Simon McDonald, the head of Britain’s diplomatic service in the Foreign Office apologised on Tuesday for calling Golden Temple a mosque during a visit to Amritsar. On Monday he tweeted referring to the Golden Temple as the ‘Golden Mosque’ and was widely criticised on social media. Campaign group Sikh Federation (UK) gave him 24 hours to apologise to the Sikh community for calling the Sikhs’ holiest shrine a ‘mosque’.
McDonald apologised, tweeting: “I was wrong: I am sorry. I should, of course, have said the Golden Temple or, better, Sri Harmandir Sahib.”
Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “What hope is there for the average person to distinguish between Sikhs and Muslims if someone holding his position can make such a massive blunder while visiting the Sikh homeland? Unfortunately, it is this sort of ignorance or ‘mistaken identity’ that breeds hate and has resulted in Sikhs being abused, attacked and in some cases killed across the globe since 9/11.”
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