The City Sikhs Network deplores the sickening attack on an 80 year old Sikh man in Coventry on the evening of 10th August 2013. A video of the attack was filmed by a bystander and circulated extensively by social media on 16th August 2013.
Coventry is a richly diverse city and the Sikh community has been well established there for the last 50 years. Such attacks are extremely rare in the region, which has a proud history of being a socially cohesive area.
This is condemned not just as an assault against a Sikh man but also as a senseless attack against a defenceless and vulnerable pensioner. For most Sikhs in the UK, this elderly gentleman could quite easily have been our own father or grandfather.
Seeing the humiliation of his turban falling off in the course of the attack has incensed the British Sikh community. The turban is a revered article of faith for Sikhs, it represents honour and self-respect and it is considered to be the equivalent of a crown in South Asian cultures.
As a direct result of the circulation of the video via social media, the female suspect of this attack has now been arrested. However, all witnesses are encouraged to come forward and contact the Police by calling 101 with any further information that they may have.
The revulsion of this attack has been shared by the British public as a whole. The Sikh faith promotes respect of people of all faiths and none, encourages protection of the weak, and promotes tolerance and acceptance of everyone. The turban embodies these values.
For more information about the City Sikhs Network, please visit www.citysikhs.org.uk