Open Letter to the Labour Party

British Dharmic Community's Open Letter of Solidarity with the Jewish community

26th April 2018

British Dharmic Community’s Open Letter of Solidarity
with the Jewish community

The Dharmic Ideas and Policy Foundation (DIPF) was launched on 4 February 2015 at the Palace of Westminster in the presence of members of both Houses of Parliament as well as dignitaries from Dharmic organizations. Its mission is to engage in work on policy issues that are of concern to Britain’s Dharmic communities.

We the undersigned join the DIPF in expressing our solidarity with the Jewish community and the representative organisations, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, in their effort to ensure the UK Labour Party addresses the prevalence of antisemitism within the party and the Labour movement.

We recognise that antisemitism is a long standing problem in Western Christian culture and are dismayed that it persists despite the unprecedented tragedy of the Holocaust in the past century. Jewish people have been falsely accused of awful crimes that are in turn utilized as pretexts to attack them time and again through the history of the West owing to prejudices deeply rooted in Western culture. The hope that the memory of the Holocaust would end these prejudices has not been fulfilled in the contemporary West. Appalling crimes are being committed against Jewish people in many parts of Europe, from policies that deny the significance of the Holocaust in Poland to murder in France and elsewhere on the continent. And now we observe widespread anti-Semitic prejudices within the Labour party that demonise Jews and hinder their legitimate activities in a shocking number of universities.

It is especially important to recognise that the assault on British Jewry is becoming synonymous with the attempt to extinguish the state of Israel, created in the aftermath of the Holocaust as the only haven for the Jewish people. The attacks on Jews are in fact designed to reverse the historic verdict leading to the establishment of the Jewish state by forcing the British government to repudiate its support for its existence. Among the instruments for implementing this goal is through acts of terror on British soil to intimidate the political establishment into yielding to militant Islamist demands, and the exercise of political power through a captive electoral base that dictates Labour Party policy.

We members of the Dharmic communities are deeply conscious of the implications of antisemitism for us. The assault on Jewish communities, using Israel as an excuse, is also paralleled, especially in Labour Party circles, by hostility towards our communities; they are based on political demands that seek the dismemberment of India, echoing calls to destroy Israel by any and all means. The boycott of elected Israeli politicians visiting Britain is similar to the boycott of the visit by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who happens to be a firm friend of Israel. Jewish and Hindu students have been denied access to multi faith common prayer rooms in some British universities by militant Islamists seeking adherence to the Shariah and their meetings banned or disrupted by them in conjunction with hard left groups.

We are especially mindful that the antisemitism of Europe led to Jews being typecast in Christian theology. Levites became identified as the priests of a false religion. As these tropes became associated in Europe with the falsehood of Judaism, the logic of the same framework led to the identification of Brahmins as the priesthood of the false religion of Hinduism. It is upon this that today’s widely accepted tropes of India’s caste system, and the hierarchy and oppression with which it is associated, were built within Western culture.

These themes have in turn informed the stereotyping of India as a culture that has a hierarchical and oppressive caste system, charges that are now levelled against the Indian diaspora community in Britain. Tropes regarding the caste system now constitute the basis of hate speech against Indians, and Hindus in particular. It is upon such false premises that the British legislation and case law on caste discrimination are built and sanctioned without demur, particularly by Britain’s Labour Party leadership, which imposed three-line whips in the House of Lords and House of Commons compelling its Peers and MPs to obey. It is instructive that the leading case law on caste discrimination derives from the same reasoning as the foundational UK Supreme Court’s JFS case in which a Christian notion of religiosity was inserted to cast the Jews as racists. The same legal precedent is now used to label the Indian community as caste-racists.

The Labour Party admits the charge of antisemitism via the report of Baroness Chakrabarti and the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. However, whether there is a strategy in place that can root out antisemitism must remain in doubt. This is particularly so when the most virulent streams of antisemitism emerging in today’s Europe appear to be emerging from within the Muslim community some members of which have an institutionalised hatred of Jews and Judaism. Instances of such attitudes surface regularly among Labour politicians. They can be found explicitly in literature and other material produced in the wider Islamic world, and easily accessed today via electronic media, where antisemitism is condoned and encouraged.

The Labour Party must be presumed unable to confront antisemitism so long as its support base comes from among the Muslim community, which is able to influence the vote in many constituencies in Britain. This is an issue the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, refuses to identify, let alone demonstrate his willingness to tackle. Our view is reinforced because of the party’s commitment to tackle what it refers to as ‘Islamophobia’, which the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the largest group of states in the world after the United Nations, insists on banning on the ground that any criticism of Islam be made unlawful. We are not partisans of any political dispensation and its suitability to govern Britain, but feel compelled to address the principal source of our contemporary concerns affecting the Jewish and Dharmic communities though we recognise the prejudices causing us anxiety are indeed much more widespread, stemming from the hard Right as well.

We therefore regard awareness of the politics of Jihad against Jews and Hindus as a prerequisite for isolating its protagonists. It is in this spirit that we declare our unequivocal support for Britain’s Jewish community, which is facing growing challenges to its security and well-being. We note with profound concern the view of Jewish leaders in France and Germany that their continued survival in these societies is in doubt and an exodus from Europe is already occurring. This cannot be allowed to gather momentum in Britain.

Yours sincerely on behalf of all the co-signatories below.

DIPF Co-directors Dr.  Gautam Sen and Dr. Prakash Shah


Community Organisations

Name Organisation
Dr Gautam Sen DIPF
Dr Prakash Shah DIPF
Anil Shah Digambar Jain Visa Mewada Assoc
Shafalica Bhan Kotwa Kashmiri Pandits Cultural Society
Chandrakantbhai Shuk Datta Sahaj Yoga Mission (UK) DSYM
Bobby Grewal India Association
Vaishali Kamal Shah, Shrivedant Foundation,
Dr Patel Hindu Samaj Sheffield
Paras Mamania Kutchi Oshwal Jains UK
Yogesh Mistry Shree Sanatan Seva Samaj Hindu Mandir /
Bhadrishilbhai Trevd Leicestershire Braham Samaj
Dharam Virji Dhanda VHP Nottingham
Mukesh Naker DSP Publishing
Vinay Sofat Vivekananda Centre London
Jaswantbhai Maicha Adhaya Shakti Mataji Temple
Taraben Patel Mandhata Mandal Wembley
Sangita Devani Belgrave Leicester Residents Group
Rohit Patel DIPF Council Member
Subodhbhai Thaker Hindu Voluntary Services (Barnet)
Natubhai K Shah Jain Network
Nitin Mehta Young Indian Vegetarians
Guruji Lahiri Hindutva Abhiyan
Kishor Mehta Young Indian Vegetarians
Shantilal Mistry SPA UK Bradford Branch
Nitin Patwardhan East Midland Marathi Association
Kiran Mehta The Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO)
Vinaya ji Sharma VHP Ilford
Bipin Parmar Gujarat Arya Kshatriya Mahasabha UK
Ramnik Shah Independent Scholar
Professor Atul K. Shah Diverse Ethics Ltd,
Ashwin Soni Crawley Mandir
Ashton Lohana Community UK
Birmingham Lohana Community UK
Bolton Lohana Community UK
Cambridge Lohana Community UK
Coventry Lohana Community UK
Notts & Derby Lohana Community UK
Leicester Lohana Community UK
East London Lohana Community UK
North London Lohana Community UK
South London Lohana Community UK
West London Lohana Community UK
Loughborough Lohana Community UK
Luton Lohana Community UK
Manchester Lohana Community UK
Milton Keynes Lohana Community UK
Norfolk Lohana Community UK
Northamptonshire Lohana Community UK
Peterborough Lohana Community UK
Southend-on-Sea Lohana Community UK

Businesses & Organisations

Business City
Ashlac Consultants Ltd London
BAL Holdings Limited London
Balpt (Ilford) Limited London
Balpt Limited London
Barai Estate Holdings Limited London
Billaze Limited London
Brookside Properties (Bristol) Unlimited London
Dherma Sewa Purvapuksha Publishing Leicester
Dr Y K Patel LTD London
Evolution Print & Design Leicester
Farsan Foods Leicester
Giltband Finance Limited London
Giltband Limited London
Heket Limited London
K & D Distributions Limited London
Kamax Associates Limited London
Kenbrook Investments Limited London
Krishna Enterprises Rugby
Lacash Properties Unlimited London
Laurel Pharmacy Limited London
Law Partnership Harrow
LPT1 Limited London
LPT4 Limited London
Maxima Properties (Boston) LTD London
Maxima Properties (Bramston) LTD London
Maxima Properties (Reigate) LTD London
Nirraj Properties Limited London
PSB Properties Limited London
Quickhaven Limited London
R & D Investments Limited London
Rajani Brothers unlimited London
RAKRAH Properties Limited London
S & P B Estates Limited London
Syon Properties Limited London
UPB Properties (Middlesex) Limited London

Academics & Professionals

Name  Institution
Dr Gautam Sen Retired Academic, London School of Economics and Political Science, Trustee, Indian Jewish Association
Dr Prakash Shah Reader in Culture and Law Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Vishal Vora Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and School of Law, SOAS, University of London.
Professor Atul Shah University of Suffolk
Minesh Patel LLB Solicitor
Jay Jina Open University
Rohit Patel DIPF
Rishi Handel