Sunday, February 15, 2004

Stand and deliver

Back in the 80s when the Romantic dance movement was in full swing we had the wonders of Duran Duran, AhHa and good old Adam Ant! One of the lines from Adam Ants collection of hits (!) was ‘Stand and deliver’. Let’s forget about the rest of the song but consider the statement:

With the French ruling last week we need to unite to ‘Stand and Deliver’. This time the delivery is freedom, from all kinds of perspectives:

to battle against the underground and under currents of fascism
to dispel confusion and doubt that are used by some to fuel mistrust between races, creeds. The French appear to have misunderstood the value within faiths
to choose your life and the way you wish to live it
to express yourself
to head in Gods direction through your own chosen faith
to encourage better ways to get to know each other. Awareness and knowledge of each other starts in school.
to develop multiculturalism rather than singularities that are clones of each other
to assure and ensure respect for personal heritage
to create an environment where we learn from the past
to ensure that all understand that there is a greater force that is more than man can comprehend and define.

Recent events (the French parliamentary decision, re: banning ostensible signs of religion in schools) should now make us all realise the importance of taking a stand. The Sikhs have always stood against ethnic cleansing and have always delivered freedom. I propose ten suggestions as a starter to get faiths together. We need to mobilise in both a united and positive manner. We need the media on side to ensure that the fundamental principle for respect for each other is upheld:
Formation of a international council of interfaith lawyers to take on this issue
Academics to communicate that translation of faith related items cannot be clearly defined within the context of European languages or secular notions.
Ensure that every Gurdwara committee in the UK and mainland Europe (hopefully internationally) immediately set-up a working committee to adhere to a mission to – (1) set-up formal links with working committees from other faiths. (2) publish a plan of action that is consistent and co-ordinated (3) Establishes representation from local to central government MP’s to support number (4) The co-ordination of an international campaign to overturn the French decision.
A national world interfaith freedom rally – How about setting a target of 2Million people descending in Paris, London and major cities within the next 4 weeks.
The international interfaith lawyers council (see main point 1) to file a petition in the Court of Human rights ASAP
The publication of effective communication about the Sikh faith
For as many people as possible to call the press to get this issue on everyone’s daily agenda.
Establish a set of formal questions raised in Parliament as to how this has been allowed to take place before our eyes and what can be done to influence the French to U-turn on their current thoughts. To raise the issue that the French move could be a sinister concession to win votes from the French political Right!
To use technology that is available to us all (Video, Audio, Animation, graphics, text, Internet petitions and online publications) to communicate the interfaith campaign.
For every Sikh to write email and physical postage to the French politicians to explain to them the implication and inappropriate action against us.

Let’s get our Gurdwara’s to prioritise with the committees they set-up - and get this issue on the agenda. Now is our chance to Stand and Deliver for our ourselves, our children and our children’s children …. The beyond may be dependant on our success.

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