The following is a statement being shared on behalf of the organisation Sikh Youth UK:
Sikh Youth UK today carried out a peaceful protest in objection to an interfaith Anand Karaj that was to be carried out as a Sikh marriage at Leamington Gurdwara.
Last year a consensus was built and a subsequent meeting called by the Sikh Council UK at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Southall. With over 300 Sikh organisations represented at the meeting, a resolution was approved that Gurdwareh will no longer offer a Sikh marriage for an interfaith couple. This resolution was in line with a previous ruling from the highest seat of Sikh power, the Sri Akal Takaht Sahib in Amritsar, Punjab. The Akal Takaht ruling states that Sikh marriage should only be for Sikh couples, but that interfaith couples were free to conduct a court marriage. Gurdwareh are open for all people regardless of race, religion or status.
This recent protest at Leamington Gurdwara is an example of a rogue Gurdwara committee creating discord among the UK Sikh diaspora, by not only ignoring the ruling of the Akal Takaht, which is binding for all Sikhs, but also the resolution that was agreed at last year’s meetings.
Sikh Youth UK is an award winning charitable organisation dedicated to working for the benefit of the Sikh community. We are deeply saddened by the way in which the Leamington Gurdwara committee have conducted themselves. Local Sikh youth attended the early morning prayers at the Gurdwara and began a sit down peaceful protest by reciting prayers. Seeing that the youth were traditionally dressed and carrying their Kirpans, as Sikhs all over the world do, the committee called the police and falsely reported that “armed men” had taken over the Gurdwara. This kind of behaviour alienates Sikh youth from trusting such Gurdwara committees’ ability to resolve the issue an amicable and mature way.
We sincerely hope that the Leamington Gurdwara committee stops creating divisions in the community and honours its role as a Gurdwara to educate the future generations about Sikh faith, history and values.
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