Conservative Politician Has The Internet Groaning After Thanking Sikhs For Letting Him Visit Their ‘Mosque’

Public officials should do some research before commenting on places of worship.

Any ignorant “slip of the tongue,” will not fall on deaf ears, as Birmingham mayor Andy Street discovered.

The conservative mayor and former managing director of U.K.-based department store chain John Lewis casually thanked a group of Sikh worshippers at the Vaisakhi celebrations for welcoming him into their “mosque.”

He told a KTP reporter on Sunday at the Sikh religious festival:

“Brilliant to be able to join the Nagar Kirtan here from the Guru Nanak Mosque in Smethwick.”

For those less familiar with the religion but wise enough to prepare before making public statements, Muslims worship at a mosque, whereas Sikhs worship at a temple called a Gurdwara, which means “door to the guru.”

The Nagar Kirtan is a Sikh custom involving a processional singing of holy hymns.

Chalk it up to ignorance, but Street, despite his good intentions, would’ve been spared the backlash had he prepared a bit.

After a video of his holy blunder circulated, the 55-year-old politician did apologize, claiming that he “muddled” his words.

“Vaisakhi in Birmingham and Smethwick was yet again an amazing experience. All places of worship and festivals of all religions should be respected. I’m sorry I muddled my words.”

“I hope no offence was caused, particularly as the Guru Nanak Gurdwara has always offered me a characteristic warm welcome.”

His apology was not enough to convince everyone.

The Twitter user who exposed Street’s gaffe by posting a video said she wanted to “show the ignorance,” according to the Independent.

“He’s an elected official. The standard we judge him against is slightly higher than the average person [because] of the responsibility on his shoulders.”

One user added his pronunciation of “Nagar Kirtan” was a little janky.

Sikh worshippers were more forgiving.

It was still perceived as unacceptable.

His mixup of synagogues and churches was dissected.

Conservative MP Mike Fabricant came to Street’s defense by explaining the mayor was “tired,” and mentioned other political figures who have made their own slipups.

Look, we’ve all been there and spoke before thinking, or consulting.

But in tumultuous times of rampant religious persecution, we all need to do better. Otherwise, we’re no better than the xenophobe in the Oval Office.