Friday, 31 July 2009

A Sikh, a Gurkha and a Muslim walk into Buckingham Palace

Sounds like the beginnings of an Irishman, Englishman, and Scotsman type joke but after coming across this article:

I couldn’t but help laugh at both the positive tone of the piece and the positive comments from the Daily Mail readership and thought it was a joke. I mean two bearded and turbaned men of non-European extraction who were born abroad now guarding the Queen of England and failing to attract any of the usual alarmist stuff...

If I wanted to be a ‘spinmonger’ about this I could warn about another head of state (Indira Gandhi) being assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards and make liberal mention of the Sikh terrorist groups that have been proscribed by the Home Office. But we can only demonize one visible religious minority at a time.

Anyway, nice to see how enlightened the Daily Mail readers are when the article is not about Muslims. The comments were uniformly positive (at least at the time of writing) and these are just some of those that stood out for me.

Not dressing like us indigenous folk but never mind, in this case it’s:

“Nice to see, full intergration for them, Well done.”
- Tron, Telford Shrop., 31/7/2009 15:44

Plenty of anecdotes from relatives who served in WWII:

“It's good to see this. My father was brigaded with the 1st/2nd Punjab Regt. for part of WWII, and held them in high regard; "You'd have to be up early to get past a Sikh!" was his verdict.”
- Helen, Kent, 31/7/2009 15:31

Even animal rights are advanced by this historic event:

“Good on them and it is two lovely bears saved from the shotgun too.”
- Helen, Manchester, 31/7/2009 15:23

The tourists will love them (but not us much as we do). Handsome, even with the beards:

"I think the tourists will love these two.... I'm not crazy about beards, myself, but they look very handsome!"
- Juma, london, uk, 31/7/2009 15:42

One day there might be an article on Muslims guarding the English Royal family and when that happens I hope to see comments from people who are aware that during World War II, and as of January 1945, there were 447,000 Muslims in the British Indian Army (bear in mind this was a volunteer army) along with (for comparison) 92,000 Sikhs and 103,000 Gurkhas. Perhaps some comments from people who also remember Muslims such as Noor Inayat Khan, who joined the SOE (Special Operations Executive, the forerunner of the SAS) serving in Occupied France and becoming a heroine of the French Resistance before she was captured by the Nazis and executed.

Maybe then someone will write ‘Muslims’ in a paraphrasing of Robert of Worchester’s comment:

"Sikhs have always been a noble people and excellent soldiers. A great many have fought and died for this country. HMQ will be in safe hands."
- Robert, Worcester UK, 31/7/2009 15:51

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent posting and well done for raising Noor Inayat Khan - a Muslim female heroine who stood against the Nazis and who died in a concentration camp for the values of freedom and justice. Well done!