Sikh and Hindu politicians, community leaders and organisations have joined together to condemn the racist English Defence League.The EDL is a violent racist organisation that particularly targets Muslims. It has links with the British National Party and other fascists groups. It has attempted to recruit a handful of token Asian, black and Jewish members in a feeble bid to camouflage its racism, and has attempted to stir up anti-Muslim hatred among other religious groups.
UnitedBut Sikh and Hindu organisations and activists have signed a statement condemning the EDL. They make it clear that people from all communities and religious groups should not be taken in by the EDL and should stand united against racists and fascists.
The signatories include councillor Lakhbir Singh, the former mayor of
The statement says:
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the rise in fascism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and racism. The English Defence League (EDL) has organised events across the country, stirring up hatred, Islamophobia and racism – running riot in some cases and provoking violent attacks on Muslim, black and Asian communities and on Mosques and Mandirs (Hindu temples).
They are using the old tactics of “divide and rule” and are trying to divide the Asians by isolating the Muslim community. Furthermore, some misguided Sikh youth are letting themselves to be used by the EDL while a Sikh man has disgracefully joined the BNP. These people are helping to spread mistrust within our communities and we whole heartedly condemn their actions.
At a time of economic crisis with mass unemployment and impending deep public spending cuts – if the racists are allowed to make any further gains then we all would suffer from grave consequences. Thus we urge all Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of other faiths to come together to strongly condemn the actions of these racist organizations and unite to turn back this tide of hatred.
Signed byVirendra Sharma MP, Valerie Vaz MP, Cllr Lakhbir Singh, former mayor of Luton, Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, London Borough of Redbridge, Gurcharan Singh, ex-councillor, London Borough of Ealing, Cllr Balvir Sond, London Borough of Hounslow, Cllr Bally Singh, Coventry City Council, Cllr Harjinder (Joe) Singh Naitta, Derby, Cllr R Sansarpuri, London Borough of Hillingdon, Balvindar Singh, vice president, British Sikh Council, Surinder Singh Purewal, general secretary, Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Southall, Darshan Singh Gurm, general secretary, Singh Sabha, London East Barking & Seven Kings, Jaspal Singh Bhamra, general secretary, Ramgarhia Sabha, Southall, Harmander Singh, principal advisor, Sikhs In England, R Singh, spokesperson, Mata Sahib Kaur Sikh Academy, Teja Singh, general secretary, Sikh Missionary Society, Varinder Singh, spokesperson, Turban Campaign, Sarswati Sharma, cultural secretary, Vishwa Hindu Mandir, Southall, Umesh Sharma, chair, Hindu Temple Trust, Southall, Pyara Lal Sohi, president, Siri Guru Valmik Sabha, Southall, Harsev Singh Bains, national general secretary, Indian Workers Association, Balwinder Singh Rana, spokesperson, Unite Against Fascism, Sunny Singh, president, Sikh Society, Hertfordshire University, Gurdev Kaur, president, Sikh Society, Imperial College, London, Gulzar Singh Hanspal, vice president, LSE Sikh-Punjab Society, London School of Economics, B S Virk, president, Sikh Society, University College London, Jasdeep Singh, president, Sikh Society, Westminster University, Gurjeev Nandra, president, Kings College London Sikh Society.
Varinder Singh, spokesperson for the Turban Campaign and a signatory to the statement, said:
The EDL pretend that they are not racist but they are no different than the old NF and the BNP. Now is the time for Sikhs and Hindus to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim brethren and tell the EDL that their sinister aims of ‘divide and rule’ will not work. Otherwise it’s the Muslims today and it will be all us tomorrow.
I urge everyone, especially our youth to come to
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