Bobby Friction Issues Apology

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Embroiled in ‘Sikh Taliban’ Row

BBC Asian Network presenter, Bobby Fricton, has issued an apology after making remarks against the Sikh community. In a statement given by DJ, he said he apologised ‘unreservedly’ for using the term ‘Sikh Taliban’.

 

Sikh organisations said they were offended after Friction tried to justify his remarks which have been branded as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unacceptable’. His rant came after reports are began to surface of how a group of men stormed a Sikh temple in a bid to stop an inter-faith marriage. The couple were then forced to cancel their wedding day.

 

The Sikh Federation said “BBC radio DJ and presenter Bobby Friction has offended Sikhs by using the term ‘Sikh Taliban’ on Twitter and failing to issue an apology. Instead he has tried to justify his use of the term that he incredibly continues to describe as a ‘metaphor’. There is no room for such language for law-abiding Sikhs and a term directly associated with an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan that British armed forces have been confronting and laying down their lives.  Condemnation of Bobby Friction from the British Sikh community has been swift and widespread.

 

“There are no excuses for causing offence by using the term ‘Taliban’ that not only reminds Sikhs of sacrifices of the Sikh Gurus at the hands of the Mughal emperors, but also verbal abuse, racist attacks and killings of innocent turban wearing Sikhs in more recent times since 9/11.  It is flippant remarks like these that fuel calls for the BBC not to be funded through the licence fee.”  

 

In his apology letter and a response to this, Bobby Friction said, “There have accusations on social media that I have called Sikhs “The Taliban” and that by comparing them to the Taliban I am essentially saying Sikhs commit the same offences against humanity that the Taliban are so famous for. Nothing could be further from the truth so let me explain what was actually said and meant on my personal non-BBC Facebook page.

 

“I posted my thoughts on where a section of British Sikh political thought could end up at some point in the future. The metaphor was that we as British Sikhs were seeing the “beginning” of a group who felt they were allowed to police other Sikhs religious beliefs, with direct action if necessary. The “Taliban” metaphor was to show the symbolic similarities in policing others, and was not a literal comparison and should not be seen as that. It was also not a comparison on anything the Taliban stands for religiously.

 

“As someone who has fought against all Religious Extremism my whole life I understand deeply what the Taliban has done and that its actions are pure Terrorism. I can see that if my remarks are taken out of the original context that the Taliban comment could offend some people and for that I’m sorry. I have however the right to discuss issues close to my heart on my own social media away from my radio show, and in fact everyone on all sides has the right to express their views freely without threats and trolling by others.

 

“In the spirit of understanding, tolerance and the freedom of religion Sikhism is so famous for I hope you will understand my point of view.”

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