The BBC has shown regret to Sikhs over DJ Nihal Arthanayake’s comments on a radio show suggesting that Sikhism is “made up of other religions” such as Islam.
Sikh leaders accused the corporation’s Asian Network of displaying “irresponsible and misleading” attitude and suggesting that their religion was simply a “hotchpotch” of other faiths.
It followed a phone-in broadcast in March in which the presenter DJ Nihal Arthanayake – best known as a Radio 1 DJ – touched on the relationship between Sikhism, which was founded in Punjab in the 15th Century, and the other two predominant religions in India at the time.
A text message from a listener was read out complaining about the “incredibly offensive” way the presenters had suggested that Sikhism was “made up from other religions ie Islam and Hinduism”.
The DJ, known simply as Nihal on air, replied: “I’m sorry with all due respect, it is, absolutely it is.”
He went on: “A Muslim laid the stone to the holiest places, with all due respect I know more about your religion than you do.”
A spokeswoman for BBC Asian Network said: “We have reviewed the transmission from the Nihal phone-in on March 13 and agree that this short excerpt was less than satisfactory.
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