Sikhs In Law is a group of self-selected lawyers with no longstanding record of involvement in the affairs of the Sikh community, or legal standing in the judiciary. Despite a lack of knowledge of the Sikh religion, and religion more generally, it appointed a ‘Select Committee’ to look at the Bloom Review and report its findings at a meeting in the House of Lords on 19 July 2023.
The group, seemingly obsessed with its own self-importance, referred to itself as ‘The Honourable Council’, and absurdly asked those present in the room to stand as they entered the room, as if they were judges in a court of law.
The presentation that followed was deeply disappointing and at times embarrassing. We had been led to believe that we would be presented with an objective analysis of the Bloom Review. But no, Bloom was in the dock. Here is a flavour of what the attorney for the prosecution had to say:
- Bloom is a Christian, and worse, a Conservative Christian.
- He has no academic qualification to talk about religion – Comment: Jesus Christ and Guru Nanak were similarly unqualified.
- He refers to wolves in sheep’s clothing. Totally inappropriate Christian language to describe some Sikhs who pretend to work for the good of the Sikh community, but who are, concerned only about themselves.
- Worse, the ‘Select Committee’ displaying its own lack of religious literacy, makes the observation that: ‘Bloom ignores this at his peril’ that there are profound differences between the Judeo-Christian religions and Eastern religions – so, ‘his Review is fundamentally flawed from its very inception’.
Comment – It is difficult to believe that members of this ‘Select Committee’ (comprising of Sikhs) know so little of Sikh teachings. Verses of Muslim saints are included in the Guru Granth Sahib to illustrate similar truths between faiths.
Moving away from the above examples of bias and ignorance, (there are many more), let us look at excuses made for what Bloom rightly describes unjustifiable behaviour that brings the community into disrepute.
- Violent demonstrations. ‘Select Committee’ observation: – British values allow freedom of speech.
- Abuse, threats and even violence towards individuals – ignored by the ‘Select Committee’.
- Preet Gill MP on the instigation of her advisers in the Sikh Federation UK (SFUK) making a complaint to the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards, of rude and aggressive behaviour towards her by Lord Singh in front of an ONS officer. The ONS officer in his evidence said the accusation was false and Lord Singh had been characteristically polite during the discussion. The ‘Select Committee’, instead of condemning Ms Gill’s behaviour, appears to have excused it, because the Commissioner for Standards had taken no action against her.
- For the record, Preet Gill MP took out a second complaint against Lord Singh for daring to question the SFUK’s behaviour. She appears to have helped persuade one of her staff to take out a claim of bullying behaviour against Lord Singh. Again, the complaint was thrown out.
- Lord Singh could have taken action against Ms Gill for malicious attempts to harm his character. He declined to do so because he had better things to do, and because he felt Ms Gill, with little knowledge of the Sikh religion, had been naïve and pressurised by the SFUK, who were angry with Lord Singh for maintaining that Sikhs were members of a world religion, not ethnically confined to Punjab.
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