Sikh EDL leader should be charged


Sikhs in Birmingham have united with Sikhs from London against the English Defence League and its Sikh member.

Members of the British Sikh community are disappointed to learn that Guramit Singh, one of the self-styled leaders of the English Defence League (EDL), who also is from a Sikh background, will not face charges after he was arrested last year on suspicion of causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm and distress.

His arrest is related to a speech that he made at the EDL protest in Peterborough where he was heard by around 1,000 EDL supporters, who took part in the protest, as well as hundreds of shoppers.

Singh can be heard in his internet video speech using ‘ vile and insulting’ language, littered with four letter words, towards the Muslim community, the Prophet Muhammad and Allah.

Sikhs Against the EDL are angered as they point out that, 'the police decision not to proceed further with his case comes only days after the uproar in the media when Emadur Choudhury, an Islamist extremist, was fined only £50 after burning poppies during Remembrance Day last year'.

Balwinder Singh Rana from Sikhs Against the EDL said; “This smacks of ‘double standards’ on behalf of the justice system in this country. So, while the media was right to protest against the lenient treatment given to Choudhury for causing an offence to the memory of the fallen soldiers, I think now they should show the same vigour in demanding that Singh should not be allowed to get away for insulting a whole community.”

Mr Rana further added; “Guramit Singh, by fronting the racist EDL, has only brought shame and embarrassment to the Sikh Community, but most of the community is united in condemning his actions. We have a proof of that, as we have started a ‘Joint Statement’ condemning the EDL and also some mislead Sikh youth like Singh who support the EDL.

"The statement has already been signed by major Sikh and Hindu organisations in this country. Nearly all the Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) and Mandirs (Hindu temples) in West London and East London are also the signatories and more recently six Gurdwaras in Birmingham have also added their names to the statement, including Guru Nanak Nishkam Sevak Jatha, one of the largest Gurwaras in Birmingham.”.  

Varinder Singh, organiser of the Sikhs Against the EDL and a signatory of the joint statement said; "It’s a real shame that an individual like Guramit Singh can get away with saying just about anything and bringing our community into disrepute.

"At the Luton demonstration against the EDL there was a very strong message sent from the Sikh community that he (Guramit Singh) is an embarrassment and should be locked up.”

Varinder went on to say; “I think that this incident has clearly exposed the EDL for its true fascist nature. I also feel immensely proud seeing the Sikh community unite against the EDL and hold individuals such as Guramit accountable for their actions.

"Already we have had many organisations approach us to open and engage in interfaith dialogue with them. Looking ahead I think another generation of anti fascists will emerge out of this who will continue to promote pluralism in our local communities.”

Main picture: Sikh anti-EDL Luton protest. Follow the Sikh campaign against the EDL over at the Turban Campaign, you can follow them on Twitter also.