Sikhism in Scotland includes all aspects of Sikh life and Sikhism in Scotland. Sikhs have been present in Scotland for over a century, with the first documented Sikh, Maharaja Daleep Singh, arriving in Perthshire in 1855. The next wave of migration was in early-to-mid 1990s when prominent Sikhs of the Bhat community established themselves in Glasgow and Edinburgh. However, the bulk of Sikhs in Scotland come from families who immigrated during the late 20th century. In Scotland Sikhs represent 0.13% of the population (6,572).
Scotland has a long-established Sikh community. Maharajah Duleep Singh moved to Scotland in 1854, taking up residence at the Grandtully estate in Perthshire. According to the Scottish Sikh Association, the first Sikhs settled in Glasgow in the early 1920s with the first Gurdwara established in South Portland Street. However, the bulk of Sikhs in Scotland come from families who immigrated during the late 20th century.
According to the 2001 Census there 0.13% of Scotland's population identifies Sikhism as their religion. Glasgow is the area with the most significant Sikh population in the country. Of the seven Gurdwaras in Scotland, four are in Glasgow, one in Edinburgh, one in Irvine and one in Dundee. Plans are also in place to open a Gurdwara in Aberdeen.
Scottish Sikhs have their own tartan, and can be seen wearing kilts made from the material.
In a 2008 journal for the University of Leeds, for the Centre for Ethnicity & Racism Studies (as well as the School of Sociology and Social Policy; University of Leeds), conducted a thorough investigation into the Sikh community in the UK where the idea of "trapped love" allegedly committed by University-going-Muslim males is incredibly widespread. The report was done to see whether the phenomenon and allegations of "forced" conversions and "trapped love" was true; the report concluded most of the claimed evidence alleged by the Sikh community against young Muslims came from "a friend from a friend" within Sikh families who detailed many exaggerated stories about the "Muslim folk devil" on campus, at Universities. Most alarmingly researcher Katy Sian noted strong similarities to the spread of the notion of "trapped love" allegedly conducted by the Jewish community in the UK in the 1930s and 1940s, by Christians, where it has since been labelled as an antisemitic conspiracy theory. The report concluded by saying most of evidence simply does not exist and is part of a wider problem of Islamophobia amongst Sikhs:
This narrative first emerged in late 1980s and early 1990s and has been reproduced to establish the threat of the Muslim ‘other’. Such a discourse remains fixed within the Sikh social fabric as the tale continues to circulate within the collective despite a lack of evidence to support such claims [...]This story is all too familiar within the Sikh community, such a narrative has been persistently reproduced to warn ‘vulnerable’ Sikh ‘girls’ about the ‘dangers’ of ‘predatory’ Muslim men, a tale which has become so deeply embedded within the Sikh imagination, a myth which continues to resurface within the public eye, readily consumed by the diaspora [...] These ‘forced’ conversion narratives seem to echo the ‘white slavery’ scares and the role they played in articulating and representing Anti-Semitism. The focus in the ‘forced’ conversion narratives on the ‘predatory’ Muslim males allows these stories to be inserted as a Sikh chapter in the development of current Islamophobia.
Gurdwaras in Scotland
- Guru Granth Sahib Gurdwara, Sikh Sabha (Glasgow Gurdwara)
- Central Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Glasgow
- Guru Nanak Gurudwara, Edinburgh
- Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Glasgow
- Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, Glasgow
- Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Dundee
- Guru Nanak Gurdwara (Irvine)
Notable Scottish Sikhs