These Sikhs have been in Afghanistan for generations!

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By Dr Jasjit Singh | OPINION

1/ Thread on #Afghani #Sikhs. So upset about yesterday’s attack on #Sikhs in #Afghanistan. Since the start of the year I’ve been helping a number of Afghani #Sikh families in Britain who’ve been threatened with deportation …

2/ Because they don’t wear turbans and don’t speak #Punjabi (erm because they’ve been in #Afghanistan for generations!) the @ukhomeoffice think they’re not #Sikh. I interview them about their #Sikh practices, rather than a textbook representation to show they are #Sikh

3/ Most of the recent arrivals have been from Kosht (rural). All have told me about the persecution they faced as ‘Kuffars’ (non-Muslims) – from their children being kidnapped, being bullied at school, having their hair cut by their ‘classmates’ …

4/ To the #gurdwara in Kosht being destroyed in retaliation for the destruction of the Babri Masjid in India. One told me how his youngest son had been kidnapped and made into a ‘dancing boy’ (read The Kite Runner if you don’t know what these are). Child now has mental health issues

5/ Most of the families I have spoken to came to the UK via #Moscow – their accounts of racism there are horrific (something I can’t forget while watching the #WorldCup)

6/ Yesterday’s events are so upsetting. There are lots of #Afghani #Sikhs now in the UK particularly in Southall and Tooting but I’ve met families from all over the UK. They say they’ve been supported well by local #Gurdwaras and #Sikh communities so far – long may this continue

7/ For reference:

https://mediadiversified.org/2018/04/17/afghan-sikhs-persecution-resistance-and-life-in-diaspora | Click here

https://theconversation.com/explainer-who-are-the-afghan-sikhs-30699 | Click here

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/12/decline-afghanistan-hindu-sikh-communities-161225082540860.html | Click here

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2016/07/02/afghanistans-dwindling-sikh-and-hindu-communities-flee-new-abuses/ | Click here

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29062770 | Click here

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2010/jul/06/afghanistan-sikhs-persecution | Click here

https://www.thenational.ae/world/asia/afghan-hindus-and-sikhs-celebrate-diwali-without-pomp-and-splendour-amid-fear-1.668735 | Click here

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/590778/AFG_-_Sikhs_and_Hindus_-_CPIN_-_v3_1__February_2017_.pdf | Click here

Dr Jasjit Singh, who is from the School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science at University of Leeds, led the ‘Ethno-National, Religio-Cultural Or Anti-Muslim? Investigating Sikh Radicalisation In Britain’ project. He shared this note on the social media

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

 

RELATED STORY:

Sikhs and Hindus Bear Brunt of Latest Afghanistan Suicide Attack – Report (Asia Samachar, 2 July 2018)

 

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