Socialist Worker

Anti-racist vigil planned after Edinburgh gurdwara petrol bomb

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2619

Guru Nanak Gurdwara Singh Sabha Temple

Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib in Leith (Pic: Kim Traynor/Creative Commons)


Anti-racists in Edinburgh are set to hold a vigil after a petrol bomb attack on a Sikh gurdwara on Tuesday night.

The Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib in the Leith district of the Scottish capital suffered the attack in the small hours. No one was injured, but the building has had large-scale smoke damage.

The vigil has been called under the banner of “Unity with our Sikh Community” for Thursday afternoon. It will be co-hosted by the Muslim Women’s Association Edinburgh (MWAE) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

MWAE said it had called the vigil “having experienced a similar attack on our place of worship Central Mosque in Potterow. We know how bad it feels that a small minded individual has victimised a peaceful community”. 

“The city of Edinburgh has shown time and time again that we will not tolerate those who try to divide our flourishing communities”.

Police have said they are treating the attack as a hate crime.

The attack on the gurdwara comes after five other attacks on Muslim, Sikh and Jewish places of worship in recent months.

Ball bearings were shot by a catapult into two mosques in Birmingham in August. A man tried to burn down a synagogue in Exeter in July. And a gurdwara and mosque both suffered arson attacks in Leeds following a march of Nazi Tommy Robinson’s supporters in May.

Supporting

Steve West is part of the Stand Up To Racism group in Edinburgh, which is also supporting the vigil. 

“We want the Sikh community and other religious minorities to know that we stand in full solidarity with them”, he said.

“It is less than three months since a gurdwara in Leeds was attacked.

“That particular incident took place soon after a march had taken place in Leeds to defend the fascist Tommy Robinson.”

The rise of fascist and far right forces and racist attacks are fuelled by the broader racism pushed by the Tories and press.

Stephen McBroom from UAF Edinburgh told Socialist Worker, “The reaction locally has been one of shock. But people aren’t surprised given the racist climate we currently live in from the Tories’ hostile environment for migrants to Islamophobic comments by prominent Tory politicians.”

Anti-racists must stand in solidarity with Sikhs and Muslims under attack—and fight against racism from the mainstream

Join the vigil—details can be found here

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