My deepest condolences and prayers to my sisters and brothers in the American Sikh community (and all Sikhs, globally) who lost loved ones and community members in the horrific act of violence that occurred today in Wisconsin.
I have been following online news sources for a couple of hours this afternoon, weeping and sick to my stomach imagining the peaceful and open sanctity of the gurdwara, which is used for prayer and praise of God, being violated by a murderous hate crime.
This senseless, meaningless act of violence against congregants in the gurdwara was most likely meant for the oft maligned community of American Muslims, for my community.We don’t know the full story yet, but we know that such things have happened before. Ignorance is rampant, and it is highly possible that the terrorist intended to kill Muslims today. Ignorance and hate are a diabolical combination. The perpetrators of such crimes only see ‘foreign’ and don’t care to educated themselves or gain any understanding of those who they hate. Sikhs, Muslims, and many others are all the same boat together struggling for acceptance in our broader US communities in an atmosphere that has sometimes shown us prejudice and intolerance, but we love this country and hope that we will be embraced here in the spirit of unity and welcoming of difference. Many have treated us this way, too.
The fearful thought that something like this could happen in my local mosque and in my children’s Islamic pre-school has crossed my mind a number of times. It is one of my worst fears. I’m filled with sorrow that such fears have been realized and that someone attacked a congregation of men, women, and children while they were gathered in peace and love for morning worship at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin sangat.
I stand in solidarity with Sikh Americans and condemn this wicked act. Many prayers. May God’s Mercy be upon us all.