Friday, 28 September 2012

Leicester Based, Harmeet Singh, interviewed by the Huffington Post UK

The LSA were approached by the Huffington Post UK and we facilitated the following article:-

Why Did This Sikh, Jew, Christian And Buddhist Become More Observant Than Their Parents?

I certainly don't come from the most religious family, we are traditional Punjabis, used to go to the Sikh temple on a Sunday, and we were taught to believe in God but not much beyond that.
There was a lack of the spiritual side. It seemed ritualist, what we were doing, and my parents and elders couldn't really explain why were doing what we were doing. I started to think, why am I doing this?
I was about 19 when I started asking deeper questions, looking back on it now, I was probably looking to make a change in my life, heading off for university on a very uncertain path.
There are a lot of pressures to do with the opposite sex, drinking culture. It was a way for me to control myself, in a way.
I started researching Sikhism on the internet, looking at the teachings and the history. I was amazed about how much I didn't know. So much was different to what I had been taught, it's like the teachings were Chinese whispers that had got distorted.
I used to spend my time watching TV or on the XBox, but now I'm reading, spending time with new people, playing classical Indian instruments. I have become so much more confident.
My parents came to this country for a better life, worked so hard to give us shelter and put food on the table. They don't use a computer, they can't research this themselves and they don't have time.
I think they were worried about me becoming religious, I don't eat meat, I have grown a beard and wear a turban.
They were worried about me fitting in, whether i'd be able to get a job - and it's understandable.
But as time has gone on, they have become less resistant to it. You do get extremists in any religion and I know they were worried about that. But I want to show them how balanced I am, in fact, it has made me more tolerant of all colours, types and faiths, as well as my own.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Jon Ashworth MP & Muslim Community thank LSA

Sept 11th - Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South, today at the Rohingya community debate in Parliament stated, "Indeed, we had a public meeting there on this issue just last Friday evening. I was pleased that there were representatives from all the major faiths in Leicester—Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim—which brings home the fact that this is a matter of human rights. While I have the opportunity, I want to thank Leicester’s Federation of Muslim Organisations and the Leicester Sikh Alliance, which have been doing a lot of work on this matter."

Full speech: 

And Suleman Nagdi from the Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO) stated, "Faith communities turned out in good numbers for the meeting but the FMO would like to pay a special tribute to the Sikh community and Leicestershire Sikh Alliance who attended in good numbers to show their appreciation for global human rights and justice."

All Faiths United at Public Meeting for Rohingya Community

Sept 9th - The Sikh community turned out in numbers to show its solidarity with the Leicester Muslim community in regards to the state sponsored persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.  There seems to be a worrying trend in South Asia to persecute minority communities with terror and then character assassinate them to justify the attacks.

Particular praise must be given to Jon Ashworth MP, who led the Public Meeting in Leicester, as well as the debate in Parliament.  I would like to pay attention to the thanks that Jon Ashworth MP and Suleman Nagdi (Public Relations Officer FMO) have given to the Sikh community and in particular to the Leicestershire Sikh Alliance.

Leicester Vigil For US Gurdwara Victims

Aug 11th - With hundreds of people in attendance, including all faith leaders, the vigil for the victims of the Wisconsin Gurdwara massacre was a resounding success.  In these dark hours, it was amazing for all communities to come together and start the healing process as one universal Leicester community. 

A big thank you to Cllr Manjula Sood and Leicester Council of Faith's for arranging this event.  And an even bigger thank you to Cllr Inderjeet Gugnani who was the unsung  hero and hidden architect for the whole event.

Also a big thanks to Jon Ashworth MP, the only MP in attendance, and his great speech,"Tonight we are all Sikhs", was very touching. 

LSA at BBC Radio Leicester publicising Sikh Vigil

Aug 7th - LSA member Kartar Singh at the BBC Radio Leicester studios discussing the US Gurdwara massacre issue and also publicising the Leicester communities Vigil to take place at Town Hall Square.

BBC Asian Network interview LSA on Olympic's issue

July 2nd - In a bid to generate wider exposure, the LSA arranged for BBC Asian Network's reporter Dil Neyyar to interview Harjinder Singh (Trustee of Guru Harkrishan Gurdwara, Leicester) in regards to the 'Sikh human rights violators coming to the London Olympics' issue.