Daily Updates
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Report acknowledges problem of Islamophobia in Conservative party but 'doesn't go far enough'

The Muslim Council of Britain today cautiously welcomed an investigation into anti-Muslim racism in the Conservative Party, but added it did not go far enough.

The 'Singh Report' recognised that Islamophobia has been a serious issue for the Conservative party. But the Muslim Council of Britain said it did not acknowledge the root causes of this bigotry, nor address how racism had impacted many elements of its culture.

25 May 2021 •

Arizona prison forcibly shaved 64-year-old Sikh man's beard, now faces lawsuit

A prison in Arizona forcibly confiscated a Sikh man's turban and shaved his beard despite his pleas, for his ID photos.

The ACLUE of Arizona and the Sikh Coalition have now filed a 'religious-freedoms violation' complaint with the US Department of Justice on behalf of Surjit Singh, who remains incarcerated there. More at Arizona Republic.

25 May 2021 •

Nadia Whittome MP to take time out to battle PTSD

British MP Nadia Whittome today said she had been advised to take some time out from work, after battling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her openness on her mental health battle was praised by other MPs

25 May 2021 •

GB News hires Balvinder Sidhu and Hanisha Sethi as reporters

British broadcasting upstart GB News, which launched with right-wing commentator Andrew Neil as its flagship presenter, is continuing to make hires.

Last week former ITV Central presenter Balvinder Sidhu announced she was joining its reporting and presenting team in the Midlands region.

This week GB News said it had hired Sky News reporter Hanisha Sethi as its new East Midlands reporter.

21 May 2021 •

Former cabinet minister Amarjeep Sohi launches bid for Mayor of Edmonton

Former Canadian cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi is launching his mayoral campaign for the city of Edmonton today.

If successful he would be the first Punjabi and Sikh mayor of a major Canadian city.

17 May 2021 •

Watch: First woman Sikh MSP reads Sikh prayer before oath as Member of Scottish Parliament

13 May 2021 •

JK Rowling Trust gives Khalsa Aid a six-figure donation

The author JK Rowling made a generous six figure donation to the charity Khalsa Aid for its humanitarian work, the UK-based charity announced today.

Rowling said: "A huge thank you to everyone who bought a copy of The Ickabog. As a result, my charitable trust continues to be able to support those worst affected by the pandemic #COVIDIndia"

13 May 2021 •

Councillor Arooj Shah becomes first Muslim woman council leader in the north

Oldham has a new council leader after last week's local elections. And its new leader, Arooj Shah, will be the first Muslim woman in the north of England to take on the top job at a local authority.

Councillor Shah was elected leader after previous incumbent Sean Fielding was defeated by an independent party at Thursday's local elections. More at Manchester Evening News

11 May 2021 •

Getting British Bangladeshi men to open up about mental health

Bangladeshi men have been hit hard by the pandemic – in terms of higher death rates compared to other communities, shut down industries and job losses. But with lockdown easing, many fear that the impact of the pandemic on their mental health may be overlooked, reports Nalini Sivathasan at BBC

11 May 2021 •

How Anjali Sud transformed Vimeo into a multi-billion dollar giant

CEO Anjali Sud has transformed the near-forgotten Vimeo into a $6 billion blockbuster business that lets both mom-and-pop shops and giant corporations shoot, edit and post millions of videos across the internet’s most influential sites.

11 May 2021 •

Sathnam Sanghera to 'call out' UK colonial history in new Channel 4 series

Writer and broadcaster Sathnam Sanghera is making a two-part TV series for Channel 4 that will focus on Britain's colonial history, it was announced today.

The two hour-long programmes will look at how the Empire has shaped modern Britain, and will be loosely based on his recent book Empireland. He will travel across Britain and speak to people and look at how Empire is remembered and how this has created Britain’s culture and its politics.

Sathnam Sanghera said in the C4 press release: "When I started thinking about this subject four years ago, the way imperialism has shaped modern Britain was an esoteric concern. But publication of my book Empireland this year has taught me that there's massive interest in the question of how colonialism influences us."

Shaminder Nahal, Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 says, "What Empire means to us now is such a vital subject, and so hotly contested - but I don’t think anyone else is articulating how Empire has shaped pretty much everything about Britain now including - and most surprisingly - our state of mind, the way we think and feel about so much."

10 May 2021 •

Lilly Singh's late-night NBC talk show is coming to an end after two seasons

NBC is ending comedian Lilly Singh's late-night talk show after two seasons, as part of a broader overhaul, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The show was first announced in March 2019. The final episode will air on Thursday 3rd June.

Lilly Singh is developing a comedy series at Netflix with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, and will carry on developing unscripted projects with NBC, the company announced.

10 May 2021 •

Watch: a short amusing film about mistaken identity

10 May 2021 •

Elections always bring out the best desi campaign videos

6 May 2021 •

Watch: How crime and Covid are hitting London's British Indians

4 May 2021 •

India's Serum Institute to invest £240 million in the UK

The Serum Institute of India, a private company, announced £240 million investment into the UK today, to support clinical trials, research & development and possibly manufacturing of vaccines.

The announcement was made today as made as part of a new UK - India £1 billion trade deal.

4 May 2021 •

Why Jhumpa Lahiri threw herself into writing only in Italian

A decade ago, the Pulitzer-winning authorJhumpa Lahiri renounced all reading in English and began to write only Italian.

Published in Italy in 2018 as Dove mi trovo – “Where I find myself” or “Where am I?” – it is her first novel written in Italian. Guardian interview.

4 May 2021 •

Watch: How the Indiana FedEx massacre affected Sikh Americans

4 May 2021 •

Watch: Rupi Kaur performs her poem Broken English on Jimmy Fallon show

30 April 2021 •

Watch former chancellor Sajid Javid speak in Panjabi

30 April 2021 •

How British Indians are trying to help in India's Covid-crisis - Channel 4 video

29 April 2021 •

UK sends oxygen supplies to India for Covid crisis

The UK is sending further life-saving oxygen equipment to India, the government announced yesterday.

It sent three oxygen generation units, each producing 500 litres of oxygen per minute, the size of shipping containers. Medical equipment from the UK arrived in India earlier this week, with more to be delivered over the coming days. The UK will send further vital oxygen equipment to India in support of the country’s fight against COVID-19.

29 April 2021 •

Parminder Nagra recounts racism she faced as an actress

British-Asian actress Parminder Nagra was once turned down for a role on a well-known US TV show because they "already had an Indian person", she told a podcast. The BBC has more.

29 April 2021 •

Riz Ahmedi didn't win an Oscar, but went viral anyway

This video featuring Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed went viral today

26 April 2021 •

Tech companies led by Indian-Americans announce support for Covid-emergency

As India reported the highest number of new Covid-19 cases globally for a fifth straight day, two Indian American CEOs pledged to rush critical aid to the land of their birth.

Both Google and Microsoft - run by Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella - have pledged support for charities working in India. More at American Bazaar.

26 April 2021 •

How GBBO star Nadiya Hussain's life has changed

For Observer Food Monthly’s 20th anniversary, the TV presenter and cook Nadiya Hussain recalls baking cakes for her GCSEs 20 years ago – and the worst thing about cooking at home in a pandemic. Read it here

26 April 2021 •

British Muslim wins religious discrimination claim after bosses called in terrorism police

A Muslim nuclear plant worker has won a religious discrimination claim after his bosses reported him to counter terrorism police for allegedly saying British troops in the Middle East 'deserved to die'... for which no evidence was found.

The judge said: "We find that a significant influence on that rumour persisting, that Mr Master made the comment, was Mr Master's religion." The Daily Mail has more.

7 April 2021 •

Labour MP Tan Dhesi: why are Pakistan and Bangladesh on UK's 'no travel' list?

Last week the UK government temporarily banned flights to Pakistan and Bangladesh over Covid-19 concerns. That prompted questions other countries, including India - which has higher transmission rates - were not included.

Now the Labour MP Tan Dhesi has written to the government to raise the issue.

7 April 2021 •

Columnist Julie Burchill pays "substantial damages" to activist Ash Sarkar over libel

The Sunday Telegraph columnist Julie Burchill has apologised to activist Ash Sarkar, and agreed to pay her “substantial damages”, over posts on Twitter where she accused Sarkar of being an Islamist, a hypocrite and worshipping a paedophile. More at the Guardian.

16 March 2021 •

Publisher signs debut novel by journalist Poorna Bell

Publisher Century has signed In Case of Emergency, the "utterly hilarious and brillaintly observed" debut novel by writer and journalist Poorna Bell.

The book tells the story of Beryl “Bel” Kumar, a woman who has a near-death experience at work and is mortified to find that her boss has notified an ex-boyfriend from years ago, still listed in HR’s records as her next of kin. More here.

15 March 2021 •

Lilly Singh wears 'I stand with Farmers' mask at Grammys

15 March 2021 •

Charity Commission inquiry into Idaara Maarif-E-Islam and The Voice of Truth

The Voice of Truth (TVOT) was created to promote the benefit of the Muslim community in Birmingham and the West Midlands and in particular, but not exclusively, Shia Muslims. Idaara Maarif-E-Islam (IMEI) was registered as a charity in 1977 and exists to promote and further the Muslim faith.

The Charity Commission received correspondence from a number of members of IMEI, indicating they had been contacted regarding donations to TVOT.

"The inquiry concluded that there was misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of TVOT." More details here

10 March 2021 •

Charity Commission publishes inquiry on UK's oldest Gurdwara, in London

In December 2012, the UK Charity Commission opened an inquiry into the Central Gurdwara London Khalsa Jatha charity, the oldest Gurdwara in Britain, due to concerns about poor internal governance and a trustee dispute.

It has now concluded that inquiry and published its findings. Key finding:

"The inquiry concluded that disputes between the former trustees had a negative impact on the governance of the charity and they were unable to effectively manage the charity’s finances. This amounted to misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity by the former trustees."

10 March 2021 •

City Sikhs also raises alarm about UK community tensions in letter to PM

"We are very concerned about how events in India are causing friction amongst communities in the UK".
The letter by City Sikhs follows a similar warning by the Sikh Council UK last week.

3 March 2021 •

Neera Tanden appointment dropped by POTUS

The White House has abandoned its appointment of Neera Tanden as the director of President Biden’s budget office after opposition from both parties.

She would have been the highest ranking Indian-American official in the Biden adminstration. But POTUS did say he would give her another job in his government.

3 March 2021 •

Lilly Singh explains India's #FarmersProtest in simple terms

26 February 2021 •

Shamima Begum loses court case. What does that mean?

Shamima Begum has today lost her case in the Supreme Court - she won't be able to return to the UK to argue her main case against deprivation of citizenship. But her main case remains outstanding. More details here.

Sadia Humayun explained earlier why the Shamima Begum case leaves Britons of South Asian origin in a deeply vulnerable position.

26 February 2021 •

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi tries stand-up comedy!

On UK's Channel 4 on 25th February

24 February 2021 •

Labour suspends councillor for going to wedding in Pakistan during lockdown

The Labour Party has suspended Aftab Razaq for violating coronavirus protocols after he attended a wedding in Pakistan.

The councillor from Manchester City even shared the pictures on his Facebook page...! More at the BBC

24 February 2021 •

US Senators write to Indian ambassador urging India to respect human rights

It's pretty strongly worded

24 February 2021 •