On the evening of Tuesday 17th April, Dr Jasjit Singh presented his research into Sikh radicalisation to an appreciative and engaged audience at St Philip's Church. The full report can be found here and an summary of the narratives and issues is available here. The main points of Dr Singh's presentation was that there is no threat to the British public from any Sikh activism and that under HM Government's definitions of radicalisation, as set out in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act of 2015, you cannot argue that Sikhs are being radicalised in the UK today. Dr Singh noted the transformative impact of events of Operation Blue Star in 1984 on Sikh activism within the UK. He argued that while there has been violence in response to Operation Blue Star and its aftermath, and commemorative events are held every year by Sikh activists, there is no threat to the British general public as a result. Dr Singh also noted the significant number of incidents of Sikhs protesting against Sikhs, as well as the range of Sikh responses to incidents of gang-based grooming of children and young people. He suggested that Sikh activism can be divided into five types:

  1. Human rights / social justice;
  2. Religious enforcement;
  3. Diaspora Nationalism;
  4. Community defence;
  5. Personal / factional disputes.

The evening ended with a question and answer session in which Dr Singh's findings were explored further. The St Philip's Centre is very grateful to Dr Singh for making time to be with us and for his stimulating presentation. It was a great example of how we can build relationships of understanding and trust across differences and continue learning how to live well together.