Sikh ‘thugs’ disrupt interracial wedding

Sikh ‘thugs’ disrupt interracial wedding

A group of men stormed a Sikh temple in London to stop an inter-faith marriage, forcing the couple to cancel their wedding day.

According to this report, members of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, in Southall, said the final preparations were underway on Friday when the men arrived.

Sohan Singh Sumra, vice-president of the temple, said a group of up to 22 people arrived shortly after 8am.

They were all thugs. None of them were recognised by any of the Sikh groups here.  It was because it was a mixed marriage … they just came here to spoil it and intimidate us.

Sumra said police were called to remove the “threatening” men and that the gurdwara, which was inaugurated by Prince Charles, is now considering hiring private security.

He said the men had threatened to stop the wedding (Anand Karaj), between a Sikh woman and her white, non-Sikh, fiancé in a phone call the night before.

Members of the Havelock Road gurdwara contacted the bride’s family and they chose to go ahead, he said, but they could not continue after the temple was stormed on the wedding day.

I’ve been in this temple since 1994 and I’ve never seen this sort of thing. We will always listen to people’s suggestions but there was no reasoning with them. It was a sad day.

Sumra said he had attended many marriages between couples of different religions and races, and that the vast majority of the Sikh community had no issue with it.

We are living in this country and we work with couples – if they are happy we’re fine with it – Sikhism is a liberal religion.

However, he acknowledged the existence of “splinter groups”.


Sunny Hundal, above, a freelance journalist and author, originally reported on the incident on Friday and posted videos on Facebook appearing to show the “hypocritical and fanatical thugs” arguing with fellow Sikhs inside the gurdwara. He wrote:

I’m raising (this issue) because I want people to realise what is happening under our noses before it gets too late.

He said wedding “disruptions” were becoming increasingly common.

This gang-mentality puritanism will end up with the Sikh version of the Taliban and destroy the community. Don’t tolerate it.

A statement released on Wednesday on behalf of the protesters by the Sikh Press Association said the men were “conducting a peaceful protest”.

One protester, Jaspal Singh, said that some gurdwaras in the UK are simply ignoring rulings by Sikh authorities, so protesting is their only option.

Blocking the wedding is always our last resort…people of all faiths and backgrounds are always welcome in any gurdwara.

However, it has been made clear the Anand Karaj (marriage ceremony) is specifically for Sikhs. We have no grievances with any of the couples, nor any problem with mixed race or inter-faith marriages. Our issue is with those in charge of our gurdwaras.

The Sikh Council UK is holding a meeting of UK gurdwaras on 23 August on the issue and said it wants to develop:

A consistent approach towards marriages where one partner is not of Sikh origin.

In October last year, the UK’s Sikh Council released guidelines on inter-faith marriages saying that gurdwaras must ensure the “genuine acceptance of Sikh faith” in both partners, proposing the use of signed delarations.

11 responses to “Sikh ‘thugs’ disrupt interracial wedding”

  1. asquith says:

    I know what’ll solve this. Let;s allow a group of Sikhs to set up a “free” school (paid for by the state, naturally) and exclude non-Sikh children from it. Then we’ll have perfect harmony, not like what those militant secularists want at all!

  2. Broga says:

    The description thugs seems appropriate. Although thuggish behaviour under the aegis of religion is often interpreted as an admirable defence of the practice of the faith.

  3. Vanity Unfair says:

    ‘[G]urdwaras must ensure the “genuine acceptance of Sikh faith” in both partners, proposing the use of signed declarations.’
    [O.K. I emended the spelling]
    It’s nice to see a transplanted religion adopting the customs of its British counterparts and adopting a RC practice.

  4. Maggie says:

    “Religious tolerance” is an oxymoron.

  5. Newspaniard says:

    Sikh taliban seems an appropriate description of these thugs. Threatening or using violence is not “demonstrating”, unless it’s a BBC report, of course.

  6. barriejohn says:

    The Sikh Federation has, of course, roundly condemned the intimidation – oops, no they haven’t!

    BTW As an ex-evangelical Christian I like the use of that word “puritanism” here, because that’s exactly what it is. It is a mindset exhibited by adherents of many religions, and is characterized by the same traits of arrogance, self-righteousness, lack of humour, lack of perspective, bigotry, intolerance, fundamentalist literalism, inability to compromise…in fact the list of negatives could go on and on.

  7. Lucy1 says:

    I worked in Southall years ago, and always thought Sikhism was a reasonably tolerant and pleasant religion. As they go… So this is a sad thing. The protestors seem to be saying only Sikhs can get married in the temple. What twats. I have attended 2 Sikh weddings. Very jolly occasions with minimal god bothering.

  8. zombiehunter says:

    the only reason these arseholes have resorted to violence to get what they want is because muslims have been doing it and getting away with it for so long and it wont be long before other religions start using the same tactic.

  9. L.Long says:

    We should get religion out of the marriage business.
    They can handle such a simple concept.
    After all marriage is nothing more then getting a gov’mint tax break (in USA anyway), being able to make decisions for the other partner, and have sex without half the town objecting. So that is needed is a legal contract. In fact without the contract the church wedding does not mean anything.

  10. Peterat says:

    Let’s not be too hasty to give sikhs a pass on using violence for their own purposes. There have been dozens of outright terrorist attacks by sikhs globally to suggest that they might be taking a page from the muslim playbook.
    They’re all the same, just different hats!