Article
18 October 2017 at 12pm

Extremist group ‘Sikh Youth UK’ targets students with anti-Muslim film

The extremist organisation Sikh Youth UK has showcased a film demonising Muslims as “predatory sex groomers”, and claims to have screened the film at a number of university campuses, including student societies at Coventry, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Brunel, Birmingham City, Birmingham and Aston.

The documentary, entitled ‘Misused Trust’, contains the fictional account of a Sikh girl who is seduced by a Muslim who pretends to be Sikh. He hands her over to a Muslim grooming gang that sexually abuse her, before she is rescued by members of a branch of Sikh Youth UK that takes violent revenge against her former captors. 

The film has been investigated by Ofcom, which received a complaint that it “advocated retaliatory violence as acceptable” and contains “potentially offensive” references to Muslims.

Sikh Youth UK, which began as Sikh Youth Birmingham, describe themselves as a “movement that seeks to empower and support Sikh Youth” as well as “help prevent the use of alcohol and drugs”. Yet they have previously protested against interfaith wedding ceremonies in Sikh temples, and used statistics of questionable accuracy when identifying instances of child grooming.

Sikh Youth UK also hosted former English Defence League (EDL) and Pegida UK leader Tommy Robinson at a film screening of ‘Misused Trust’ in Huddersfield.  Robinson wrote on Twitter: “Had an [sic] brilliant night in Huddersfield … Islam is targeting our children.” Sikh Youth UK replied: “It was great to have you … Thank you for your support.”

Robinson has previously promoted Sikh Youth UK material to his followers, writing positively that they are “Sikhs raising awareness among their community about Muslim grooming gangs.” Sikh Youth UK reciprocated by announcing that Robinson would appear on a Sikh TV channel to “raise awareness of sexual grooming.”

Balwinder Rana, the founder of Sikhs Against The EDL, has said “By associating with the ex-leader of the EDL who is also a former member of the BNP, Sikh Youth UK is going in totally the wrong direction."

Student Rights is deeply disturbed by these revelations. It is unacceptable that fringe groups within the Sikh community have hijacked legitimate concerns about grooming gangs to further a narrative that indiscriminately targets Muslims.

As an organisation dedicated to countering extremism, we will condemn instances of bigotry regardless of the race, colour or creed of those spreading it. It is especially galling that this group has targeted students on campus, and aligned itself with the Far-Right, who are trying to drive a wedge between different communities. We strongly urge universities and students to monitor future instances of Sikh extremism and anti-Muslim hatred.