Archive for Sikhs

Sikhs Against the EDL backs ‘Love Leicester, Hate Racism’ Demonstration

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by loonwatch
Sikhs Against the EDL press release
Sikhs Against the EDL press release

Sikhs Against the EDL backs ‘Love Leicester, Hate Racism’  demonstration

The racist and fascist EDL want to march in Leicester this Saturday, 4th February, to spread their racist poison.

To counter their unwanted presence and to stop them intimidating the local communities the antiracists will also take to the streets on the same day.

This is the second time in less than two years that the EDL thugs want to stir up racism and divisions among the city’s diverse community. Last time when they showed up in October 2010, they caused much violence and disruption.

Despite the Stephen Lawrence verdict and the racist murder of Anuj Bidve in Manchester on Boxing day, once again they want to parade through the streets of Leicester. But Leicester has a proud history of challenging prejudice and promoting equality and people of the city have worked and campaigned together for many years to build a successful, multicultural city where different communities live peacefully side-by-side.

That’s why when the EDL showed up the last time the people of Leicester gathered in their thousands to show to the EDL that they are not wanted. Now again black, white and Asian people are set to show their unity against the EDL again at a ‘Love Leicester, Hate Racism‘ demonstration.

The demonstration is being organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who have urged for a wider support. Thus the ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ would be supporting this demonstration.

The ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ group was formed last year in response to some mis-guided Sikh youth supporting the EDL. They used to carry Sikh flag on the EDL marches and use Sikh insignia and emblems in their vile propaganda.

However, most of those Sikh youth have now left the EDL, largely due to the campaign lead by the ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ but also after the EDL decided to make an alliance with British Freedom Party (BFP), a breakaway group from the BNP but with equally openly fascist policies.

Balwinder Singh Rana, spokesperson for the ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ said, “We had always warned that the EDL are no different from the BNP. They are targeting the Muslims today but would turn against all of us tomorrow. I am glad that those Sikh youth who used to support them have learned the error of their ways, but our job is not done yet. We must support the people of Leicester to stand up to these racists & fascists so that they would think twice before they decide to turn up somewhere else”.

UK Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and others join Christians to wish Happy Christmas 4 All

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by loonwatch

Merry Christmas

UK Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and others join Christians to wish Happy Christmas 4 All

By Alexander Goldberg
(Reuters)

There are no Christmas trees in my home, not even a Chanukah bush, no sign of tinsel and no sound of children singing carols. If I was asked on Facebook to describe my relationship with Christmas, like most Jews I would opt for the  ‘it’s complicated’ or even the ‘separated’ status. The personage of Jesus, whose birthday it marks, is the main theological divide between Christianity and Judaism. So whilst a minority in my community do mark it in some way, it would be difficult for me as an observant Jew to do so. Perhaps therefore, it is surprising to some that I have joined the HappyChristmas4All campaign. So why?

For me, it comes down to good neighborliness. It gives me no satisfaction to see others denigrate another person’s religious festival or stop my neighbours from practising their beliefs. That’s why I joined the HappyChristmas4All campaign that has attracted over a thousand supporters on Facebook and captured the attention of the broadcast media in Britain. People have signed up for their own reasons, but in essence Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and secularists have joined together to say Christmas in Britain must be respected. Some from other communities have gone further and I have learnt this week from both Muslim and Buddhist friends the meaning that the birth of Jesus has in their traditions.

The ‘War on Christmas’ myth needs to be debunked. I share similar concerns to my closest Christian neighbours that the festival risks becoming on one hand a secular consumerist feast or on the other a time when the majority of the population wrongly believes it has to play down celebrations so as not to offend others.

Consumerism is dangerous. The current global economic crisis has shown what happens when we borrow beyond our means. Christmas is a time of great debt for many families who face huge pressures to get those close to them expensive and highly marketed gifts. I share the concerns of those that see this consumerist festival is slowly usurping the religious one that promotes ‘Peace on Earth’ and encourages family gatherings. A religious Christmas is a tonic to this excess and a national consumerist festival is of no interest to any of us.

Playing down Christmas celebrations is not the answer either. We should not make it into some inert ‘Winterval’ or generic ‘Holidays’ which is increasingly popular in the United States. There is a tendency to roll the Jewish holiday of Chanukah into Christmas and celebrate the Holiday period along with Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year and Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate it if someone offers me Happy Chanukah greetings or wants to play ‘spin the dreidel.’ But let’s face it — Chanukah is a minor Jewish festival whilst Christmas is one of the most important days of the Christian calendar. So why ‘big up’ Chanukah or have our neighbours downplay Christmas? Indeed, critics of the term ‘Happy Holidays’ deem it to be either consumerist in its origins or an attack on the centrality of Christmas for the majority of the population in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The ‘War on Christmas’ seems to take away enjoyment for the majority of people and only a few bitter secularists and some ideological extremists, who want to be on the fringe of society, want to see that happen. Surely a Christmas tree or lights on the Main Street or at City Hall can’t possibly offend anyone. The notion is simply ridiculous. I used to get phoned up by public sector workers two weeks before Christmas when I was the Senior Race Equality Officer at the UK Government’s Commission for Racial Equality. They were concerned that placing a Christmas tree in the town hall would offend non-Christians. In the main, the same authorities were marking Eid, Diwali and Chanukah where there were sizeable relevant populations. So I asked them, why not Christmas? I told them that I would be offended if 85% of the population could not celebrate their festival. Point taken, my advice was often met with relief and I am probably responsible for saving a dozen or so Christmas trees in town halls across Britain.

Journalists have been fascinated by the numbers of religious leaders from Jewish, Muslim and Sikh backgrounds joining in with this call to respect Christmas. Even the orthodox Chief Rabbi of Britain, Lord Sacks, joined in. On a recent visit to the Scottish Parliament, he stated that “Jewish and other faith communities love the fact that Christians celebrate ChristmasWhen I go to Trafalgar Square and hear carols being sung, I feel uplifted.”

When they ask me what I am doing this Christmas, I tell them that I have a role. The country still needs people to work or volunteer. At Christmas time, members of my family offer to take colleagues shifts at work or volunteer in understaffed charities in order to help others take the time off to celebrate their festival, or else look in on those that may be lonely over this period. And when asked, I urge members of my community to do likewise. In other words, to show respect for Christmas and their neighbours. Happy Christmas for all…