350 Sikh Women from history, media, business, charity, human rights etc who have made a significant contribution in their personal, professional or panthic work and are inspirational role models to others & next generation
Genie, I agree with the spirit of your suggestions, but I'm afraid the situation for Sikhs in America is much different than it is for Sikhs in England The biggest difference is our population density, and that makes it harder than you might realize to accomplish some of your goals.
America has a population that is 6 times as large as the population of England. On the other hand, America has only half as many Sikhs as England. To make matters worse, while Sikhs in England are almost entirely concentrated around the London metropolitan area or the West Midlands (two regions that, by American standards, are very close to each other anyway), Sikhs in America are spread out all over the place. There are only a few places where we have sizable numbers, and even in those cases, it's not remotely close to what you would find in London, Birmingham, Vancouver, Toronto, etc.
To put this in perspective, take two places where incidents have occurred: Gresham, Oregon and Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Oregon is on the west coast, so you might think it is close to the Sikh community in California, but it is in fact 1000 miles from where I live in Los Angeles (same distance between London and Madrid). Oak Creek is about 900 miles from New York, and 2000 miles from Los Angeles (greater than the distance between London and Istanbul).
So when you ask Sikhs in America what they are going to do about these incidents, and I'm sitting here in Los Angeles, it would sound like me asking Sikhs in London or Birmingham what they are going to do about a random incident that affected the tiny Sikh communities in Madrid, or Athens, or Rome, or Norway, or Belgium. It's hard to respond collectively as a "community" when the community is so thinly dispersed. We just don't have the numbers.
I think having a private security force to protect Gurdwaras is a good idea. However, I am not sure how feasible it would be in terms of raising the money required to fund such an operation. Also, I imagine a lot of these Gurdwaras in isolated areas have very few sangat and may only be open irregularly. Does the Sikh community have the resources to provide private security for Gurdwaras in far off places with just a handful of sangat? Moreoever, such a security force would not address issues that take place outside of Gurdwaras.
What the Sikh community in America has done is establish organizations such as the Sikh Coalition and SALDEF (Sikh American Legal Defense & Education Fund). These organizations help spread awareness about the Sikh community and provide legal resources to fight for civil rights and fight against hate crimes. I think that is actually the most effective use of the community's resources, given how spread out and small we are.
Also, while I share your frustration with Sikhs seemingly fighting for other people's interests and neglecting their own, there is a method to their madness. With how small we are as a community, one of the most effective ways to fight for and ensure our rights and security is to ally with other groups and organizations who are sympathetic to our plight. By banding together with other oppressed groups who face similar challenges, we are stronger.
I'll add one thing: I think Sikhs in America should take it upon themselves not to live in the middle of nowhere. We should try to live in metropolitan areas with a relatively large number of Sikhs and a relatively liberal community. It is a shame that we are as spread out as we are.
*URGENT* Property Sale or Rent:
URGENT REQUEST TO ALL
There is potential of a halal meat shop opening in close proximity of Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sahib Somerset Road Handsworth Wood. The landlord has been made aware of the offence meat sale at the premises will cause to the Sikh Community which indeed will result in an outright objection by Sikhs across UK who fundamentally condemn this. While he understands this as an issue, he as a businessman has indicated the loss he is making with a vacant property. It is a MIXED USE commercial property with self-contained accommodation above. The property already has a constant rental income for the accommodation.
There are 2 urgent options proposed to the Sikh Community:
Purchase of the property (Currently on market for £149,995, offers are invited)
Letting the property on a long-term lease
As the Gurdwara are not currently in a position to undertake either of the above options, *we* *are calling upon anyone that may be interested in pursuing the request* Specifications of the property with both options can be made available upon request. The property is located on Somerset Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, B20 2JG.
For further information or to express an interest please contact Mandeep Singh, Committee Member of Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Handsworth Wood on 07584374686 or email any inquiries to singhsabhagurdw
We urge all members of the sangat to spread this advertisement as much as possible.
Thank you- Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Somerset Road.
Now that article 50 has been invoked and the UK is set to leave the EU club.
What are the ramification for British Sikhs and Sikhs in the EU?
What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats once the UK regains its sovereign parliamentary powers.
I think you mean Bradford. However, legal action is never a gimmie. It is, moreover, costly.
If the halal meat seller does buy the property, there would need to be a planning application to the local council for change of use because the shop is currently a beauty salon. As a neighbour, the Gurdwara would have the right to oppose any application, therefore, the first recourse would be to the local council.
However, the anticipated success or failure of this approach depends very much on council policy.
I am no expert on this specific area. What I do know is that pak muslims have majority influence in Birmingham just through sheer volume of presence through population. Given many of the councillors, and even the MPs, are muslim, I fear that a challenge to a planning application would simply be brushed aside.
Let's not be coy about this. It will be the latter.