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Sikhism in England

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Title: Sikhism in England  
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Subject: Jay Sean, Sikhism in the United Kingdom, Sikhism in Scotland, Sikhism in Wales, Outline of England
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Sikhism in England

The arrival of Sikhism in England is relatively recent and at Census 2011 there were 420,196 Sikhs and in excess of 300 gurudwaras in England with the largest communities in London, Bedford, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool and Huddersfield.[1][2] Leicester is also important having the largest Sikh community in the East Midlands and the eighth largest Sikh community in England.[3] Leicester is also the home of the Guru Nanak Sikh Museum, the first such museum in the UK.[4] As of 2011, the five English local authorities with the largest percentage of Sikhs are, in descending order, Slough (10.8%), Wolverhampton, Hounslow, Sandwell and Ealing.


Southall, in London, is home to the largest Sikh temple outside India, known as Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha.[5] It opened in 2003 after almost three years construction and a cost of £17 million.[6] Another large Gurdwara in Gravesend began construction in 2001, and was officially opened in November 2010 .[7] In Sunderland, a former Church of England church has been transformed into a Sikh Gurdwara by the Sunderland Sikh Association.[8]

Notable English Sikhs

  • Maharaja Duleep Singh - The last Maharaja of the Sikh Kingdom, exiled in 1849 during the British Raj and possibly the first Sikh in England
  • Monty Panesar - England cricketer
  • Sir Mota Singh - British Supreme Court Justice
  • Kulveer Ranger - London Transport Minister, Mayor's Director of Environment and Digital London
  • Gurinder Chadha - film director, born in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved to Southall, West London at a very young age
  • Parminder Nagra - actress born in Leicester
  • Simon Singh - author
  • Jasminder Singh - chairman of the Radisson Edwardian hotel empire[9]
  • Tom Singh - founder of the high street fashion chain New Look[10]
  • Jay Sean- R&B artist
  • Andrew Kooner - Canadian Olympic boxer
  • Akaash Bhatia - British boxer
  • Kash Gill - former kickboxing world champion
  • Harpal Singh - footballer
  • Ravi Bopara - England cricketer
  • Indy Sagu - bhangra and hip hop musician

Sikh-Muslim issues

According to the Daily Mail, in 2007, commissioner of police, Sir Ian Blair stated the police were targeting extremist members of the Muslim community who were allegedly forcing vulnerable girls to convert to Islam in response to claims made by the Hindu Forum,[11] Sheikh Musa Admani, an imam, said Islamic extremist groups may be evading university bans on groups such as Hizb ut Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun [12]

An academic paper by Katy Sian published in the journal South Asian Popular Culture in 2011 explored the question of how "'forced' conversion narratives" arose around the Sikh diaspora in the United Kingdom.[13] Sian, who reports that claims of conversion through courtship on campuses are widespread in the UK, indicates that rather than relying on actual evidence they primarily rest on the word of "a friend of a friend" or on personal anecdote, without the slightest evidence backed up by scientific findings. According to Sian, the narrative is similar to accusations of "white slavery" lodged against the Jewish community and foreigners to the UK and the US, with the former having ties to anti-semitism that mirror the Islamophobia betrayed by the modern narrative. Sian expanded on these views in 2013's Mistaken Identities, Forced Conversions, and Postcolonial Formations.[14]

See also

Sikhism portal


External links

  • Sikhs in England
  • National Network of British Sikh Professionals
  • Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha's official website
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