Hate and Ignorance Leads to Another Mass Shooting at Wisconsin Sikh Temple -By Kevin Holmes | WRAL

On July 20, a young man with bright red hair blended in with a crowd anxious midnight movie-goers eagerly waiting to see the new Batman movie at Century 16 in Aurora, Colorado. The young man entered the theater and slipped out an emergency exit, leaving the door ajar. He reentered the theater a few minutes after the movie began. Protected by full body armor and armed with an AR-15, he opened fire on the unsuspecting audience. When the bullets stop flying, 12 people were dead, 58 injured. The man, later identified as James Holmes, was taken into custody without incident. His motives remain unknown.

Fast-forward two weeks, another mass shooting. . .

Satwant Kaleka, president of the temple, was killed by the gunman while trying to protect those in his temple. Photo: HUMAYUN M @ 18% GREY

DURHAM, N.C. —Sikhs of the Triangle said hatred and ignorance were to blame for a mass shooting at a Wisconsin temple Sunday.

An unidentified gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee in a rampage that left terrified congregants hiding in closets and others texting friends outside for help. The suspect was killed outside the temple in a shootout with police officers.

Police called the attack an act of domestic terrorism, but did not provide any details about the gunman or suggest a possible motive, including whether he specifically targeted the Sikh temple.

Tejphal Singh Dhillon, who co-founded the 600-member Sikh Gurdwara of North Carolina in Durham, said the victims in Wisconsin share a common enemy with Sikhs in the Triangle.

“Our common enemy is hatred and ignorance,” he said. “If we can remove this hatred and ignorance, then we’d all be winners.”

Daljit Caberwal, another of the temple’s founding members, said that people have a lot of misunderstandings about the Sikh religion. “I don’t know the exact motivation, but I think one of the reasons could be mistaking Sikhs for the followers of bin Laden,” Caberwal said. “We are mistaken for our identity.”

Sikh men traditionally wear turbans and grow beards, Caberwal said, which causes them to frequently be confused with Muslims.

“When September 11 happened, pictures of bin Laden were posted on the TV and press media wearing a turban and a beard,” he said. “Basically, it’s a question of ignorance. Hopefully, with more education, people will soon find out who Sikhs are and hopefully this confusion will someday will go away.”

He said the Sikh faith – the fifth largest religion in the world with about 80 percent of its followers living in India–is “peace-loving.” There are about 250,000 to 300,000 in the United States.

“We are proud to be patriotic, fellow Americans,” he said. “This incident is an unfortunate one… (but) once we come to know people and people come to know us, there are no walls in between.” The World Sikh Council released a statement Sunday condemning the Wisconsin temple shooting and calling for a “prayerful response.”

“This is a troubling day, not only for Sikh-Americans, but also for all Americans,” Sikh leaders said in the statement.

Reprint: Triangle Sikhs Blame Ignorance for Wisconsin Temple Shooting -By Kevin Holmes | WRAL.com

Introduction by blogger SWilliamsJD


6 thoughts on “Hate and Ignorance Leads to Another Mass Shooting at Wisconsin Sikh Temple -By Kevin Holmes | WRAL

  1. There are additional heroes of Sandy Hook:
    Alison Amanzio
    Carol Wexler
    Kathy Gramolini
    Kate Anderhaggen
    Carrie Usher
    Courtney Martin
    Leslie Gunn
    Teri Alves
    Connie Sullivan

  2. Yes, and I did a story on the Sandy Hook School Shooting on December 17, 2012. I not only listed the victims by name but created a slideshow in their honor. See https://swilliamsjd.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/remembering-the-victims-of-the-sandy-hook-elementary-school-massacre. There are also countless urban youth who die of gun violence every day and collectively their numbers far overshadow the Sandy Hook numbers. Those children are just as young and innocent. Let’s remember them as well. Better yet let’s do something to reduce the likelihood of gun violence against all innocents.

  3. There is another shooting: Sandy Hook.

    There are countless heroes that day:
    Mary Sherlach
    Dawn Hochsprung
    Victoria Soto
    Rachel D’Avino
    Anne Marie Murphy
    Lauren Rousseau
    Rick Thorne
    Maryrose Kristopik
    Kaitlin Roig
    Natalie Hammond
    Yvonne Cech
    Mary Ann Jacob
    Abbey Clements
    Laura Feinstein
    Janet Vollmer
    Ted Varga
    Aiden Licata
    Jesse Lewis
    Gene Rosen

    This time, the man was 20 years old and he took his own life. One hundred years from now, one of the last survivors would have said, “I was saved by Ted Varga!”

  4. Love won. Love saved so many lives that day, thanks to five heroes: Satwant Singh Kaleka (gave his life saving others and stopping the gunman), Abhay Singh and Amanat Kaur Singh (children saved lives by warning them to hide), Officer Brian James Murphy (Semper Fi and he saved many lives), and Officer Savan Nick “Sam” Lenda (brought the gunman down and he due to retire in less than 2 years). Up to 100 years from now, one of the last survivors of the Sikh Temple shooting would have said, “I saved a life when I was a young boy,” or “I saved a life when I was a young girl” or “I was saved by children!” After all the Sikh Temple shooting survivors have passed on, the hole will remain in the temple forever and please remember, “We are one!” The gunman, Wade Michael Page took his own life and he is gone for good. Page is going to be forgotten and Kaleka is going to be remembered forever as a hero and a legend!

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