Sikhs stand for British values
Show of Sikh solidarity against terrorism at Trafalgar Square on Sunday 4 June, ignored by mainstream media despite iconic images
General Election 2017 results will be known by the morning of Friday 9th June. While the Conservatives are expected to win comfortably, it is unlikely to be a land-slide majority. There have been some signs of Labour revival recently following a period of much negative reporting about the quality of leadership and some confusing signals about the defence of the country. Also, there are other issues which require a healthy Opposition in the Parliament.
Sikh hope of one or more Sikh identity MPs, men and women, remains high. Much depends on personalities, performance at public meetings and understanding of voter concerns at the doorstep. After Brexit, issues relating to an ageing population, health and medical care, pensions are amongst these concerns.
In our great desire to see worthy turban wearing Sikh MPs, this column has also made it clear that other qualities include the ability to articulate national and international challenges. Otherwise, Sikhs have never sought any positive discrimination in their favour. All they ask for is a level playing field.
Prejudice against Sikh identity has been quite glaring sometimes. The most recent example is the Sikh solidarity against Manchester and London terrorism shown by the Sikhs at Trafalgar Square on Sunday 4 June. The mainstream media just ignored that iconic gathering while repeatedly showing other related events and even trivial commentaries.
The most visible and colourful community in the UK becomes invisible to the media when positive reporting opportunities are there to correct misunderstanding and inform ignorance. These relate to successful Sikh integration and the similarity of Sikh and British values stressed through the Sikh Manifesto. Yet, partly due to media carelessness and even mis-reporting, Sikhs have been the victims of racial attacks and terrorist profiling over the last few decades.
Security threat has always been there in the UK. The country has faced internal terrorism e.g. relating to Ireland. However, the nature of the current threat is more sinister. As the shadow of home-bred terrorism looms large in the background, the politicians are coming to terms with the true nature of a poisonous ideology introduced gradually but quit openly at university campuses, in the public and even at places of worship. To quote an earlier column, “For decades, there has been open and even intimidating preaching in university campuses by Islamic zealots about the return of the Khilafah to establish the ideal global Islamic state.”
Despite equality laws, it cannot be denied that there is discrimination against minority communities. There is discrimination against turban-wearing Sikhs as they continue to face prejudice in many fields and continue to suffer from mistaken identity and terrorist profiling. Yet, Sikhs are amongst the most loyal British citizens.
Senior politicians praise us in our gurdwaras but abandon us when we seek support for Sikh identity e.g. regarding official guidelines about Sikh identity and Kakaars. Responsible Sikh activism is better organized to make the British establishment more accountable to a loyal British Sikh community.
Gurmukh Singh OBE