University of Birmingham Apologizes For Confusing Sikh Event With Islamic Awareness Week

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The University of Birmingham has apologised after it removed a social media post that seemed to confuse Sikh students with Muslims.

According to a report in The Birmingham Mail’, the university post implied that a 20-year-old “Langar on Campus” event organised by the university’s Sikh Society earlier this month was part of an Islamic Awareness Week.

An Instagram account of the university tagged the free meals event inspired by the Sikh concept of langar in a post with the text “Discover Islam Week”.

“It is disappointing but very revealing to see those in charge of the public image of the University of Birmingham (UoB) are ignorant regarding the communities at the university,” said Jasveer Singh, spokesperson of the Sikh Press Association (PA) which highlighted the error on their social media platforms.

Social media error

“There is clearly an issue with the training and education given to UoB staff. Sikhs have been a prominent segment of the University of Birmingham community for decades,” he said.

Several people took to social media to comment on the error, with remarks such as “shocking” and “unbelievable”.

“The university sincerely apologises for any offence or upset this has caused,” a UoB spokesperson said.

“We recognise this post was incorrect. It was identified shortly after being posted and immediately deleted. The university respects and celebrates the diversity of our community and continually works to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment. We have made contact with relevant individuals and groups to apologise directly and listen to their views,” the spokesperson added.

Langer

Open to all regardless of faith or belief, the Langar on Campus initiative offers the chance to people to enjoy a free vegetarian dish with vegan options consisting of lentil soup, vegetable curry and chapatis freshly prepared locally in Birmingham.

This month marked 20 years since the first Langar on Campus at the University of Birmingham described as a great opportunity to learn more about the Sikh faith and to meet members of the university’s Sikh Society. Now, over 15 universities in the UK host similar events.

Published on: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 02:57 PM IST

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