white supremacist ideology of the time to my mind, they couldn’t accept non whites had managed to pull something like the Sikh raj off, so had to tie success with whiteness. You often read muted comments on how Sikhs smote ‘Mohammadeons’ in their early accounts. The comparison with Europeans, who, in larger numbers, lost their ‘crusades’ was not lost to them.

    In any case we would still have takers for the caste based preference today and given the opportunity Brits would happily exploit that if they had a chance. Some of our own lot would be happy for this as it would feed into their ahankaar and haumai and have material benefits which drive them more than faith. Those exploiting have a detailed understanding of how to manipulate such things. Remember those fuckers sat at the border of the Sutlej river for a good few decades watching, analysing, preparing to attack. They knew us inside out by the time they did. You can peruse all of the Brit pre ‘annexation’ literature and see how much they were putting us under the microscope in terms of military strength, beliefs and social structure. This was in order to prepare for a successful attack.

    When I said this was just a phase for us, I meant the colonial experience. How much we choose to be defined by it is our own choice. Sikh history is tumultuous and in time the raj will seem like a distant memory – speaking corporately. How Sikhs interpret the experience is unclear right now, I’m expecting the more independent minded thesis to come through. I’m sure it will in time. Fighting other people’s battles was folly. Having such a conspicuous force with the Brits never prevented wholesale slaughter of our people at partition and the weakening of the Khalsa military has led to other attacks post partition. This isn’t something we can brush away.

    such that the Sikh empire literally collapsed upon itself and British annexed Punjab without having to even fire a single shot).

    ???? When you read their own contemporary records there was serious concern and upset over the amount of dead whites in the first Anglo-Sikh war? Alot of them died on the battlefield, including their leaders. Besides, this just gives us another example of the characteristic dishonesty. Be really careful of anything said by certain sources, that is what I say.

    Anyway, we can’t fairly carry this discussion on in this forum, incase you wanted to.

  32. Deep Singh — on 22nd January, 2010 at 2:55 pm  

    Persephone,

    “We cannot wholly blame others for the caste system (which was rife before colonialism etc)”

    I concur and this is precisely the point made in my closing three paragraphs.

    “or attribute asian support of the EDL/BNP to ‘upper class’ aspirations since both the EDL/BNP purport to align themselves with,and target, the so called working class”

    For the avoidance of doubt, I am not trying in any way shape of form to make any EXCUSE for the obvious hatred.

    The statements on class mobility were particular to the comments made by Dalbir that this somehow a ‘WASPy’ initiated matter and restricted to certain sections of society.

    The comments re: “join the ‘upper class and unlimited resources’” follow on from my response to Dalbir’s statement about “simple peasant pindus swallowed it hook, line and sinker”.

    From your closing statements, it seems you have read my comments out of context (and admittedly I have not perhaps made them clear enough with adequate caveats to bring out the intended meaning).

    Happy to clarify further if required.

    Bottom line, Amit Singh is a misguided and foolish individual and as Ravi Naik aptly put it “Being brown and a Sikh doesn’t shield him from stupidity, hate and bigotry”.

  33. persephone — on 22nd January, 2010 at 3:48 pm  

    Deep Singh @31

    Yes there is much to agree with what you have said.

    I am usually very up front & mention the commenter’s moniker if I want to comment specifically.

    My comment was not directed at you but was a summation of what I thought about a variety of things raised by different commenters and the typical counter responses you get if putting the spotlight on looking at ourselves critically. My view is that even if another group/country do all in their power to anlayse, plan & deploy their resources into wreaking disharmony, ultimately there must be weaknesses for such an approach to be so successful.

    In the aftermath objectively looking at those weaknesses is key. I see Amit as part of that lingering weakness, albeit in a minority.

  34. Deep Singh — on 22nd January, 2010 at 4:26 pm  

    persephone wrote:

    “I see Amit as part of that lingering weakness”

    Yes quite.

  35. Deep Singh — on 22nd January, 2010 at 4:42 pm  

    Dalbir,

    Whilst I will not personally like to refer to the Sikh tradition as a ‘movement’, I do concur with your opening statements around the growth of the Sikh populace and reasons why people in general seek to convert to any religious or political affiliation.
    One point I will make is that whilst several Punjabi Jatts adopted Islam, Sikhism or Hinduism, the latter was not the traditional Jatt faith or tradition, Jatts have their own traditions which are independent of (vedic and/or other forms of ) Hinduism, that these traditions no longer exist is one of the reasons we presume that prior to their conversion to Islamic or Sikh rites, they must have been Hindu, but in fact Jatts form a distinct community with their own distinct cultural and religious heritage.

    On your other items, I understand (and agree with) much of what you have to say, a few additional comments from me:

    “Fighting other people’s battles was folly”

    This is likely to raise its head again, we already have seen several attempts in the past decade (by Prince Charles himself) to re-establish the Sikh Regiment within the British Army. Perhaps the likes of Amit Singh will be the first to join (particular if economic recovery lingers on) drawn in by the prospect of being deployed in the Middle East where he can vent his blatant Islamophobic ideas. The EDL is unfortunately only the beginning of such bizarre and twisted events yet to be witnessed.

    “there was serious concern and upset over the amount of dead whites in the first Anglo-Sikh war”

    The Anglo-Sikh wars was not how the British Annexed Punjab or how the Sikhs lost their empire, but I agree there was significant damage sustained by the Imperial forces from the then Khalsa army.

  36. Dalbir — on 22nd January, 2010 at 4:51 pm  

    My view is that even if another group/country do all in their power to anlayse, plan & deploy their resources into wreaking disharmony, ultimately there must be weaknesses for such an approach to be so successful.

    This is conceded. As I mentioned before their own contribution added even further dimensions to an existing problem.

    In the aftermath objectively looking at those weaknesses is key. I see Amit as part of that lingering weakness, albeit in a minority.

    A few factors play into this. Number one is the state of hiss between some Sikh guys and Pakistani Muslim men. We play it down but I know a few murders have taken place over this where I live and many more serious acts of violence have occured. So it isn’t just minor activity as some would make out. I’ve always imagined the weaker, dumber Sikhs exposed to this type of thing are the ones who consider forming alliances with the EDL/BNP types myself? Any ‘foundation’ Sikh man would probably stick to his own to deal with any problems they perceive. Someone from the community needs to talk to the Amits of the world and straighten out their thinking.

    But to act like there isn’t severe animosity between sections of these two communities that plays a part in the Amits of the world is to live in denial or ignorance.

  37. persephone — on 23rd January, 2010 at 12:05 am  

    “But to act like there isn’t severe animosity between sections of these two communities that plays a part in the Amits of the world is to live in denial or ignorance”

    I don’t think anyone is saying it does not exist. I do see it ebbing but flaring up again when incited. From past legacy we must note the incitement for what it is & not play into it.

    BTW what is a foundation sikh man?

  38. Dalbir — on 23rd January, 2010 at 5:29 am  

    I don’t think anyone is saying it does not exist. I do see it ebbing but flaring up again when incited. From past legacy we must note the incitement for what it is & not play into it.

    From what I’ve seen, the incitement consists of antagonistic behaviour towards Sikhs by certain groups. Thing is, this ‘incitement’ may be ‘ebbing’ at the moment, but that is probably because those behind it are, in all probability, currently too busy foaming at the mouth about the US and Israel (given current global politics), to be concerned with their ‘Sikray’ enemies. That doesn’t mean it wont flare up again in different circumstances.

    Whilst such ‘issues’ exist, more Amits are, sadly, likely to emerge. I know white leftys would rather bury this matter in the sand, and right wingers are not averse to trying to exploit divisions as we are clearly seeing. (note historical precedent from divide and conquer policies also).

    Thing is, younger Sikhs have little or no experience or even knowledge of organised, politicised white racism like many older Sikhs have, so they don’t really understand what they are dealing with. A part of that is our own fault in that we often don’t tell them just how fucked many (not all before the usual suspects jump down my throat!) English people were behaving when our people landed here in appreciable numbers back in 60s/70s and going into the 80s. Parallels between colonial time divide and conquer techniques currently being used by EDL/BNP types also need open airing.

    Not playing into the bullshit set up for us involves a lot of action on our part. In this respect the Sikh community has lots of work to do internally.

    A foundation Sikh man is the type of guy that would understand and do the above and isn’t prone to running to outsiders to resolve community issues – amongst other things. As opposed to the conservative, inert fuckers who are frequently portrayed as pillars but really don’t do anything practically useful for the community.

  39. KJB — on 23rd January, 2010 at 1:03 pm  

    Deep Singh @ 26 – I figured the term existed before the British sort of ‘made it official’, but that’s interesting! Thanks for informing me.

    Douglas @ 23 – I’m afraid I’m not too sure of what your point is. I’m well aware of how badly the British working classes lived during the period of Empire – there was a whole wave of ‘social investigative’ literature on this in the 1880s, the East End of London being a particularly popular subject.

    I am getting fairly pissed off with the idea that the exploitation of humans is a racial thing. It is, and always has been, a class thing.

    Actually, I think you’ll find it’s a racial, class and gender thing.

  40. MiriamBinder — on 23rd January, 2010 at 2:05 pm  

    Exploitation is a human thing … Not a pleasant or nice aspect of human nature but an aspect of human nature for all that. It is just something we need to guard against, just as we need to guard against egotism and short tempers.

  41. Dalbir — on 24th January, 2010 at 7:28 pm  

    And here is the twat himself!

    He comes on about 13.59 on the counter.

  42. Don — on 24th January, 2010 at 7:57 pm  

    Missing link.

  43. Embara Singh — on 25th January, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

    “Amit Singh is a British-born Sikh and EDL activist who will address the EDL’s demonstration in Stoke this Saturday to try and show British Asians that the group is neither racist nor anti-Muslim”

    Haha thats funny- Sikhs are amongst the biggest Muslim haters on the planet

  44. Dalbir — on 25th January, 2010 at 5:54 pm  

    What makes you an expert on this Embara?

  45. persephone — on 25th January, 2010 at 9:27 pm  

    @ 43 when do Balan Singh, Just-one Singh & Jus-beer Singh appear?

  46. Dalbir — on 25th January, 2010 at 9:50 pm  

    @45

    The same time ‘Asif your not a closet fundo’, makes an appearence. As-if. Geddit………

    Duhhh…. lol

  47. douglas clark — on 25th January, 2010 at 10:06 pm  

    Dalbir @ 46,

    You are completely off your nut.

    Welcome to the funny zone….

  48. Dalbir — on 25th January, 2010 at 10:08 pm  

    Why the sense of humour failure Doug?

  49. douglas clark — on 25th January, 2010 at 10:20 pm  

    I have written stuff here for a very long time and for absolute sure, I have never known exactly who I was speaking to.

    It is the nature of the internet.

    I have no idea who you are. I, do however, know this:

    You are a bit of cheek,

    you are wrong, see being a bit of cheek,

    You are confrontational,

    For example you fell out with me and just talking to you ought to make me a fucking Saint.

    You are certain, whereas no-one serious on here is certain, at least not the way you are.

    You have opinions, as though no-one else has them, and as though the contrary view is a hateful view.

    You are quite annoying. You cannot address the points I have made and you are indeed, beyond reason.

    Love you lots….

  50. douglas clark — on 25th January, 2010 at 10:23 pm  

    Dalbir,

    It is not my sense of humour that has failed.

    Work it out.

  51. persephone — on 25th January, 2010 at 11:07 pm  

    Dalbir @ 38

    Thanks for the explanation.

    “younger Sikhs have little or no experience or even knowledge of organised, politicised white racism like many older Sikhs have, so they don’t really understand what they are dealing with”

    Younger Sikhs also have a wider circle of friends & are not as surrounded by a common insular view in comparison to the older generation. Which I think is positive.

    If they are to be forewarned then it must be in a way that will not lead to intolerance, hatred and suspicion of all non Asians otherwise we are replicating the very mentality we are fighting against. Balance is key.

  52. Dalbir — on 26th January, 2010 at 12:07 am  

    Pers

    What your saying is not true. In many cases youngsters are more insular with their friendships than when my generation was that age. So you’re wrong. They aren’t automatically more likley to have a wider range of friends because of the generational difference and frequently I find the complete opposite to be true.

    No one is talking about intolerance and suspicion of non-Asians here. What we are talking about is a grasp of a reality, that isn’t very pleasant, but something we need to understand in order to prevent Amits. Your other very politically correct assertion that this will lead to us becoming ‘that which we detest’ is unlikely. Being on your guard, so to speak, doesn’t mean the community will end up prancing around intimidating random people as is wont with white working class movements like the BNP/NF or EDL. That just ain’t our style.

  53. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2010 at 4:34 am  

    Dalbir @ 52,

    Are you some sort of leading light in a Sikhs ‘R Us movement or summat? Which generation made Sikhs more insular that they used to be? Your words. You, perhaps?

    Quite frankly, there is nothing much to chose between your opinions and those of the EDL.

    You do write some confrontational bullshit here.

  54. Dalbir — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:09 am  

    Doug

    You talk like you know everything, but sadly you don’t. I wouldn’t prat about telling Scots what to do, nor should you be throwing your judgements about. I mean how dare the skirt wearing bastards break up the union with their independent ways. Why don’t they just shut up and be Brits!

    If you can’t tell the difference between me and an EDL, you must be a bit simple. For a start I’m not encouraging tearing around the place like your average football yobbo retard. Plus I am not shitting my pants about Muslims, like those ‘Angry-Saxons’ are.

    You complain about me writing confrontational bullshit, but when Kulvinder does it you lap it up like a hungry dog, you hypocrite you!

    Any chance Sikhs can have an opinion on stuff that effects them without others interfering?

    Just saying…..

  55. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:28 am  

    Dalbir,

    Really?

    You throw insults around here like a two year old with a temper tantrum. Why should I not be insulted by some of the garbage you write? You do it, if I may say so, merely to obtain a reaction.

    And then you give out with the ‘poor little me’ meme when you are called on it. You, sir, are a transparent controversialist.

    Your polemic shares much of the alienation of others that is usually a reserve of right wing nutters. You make good points sometimes. It should not be down to your audience to differentiate between the occasional sense you talk and the rubbish you wrap it up in.

    And, no. Sikhs are no different from, say anyone else that comments on a web site. If you put your opinion up, expect, at the very least, for it to be challenged.

    And who the heck are you to claim to speak for all Sikhs? There appears to be at least a few splits within that community too. External comment is probably useful….

    Just sayin’ too.

    It’s called freedom of expression or summat.

  56. Dalbir — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:42 am  

    Why be so sensitive to my perceived ‘insults’ like I am the only one at it!

    No I don’t go “poor little me..wah wah wah”, I just give as good as I get (or at least try to).

    Plus it is way to early to argue. You’re a grumpy old sod in the morning huh Dougy?

    I don’t claim to speak for all Sikhs, but speak as a Sikh. Like you can speak as a Scot but not for Scotland.

    Too early for this mate but you should consider people may know more about the world they live in than outsiders.

    Just saying….

  57. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:47 am  

    Oh,

    And Dalbir,

    I am not ‘shitting my pants’ about muslims. I think that the ‘voices’ that claim to speak for them are nowhere near representative, but, what the hell do I know? Probably as little or as much as you.

    You appear to have no difficulty in expressing an opinion on what Anglo Saxons bowels are about in relation to muslims, whereas any comment about your community is taken very badly indeed. I’d have thought that that was double standards.

  58. douglas clark — on 26th January, 2010 at 8:06 am  

    Dalbir @ 56,

    See, you can play nice when you want to. Feel free to ignore me being grumpy. I just get very irritated when you lump me, a white male, into a cohort of other white males I’d quite enjoy punching in the face.

    We are all individuals as far as I can see. I find myself agreeing with people on here that I have probably no common background with, y’know, our good host, Rumbold, Sonia, etc, etc.

    You are absolutely right in saying that I cannot speak for Scotland, for that would be completely presumptuous. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming it is about that. It isn’t. I speak solely for myself, which is hard enough, without assuming more general authority. (I probably know more Scots I detest than any other race, which is a result of living amongst them. Knowing people well is, well, to know them, warts and all.)

    Anyway, I think you would make your points better if you laid off the insults. Remember, this is a public forum and it is quite widely read. You may have noticed that, ever so often, other people comment here too ;-)

    And, allegedly, lots of folk read but never write.

    Funnily enough, insults apart, I tend to agree with a lot of your general commentary. You are no fool, but, then again, neither am I.

    Just sayin’

  59. persephone — on 26th January, 2010 at 11:26 am  

    Dalbir @ 52 “ In many cases youngsters are more insular with their friendships than when my generation was that age”

    So what has been the impact of language then? (to clarify, level of 1st generationers to 2nd & 3rd class generationers for whom English has become their first language). Why is the rate of mixed race relationships & children rising & predicted to continue? Why is there more acceptance of marriage b/n different sikh castes? Why have groups such as Nirvana been opened by sikh women then & are increasingly being used?

    Can you point me to evidence that belies this?

    “ No one is talking about intolerance and suspicion of non-Asians here.”

    Its not the way you are coming across – see below

    @ 54 “Any chance Sikhs can have an opinion on stuff that effects them without others interfering?”

    This is also an example of what I mean about being insular. Suggest that it is even un Sikh not to listen to non Sikhs since Sikhism was founded on the basis that Guru Nanak wanted to take the good from all groups/religions to forge a new path – which surely must mean we continue listening & taking input widely. When did that change?

  60. nobodys hero — on 26th January, 2010 at 11:48 am  

    i m sorry boys ,its nasty at the grass roots level.The common enemy is islam. Bullying muslim thugs are turning lot of non muslims to extreme groups. Sat safely in your white middle class( im the only indian in the area) ivory tower semis dont judge ask why. The bnp is out of limits for asians but the EDL IS getting a lot of sympathy. A lot might not have the courage to protest like amit, they share his views

  61. MiriamBinder — on 26th January, 2010 at 11:55 am  

    @ nobodys hero # 60 –
    1. There is a big difference between having views and acting on them.
    2. Few will relish living with the aftermath of civic destruction.
    3. The BNP may well be out of limits for joining but I’m sure they won’t object to being voted for – even by asians ;)

  62. Jai — on 26th January, 2010 at 2:39 pm  

    The common enemy is islam.

    More accurately, the common enemies are both a certain interpretation of Islam and racists who still wish to exploit the principle of “divide & rule”.

    With regards to the latter, you’d expect that certain people would have learned their lesson after 250 years. Apparently not.

    A lot might not have the courage to protest like amit, they share his views

    In which case, those who are Sikhs are in total violation of all 10 of the Sikh Gurus’ teachings on the matter.

    I guess it doesn’t necessarily take much “courage” for people like Amit to engage in this kind of bigotry & hypocrisy if they don’t have to deal with being directly confronted by Guru Gobind Singh himself. Not in this life, anyway.

  63. nobodys hero — on 26th January, 2010 at 4:25 pm  

    There is always a reaction to an action. The root cause is the politicalization of the muslim youth.And the madrasses and mosques teaching hatred against the infidel. Its never a one sided arguement The muslim population has increased to six million from one million in 1990. SO will the next 20 years see a increase to 36 million. Europe is surrounded by 2 billion muslims. British people are concerned, individual muslims might be tolerant but collectively they are not , especially in the inner cities

  64. Dalbir — on 26th January, 2010 at 5:47 pm  

    @59

    Despite what you mentioned many youth still have an insular attitude, at least where I live. There are many that don’t have non-Asian friends. The difference I was talking about was the social habits between the 2nd generation and latter ones. I am 2nd gen. I think we couldn’t avoid not having friends from other races growing up when we did for a variety of reasons, not least there being less of us. Reading your post made me realise that we do have trends in opposite directions with some becoming increasingly insular and some going the opposite way. But I do notice that across cultures, in East London, youths seem more likely to form peer groups with their own colour more than ever. As least it appears that way. Maybe my view is skewed, I don’t know?

    Guru Nanak wanted to take the good from all groups/religions to forge a new path – which surely must mean we continue listening & taking input widely. When did that change?

    The point I made about Sikhs debating without judgmental interludes by others is still valid. I’m not suggesting that we close our ears to outside voices, rather that we learn to resolve our issues between ourselves. Our failure to be able to do this isn’t good. If you think about it, Amit’s current actions are somewhat influenced by those EDL morons around him and their ideas. So having wide ‘feedback’ isn’t always a good idea. To get it broadly right between yourselves first is a good idea.

    In anycase, your statement above is a bit naive. I’m sure you know about Akali Nihungs. They formed a very important part in the original post Guru Gobind Singh Sikh society and they did not have the political correct attitudes towards outsiders you are espousing. This isn’t any sort of justification of rampant discrimination but just to highlight that things weren’t all black and white and fluffy as made out by some.

    Plus your post seems to imply a belief in the ‘syncretic’ theory of the development of the SIkh faith which is now widely discredited academically, not to mention quite offensive to most Sikhs.

    Anyway, no need for a protracted debate. Fact on the ground is that some Sikhs are targeted by elements within certain communities, whilst that happens the likelyhood of more Amits emerging is a distinct possibility. People in the UK seem to want to ignore complaints by Sikhs, and many Sikhs themselves are emabarassed of what is going on and hushed on the matter. I’ve heard of attempted attacks on Sikhs in Pakistani Muslim majority areas from enough sensible sources up and down this country to believe it is going on.

    What about that?

  65. Jai — on 26th January, 2010 at 6:04 pm  

    The muslim population has increased to six million from one million in 1990.

    According to the most recent census data, the British Muslim population is 1.6 million, not 6 million.

    Even allowing for increases since the last census, it is highly unlikely that it would have multiplied by 3.75 during the course of the past decade.

    Europe is surrounded by 2 billion muslims.

    The overall global Muslim population is between 1.3 to 1.6 billion according to the most recent survey, not 2 billion.

  66. MiriamBinder — on 26th January, 2010 at 6:20 pm  

    Tut tut and tsk tsk Jai … never expect facts and reason to sway blind prejudice.

  67. nobodys hero — on 26th January, 2010 at 8:59 pm  

    last census was 2001,9 years ago since than we had mass immigration from somalia iraq kosovo afghanistan .Muslims have higher birth rates , More likely to marry partners from abroad .Mohammed is one of the most popular names for children born in the uk in 2009 . The largest percentage of muslims in the population is the under 5 year old. The largest percentage of christians in the population is the over 70 s .
    I M sorry just 1600 million surrounding a population of 200 million and especially an aging population.
    The futures not bright just sharia

  68. persephone — on 27th January, 2010 at 12:36 am  

    Dalbir @ 64

    Perhaps reference points are different. Many I know went to uni, lived & worked in environments/careers, had interests with a low ratio of Asians and so formed a wide circle of friendships & relationships. I remember at one place i worked we actively targeted tower hamlets to encourage more east end applicants where that insularity led to them not applying for jobs with big employers.

    As to sorting things out internally – there are times when this is detrimental & is done to sweep things under the carpet to enforce insular values eg forced marriage & honour killings – hence growth of Nirvana.

    And the keeping it within ourselves mentality then extends to marriage to overseas Asians because the UK Asians are not seen as ‘one of us’.

    And yes the core Sikh values have been overtaken by what I see as the popular focus on the symbolism & military identity. Unfortunately tying oneself/group to the latter carries with it the legacy of muslim hatred. To get a different result you have to break the cycle.

  69. nobodys hero — on 27th January, 2010 at 3:20 am  

    And yes the core Sikh values have been overtaken by what I see as the popular focus on the symbolism & military identity. Unfortunately tying oneself/group to the latter carries with it the legacy of muslim hatred. To get a different result you have to break the cycle.

    SO the distrust of muslims has nothing to do with what they contribute to the problem .wake up dear. A half million sikhs were killed during the partition 1947.RECENTLY SIKHS IN AFGANISTAN AND SWAT VALEY WERE FORCED TO PAY THE JAZYA TAX, THE INFIDEL TAX OR CONVERT TO ISLAM
    Why do you not campaign to get this removed from the koran .It s not symbolic its in black and white and not up for interpretation.
    At home non muslims are bullied and harrased by the muslim youth. This problem is real nothing to do with symbolism and military identity .How many sikh kids have turbans a small minority .Most of the sikh showing the most anger towards muslims are the liberal non turban sikhs. Countries are turning jihadist left and centre iraq syria afganistan pakistan somalia yemen sudan north nigeria.Theres this big tsunami heading towards us you keeping saying its only a ,surfers wave ,misunderstanding of the korans dont worry we should be able to ride it with our intellectual surf board

  70. Dalbir — on 27th January, 2010 at 7:59 am  

    And yes the core Sikh values have been overtaken by what I see as the popular focus on the symbolism & military identity. Unfortunately tying oneself/group to the latter carries with it the legacy of muslim hatred. To get a different result you have to break the cycle.

    That’s being intellectually dishonest Pers. You know yourself that the so-called military and symbolic identity was ordained by the 10th master. If you believe in an orthodox standpoint, there is no difference between him and the first. Orthodox Sikhi still retains the original practices of nam simran and community spirit that characterised it from the start.

    You relate historical events to animisoty today but this is just a cop out. Most of the animosity is not based on that but the result of present day experiences.

    Thing is, everyday Sikhs have been ‘caught out’ in the middle of ethnic tensions a fair few times now.
    Be this partition, or 1984 or the wave of anger that swept America post 9/11. Lessons need to be learnt. If we ignore the stuff going on today, we are likley to suffer more than we need to in the event of any aggro.

  71. persephone — on 27th January, 2010 at 12:28 pm  

    nobodys hero

    Setting aside your patronising.

    You assume symbolism is solely referring to turbans when it is not.

    “Most of the sikh showing the most anger towards muslims are the liberal non turban Sikhs”

    What evidence are you going by?

    And I know lots of liberal turbanned sikhs. Its not mutually exclusive

    As for the rest, my experiences point to the majority of people take what they can & eschew those parts which they feel are outdated – whether from the Koran, Bible, Guru Granth etc. What good would it do to campaign against religious text – nothing but more hatred would ensue. Is that what you seek?

    As to Afghanistan, military action there has hardly resolved matters – retaliating by violence does not work. Churning out what happened in 1947 is hardly new and at the risk of repeating myself is not the best way to move forward in the here & now.

    Your citing of bullying cuts both ways – a friend of mine, a sikh was going out with a muslim, they were both terrorised by a turbaned sikh for doing so. They later got married – a Sikh ceremony – and have children now. It would be scaremongering & wrong to say that all/a majority of turban wearing Sikhs are like that. Tell me which intellectual surfboard that services.

    Keeping a (historical) tally of who has done what is not going to break the status quo.

    The ploy of saying things are being intellectualised is a way of keeping the status quo.

  72. persephone — on 27th January, 2010 at 1:33 pm  

    Dalbir: “That’s being intellectually dishonest” and “You relate historical events to animisoty today but this is just a cop out. Most of the animosity is not based on that but the result of present day experiences”

    As individuals we make a choice. To hate a whole group for the sins of some or not. From the real life practices of the Sikh Gurus we see many examples of fellowship with muslims at a time when animosity was at its worst. I’m not convinced that applying those values (when seva, simran etc is all based on humanity) today is intellectualising or a cop out.

    “If you believe in an orthodox standpoint”

    When you say orthodox are you referring to the demarcation into Sanatan and the Tat Khalsa? I have a difficulty with the prescription and dogma that each sets up since I agree with facets from each. And each will say they are the true views … and I do not see life as so ring-fenced or to be judged from the single ‘standpoint’ you refer to. That just creates a ‘them & us’ scenario which in itself is against Sikhism per se.

    “Lessons need to be learnt. If we ignore the stuff going on today, we are likley to suffer more than we need to in the event of any aggro.”

    So what do you propose?

    BTW you skirted over the issue of insularity – I gave several (what I thought) non–intellectual examples of how insularity has been detrimental & where it has been broken to provide open wider, positive horizons.

  73. Deep Singh — on 27th January, 2010 at 3:08 pm  

    Persephone:

    “When you say orthodox are you referring to the demarcation into Sanatan and the Tat Khalsa?”

    These two groups are themselves relatively ‘modern’ formed in the late 1880/90′s and most active in the 1920s.

    The ‘orthodox’ stance of Sikhs can be found in the text Sri Gur Sobha written by Kavi Sainapati in 1711 (i.e. 3 years after the passing of Guru Gobind Singh).

    In this text, we find clear reference to the rehit (orthodoxy) of the Sikhs, namely the retention of Kesh, daily nitnem, practice of naam simran and strict mono-theistic faith supported by utterances contained in the Guru Granth Sahib.

    I have a difficulty with the prescription and dogma that each sets up since I agree with facets from each. And each will say they are the true views … and I do not see life as so ring-fenced or to be judged from the single ‘standpoint’ you refer to. That just creates a ‘them & us’ scenario which in itself is against Sikhism per se.

  74. Dalbir — on 27th January, 2010 at 4:46 pm  

    As individuals we make a choice. To hate a whole group for the sins of some or not.

    You’re jumping to assumptions here. I never alluded to this. What I am saying is openly acknowledging what is going on for a start and entertaining the idea of dealing with it without fear of politically correct notions. Yes, I know many, if not the vast majority of Muslims aren’t up to this, but we shouldn’t fear dealing with the issue in fear of offending them. This issue isn’t a “Muslim” one, but one involving an undetermined segment of the Pakistani population. I hope this makes this clear.

    From the real life practices of the Sikh Gurus we see many examples of fellowship with muslims at a time when animosity was at its worst. I’m not convinced that applying those values (when seva, simran etc is all based on humanity) today is intellectualising or a cop out.

    Mate even in more recent times we have examples. My great grandfather and his friend saved a huge chunk of the Muslims from his village (at partition) by providing them with an armed guard to a nearby refuge camp. I think you’re not understanding what I’m saying. I’m probably not explaining it well.

    When you say orthodox are you referring to the demarcation into Sanatan and the Tat Khalsa?

    That just creates a ‘them & us’ scenario which in itself is against Sikhism per se.

    No, I was just refering to the doctrine of the ‘oneness’ of all Gurus. I got the impression you was suggesting the introduction of increased symbology and a formal armed militant doctrine was some form of deviation.

    About creating a them and us scenario. Have you read Bhai Gurdas’s Vaars? It clearly demarcates an independent Sikh identity over others. Maybe we should do away with Amrit sanchar because it demaractes a boundary between Sikhs and others also? There IS them and there IS us This doesn’t mean we have to hate them or be bad to them – so what is the issue? Some of US get on my nerves more than any of THEM – ftr.

    So what do you propose?

    Well for a start we could openly recognise that there are strange things going along race/religious faultlines in the UK and acknowledge that this could cause problems for Sikhs if they escalate. Also, support and encourage people from within willing to confront the low form of attacks that has the Amits of the world going crazy? Anything else we can think of together that doesn’t involve running to outsiders like pussys. lol

    BTW you skirted over the issue of insularity

    I thought I said that I acknowledge that some are very insular some not? I guess a lot depends on where you live and your job. Personally, if someone wants to stick with their own, I see it as their choice. As long as they aren’t planning race attacks or anything. I think when we start to tell people how to live in detail like that we get a bit nanny.

  75. persephone — on 27th January, 2010 at 9:21 pm  

    Thanks for clarifying @74

    “I got the impression you was suggesting the introduction of increased symbology and a formal armed militant doctrine was some form of deviation”

    Correct. But more an over focus than deviation.

    “Have you read Bhai Gurdas’s Vaars? “

    Some not all. His interpretation of gurbani, like other interpretations, was personal to him – some see it as the last word, partly because it was an early word. I s’pose being independently minded brings with it the freedom to seek your own way. My interpretation on identity & direction as to ‘them & us’ maybe more all encompassing, along the humanity lines. I take interpretations at face value due to the passage of time since they were written and further to my own moral compass

    I’m gonna leave this debate for now as I want to catch up on the niqab posts

  76. nobodys hero — on 27th January, 2010 at 9:35 pm  

    This is an anti sikh site Any chance to slag of sikhi
    Sunny have you heard the sikhs want to monopolise the word rabb meaning god. Hindu and jews will not be able to use it. Hope to see a big article coming from you soon.

    No article on the muslims in malaysia wanting copyrights on the word allah. Making the Guru granth sahib je illegal as it contains the word allah. But it fashionable to protect muslims. It is all those sikhs that are war mongers with their military symbols . Muslims are peace loving .You will find hardly any in prison So peace keeping If they do any thing wrong it just a misinterpretation of islam. One sikh joins EDL a big article, hundreds of muslims in prison for terrorist charges not a mutter from sunny and co

  77. persephone — on 27th January, 2010 at 9:49 pm  

    “muslims in prison for terrorist charges”

    you mean like those in gitmo (and those now released too). all been covered here :-)

  78. douglas clark — on 27th January, 2010 at 10:41 pm  

    nobodys hero @ 76,

    This is an anti sikh site.

    Really?

    One article that is a tad critical of a sikh for being a bit racist?

    Assuming that the comments he is purported to have made are, indeed, his own. (Internet theft of identity is something I’m currently trying to get a handle on.)

    I can only marginally understand this circling of the wagons that goes on when someone from any community talks utter shite and is then defended as some sort of group avatar.

    Rejecting fools who claim the same philosophy as ones self, yet warp it beyond recognition, seems to me to be a healthy thing in any society.

    Perhaps you could explain where I have got that wrong?

    And in bananbrains famous phrase, whataboutery doesn’t cut it.

  79. Dalbir — on 27th January, 2010 at 11:54 pm  

    @76

    You have to realise that people in the UK have an appeasement policy towards Muslims because they fear drastic reactions. They realise it is just too much headache for them to deal with.

    Sikhs on the other hand are easy targets, given their relaxed reactions to bullshit. There is also a strange apathy that sometimes bleeds into antipathy towards Sikhs in the media. I think we are considered an inconsequential minority who only need to be wheeled out now and then, usually on some model minority bullshit.

  80. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2010 at 12:12 am  

    Dalbir @ 79,

    Och, who do you think we are exactly?

    You say this:

    You have to realise that people in the UK have an appeasement policy towards Muslims because they fear drastic reactions. They realise it is just too much headache for them to deal with.

    I’d have thought, correct me if I am wrong, that every illiberal law that has been passed, every extension of state power is certainly not a headache being cured by an aspirin? It is a headache being addressed with heroin.

    And neither is it directly addressed at thee or me. Though we might be caught in the flak.

    Sikhs are not ‘easy targets’. They are not targets at all. Except in the global war on common sense. Which frankly doesn’t give a shit about collateral damage. And that, Dalbir, is the column you and I will be entered in:

    they were caught in the cross fire

  81. nobodys hero — on 28th January, 2010 at 5:53 am  

    IS edl a racist party . i ve heard more racist chanting on a saturday in glasgow especially the irish celtic games than sunnys edl tubes.

  82. nobodys hero — on 28th January, 2010 at 6:01 am  

    “muslims in prison for terrorist charges”

    you mean like those in gitmo (and those now released too). all been covered here
    British dual nationality holding pakistanis in british prison for terrorism.
    if you want to discuss the koran, terrorism and military expansion which is not symbolic but a duty of all muslims against the infidel. We can do

  83. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2010 at 6:07 am  

    nobodys hero,

    IS edl a racist party . i ve heard more racist chanting on a saturday in glasgow especially the irish celtic games than sunnys edl tubes.

    Sure. They are idiots.

    So are Rangers supporters.

    FTOF.

  84. pesephone — on 28th January, 2010 at 9:09 am  

    “if you want to discuss the koran, terrorism and military expansion which is not symbolic but a duty of all muslims against the infidel. We can do”

    This post was about a sikh & the EDL. If you want to go off topic its best done by writing an article on what you want to cover & submit to PP editors. Otherwise it looks as if this is another ploy to, quoting Douglas, circle yet more wagons around a community member

  85. pesephone — on 28th January, 2010 at 9:19 am  

    “Rejecting fools who claim the same philosophy as ones self, yet warp it beyond recognition, seems to me to be a healthy thing in any society.”

    well said

  86. nobodys hero — on 28th January, 2010 at 9:25 am  

    it not about sikhism but a sikh. So why have a go at core sikh values.

    And yes the core Sikh values have been overtaken by what I see as the popular focus on the symbolism & military identity.

    This is about edl who have some islam issues can i discuss islam and its core values . And explain what they are and why they are not symbolic but a military expansion ideology.

  87. pesephone — on 28th January, 2010 at 10:28 am  

    @86 As you well know, the debate was around a sikh & why some have issues with islam. It’s specific because another Sikh has been used in similar fashion by the BNP.

    “can i discuss islam and its core values”

    You don’t need my permission to initiate your agenda. I suggested the opportunity to write about it at great length. What’s stopping you?

  88. Jai — on 28th January, 2010 at 10:38 am  

    So why have a go at core sikh values.

    “Core Sikh values” do not include any of the following:

    The common enemy is islam.

    Why do you not campaign to get this removed from the koran .It s not symbolic its in black and white and not up for interpretation.

    if you want to discuss the koran, terrorism and military expansion which is not symbolic but a duty of all muslims against the infidel.

    can i discuss islam and its core values . And explain what they are and why they are not symbolic but a military expansion ideology.

    In fact, this was exactly the kind of mentality which the Sikh Gurus — including Guru Gobind Singh himself — spent their entire lives opposing.

    This is an anti sikh site.

    The fact that there have recently been not one but two PP articles focusing on how truly noble and enlightened the Sikh Gurus were demonstrates how false this assertion actually is.

  89. nobodys hero — on 28th January, 2010 at 3:53 pm  

    Sure. They are idiots.

    So are Rangers supporters.

    is it a scottish thing then .A scotland defence league would be more threating

  90. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2010 at 5:04 pm  

    nobodys hero,

    Dunno what to make of your ‘argument’. I’d be a happy bunny if there was no sectarianism attached to football in Scotland.

    Quite what that has to do with a Sikh becoming a poster boy for the EDL is a link I am having trouble following.

    Apparently there is a Scottish Defence League. Here is a photograph of just how influential / threatening they are:

    http://tinyurl.com/yet7kbf

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