Racist flyer targets Brampton Sikhs

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Racist flyer targets Brampton Sikhs

News East West

April 26, 2013

TORONTO: In a shocking case of racism in Canada, a racist flyer has appeared at the doors of many Brampton Sikhs who make up about 20 percent of the city’s population.

The racist flyer appeared just a day before Brampton, the south Asian-dominated city just outside Toronto, declared April as Sikh Heritage Month.

Under the heading `The Changing Face of Brampton’, the racist flyer has on its top a picture of white people with the caption “From this,” followed by a Sikh group picture below it with the caption “To this.”  Interestingly, the Sikh picture shows protesters in Delhi against the 1984 riots.

In the flyer, the words `From this’ to “To this’’ refer to the changing demography of Brampton from a white city to an immigrant-dominated city.

The racist flyer cites census figures to show how Brampton’s “mainstream Canadian” population has fallen from 59.6 per cent in 2001 to 32.9 per cent in 2011.

Then it has a poser, which reads: “Is This Really What You Want? Let’s Make Immigration Work For The Interests Of Canadians Again!”

Immigration Watch Canada, a group which is opposed to `excessive’ immigration, says it has distributed the flyers in Brampton.

Dan Murray, who co-founded Immigration Watch Canada in the 1990s, told the Toronto Star, “The purpose of the flyer is to say there is a cultural limit to the number of people any part of Canada could accept.’’

Asked why the flyer carried the photo of the Brampton Sikhs, he said it has been used because they (Sikhs) make up “the majority of the population in Brampton.’’
He denied that the flyer message was racist, and called those who criticized it “cowards.”

Murray said, “For long-term Canadians to say that, they are cowards. They are trying to be politically correct. They are afraid to express criticisms over our immigration because they are conditioned to respond to immigration only in a positive way.’’

He said the Canadian government has given his group no justification for bringing in about 250,000 new immigrants each year for the past two decades.

The racist flyer outraged the Sikh community who are the largest group in Brampton which is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada.

The city’s first Sikh councillor Vicky Dhillon said Brampton Sikhs are an integral part of Canadian society as they have been in this country for more than 100 years.

Brampton resident and World Sikh Organization (Ontario) president Prabhmeet Singh Sarkaria said, “These flyers are the work of an isolated fringe group and don’t reflect the view of the vast majority of Bramptonians or Canadians.  Canada is an example of how diversity and multiculturalism can work so beautifully.  This is an opportunity for all of us to stand together and say that this type of message is not welcome in Canada.”

Canada’s opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) also condemned the racist flyer.

“This is absolutely outrageous and unacceptable. To suggest that some people are less Canadian or not at home here based on their ethno-cultural  background is simply deplorable,’’ said Andrew Cash who is the NDP spokesperson for multiculturalism.

“People of all ethnicities and many different cultural backgrounds have contributed enormously to the fabric of Canadian society, and we are all the richer for it. Nobody should be made to feel excluded or unwelcome based on their religion, cultural background or colour of their skin,’’ he said.

Sikhs dominate the population in three Canadian cities – Brampton, Surrey and Abbotsford.

READ NEXT: Vancouver Sikhs to become the second largest group by 2031

 

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