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Sikh  temple ceremony goes horribly wrong; 55 are arrested

Sikh temple ceremony goes horribly wrong; 55 are arrested

A Sikh temple in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was the scene of an eight-hour armed protest today which ended in the arrest of 55 people.

The incident occurred at the Gurdwara Sahibat where a marriage between a Sikh and a non-Sikh was due to take place, according to the BBC.

Police said a group of men – some with bladed weapons – entered the Gurdwara Sahib in Leamington Spa early this morning to protest against the mixed marriage.

Former treasurer Jatinder Singh Birdi said:

There have been tensions that have been going on for a couple of years with some people objecting to mixed marriages in taking place in the gurdwara.

The general consensus is people are respectful of mixed marriages if the traditions are respected.

Nothing has happened on this level before. This is meant to be one of the happiest moments of somebody’s life – it shows a lack of respect.

Supt David Gardner said the protest came from “the escalation of a local dispute”. He said a “significant number of bladed weapons” were seized, but no injuries were reported.

Over the coming days we will be working with the local Sikh community to address some of the ongoing issues that have culminated in today’s events.

A force spokesman said several of the weapons seized were kirpans, ceremonial daggers that are carried by Sikhs as an act of faith.

A Sikh with kirpan tied to his turban, takes a dip in the pool surrounding the Golden temple in Amritsar. Photo: AFP

A Sikh with kirpan tied to his turban, takes a dip in the pool surrounding the Golden temple in Amritsar. Photo: AFP

The group Sikh 2 Inspire said in a statement on its Facebook page that sending armed police in response to “peaceful protestors” showed how the items were misunderstood and the Sikh faith was being “victimised”.

They don’t have have an appropriate understanding of the Sikh community and have not found appropriate representatives from the Sikh community to balance the malicious viewpoints presented.

It added:

The media has once again misunderstood and misrepresented an issue affecting the Sikhs and have taken advantage of both the date (9/11) and the situation to create ridiculous headlines.

An organisation called Sikh Youth UK claimed in a statement that it was responsible for the protest.

It pointed out that last year in Southall, London:

A resolution was approved by the Sikh Council UK that Gurdwareh will no longer offer a Sikh marriage for an interfaith couple. This resolution was in line with a previous ruling from the highest seat of Sikh power, the Sri Akal Takaht Sahib in Amritsar, Punjab.

The Akal Takaht ruling states that Sikh marriage should only be for Sikh couples, but that interfaith couples were free to conduct a court marriage.

It added the Leamington protest:

Is an example of a rogue Gurdwara committee creating discord among the UK Sikh diaspora, by not only ignoring the ruling of the Akal Takaht, which is binding for all Sikhs, but also the resolution that was agreed at last year’s meetings.
 
Sikh Youth UK is an award winning charitable organisation dedicated to working for the benefit of the Sikh community. We are deeply saddened by the way in which the Leamington Gurdwara committee have conducted themselves. Local Sikh youth attended the early morning prayers at the Gurdwara and began a sit down peaceful protest by reciting prayers.

Seeing that the youth were traditionally dressed and carrying their Kirpans, as Sikhs all over the world do, the committee called the police and falsely reported that “armed men” had taken over the Gurdwara. This kind of behaviour alienates Sikh youth from trusting such Gurdwara committees’ ability to resolve the issue an amicable and mature way.
 
We sincerely hope that the Leamington Gurdwara committee stops creating divisions in the community and honours its role as a Gurdwara to educate the future generations about Sikh faith, history and values.

Hat tip: AgentCormac and PPS

22 responses to “Sikh temple ceremony goes horribly wrong; 55 are arrested”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    Victimised?! FFS Who were the people with the weapons?

  2. RussellW says:

    Yes, but these are religious weapons , that’s an essential difference, they’re just an item of clothing really, like the turban. I’m surprised that Sikhs don’t have an exemption to the legal prohibition against ‘bladed weapons’. Whether religious or nor knives are lethal. Why can’t I carry a battle axe, it’s very traditional for my ethno/cultural group?

    During the dying days of the apartheid regime, groups of Zulus were seen carrying razor sharp assegais, their defence was that the assegais are ‘cultural weapons’.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    “We sincerely hope that the Leamington Gurdwara committee stops creating divisions in the community” they said, in the same statement condemning interfaith marriages. Stop dividing us, that is our job. Only we can discriminate and only against the out group.

    Not attending a wedding one does not support is a fine protest. Sitting in is, well, I don’t have kind words for that.

  4. Jumpp says:

    There seems to be a competition between the various religions to see which one can be the most offended. The scoring system seems to award points for the degree of outrage multiplied by a factor inversely proportional to the triviality of the issue in question.

  5. Broga says:

    @RussellW : We can all summon up implements traditional to our ethno/cultural/traditional group. I have spent so much of the summer using a chain saw that I feel bereft without it.

  6. dfert says:

    Religion – values bigotry as a great virtue.

  7. dfert says:

    Religion – preaches peace and practices violence.

  8. dfert says:

    Religion – separates men from their senses.

  9. dfert says:

    Religion – unlike the wonderbra it lowers and separates.

  10. dfert says:

    Religion – Beggars the masses and enriches the priests.

  11. dfert says:

    Religion – turns children into zombies.

  12. dfert says:

    Religion – evil masquerading as good.

  13. dfert says:

    Religion – teaches people to hate their fellow humans.

  14. dfert says:

    Religion – a poison with no antidote.

  15. barriejohn says:

    The religious are always getting their knickers in a twist over something, and it’s usually something totally inconsequential – they never seem bothered by the great social evils of the day. For instance, in India (I do realize that they are mainly Hindu), you can’t move a cow out of your way but the caste system is still going strong. How come none of their holy books and teachers are outraged about that? As I have said before, there seems to be something about religion that takes hold deep in the human psyche, and if not it is often replaced by fanatical political ideology. I am only an amateur psychologist, really, so I would love it if someone could explain all this to me satisfactorily!

  16. RussellW says:

    @Broga,

    I used a chain saw for 20 years and I’m still amazed that I escaped with only a few scratches. One of my neighbors cut a huge gash in his thigh and another nearly castrated himself so I wouldn’t recommend them as ethno/cultural/traditional weapons. I prefer something smaller and not as noisy.

  17. Brian Jordan says:

    “It added the Leamington protest:
    Is an example of a rogue Gurdwara committee creating discord among the UK Sikh diaspora,”
    Schizm! Commettee members had better keep away from bridges!
    “The media has once again misunderstood and misrepresented an issue affecting the Sikhs and have taken advantage of both the date (9/11) and the situation to create ridiculous headlines.”
    I’m sure the meeja know the difference between Sikhs and Muslims for goodness sake, even if some louts don’t

  18. barriejohn says:

    RussellW: One poor bloke managed to virtually cut off his wife’s head with one a few years back.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1489448/Husband-relives-horror-of-wifes-chainsaw-death.html

    They are extremely dangerous; have you ever seen those clips (mainly American) on YBF of people felling trees near their homes, with predictably disastrous results? “We don’t need no perfessional, Martha. Ah kin do thet mahself!”

  19. RussellW says:

    barriejohn,

    Yes, they are dangerous. The neighbor I mentioned, the one who nearly castrated himself was felling a tree when he nearly qualified himself as a harem guard.
    He didn’t notice a ‘widow maker’, ie a broken branch trapped higher in the tree, the vibration of the chain saw detached the branch, it fell, hit the ground and bounced up between his legs. The result of course, was crushed nuts, the bastard insisted on telling me the details of the surgery needed to restore them to working order. I’ve tried to forget the details. Apparently he made a full recovery since he said that Mrs Neighbor gave him the ‘thumbs up’ a month or do later.

    I haven’t bothered to check, but I’m sure someone was given the Darwin Award after he attempted to juggle operating chainsaws. It was in US, naturally.

  20. L.Long says:

    Religious privilege strikes again!!!!
    Most people would be arrested for CARRYING knifes that size, much less using it!

  21. zombiehunter says:

    Violence and intimidation has worked for extremists in the muslim world cos nobody will even dare criticise them for anything and I knew it would only be a matter of time before members of another group would try something similar.

  22. The weirdie-beardies will stop at nothing in their quest for world domination. I myself have alas on occasion slept with Sikhs, and thus know this to be true. Incidentally, what they say about their choppers is only too true.