In the wake of the horrific attack at the Sikh gurudwara yesterday, I share my deepest condolences with the families of the victims and the Sikh community at large. Last night, the Hindu American Foundation – of which I am a part – released the following statement:
We, at the Hindu American Foundation, join all Americans in shared shock, disbelief, and outrage over today’s tragic events that unfolded at the holy gurudwara, or Sikh temple, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin earlier today. At least six Sikh Americans are dead, several are injured, including a valiant police officer who killed the assailant, and we face another day of catastrophe that is as outrageous as numbingly familiar.
Dharma traditions–the Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Hindus–hold non-violence and peaceful co-existence as paramount values. It is a cruel irony that Sikhs, donning the turban as among proud symbols of a spiritual mandate to serve humanity as defenders of dharma against all onslaughts, find themselves sought out and victimized by ignorant assailants on too many occasions.
We call on all Americans today to join Sikhs in mourning a senseless attack and to take this opportunity to not only learn about the sublime teachings of Sikh gurus, the Sikh faith, and the meanings of its external symbols, but also join hands to ensure that the gurudwaras remain sanctuaries of joyous worship and celebrated sharing of langar, or community meals, for generations to come.