21 August 2007


Is this what our shaheeds, including my family, died for?

From The Daily Mail

20 August 2007

Sikh Girl Will Convert For A Place At Catholic School

By PAUL SIMS - More by this author » Last updated at 23:18pm on 19th August 2007

The parents of a Sikh girl want to convert her to Roman Catholicism to win a place at the school of their choice.

Baljit and Bal Singh say they will change their four-year-old daughter's religion if it means she can attend their favoured school next month.

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Maya Kaur

Maya Kaur's Sikh parents are considering changing her religion in the hope she may be allowed into the Catholic school

Maya Kaur has been attending a nursery at St Paul's Roman Catholic School in Wolviston, Cleveland, for the past two years.

But her parents have been told there is no place available for her when she starts full-time education in a few weeks.

After losing an appeal, the couple say they are seriously considering changing her religion in the hope she may be allowed into the school, which gives priority to Catholic children.

Mr Singh said: "We think Sikhism is similar to Roman Catholicism so we put her in that school. She's been there for two years, she goes to church with them, she says a prayer before she eats her dinner.

"I'll baptise her as Roman Catholic so she can go to the school."

St Paul's admissions policy gives priority to children who have been baptised Roman Catholic, have been formally received into the Catholic church and live in the catchment area, or who have a sibling at the school. Priority then goes to other Christian denominations before children of other faiths.

The Singhs' extraordinary proposal is likely to be frowned upon within the Sikh religion, which takes some of its identity from ancestors who were persecuted and martyred for refusing to convert to other faiths.

Among the stories taught within the faith is that of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth of the founding gurus of Sikhism who was beheaded in 1675 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam.

The Singhs insisted that they were doing nothing wrong in trying to get the best for their daughter.

"Two years ago when they took her into the nursery why didn't they say she wouldn't get a place straight away in the primary school?" said Mr Singh.

"I would have got her baptised then - or I'd have put her in another school."

Maya has been offered a place at William Cassidi School, a nearby Church of England school. But her parents claim she is upset and wants to remain with her friends.

Catherine Connelly, head at St Paul's, said the school had received 34 applications this year, compared to the norm of 24. The class size had also been expanded to the legal limit of 30.

"We are proud of our school's inclusive nature and we have children of several different faiths and ethnic groups," she said.

"We allocated the places according to our published admissions criteria which all parents had access to."

I don't know how to tag this: Disrespect, Ingratitude, Stupidity, Ignorance...?

Maybe the parents will come to their senses and quit being pushed around by a four-year-old girl, however pretty and charming. After all, this story is all over the Net today.

Or maybe the Church will refuse to sanction such a fraudulent conversion. Nah, I'm dreaming!



From BBC News, the Catholic Church responds:

A diocesan spokesman said it welcomed adults who wanted to become followers of Christ's teachings, but that children were "another matter".
He said only parents who are themselves Catholic Christians could make such a commitment for their child.

The vice chairman of the UK Sikh Federation, Jagtar Singh, said children should be allowed to choose their own religion when they were old enough.
He said: "When a child is born, the parents try to bring up that child on the basis of what they think is best.
"So if they practice any particular faith they are likely to bring that child up in that faith, knowing the child will make their own decisions when they grow up.
"They may choose to not believe in that faith, move to another faith, and that will be the individual's choice."


  1. She's FOUR. What difference is it doing to make? By the time she hits puberty she's going to try and unlearn all of the grammatical and accentual polishing she received earlier in life in a futile attempt to seem less 'toff'. Just look at Jamie Oliver.

    No actually, don't.

  2. Hi, Davey!

    Yes, actually I did. I hadn't the slightest idea who Jamie Oliver might be so I Googled him. Ah, I've heard of the Naked Chef. Did he really kill a lamb on his show?

    The young lady, from pictures I've seen, looks like a handful (read 'spoiled brat'). But whatever she becomes later in life is being formed now. Shall we talk about 'commitment vs, expediency,' 'the end justies the means' or some such?

    Whatever. This is still a slap in the face to those of us who have sacrificed so much. And these parents should be ashamed of themselves.

  3. I think you people get mixed up somewhere. Our Gurus died for justice, for human rights, for freedom of religion and for dignity. Sikhism was a mode to confront the barbaric Muslim rulers. It's not a cult group that you cannot leave once you have joined. Right now I'm not talking about the girl (because she can adopt any religion she feels like when she grows up) but her parents have all the right to decide her religion and it's nobody's business to tell them what they should and shouldn't do.

    And how can you judge a 4-year-old girl? She looks so sweet and adorable in the picture. Does Sikhism teach you to think of little children like this? It doesn't. There is a big gap between real Sikhism and its so-called proponents who don't know even the S of it.

  4. CK Ji,

    'You people'? Please.

    OK, granted that that crack about the young lady was uncalled-for. For that I apologise.

    But for the parents to teach her that her religion, her way of life should be chosen on the basis of expediency is flat wrong. This ignores the sacrifices that have been made for us and insults those who made the sacrifices. On that I will not back down.

    As to freedom of religion, as far as I can see religion really has nothing to do with this. It is all window dressing. And it's not as if there aren't other good schools available.

    I will admit, since I'm being candid, that I feel a bit sorry for this family. I'm sure they just want to do what's best for their daughter. And I'm very sure they never thought they would become the objects of world-wide discussion. I wonder how they're handling this.

    A part of 'real Sikhism' is to speak up when we see an injustice. I see this as an injustice to our martyrs and to the young lady, as well and I have spoken up. You see that I have committed an injustice and now you have spoken up. We have both acted in the way we feel we must. Shall we refrain from insulting each other? I do not deserve to be called one of 'its [Sikhism's] so-called proponents who don't even know the S of it.'

    Thank you.




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