Oak Creek Gurdwara Attack: Leaders Call For Removal Of Hatred
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – Remembering the victims of a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012, leaders urged the community to rise above hatred and bigotry, and work to end gun violence in the country.
On August 5, 2012, the Sikh community of Oak Creek came under attack when army veteran Wade Page stormed the Gurdwara and gunned down six worshippers, before shooting himself dead. A seventh person, who was severely paralyzed, died from his injuries in 2020.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers tweeted on August 5 “Today, on the anniversary of the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Kathy and I are thinking about the victims, their families, and a community forever changed by an act of senseless gun violence. We must keep working to ensure hate and violence never have a home here.”
Stating that hate has no home in Wisconsin, Senator Tammy Baldwin tweeted that on the 11th anniversary of the mass shooting, she is “thinking of all the victims, survivors, and their families. I stand with Wisconsin’s Sikh community as we rise above hate & violence with strength & unity”.
Things took a turn for the worse for Sikhs after September 11 attacks when they were mistaken for Muslims due to their long beards.
According to recent FBI statistics, a total of 1,005 hate crimes related to religion were reported in 2021 in the US with Sikhs being the most targeted religious group.
The largest categories of religion-based crime included anti-Jewish incidents at 31.9 percent followed by anti-Sikh incidents at 21.3 percent.