Priti Patel, UK’s home secretary, has been accused of misrepresenting Sikhs after referring to Sikh separatist militancy as a “common security threat” between the UK and the US in a speech last November. Notably, the speech came into limelight when it was recently made public via social media.
On 19 November,2020, Patel spoke to the Heritage Basis, a think tank that advocates Conservative public policies and principles in Washington DC about “the international image and the many risks” that the UK and US face as allies, all of which endanger their common freedom and prosperity.
“Sikh separatist extremism has also caused significant difficulties recently,” she said simultaneously as mentioning Islamist extremist, Daesh, and extreme right-wing terror groups. The minister said that while they strongly support freedom of expression, it must always be done within the bounds of the law. Moreover, they have upgraded their disruptive capability to better combat those who seek to radicalise yet operate, often on purpose, outside of legal bounds. She further told the audience that she had outlawed the Islamist terrorist organisation Hamas in its entirety, including its political wing.
Meanwhile, Dabinderjit Singh, the Sikh Federation’s (UK) chief adviser, told sources that he has been raising this issue with several ministers since November, urging them to clarify her response. He revealed that no one has ever been able to give any clarification yet. “This isn’t just a speech; it’s a speech on the UK government’s website. It may have been true if Sikhs had carried out a bombing in the United Kingdom”. The chief went on to say that they are stunned by the words made by the house secretary. He added that she gave the speech on Gurpurab when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not send greetings to the Sikh community, and when asked about it later, one of Johnson’s special advisers sent him a Vaisakhi, Diwali, and Bandi Chhor Divas video. He noted that several international leaders have all wished the Sikh group on this day.
Priti Patel is “actively engaged in a smear marketing operation to characterize Sikhs as ‘extremists,'” according to entrepreneur Taranjit Singh. She’s been using her position to attempt to deport innocent Sikhs to India to be tortured! he added.
The Sikh Press Association posted a video of her remarks on Twitter, with the caption: “Such baseless statements additional create actual stress when thought-about with Patel’s makes an attempt to permit the UK Govt to revoke the citizenship of Sikhs and lots of different communities within the UK. That is partly why there may be a lot of Sikh assistance to cease the #NationalityAndBordersBil,” referring to an invoice going via Parliament, which has a clause in it that supplies the UK authorities the correct to strip British residents of their citizenship without warning.