Yesterday, the NSO responded to some tweets referring to the Bloom report. One from Jasveer Singh suggested ‘Lord Singh of Wimbledon allowing the govt to label Sikhs “extremists”‘. This is a false and totally unfounded allegation. It shows a clear ignorance of what transpired.
To set the record straight, the Bloom report included a redacted quote from the Commissioner for Standards investigation (2021) into a malicious and failed complaint made by Preet Gill MP (a prominent Sikh Federation UK (SFUK) supporter) against Lord Singh. Lord Singh was not a respondent to the Bloom inquiry, nor was he interviewed, or contributed in any other way. Ms Gill’s malicious complaint, which was categorically rejected, is available for all to see in the public domain and can be read and cited by anyone. We do not have any control on that, and any suggestion that we do, is frankly absurd. Yes, Bloom used a redacted version of the quote as an example of how SFUK supporters treat people who disagree with them. It’s nasty, vindictive, and malicious behaviour – to steal a phrase from Bloom, one may even say ‘subversive’, but Lord Singh isn’t alone. During SFUK’s Sikh ‘ethnic’ tick box campaign respected academic Dr Jhutti-Johal from the University of Birmingham, (another prominent opponent of the campaign) was treated appallingly by SFUK and their allies.
Another Tweeter – SFUK supporter Sukhvinder Padda, yesterday tweeted a ‘Spokesperson for NSO on a Zoom meeting supported the report and the notion of make believers a term coined by Bloom for those supporting Khalistan or extremism’s’. Firstly, Sukhvinder Padda is the same person who issued an apology in 2015 for a libel against Lord Singh. One of our Deputy-Director’s, Hardeep Singh, did indeed attend the Religion Media Centre briefing Zoom call with Colin Bloom. He consciously attended this in his personal capacity as an independent commentator and journalist. His frankly innocuous question was in relation to a separate briefing from Bloom, which categorised people more broadly into hypothetical categories ‘True Believers’, ‘Non-Believers’ and ‘Make-Believers’. He did not mention any group or individual, and simply asked what the community can do to help government distinguish between the said hypothetical categories. He also made it clear that he’d not had the opportunity to ‘digest’ the report in full – let alone endorse or ‘support’ it as has been falsely claimed. He made no mention whatsoever of ‘Khalistan’ or those advocating for it. Padda’s interpretation of this innocuous preamble and question, is at total odds with what transpired and is another example of misinformation. Notably, Bloom’s response to Hardeep’s question included the words, ‘the British Sikh community are just outstanding, and some of the best people we have in the UK.’
We hope the misinformation being propagated on social media comes to a halt, and members of the Sikh community can engage in what is an important and highly sensitive matter for them, with both respect and decorum. Yesterday, the Times of India asked Lord Singh for a quote on Bloom in which he said Sikh extremism, ‘appears to have been magnified somewhat’ and ‘recent government statistics on the religion of terrorists or extremists in British prisons indicate none who identify as Sikh’.
Last night, Jasveer Singh published an apology to Lord Singh, which read, ‘I apologise to Lord Singh of @SikhMessenger for saying he’s allowed Sikhs to be labelled ‘Sikh extremism’ in the Bloom review. Since I said that, he’s said the report “magnified” Sikh extremism, also highlighting no Sikh is in UK prison for terror/extremism.’