Mockery and affront to the Guru Granth Sahib by members at the Sikh Cultural Society of New York Gurdwara, Richmond Hill, NY on April 16, 2017

On Sunday April 16, 2017 a brawl broke out inside the diwan of Richmond Hill Gurdwara while the sangat was present. Several sources from within the Gurdwara state that the fight was preplanned by the members of the opposing group which lost the Gurdwara election the last time over.

The real question is how can right-thinking Sikhs galvanize and stand together in order to tackle and mitigate the real issue of moral degradation and corruption within the ranks of the operating committees in Gurdwaras such as Richmond Hill.

The Sikh Cultural Society of New York is also one of the original founding members of the American Sikh Council (ASC) a national association of 73 Gurdwaras and Sikh institutions across the country.

The American Sikh Council (ASC) has spent an enormous amount of effort to highlight and promote the positive attributes of the Sikh identity and the values of our Faith to the host majority across the country, for nearly two decades. Recently other organizations have had TV campaigns and Turban Days held to do similar positive work, but this shameful incident on April 16, 2017 has diminished all the great work in one day.

The working committee of Sikh Cultural Society of New York, Richmond Hill, NY owes all the Sikhs of America an apology for desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib and maligning all the positive work being done by other Sikhs across the nation. This reprehensible brawl has brought unnecessary ignominy to all upstanding Sikh American citizens.

The American Sikh Council prays and sincerely hopes that the upstanding sangat members of the Richmond Hill Gurdwara take a stand to make sure that physical fights over leadership within the confines of a religious institution has to stop, as it has no place in our Faith. Adding insult to injury, the armed NYPD police officers had to enter the diwan hall in shoes to break up the altercation and arrest some of the perpetrators.

This type of physical confrontations must stop immediately. The American Sikh Council (ASC) has a professional ‘Conflict Resolution Service’ available to mediate and arbitrate any and all Gurdwara conflicts. ASC strongly suggests that all parties involved in this dispute must immediately reach out to ASC, to assist in resolving this issue at the earliest.


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