Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Tragic Wisconsin Gurdwara Shooting Leaves 7 Dead

SALDEF Assisting Local Community; Ensuring Accurate Media Coverage about Sikhs

Earlier today, a shooting occurred at the Sikh Gurdwara (Sikh congregational place of worship) in Oak Creek, WI, in what law enforcement has described as an act of domestic terrorism.  The unprecedented attack has left seven people dead and injured over a handful of innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the Oak Creek community following this tragic attack at the Gurdwara.

“The Sikh American community, like all Americans, is shocked after this attack,” said SALDEF Managing Director Kavneet Singh.  “We mourn the loss of those who were killed today and pray for the swift recovery of the those injured, including the veteran police officer who put himself in harm’s way to protect his community.”

SALDEF thanks our friends and neighbors from across the country for the outpouring of support and condolences as we come together to mourn and heal as one unified national community standing together against violence and bigotry.

“This attack is particularly troubling due to its occurrence at a place of worship,” said Mr. Singh. “All houses of worship, like this gurdwara, are places of peace. Attacks at any of the nation’s houses of worship must be condemned by all Americans. This type of crime strikes at the very foundation of religious freedom, among the fundamental principles upon which this country was built.”

SALDEF is responding to many of local and national media inquiries to provide accurate and timely information as they report on the tragic events of the day, and we will continue to serve as a resource through the coming days. If you receive any media requests that you would like assistance with please contact SALDEF at 202.393.2700 or at Click here to email.

21 Responses to “Tragic Wisconsin Gurdwara Shooting Leaves 7 Dead”

  1. Anjali Kaur says:

    I was horrified when I saw this pop up on the news.
    But infuriated by the lack of coverage on network television. I sat and watched a live broadcast from a news network from and Indian News station. But nothing on any of the network station in the Los Angeles area. I called New York and nothing there.
    The only station covering anything was in the local area where this happened. If this had been one from our community that went to a Church and did the same thing the news would have been broadcasted across all 50 states in seconds.

  2. We need to issue press releases about the abhorrent crime both on the national and local front and educate the American people.

    Can we lauch a mass campaign across the county. If it comes from all corners of the country it will be heard. Our voice needs to be heard. Do you have a way to communicate to all the gurdwaras in the states. Do we have a collective list of phones or email address.

  3. Barbara Taylor says:

    Some of the finest students I ever worked with, some of whom are part of the SALDEF community, were at the High School for Science and Engineering Professions at Dunbar High School in Fort Worth, TX. Their loving, conscientious devotion, not only to knowledge and excellence, but also to their fellow students, a multicultural roster who came through those doors, some of whom I had the privilege of accepting into the program and mentoring toward their college paths, caused me to appreciate and love them all deeply. I read daily evidence on FB that they are all still connected, still interacting, still rooting for one another, in their various paths to careers in medicine, engineering, and other high-level academics and research. I am so sorry that this tragedy has happened to these people, our loving brothers and sisters in American freedom. Blessings and comfort be to each of you.

  4. T J Singh says:

    Please do not criticize. they are doing what is lawful

    please appreciate the timely response of the Police Officers and thanks them for saving many more .

    yes we need to be viigl but please have more interfaith dialogue in your local community, invite neighbors in your services and have local community picnics.

    Really open your doors to every one like the guru’s did

    Practice your faith outside the walls of your own Gurudwars.

    Forgive me being candid and apologize if i offended any one.

    Best wishes for your good work

    T J Singh

  5. Goldy Shergill says:

    This is the gurdwara my parents attend every Sunday. Heartbreaking news. We pray for the victims and the officer who bravely protected our community from further harm.

  6. Puneet Kaur says:

    May Waheguru bless all that have lost their lives and those who are injured.

  7. Jewish friends, Roman Catholic Bishop, and some of the people who worked with Gabrielle Giffords office during the time of the Jan. 8 2011 shooting in Tucson AZ called me immediately to offer their comfort and concerns. We will have a gurdwara soon to honor our families. Wahe guru.

  8. Danny Blackburn says:

    Good Evening Saldef Member’s I know you’re hurting today over this tragic shooting it’s so sad my heart goes out to you all and I don’t know why people have to be so cold and evil we all have to love each other not kill one another I’m american and I’ve wore the turban since 09 and it doesn’t make me a bad person and the one’s that doing these hate crime’s shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover they need to read the book before they judge it and I love all religion’s and I love all race’s of life and I’m here for you all and I want you to publish this if you want I want the people that’s doing these hate crime’s to see how I feel toward’s them we’re not suppost to kill we’re suppost to love and help one another but anyway have a blessed evening talk to you later. Love Always

  9. Giovanni Conti says:

    Attacking anyone because of their religious beliefs is just so incredibly wrong but to attack the Sikhs? Why? i just don’t get it… they (you) have never done anything that has been harmful to anyone, ever.

    i am so sorry this happened to you.
    giovanni conti

  10. Navpreet kaur says:

    Heart felt condolences to those families and all Sikh nation who lost loved ones in this terrible event. All of Sikh youth of British Columbia Canada is doing Ardaas simran for recovery for injured and ones we’ve lost. VAHEGURU Ji’s bhana.

  11. Marvin F says:

    I am very sorry to hear of the attacks. This is quite troubling. The Sikhs are not bothering anybody in their worship. The Sikh temple is a place of peace and we all have freedom to practice religion. This type of unprovoked violence must not be tolerated. My condolences go out to the victims and their families.

  12. Thom Maxwell says:

    My heart aches tonight… what a senseless waste of life and energy. To the people of Oak Creek , you are in my heart and prayers. To all my brothers and sisters of the Sikh faith I know we will find it in our hearts to forgive and try to bring something positive out of this tragedy. If nothing else may it help people to see that Sikhs are not Muslims. The Sikh faith is a peace loving religion for all peoples…

  13. kulwant singh says:

    We need to emphasize to White house, State Govts. and other political groups that education about Sikhism need to introduced in all elementary / Junior High schools on an emergency basis. The curriculum and content materials need to be approved by Sikh organizations like yours, Sikh Coalition, United Sikhs etc.

  14. Ashok Batra, Esq. says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go to the innocent victims of this heinous and senseless crime of shooting in Wisconsin Gurudwara. The shooting of people who gathered to offer prayers and worship in a holy place is unpardonable.

  15. Debra East says:

    This news breaks into my heart. I am thinking of all those immediately harmed and seeking where to apply my compassion most appropriately.

  16. ko shin Bob Hanson says:

    Deep bows of compassion and comfort for all our Sikh sisters and brothers in Oak Creek Gurdwara. We pray for those who lost their lives and their families, for those recovering from wounds, including the policeman who stopped this killer. Let us stand together as we call for the leaders of the right wing including Mitt to silence the hate fear mongering that brings this and other tragedies. Blessings, comfort and peace for all.

  17. WaheGuruJiKaKhalsa WaheGuruJiKiFatahe
    Our love and ardas are with all of the members of the Wisconsin Gurudwara,and especially the family members who lost their loved ones as well as the families of the 25 year veteran police officer who gave his life serving and protecting and the police officer who was severely wounded during this cowardly attack of domestic terrorism. “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord and we pray that are unity will this day be restored and they’ll know that we are Khalsa by our love, by our love, yes they’ll know that we are Khalsa by our Love.” Although this song that we sing in Gurudwara is explanatory of the true nature of Khalsa we are not only saints but soldiers as well documented by our tenth Beloved Guru Gobind Singh Ji. In light of this blatent and merciless attack on one of our Beloved Sadh Sangats here in the land of the free and the home of the brave just as our tenth Guru declared to the SadhSangat that none of them would be allowed to have his darshan if they were not armed, it is time for us to heed the call. If our gurudwaras are to become the next targets of domestic terrorism and we are not properly armed then we will suffer severe consequences. Of what use are kirpans against an ak47?

  18. J.S.GOGIA says:

    We in India deeply shocked to hear this shooting incident. Would you please produce full detail of the incident and the culprits behind it? Is it a hate crime and by whom; it is realy a sad state.

  19. Dear family members:
    My family wish to express our deepist sympathy upon the untimely death of your loved ones. Please keep in mind that you are not alone in this tragedy,but the whole Sikh Nation stand by you in this hours of grief. This is a time to accept His will gladly. We are a Nation who daily pray Nanak Naam Chardi Kalan theire bhane sarbat da bhala. May Almighty God grant you all courage to bear this loss and keep the departed souls in peace and His protective hands. Dr. Piara Singh, Cerritos, CA USA.

  20. In the Name of God, The Compassionate, The Merciful
    All Dulles Area Muslim Society
    46903 Sugarland Rd, Sterling VA 20164

    The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) stands in solidarity with Sikh American Community after the horrific tragedy in Wisconsin.

    ADAMS is outraged and extremely saddened by the shooting at the Sikh Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) in Wisconsin which has killed six people and injured three, including a police officer. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sikh community, the victims and their families, and all law enforcement in this difficult time. We understand that the motives of this crime are still under investigation, and that the FBI is investigating this as an alleged domestic terrorist incident. The ADAMS community condemns terrorism, violence and hate crimes of any type.

    We are also dismayed that in the past 10 years, Sikh-Americans have experienced a rise in verbal and physical violence against their community. In 2010, two Sikh Americans were tragically killed in Elk Grove, CA; another two were shot there in 2011, one fatally. American Sikhs have often been mistaken for American Muslims simply because of their long beards and turbans, and both Sikhs and Muslim have been targets for hate crimes and threats.

    ADAMS encourages all Americans to be extra vigilant in our common struggle against behavior that threatens the very core of our nation’s principles, and to cooperate with law enforcement Agencies to bring justice to the victims of these attacks. Our Center continues to work with local law enforcement and national Agencies like the FBI Washington Field Office to assure the safety of all communities and prevent all hate crimes, while building enduring relationships based on respect and cooperation. We appreciate the devotion and the steadfast efforts of our local government officials to support and protect all minorities in America.

    We urge a swift and effective investigation into the shooting in Wisconsin, and we join the Sikh community and law enforcement in sending a clear message that any such intimidation or hate crime against any innocent communities in the United States can and will never be tolerated.

    All Dulles Area Muslim Society(ADAMS) is one of the largest Muslim communities/mosques in the DC Metro Area and in the United States.ADAMS is a non profit 501c(3) Organization. ADAMS serves over 6000 families and has 10 branches in Virginia/DC – (Sterling/Herndon, Tysons Corner, Fairfax, Reston, Ashburn/Leesburg, Sully/Chantilly, South Riding, Greater Gainesville, Crystal City, and Washington DC).ADAMS Center is governed by a 13-member democratically elected board of trustees comprising of men and women. ADAMS engages in regular interfaith, government relations, social services, and community service. ADAMS has one of the largest Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Girl Scout programs in the DC Metro area.

  21. Mandeep Nagra says:

    We need to collectively spread awareness about sikhs and Sikhism in some ignorant Americans. Sikh Gurudwaras are not doing enough to reach out to American communities. Big events like Yuba city nagar keertan or New York Baisakhi nagar keertan should try to reach out to local Americans. National prime time TV advertisement about Sikhs and Sikhism should be telecast the week of 4th of July, Anniversary of 9/11 and Memorial and Veterans day, every year.
    Sikhs need to donate and reach out to widows and orphans of American soldiers as well.

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