Ottawa – March 20, 2010: The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) condemns the acts of vandalism at the Guelph Sikh Society Gurdwara. On early Friday morning, vandals threw bricks through the front window of the Gurdwara. This attack follows weeks of controversy surrounding attempts to rezone a piece of land to build a new Gurdwara to accommodate the growing Sikh community in Guelph. The Sikh community in Guelph has recently faced increasingly intolerant and often racist comments opposing the move.
Although those who oppose the re-zoning of the proposed Gurdwara site have a right to express their views, there is no room for bigotry, racism or now violence in the dialogue. The Sikh community can be asked to defend their zoning application, but they should not be put in the position of having to defend their presence in the community. Canadians pride themselves on the multicultural fabric of their nation and Sikhs are an integral part of that fabric. There is no reason a Gurdwara should be any more difficult to integrate into the community than a church or synagogue.
WSO President Prem Singh Vinning said “All right-minded Canadians must condemn the attack on the Guelph Sikh Society Gurdwara. This kind of vandalism is outrageous and has no place in Canada’s tolerant and multicultural society. ”
WSO Ontario Vice-President Ranjit Singh Dulay said, “Although some of the rhetoric surrounding the plans for the new Gurdwara in Guelph was unacceptable, the vandalism takes things to a new level. We urge the Guelph Police Service to investigate this incident and prosecute those responsible.”
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Sikh Diaspora, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.