Gurpreet Singh: Here’s the real reason why federal antiterrorism officials keep focusing on Khalistan

Justin Trudeau was photographed with former terrorist Jaspal Atwal during the 2015 federal election campaign.

The hullabaloo over the description of Sikh (Khalistani) extremism in the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada has missed a point.

Critics are mostly upset over clubbing the Sikh religious identity with extremism, which is understandable, as an entire community should never be painted with the same brush because of the actions of few individuals within the group.

Nevertheless, the real and much more serious issue here is the growing influence of the Indian establishment over Canada. 

The report issued by Public Safety Canada has listed not just the Sikh extremist groups, but identified a few other extremist organizations from other minority communities with a similar description. This is something that the public report should have avoided as it reinforces racial stereotypes against minority communities that frequently face racism in this country.

Undoubtedly, Canada has witnessed violence in the past by those seeking Khalistan—a separate Sikh homeland to be carved out of India—but not all Sikhs support Khalistan and therefore to bracket Sikhs with extremism is problematic. The same goes for other extremist movements that often claim to represent the collective interest of different ethnicities, but that isn’t always true.

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