Sikh group furious as slides put it next to Taliban, Ku Klux Klan in UK schools

Sikh group furious as slides put it next to Taliban, Ku Klux Klan in UK schools

A Sikh group is furious after discovering they are appearing on powerpoint slides next to the Taliban and the Ku Klux Klan in religious education lessons at some British state schools to show how faith can lead to religious extremism.
TOI has seen the slide used by Oasis Community Learning, which runs 53 academy schools.
It states: “There are many different types of religious extremism. Should all these people have a voice?” – next to images of Sikh Youth UK, the Taliban, Ku Klux Klan and Westoboro Baptists.


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Sikh Youth UK leader Deepa Singh, who is pictured, said: “For Sikh Youth UK to be compared to groups that have decades of murders and terrorism behind them is not just ridiculous, it is dangerous anti-Sikh bigotry. It puts my life in danger and maligns the entire Sikh community. The reason Sikh Youth UK is demonised like this is because of our support of the Khalistan movement and exposing police failures safeguarding Sikhs regarding grooming gangs.”

United Sikhs has written to Oasis Community Learning demanding the material is withdrawn and a public apology issued.

Mejindarpal Kaur, international legal director, said the material had caused grave offence within the Sikh community and risked incitement of hate crimes and bullying against Sikhs.

The Sikh Press Association cited this as another example of “a transnational anti-Sikh repression programme”.

“The Taliban are associated with beheadings, stonings and other brutal acts of violence … Not a single Sikh Youth UK sevadaar has ever been charged with any act related to terrorism,” it said.

A spokesperson for Oasis Community Learning said there was “no conversation or pressure from any government or outside organisation” to show the slide.

“This is part of our curriculum, so schools can use it, but I don’t have a number on how many have,” the spokesperson said.

“At Oasis we respect and celebrate all faiths. This involves learning about the best elements of all major religions – such as the Sikh concept of langar – as well as challenging students to think about how religion can be used negatively to sow division, making sure that they’re equipped with the critical thinking skills they need to navigate the world.”

Singh was arrested by counter-terrorism officers at Gatwick airport last year and in 2018, his home was raided by counter-terror police, but no terrorism charges have been brought.

His group has protested against inter-faith Sikh wedding ceremonies and campaigns for the release of Jagtar Singh Johal.

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