Sikhism, the Seduction of Modernism, and the Question of Violence *
This chapter lays out the evidence that suggests that the Sikhs have committed religiously motivated violence. It discusses the Abrahamic focus on the divine Word, which in the form of explicit declarations and commands have led to violence committed in the name of God. The chapter examines the general Abrahamic demand for the purity of revelation and a firm rejection of religious syncretism. It explores the precolonial Sikhs participated in Hindu rituals and the scripture Guru Granth Sahib that contains hymns and poetry from non-Sikhs. The chapter also discusses how divine transcendence in the Abrahamic religions may have desacralized the world to the point where any activity could be permitted. It argues that what fundamentalist tendencies the Sikhs have developed are primarily due to their attempts to conform to colonialist and thoroughly modernist conceptions of self, religion, and nationhood.