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Sikhs reject BNP
The British National Party (a far right fascist group) has got its campaign to divide the Asian community into full swing. Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP saying after the riots in Oldham; "There's Hindus in Oldham who've been burned out of their homes (sic). There's West Indians who've been pushed out as well (sic). This is not an Asian problem...this is a Muslim problem."
Hasmukh Shah, an international trustee of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) often boasts that Nick Griffin came to meet him following the Bradford riots looking to create alliances. Mr Shah had criticised the Muslim community for troubles caused by Muslim thugs. It is accepted that the BNP have been successful in forging links with the VHP, RSS and Arya Samaj sympathisers.
Nick Griffin has often announced he spoke to a Sikh leader in Southall and said "although we may disagree with some things we found we have a great deal in common and were able to exchange a great deal of information about the problems our people and their people have had with Muslim extremists".
Approaching a fascist group could NEVER help the Sikh community. The BNP policy to re-patriate all those they 'feel' are not British (i.e. all non whites) is anti-Sikh. The BNP is linked consistently to race riots, other violence and bigotry, all of which is anti-Sikh. Nick Griffin has also been convicted of inciting racial hatred which is against the Sikh religion. If there are concerns among Sikh and Hindu communities that Muslim groups are converting the answer could NEVER be found from racist groups. Promoting awareness, inter-faith meetings and a further flourishing environment of multiculturalism is the answer.
Sikhs in the UK are a particularly active community of anti-racist activists. The over 1/2 a million Sikhs that made the UK their home are repeatedly making clear they do NOT wish to have ANY dealings WHATSOEVER with the BNP or other racist groups like the NF, Arya Samaj, VHP or RSS. The Sikh community is a strong vibrant community capable of dealing with any problems it has without resorting to asking for help from far right groups.
It is regrettable that the respectable media sources such as the Guardian, Searchlight magazine and even the BBC were hasty in jumping on the bandwagon claiming the Sikh community was playing an active role in the BNP. The source of numerous articles, in which these peculiar notions were made, is a "Mr Ammo Singh" of London. Clearly he is using an alias as he does not even in the slightest way represent more than a handful of Sikhs if any, nor does he represent any Sikh organisation. Thus it is left up to the reader to decide why such normally trustworthy media commentators would allow unreliable sources to be used to back an article on such a sensitive topic as race.
The media must beware of falling into the trap of creating a publicity coup for the BNP
So what are real Sikh leaders saying? In an amazingly act of solidarity, Dabinderjit Singh of the British Sikh Federation and Sikh Secretariat and all other Sikh leaders of all the other major sikh bodies such as the Sikh Federation have systematically rejected any links with the BNP and other right-wing extremist racist groups like the NF, VHP, Arya Samaj and RSS. They especially remember Nick Griffin was a leading figure in the National Front in the 1980s when Sikhs were often attacked by his gangs, particularly around the time of the prominent Mandla case.
In 1998, Nick Griffin received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years for inciting racial hatred. This related to Holocaust denial and racist views expressed in his publication The Rune. The Sikhs particularly feel much sympathy for the Jewish community in having to endure such despicable views as the Sikh community have suffered oppression by the Moghuls, British and now ethnic cleansing under the Hindu majority in India.
It is the job of ALL communities to ensure that far-right hatred has no place in Britain.