A Sikh who joined the British National Party now faces excommunication, after community leaders protested that he was bringing the faith into disrepute.
Rajinder Singh – who has an avowed dislike of Muslims – was allowed to join the far-right party after the BNP faced court action over a membership ban against non-white people. But the organisation Sikhs In England, say that while Rajinder Singh is free to join whichever organisation he chooses, they claim that his views do not reflect the Sikh faith and risk damaging inter-faith relations, especially in the run-up to the general election.
Harmander Singh, from Sikhs In England claim that Rajinder Singh was damaging the faith’s image, and that the BNP members’ opinions were rejected by the vast majority of practising Sikhs.
Sikhs In England (SIE) have now referred the case of Rajinder Singh to the Akal Takht, the highest governing council in the Sikh faith – who meet at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. The Akal Takht have the power to excommunicate Rajinder Singh, which could mean the BNP member being shunned by Sikhs, although that is an ultimate sanction.
Harmander Singh said: “Sikhs In England condemn Rajinder Singh’s public actions in allowing to be used as a political stunt by the BNP thereby bringing the turban and the faith into disrepute. Rajinder Singh’s views are against Sikh values and therefore not supported by any true Sikh. SIE will seek appropriate sanctions from the Akal Takht against Rajinder Singh at the earliest opportunity – this to include consideration of excommunication.”