Solidarity Expressed with Sikh Community

Council of Pakistan American Affairs

“On behalf of the American Pakistani community, COPAA (Council of Pakistan American Affairs) expresses its solidarity with the Sikh community on the tragic shooting in Wisconsin, “ says a COPAA announcement. It adds:

“Although a difficult and emotional time for the victims, the families, and our nation, we must continue to strive even harder to build bridge of peace and understanding. This senseless act of one misguided individual must not deter us from the path of nation-building, forging partnerships with our nation’s rich and diverse communities, for a stronger United States of America. This, indeed, is a time for reflection, a time to say a prayer for the victims and time to stand together with all faith and non-faith based communities, and to let our Sikh brothers and sisters know that we stand with them at this critical hour.

“God bless the United States of America!”


American Muslim Alliance

Washington, DC: The American Muslim Alliance (AMA), a civic education organization, has “most vigorously condemned” the “terror” attack on the Sikh temple.

In addition to the initial statement of condemnation, AMA called an emergency meeting on August 6, and organized a US-wide conference call of Sikh-American, Muslim-American and Christian-American activists on August 7.

After analyzing the “oppressive coalition” of US state (as exemplified by the passage of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which dispenses with due process and habeas corpus) and the increasingly intolerant American Civil Society which has resulted in murder of more than 600 Sikh-Americans and even a higher number of Muslim-Americans, the conference call participants decided to jointly carry out a number of activities, which include 1) compiling a joint investigative report about the exact number of Sikh-Americans and Muslim-Americans killed in United States since 9/11, 2) sending a joint letter to President Obama and Mr. Eric Holder, 3) compiling a 21st century US Civil Rights Charter, and 4) holding a joint Civil Rights Forum at the AMA Hospitality Suite @ Blake Hotel during the upcoming 2012 Democratic Party Convention in Charlotte, NC.

Muslim Public Affairs Council

Los Angeles, CA: The Muslim Public Affairs Council offers its condolences to the Sikh community on this sad day when at least seven people, including the gunman, were killed following a shooting at an Oak Creek, WI, Sikh temple (Gurdwara).

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of the victims,” said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati. “This is a horrific crime, and we hope the police and FBI will be able to bring this case to a close.”

MPAC has reached out to its partners at the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) and The Sikh Coalition in Washington, DC, and New York to offer our sympathies and assistance. We stand united with our brothers and sister of faith...

The Gurdwara in Oak Creek was founded in 1997 and was home to more than 400 worshipers that worked and lived in the greater Milwaukee area. The Sikh Coalition said the Gurdwara had come to represent the valued contributions of the Sikh faith in a community where Sikhism was understood to be another contributing fabric in the fabric of American plurality.

The Sikh community has set up a task force to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the Sikh community is reassured of its safety.

If you feel threatened or want more information, please call the Sikh national helpline at 855-US-UMEED, says an MPAC press release.


United Muslims of America

“United Muslims of America (UMA), a public affairs organization, extends deepest condolences to families of slain victims and condemns the brutal attack on innocent people inside the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 5, 2012,” says a message.

“The shooting occurred Sunday morning that has left, according to news reports, 6 people and the gunman dead, and at least 3 others in critical condition, and many others injured. It is a shame that religious minorities are increasingly becoming targets of hate crimes in America since September 11, 2001. This kind of unwarranted killing stands against everything America stands for.

“We pray for the innocent people who died or got injured in the senseless shooting. UMA urges the community to stand together in solidarity with the Sikh community and take action to curb the hatred and bring tolerance, fairness, and justice in society.”


South Asian Network

Mr Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Executive Director, South Asian Network (SAN), has expressed great sadness on the tragic events which took place in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In a message he said, “As many of you know, a shooting occurred at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and took the lives of six innocent members of the South Asian community, leaving several others injured. Details are emerging about the killer and the circumstanc

-es surrounding the incident.

“SAN is outraged by this horrific act of violence against the community. But, it is not simply an attack on Sikh Americans, but an attack on all Americans who believe in tolerance and the free exercise of religion. The incident is yet another reminder that after 9/11, we must remain vigilant about protecting our rights and the rights of others.

” We at SAN also want to extend our deepest sympathies for the victims and their families.  We are working with members of the local Sikh community as well as other South Asian organizations around the country to respond to the needs of the community.  Our staff members are available to help in any way we can.  We offer the following services:
·      emotional support and counseling
·      case management
·      legal referrals
“Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help.  Our phone number is 562-403-0488.”

Muslim Advocates

San Francisco, CA: “Muslim Advocates stands in solidarity with the Sikh community and expresses its deepest sympathies for the victims, their families and the greater community that is suffering because of the senseless attack on innocent Sikh worshipers at the Oak Creek, WI gurdwara,” says a message received by Pakistan Link.

“This is a sad day for all Americans,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates. “All Americans have the right to practice their faith freely, and today our hearts are with our fellow Sikhs. While law enforcement has yet to officially determine the gunman’s motives, it is clear that he espoused values of hate and bigotry. Public officials need to step up and condemn hateful rhetoric, and employ policies that prevent this type of violence against innocent Americans from ever happening again.”


USPAK Foundation

USPAK Foundation and Pakistani Americans strongly condemn the senseless and horrific attack on the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Our hearts go out to the Sikh community in Wisconsin and around the world – we stand with you in solidarity during this sorrowful time.

Acts such as this remind us that prejudice, fear and hate can only lead to violence.  Though it is difficult to move beyond this tragedy, our resolve is only strengthened, and we will continue to work towards cultivating harmonious and peaceful coexistence. We believe that the first step to "waging peace" is through education and empowerment.

We call upon Americans to respond to this tragedy by supporting the families of the victims, and Sikh community members…

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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