British Sikh Anti-Conversion Hysteria c. 1985—Present

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"The Conspiracy":— In what is largely believed to be a conspiracy theory,[1][n. 1] Sikh representatives have accused Muslims of implementing a policy of "love jihad" or "forced conversion" against Sikh women.[2] In 2015 the official Sikh manifesto[n. 2] for the UK general election placed the conspiracy at number four.[2] Astonishingly the issue of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India was placed in eighth position.[2] A Sikh Federation representative later told the press that their agenda is not listed in any sort of order, even though the list insinuated as much.[2] The representative defended it's inclusion claiming "[i]t has been seen that guys of Pakistani origin or Muslims pose as Sikhs or Hindus and try to get into relationships with Sikh girls". However no such evidence has ever been found (except one such questionable case involving also Hindu men).[2] Approximately 1,100 Sikhs of diverse backgrounds shaped the manifesto's issues across six meetings involving hundreds of individuals at any one time.[2] Prof. Pritam Singh is one of the few individuals that has openly criticised this poisonous belief amongst Sikhs, noting that it has become "fashionable to use the term 'grooming'" in such false allegations.[2] In reality, such a conspiracy often arises out of Sikh-Muslim relationships rather than any sort of alleged conversion.[3] This often has severe consequences for Muslims, in one case a Hindu girl, saving herself from an honour killing by her father, claimed she had been "kidnapped, gang raped and forced to convert to Islam", only retracting the allegations when her Muslim boyfriend was jailed.[3][4]

Hindu-fascist propaganda poster.
0739178741.jpg

Academic Ruling:— Katy P. Sian Ph.D is a sociology lecturer from the University of Manchester[5] and is best known for her literary, historic and scientific analysis of the Sikh diaspora, and their conflicts with other religious and ethnic minorities in the West (and her work with Ian Law and Salman Sayyid). Sian completed her Ph.D at the University of Leeds where she primarily focused her thesis on Sikh conversion hysteria, particularly issues surrounding "forced conversion" and it's evolution into a worldwide "grooming" conspiracy, ingrained in the historic Sikh identity. Whilst also at the university she was a post-doctoral research fellow.[6] Her critically acclaimed book, "Unsettling Sikh and Muslim Conflict", was launched at the Islamic Human Rights Commission on July 3rd, 2013.[7] Sian has in particular noted "[t]he ‘forced’ conversions narrative tells the story of brave Sikh and Hindu men trying to save ‘their girls’ from the Muslim ‘predator’ whose only agenda is to aggressively convert through means of trickery and manipulation...It is a narrative which continues to circulate, and through the articulation of the Muslim as a ‘threat’...".[8] Her works have been published in journals such as "South Asian Popular Culture", and "Sikh Formations". Sian has also noted that the Sikh hatred of Muslims extends to the present day, that "despite a series of bloody battles in mid-nineteenth century colonial India in which the British defeated the Sikh Kingdom twice...Sikhs were, and still remain quite content to fight imperial global wars, as can be seen not only in their participation in World War 1, but also in the ["]War on Terror["]...".[9]

Violent Incidents:— The conspiracy theory is often used to oppress Sikh women. In one instance for example, a woman was attacked by her father-in-law on the mere suspicion that his son's wife was in a relationship with a Muslim man which stemmed from rumours spread around within the Sikh community. As a result, she was terrorised regularly by him, with accusations lobbied at her for "sleeping with a Paki";[10] According to reports, Manjit Mirgind then "launched [an] attack" on her "[on the] misguided name of ‘honour’, spurred on by a false belief that his daughter-in-law was having an affair with a man of another faith".[11] The attack was so violent that she was blinded by him as he had gouged out her eyes with a knife,[12] having also had her wrists slashed,[10] all of which was witnessed by her 3 and 6 year old children. After the attack, she began suffering from stuttering and still has nightmares.[10] She was also hit so hard by him that he'd actually injured himself; telling the police as much when he handed himself in approximately an hour after terrorising her, having been "hospitalised for injuries to his knee and hand as a result of the sustained attack".[11] In the aftermath of the attack, the Sikh community blamed the victim for provoking him, as Manjit had been a religiously observant Sikh respected amongst them, and also the leader of the local Gurdwara.[10][13] Manjit received only 10 years and 8 months in jail.[14] The incident had brought out and shed a light on Sikh violence against inter-faith couples, often "seeking to impose their views by attacking the nuptials of women who marry ‘out’".[15]

Sikh woman blinded for talking to Muslims.
Rita Johal was called a disgrace on Sikh forums for marrying a "Sullah" (rude word for Muslim, used amongst Sikhs).

Sikh Opinion Polls:— According to a survey conducted by the "Sikh Network", an estimated 90% of Sikhs believe that Muslims are carrying out a conspiracy of sexual grooming and forced conversion in 2016 (and is most prevelent amongst those aged between 20 years old and 40 years old).[16] Despite there being no evidence of any such conspiracy, many Sikhs have been indoctrinated to believe this.[16] Bizarrely, according to the same report, "13% of Sikhs over the age of 16 taking part in the UK Sikh Survey 2016 have themselves or know a friend or relative who has been a victim or a target for sexual grooming".[16] This is likely what Sian was referring to when she researched the confusion Sikhs have when it comes to labelling Sikh-Muslim relationships. Broken down by gender "[t]his rises to 15% when considering responses from Sikh women and 17% when examining responses from Sikhs under the age of 30".[16] All of this is completely baseless as no evidence has ever been found by the police to confirm this hysteria. The conspiracy is so ingrained within British Sikh culture that in one incident, a group of Sikh men lured a Sikh man into sending nudes to a 15 year old girl, thinking him Muslim.[17] Interestingly, the report is also at pains to contrast Muslims as "lazy" and "dishonest" in comparison to Sikhs, neglecting comparing themselves to the majority Christian population, and also neglecting the fact that Muslims have these lower rates because a significant portion of Muslims are relatively new migrants or refugees.[16][n. 3]

Hindu-fascist propaganda poster.

"The Conspiracy":— In what is largely believed to be a conspiracy theory,[1][n. 4] Sikh representatives have accused Muslims of implementing a policy of "love jihad" or "forced conversion" against Sikh women.[2] In 2015 the official Sikh manifesto[n. 5] for the UK general election placed the conspiracy at number four.[2] Astonishingly the issue of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India was placed in eighth position.[2]

A Sikh Federation representative later told the press that their agenda is not listed in any sort of order, even though the list insinuated as much.[2] The representative defended it's inclusion claiming "[i]t has been seen that guys of Pakistani origin or Muslims pose as Sikhs or Hindus and try to get into relationships with Sikh girls". However no such evidence has ever been found (except one such questionable case involving also Hindu men).[2]

Approximately 1,100 Sikhs of diverse backgrounds shaped the manifesto's issues across six meetings involving hundreds of individuals at any one time.[2]

Prof. Pritam Singh is one of the few individuals that has openly criticised this poisonous belief amongst Sikhs, noting that it has become "fashionable to use the term 'grooming'" in such false allegations.[2] In reality, such a conspiracy often arises out of Sikh-Muslim relationships rather than any sort of alleged conversion.[3]

This often has severe consequences for Muslims, in one case a Hindu girl, saving herself from an honour killing by her father, claimed she had been "kidnapped, gang raped and forced to convert to Islam", only retracting the allegations when her Muslim boyfriend was jailed.[3][4]

0739178741.jpg

Academic Ruling:— Katy P. Sian Ph.D is a sociology lecturer from the University of Manchester[5] and is best known for her literary, historic and scientific analysis of the Sikh diaspora, and their conflicts with other religious and ethnic minorities in the West (and her work with Ian Law and Salman Sayyid). Sian completed her Ph.D at the University of Leeds where she primarily focused her thesis on Sikh conversion hysteria, particularly issues surrounding "forced conversion" and it's evolution into a worldwide "grooming" conspiracy, ingrained in the historic Sikh identity. Whilst also at the university she was a post-doctoral research fellow.[6]

Her critically acclaimed book, "Unsettling Sikh and Muslim Conflict", was launched at the Islamic Human Rights Commission on July 3rd, 2013.[7] Sian has in particular noted "[t]he ‘forced’ conversions narrative tells the story of brave Sikh and Hindu men trying to save ‘their girls’ from the Muslim ‘predator’ whose only agenda is to aggressively convert through means of trickery and manipulation...It is a narrative which continues to circulate, and through the articulation of the Muslim as a ‘threat’...".[8]

Her works have been published in journals such as "South Asian Popular Culture", and "Sikh Formations". Sian has also noted that the Sikh hatred of Muslims extends to the present day, that "despite a series of bloody battles in mid-nineteenth century colonial India in which the British defeated the Sikh Kingdom twice...Sikhs were, and still remain quite content to fight imperial global wars, as can be seen not only in their participation in World War 1, but also in the ["]War on Terror["]...".[9]

Sikh woman blinded for talking to Muslims.

Violent Incidents:— The conspiracy theory is often used to oppress Sikh women. In one instance for example, a woman was attacked by her father-in-law on the mere suspicion that his son's wife was in a relationship with a Muslim man which stemmed from rumours spread around within the Sikh community. As a result, she was terrorised regularly by him, with accusations lobbied at her for "sleeping with a Paki";[10]

According to reports, Manjit Mirgind then "launched [an] attack" on her "[on the] misguided name of ‘honour’, spurred on by a false belief that his daughter-in-law was having an affair with a man of another faith".[11] The attack was so violent that she was blinded by him as he had gouged out her eyes with a knife,[12] having also had her wrists slashed,[10] all of which was witnessed by her 3 and 6 year old children. After the attack, she began suffering from stuttering and still has nightmares.[10]

She was also hit so hard by him that he'd actually injured himself; telling the police as much when he handed himself in approximately an hour after terrorising her, having been "hospitalised for injuries to his knee and hand as a result of the sustained attack".[11]

In the aftermath of the attack, the Sikh community blamed the victim for provoking him, as Manjit had been a religiously observant Sikh respected amongst them, and also the leader of the local Gurdwara.[10][13]

Manjit received only 10 years and 8 months in jail.[14] The incident had brought out and shed a light on Sikh violence against inter-faith couples, often "seeking to impose their views by attacking the nuptials of women who marry ‘out’".[15]

Rita Johal was called a disgrace on Sikh forums for marrying a "Sullah" (rude word for Muslim, used amongst Sikhs).

Sikh Opinion Polls:— According to a survey conducted by the "Sikh Network", an estimated 90% of Sikhs believe that Muslims are carrying out a conspiracy of sexual grooming and forced conversion in 2016 (and is most prevelent amongst those aged between 20 years old and 40 years old).[16] Despite there being no evidence of any such conspiracy, many Sikhs have been indoctrinated to believe this.[16]

Bizarrely, according to the same report, "13% of Sikhs over the age of 16 taking part in the UK Sikh Survey 2016 have themselves or know a friend or relative who has been a victim or a target for sexual grooming".[16] This is likely what Sian was referring to when she researched the confusion Sikhs have when it comes to labelling Sikh-Muslim relationships.

Broken down by gender "[t]his rises to 15% when considering responses from Sikh women and 17% when examining responses from Sikhs under the age of 30".[16] All of this is completely baseless as no evidence has ever been found by the police to confirm this hysteria. The conspiracy is so ingrained within British Sikh culture that in one incident, a group of Sikh men lured and attacked a Sikh man into meeting with a 15 year old, thinking him Muslim.[17]

Interestingly, the report is also at pains to contrast Muslims as "lazy" and "dishonest" in comparison to Sikhs, neglecting comparing themselves to the majority Christian population, and also neglecting the fact that Muslims have these lower rates because a significant portion of Muslims are relatively new migrants or refugees.[16][n. 6]

See Also

Sources

Footnotes

  1. ^ There is evidence to suggest this arose in the mid to late 1980s, coincidently, right after the Khalistan movement had peaked and was beginning to decline.
    1. Katy P. Sian (2013). Unsettling Sikh and Muslim Conflict: Mistaken Identities, Forced Conversions, and Postcolonial Formations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7391-7874-4.
  2. ^ compiled by the "Sikh Federation" and the "Sikh Network"
  3. ^ One section heading is titled "Sikhs least likely to be unemployed, consistent with basic Sikh principle of working to earn an honest living", but then goes on to say the equivalent of "Muslims least likely to be employed, not consistent with basic Sikh principle of working to earn an honest living".
    1. THE UK SIKH SURVEY. Sikh Network. Retrieved December 20th, 2016.
  4. ^ There is evidence to suggest this arose in the mid to late 1980s, coincidently, right after the Khalistan movement had peaked and was beginning to decline.
    1. Katy P. Sian (2013). Unsettling Sikh and Muslim Conflict: Mistaken Identities, Forced Conversions, and Postcolonial Formations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7391-7874-4.
  5. ^ compiled by the "Sikh Federation" and the "Sikh Network"
  6. ^ One section heading is titled "Sikhs least likely to be unemployed, consistent with basic Sikh principle of working to earn an honest living", but then goes on to say the equivalent of "Muslims least likely to be employed, not consistent with basic Sikh principle of working to earn an honest living".
    1. THE UK SIKH SURVEY. Sikh Network. Retrieved December 20th, 2016.

References

  1. ^ a b Rupam Jain Nair, Frank Jack Daniel (September 5, 2014). 'Love Jihad' and religious conversion polarise in Modi's India. Reuters. Retrieved September 14th, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Amit Arora (March 16, 2015). Love jihad appears on UK Sikh manifesto, raises murmurs of protest. The Times of India. Retrieved September 14th, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Kimberly M. Aquilina (October 16, 2014). 'Love Jihad' Conspiracy Backfires, Hindu Girl Comes Forward About Her Relationship with a Muslim. HNGN. Retrieved September 14th, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Neha Dixit (14 October 2014). 'Love jihad': War on romance in India. Al Jazeera. Retrieved September 14th, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Katy Sian (Profile). Manchester University. Russel Group. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b Book Launch: Unsettling Sikh and Muslim Conflict by Katy P. Sian. 13 May 2013. Islamic Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b Book Launch: Unsettling Sikh and Muslim Conflict by Katy P. Sian. 03 July 2013. Islamic Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b Sian, Katy P (20 June 2012). The Grooming We Can’t Hide From. The Platform. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  9. ^ a b Vron Ware, Katy P. Sian (25 June 2014). http://www.opendemocracy.net/vron-ware-katy-p-sian/sikhs-war-memory Sikhs, war, memory]. Open Democracy. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Corey Charlton, Emma Glanfield (9 June 2014). Shocking injuries of Sikh woman stabbed in the eyes by her father-in-law who accused her of having an affair with a Muslim as he is jailed for 10 years. Daily Mail. Retrieved October 13th, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d Natalie Glanvill (11 June 2014). Attack by Manjit Mirgind on daughter-in-law left her permanently disabled and visually impaired in both eyes. Asian Image. Retrieved July 25th, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Charlotte Pooler (June 15, 2014). ‘there Is No Disgrace In Being A Survivor Of Sexual Violence’. The Bubble. Retrieved October 13th, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Kirren Rathor (September 3rd, 2014). Eye-stab victim: My father-in-law tried to blind me. BBC News Beat. Retrieved October 13th, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Corey Charlton, Emma Glanfield (June 9th, 2014). Shocking injuries of Sikh woman stabbed in the eyes by her father-in-law who accused her of having an affair with a Muslim as he is jailed for 10 years. Daily Mail. Retrieved July 25th, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Sunny Hundal (October 4th, 2015). The British Sikh men trying to stop women marrying outside their religion. The Independent. Retrieved July 25th, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j THE UK SIKH SURVEY. Sikh Network. Retrieved December 20th, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Tim Healy (February 8th, 2015). Sikh and Muslim community leaders praised as six Leicester men are jailed for "paranoid" campaign of hatred. Leicester Mercury. Retrieved October 13th, 2015.

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