FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 20012
MUSLIM and IMMIGRANT ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS CONDEMN MILWAUKEE SIKH TEMPLE MASSACRE
Indian Minorities Advocacy Network (ImanNet) and Muslim Peace Coalition USA (www.muslimpeacecoalitionusa.com) have condemned the heinous terrorist attack on Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI and the cold-blooded massacre of innocent worshipers.
According to initial reports a white gunman shot thirty worshipers in the Sikh temple killing six people. The victims include one police officer who valiantly shot the gunman down in spite of himself being gravely wounded himself.
Dr. Shaik Ubaid, a founding member of both advocacy organizations, ImanNet and MPC-USA, have expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. He has urged the Muslims to hold special prayer services in this holy month of Ramadan for the victims of the massacre. He has urged mosques and temples to ask for extra police protection and to put security measures in place.
Dr. Ubaid said "The campaign of hatemongering against the religious minorities and immigrants that is being supported by some mainstream politicians has endangered all Americans. Some Hindu extremist groups in the US have joined hands with other Islamophobic hate-peddlers. They should now realize that the hate that they are spreading endangers all South Asians irrespective of their religious backgrounds and will not be limited to hatred against Muslims. Attacks on Muslims and Sikhs are on the rise in the US as a consequence of hate propaganda.The first person who was killed after 9/11 was a Sikh who was mistaken for a Muslim."
ImanNet also announced that it will redouble the efforts to mobilize the inter-faith groups and coalitions to counter hate mongering at the grassroots level in cities and towns across the US. They had launched this campaign with Burma Task Force to increase awareness about the religiously sanctioned ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims going on in Myanmar (Burma) and to urge the Buddhist leadership in the US to take a more high profile stand. The campaign will now incorporate the hate mongering going on in the US.
Statement from the World Sikh Council:
The World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR) is shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless shooting which occurred earlier today at the Sikh Gurdwara of Wisconsin in Oak Creek near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It has been reported that a suspect opened fire on a weekly congregation of the Sikhs while a reading of the Sikh scripture was in progress. Current reports say that there are 7 deaths, including an assailant, and many injured. One brave police officer was also one of those injured.
WSC-AR offers its condolences and support to the victims, their families, the law enforcement agencies (especially the police officer shot in the line of duty) and the surrounding community. This is a troubling day, not only for Sikh-Americans, but also for all Americans.
In the coming days, along with Sikh advocacy organizations, we will be working with public officials, and law enforcement authorities, to understand the events of today and to help the community in whatever way we can. The Council will also be providing support mediums for our interreligious partners and the public as we sort out this situation. This shooting comes on the heels of another tragedy, as our country continues to recover from the senseless shootings in Aurora, Colorado.
We urge all to pray for the victims, their families and friends, and the surrounding community. We also express our gratitude towards the law enforcement authorities for their prompt and effective response to the situation as it unfolded. We offer our appreciation for the bravery of the police officer shot, offer condolences, and pray that he will recover fully soon. As we learn more about the situation, we will keep the public updated and informed. We thank you for your patience and prayers during these difficult times. The World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR) is the umbrella organization representative of Sikhs in the United States. It is an elected body of Sikh Gurdwaras and institutions. Currently 47 Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions across the nation are members of WSC-AR. The major governing purpose of the organization is to represent the collective view of Sikhs in the United States. WSC-AR works to promote Sikh interests at the national and international level focusing on issues of advocacy, education, and well-being of humankind.
Statement from the Maine Council of Churches:
"As people of faith we deplore and lament such senseless acts of violence and terror. When these incidents occur against a community of people, worshipping peacefully, there is an extra element of grief and outrage. Our prayers are with our Sikh brothers and sisters in Wisconsin and across the country, with all the victims and their families."