Thursday, 15 March 2007

A Sikh Student's Story of Harassment & Intimidation

A Sikh Student's Story of Harassment & Intimidation

Wednesday 14th of March 2007
Panthic Weekly News Bureau

London, UK (KP) - Last week Panthic Weekly covered the news that the London Metropolitan Police has recognise the aggressive conversion tactics of Muslims against Sikh and Hindu female students at colleges and Universities. This week Panthic Weekly brings the account of one young Sikh female who recently graduated from Luton University who recognises and can relate the threats posed by extremist Muslims.
Unfortunately many of the victims of the grooming, intimidation and blackmailing are either to ashamed to share their story with the public or wish to forget what has happened with them as they are now married off. Other girls feel scared or threatened and end up suffering depression and suffering in silence. Panthic Weekly is thankful that this female Sikh victim of Islamists racially targeting Sikhs has had the courage to share her story with and Panthic Weekly.
Female Sikh Student harassed and intimidated at Luton University by Islamists:
I took one look back at my bedroom, closed my eyes shut and asked Waheguru to guide me in the right direction then stepped into the passenger seat of dad's car.
The journey of my first ever day of moving out of my parents house to a life of independence was to a life of standing on my own two feet. My heart was pounding with part butterflies in the stomach and part happiness.
I arrived at the flat and moved everything in. The second day I was on the phone to my parents crying to bring me back home - That's one thing probably almost every student does.
Before I got to Uni I had just discovered the one thing that changed my thinking, my attitude, my way of life for ever - I discovered Sikhism. The 'A LEVEL' in Sikhism was a God send for me. I became attached to reading up on every resource on Sikhism that I could get my hands on: Gurbani reading, history, stories, shabads… anything. I became ultimately in love with God, Guru and Sikhism. The last 21 years of my life seemed like nothing up until now. My parents were shocked on my change, but I didn't realise how I'd been swept off my feet and how hungry I was to meet God.
So now at university I still continued to research Sikhism. I went to London Society meetings not knowing anyone or anything about them. I went to any local Kirtan and was practically at the Gurdwara every other evening to listen to the Katha and Kirtan.
I came across just ONE Gursikh, not only in my course but within the WHOLE University. I felt as if I was the only Sikh at the uni and this made me feel slightly upset at times. I was used to seeing the group of Islamists walking around the campus and discussing religion, I saw Hindus and Christians but no Sikhs.
The next day I was at the Student Union discussing the opening of a Sikh society and filling in paperwork. Me and Mr Singh ji (my fellow student) now promoted the new Sikh society to others of the university, there were other Sikhs whom we had not yet met.
Soon after this the Islamic Society became aware of the new Sikh Society and president (me). From that day on I was receiving hoax calls from unknown numbers and getting indirectly harassed from Muslims who were threatened by the Sikh society.
We did not retaliate but kept our heads up continuing to make posters and organising regular meetings. With an amazing turnout of 30 Sikh students it was obvious that Guru ji had this all in place well. We were so happy and held a bigger event later in the year. Our posters were continually pulled off the walls, ripped up and either left on the floor or thrown in the bin. But yet we continued producing posters and sticking them up around the campus.
It got worse when I started getting a black car following me home and to uni every day. It was scary and I had doubts at one point of whether "I should continue what I had started?" But for some reason I felt compelled and even stronger to continue the Sikh Society and build my network. The aim became to unite Sikhs within and around Luton.
This way the Sikh Society grew and we got more problems with Muslims in Luton. We had threatening emails, Muslims men would come to our Sikh Society meetings and sit at the back in disguise (wearing a Kara) observing the content of our discussions. They would attempt to talk to the female youth at the Sikh societies. The Muslim students would frequently stop me after lectures and challenge me to questions and ask me what I found in opening a Sikh society? I just smiled and replied with "I have found my life and my path".
I think that at the end it was the unshakable faith which they witnessed within me that scared them and made them want to put their guards up. They would try anything to distract us from the Sikh Society - send Muslim boys and girls to make friendships with us and other members of the Sikh Society but by that time I had already warned others as a caution. They would pester Sikh youth for going out for drinks and parties and say things like "Hey sister/brother come to lunch with us, its on me" - notice the words "sister/brother" attempting to sound like they are the same as you. This is yet another tactic used to make you feel like your part of a huge family- their family. They will also try to be too familiar with you another warning signal!
Obviously during all this happening I did not tell my parents as they would naturally get worried and encourage me to keep out of it all.
But throughout all this, throughout the three years at Luton University of ups and downs there was a driving force behind us which kept us continuing the sewa that we could. WE DID NOT GIVE UP. I was scared yes, I was harassed, I was followed, I was threatened and confused but we continued the Sikh Society.
That driving force was perseverance, motivation and most importantly it was the love for Gurbani which grew inside me stronger and stronger just like a fountain over filling with water.
I think now that we were lucky and I realise that wherever we go in life Guru is with us 'ang sang' (by our side) he always preserves our honour. I met people from all walks of life during my time away, good and bad, that's something we all go through - its how we maintain ourselves during that time which is important.
From personal experience, 60-70% of all female students who go to study at the University of Luton or Bradford have either returned home converted to Islam or have returned home a different person. It's so tough to survive the world of conversions and I can proudly say that having returned home after 3 years at Luton University I did not convert, but returned home stronger.
It's much harder for girls in a way as we can sometimes be vulnerable and those whom lack knowledge on Sikhism are especially weak targets. Having learnt this I self-taught myself and I advise all other young girls and guys to do the same. Every religion is lovely in its own way and we should be open-minded to all of them. However, before you get taken into another religion or asked questions be prepared, learn about your own faith, dig deep and keep digging like I did until you find your answers! You'll find a treasure that no other person in the world can offer you.
Panthic Weekly would like to thank Mrs. Kaur for sharing her story, and urge any other Sikh girls or boys affected by any of these issues to please tell someone. The provides a 24 hour free confidential helpline service with Sikh counsellors to support, guide and help those in need. It is important that those who have witnessed or experienced these issues to report it to the police so that further students do not experience the mental manipulation, heartache, and misery.

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In loving memory of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha

Revolutionist Kartar Singh Sarabha, was just nineteen years old when he became a Shaheed in the name of freedom and justice. He appeared like a storm, ignited the flame of revolution and tried to wake up a sleeping Panjab. Such courage, self-confidence, and dedication is rarely found. Of the Panjabis who can be called revolutionaries in true sense of the word, Kartar Singh's name comes at the top.
Revolution lived in his veins. There was only one aim of his life, only one desire, and only one hope - all that held meaning in his life was revolution.