December 7, 2016 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London (Press Release): The Sikh Federation (UK) has received hundreds of enquiries in the last 24 hours from Sikhs up and down the country complaining about the BBC incorrectly depicting the Khanda, an important Sikh religious symbol, when Dame Louise Casey was speaking about Muslims struggling to integrate. The Khanda is one of the best known Sikh symbols that is also found on the Sikh flag that is flown outside all Gurdwaras, Sikh places of worship across the globe.
The complaints have been formally taken up with the BBC by the Sikh Press Association, but the BBC has yet to acknowledge its serious error and make a formal apology. It is also highly embarrassing for Dame Louise Casey who specifically mentioned in her 200-page review released yesterday of the role of the media in the inaccurate portrayal of events.
Much of the focus of the Casey Review has been on criticism of the Muslim community. The Sikh community as highlighted by the UK Sikh Survey released recently are very well integrated whilst maintaining a distinct religious identity.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “The Casey Review demonstrates Census data is inadequate for policy makers as it hides the fact that despite being successful in terms of education, employment, home ownership and charitable contributions that Sikhs suffer from discrimination, hate crime and a serious lack of political representation compared to other faith communities and ethnic minorities.”
“We have asked to meet with Dame Louise Casey and the review team to discuss her review and any implications. The outward physical manifestation of the Sikh faith is vitally important and we are clear from the UK Sikh Survey that there is insufficient acknowledgement and protection for the Sikh identity.”
“The Casey Review again demonstrates a lack of accurate information that leads to Sikhs being invisible to policy makers when it comes to matters such as hate crime.”
The Sikh Federation (UK) has also told Dame Louise Casey and the review team that it was totally inappropriate and insensitive for them to use the term “Sikh extremism” hidden away at paragraph 8.34 when referring to mixed faith weddings.Bhai Amrik Singh continued: “We have asked them who specifically expressed concerns about “Sikh extremism” and asked for an explanation of why and who decided in the review team to use this offensive and sensational term.”
“Clearly the review team do not understand the recent historical ramifications of this term. It is also clear the review team have not understood the difference between mixed faith weddings (where Sikhs have no objections) in contrast to the Sikh religious ceremony of an Anand Karaj that can only be between two Sikhs for obvious religious reasons.”