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Sikhs stand with Muslims
By:Silky Kaur, Amritsar
Date: Saturday, 12 January 2019, 7:23 pm

A professor explains why Sikhs need to stand with Muslims against hate crimes

http://barficulture.tv/crime/429

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Father. Activist. Writer. Runner. Educator. Everyone needs a Sikh friend. I'm more than happy to be yours. 👳🏾 ♥️✌🏾 Inquiries: Emily@FreshSpeakers.com
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Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

A short thread on the anti-Muslim hate that Sikhs endure -- and why we continue to stand as allies with our Muslim sisters and brothers.
30 replies 318 retweets 800 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Sikhs aren’t Muslim, yet we remain frequent targets of anti-Muslim violence. This is, in large part, due to our visible identity, including our beards, turbans, and brown skin.
2 replies 13 retweets 135 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Many people ask why we don’t just tell people that Sikhs aren’t Muslim. “Why don’t you let Muslims deal with their own problems?”

The problem with this response is that it just deflects the hate onto another community. That's not right.
11 replies 42 retweets 271 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Authentic solidarity calls on us to see other’s oppression as our own. It's just not an option to throw another community under the bus -- even if it might make our lives easier.
2 replies 28 retweets 173 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Authentic solidarity is both ethical and strategic. It’s ethical because standing with those who are oppressed no matter the consequences is the right thing to do. It’s strategic because confronting hate intersectionally (rather than deflecting it) is the only way forward.
1 reply 29 retweets 133 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Anti-Muslim racism is not just a problem in the “western world.” It’s a global phenomenon with immense and violent implications. We see it in China with the genocidal killing of the Uyghur Muslims. We see it in Myanmar with the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims.
4 replies 21 retweets 138 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Islamophobia is especially bad in modern South Asia, where right-wing nationalists push anti-Muslim propaganda to construct false historical narratives.

This propaganda is putting innocent Muslim lives at risk by distorting what we know about the histories of these communities.
6 replies 15 retweets 109 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

I get hate messages from right-wing fundamentalists daily that push this propaganda. They call me a traitor and a fake Sikh. They say true Sikhs would hate Islam because that’s what Sikhi teaches. As a historian of religion in South Asia, here’s how I know that’s not true.
4 replies 17 retweets 109 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

For one, the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Sahib, maintained good relationships with Muslims. In fact, Guru Nanak’s closest friend was a devout Muslim named Bhai Mardana, and they traveled together for years throughout South and Central Asia.
16 replies 15 retweets 121 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Guru Arjan Sahib, the fifth Sikh guru, was friends with Sain Mian Mir, a prominent Qadiri Sufi from Lahore. They were so close that Guru Arjan invited him to lay the foundation stone for Darbar Sahib of Amritsar, the most historically significant gurdwara in the Sikh tradition.
7 replies 11 retweets 97 likes

Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf

The sixth in the line of Nanak, Guru Hargobind Sahib, established a mosque for Muslims in his town who had no other place to pray. The mosque, which was aptly named “Guru Ki Maseet (The Guru’s Mosque) is still standing in Punjab.
7:22 AM - 9 Jan 2019

18 Retweets
93 Likes
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Dr Shahid Rehan

The Sikh Gurus incorporated the writings of another prominent South Asian Sufi -- Baba Farid -- into their compiled scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib. This means that, to this day, centuries later, Sikhs continue to sing, recite, and honor Baba Farid’s work on a regular basis.
3 replies 8 retweets 77 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

It’s clear the the Sikh Gurus did not hate Muslims -- nor did they see befriending Muslims and respecting Islam as antithetical to their teachings. Their lives show us that. History shows us that.
5 replies 10 retweets 86 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

Yes, it’s true that the Sikh worldview is different than that of Islam. That’s precisely why the Gurus decided to create a new religion. And this is important to note -- Sikhi is a distinct religion.

And yes, the early Sikh community had major tensions with political powers, some of whom were Muslim. But the source of tension was not an inherent clash between Islam and Sikhi as right-wing nationalists would have you believe. The tensions emerged from oppressive practices.
15 replies 14 retweets 94 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

The Sikh Gurus believed deeply in love, service, and justice. They called on people to live as saint-soldiers and to stand up against tyranny and oppression. The Sikh Gurus modeled this in their own lives, and Sikhs have tried to emulate them ever since.
1 reply 9 retweets 105 likes
Simran Jeet Singh
‏Verified account @SikhProf
Jan 9

To summarize, there are many reasons why Sikhs stand as allies to their Muslim siblings, despite the painful consequences. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, because it helps shape the future we want, and because we have historical and theological precedents.