The news that an elder from the community has passed away is apart from the deep immediate sorrow an event that causes many to look on the future with some trepidation. Death in this context is so much more than just the passing of an individual. It represents the severing of a link to times and sacrifices that are all too distant for many second, generation immigrants.
It was between the 31st October and 3rd November in 1984, that Sikhs in Delhi and other various parts of India were systematically targeted and massacred on a large scale. According to the even most conservative estimates, 8,000 Sikhs were killed over the four-day period, out of which 3,000 were in the capital city alone.
Whilst more and more lights are shone on the EDL and its affiliates, we believe that the future may give these far-right organisations more oxygen, as economies weaken in Europe. More than ever, the voices of reason within faith communities are needed and there is a need for all of us to report faith-hate crimes where we see them.
The British protests against Rushdie's novel and these more recent protests are commonly understood in terms of the free speech versus religious offence argument. But it is important to think beyond this limiting binary to attain a greater degree of intercultural understanding in twenty-first century Britain.