Punjab Research Group

BNP exploiting the ‘Collective Amnesia’ of Marginalised Ethnic Minorities

Posted in Articles by Pippa on May 31, 2010

The BNP is exploiting tensions between Muslim and Sikh communities, threatening to destabilise fragile relations, a leading academic has revealed.

The launch of a new report by Faith Matters (www.faith-matters.org) warns the BNP is seeking to ‘fish in troubled waters by reaching out to sections of Sikhs (and Hindus) in order to form a tactical alliance against Muslims to promote Islamaphobia’.

This is the first time any kind of substantive research has been undertaken on Muslim and Sikh tensions. It is a new but very real and growing problem.

Professor Gurharpal Singh who authored the report on behalf of Faith Matters, an organisation which works to reduce conflict both nationally and internationally, warned that ‘as tensions grow it will become increasingly difficult to contain this dispute within Britain’.

Despite this, the report indicates that both communities are suffering from a ‘collective amnesia’. In other words they have forgotten they share a common heritage, culture and history.

‘The only way to resolve the crisis is to re discover the sense of shared cultural and historic identity – it is better for them to work together,’ added Professor Singh.

Faith Matters founder and director Fiyaz Mughal OBE said: ‘There is a collective amnesia among the two communities which must be addressed, and quickly, otherwise it may cause localised tensions to flare into actual violence.’

‘Although the report illustrates how the BNP have exploited existing tensions, it also highlights that – by realising both groups have a shared common heritage, culture and political experience – these tensions may be overcome’

Full Report:The Adab – ‘Respect’ Research Programme Final 020510

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