OMG: At Least 7 Dead In Mass Shooting At Wisconsin Temple
Posted by Katie Ostoich on August 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Not weeks after the attack in Aurora, Colorado, we are facing another mass shooting, this time directed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin during Sunday services. The suspect has been identified as 40-year-old Wade Michael Page, a former U.S. Army soldier.
Authorities told CBS News this morning that Page -- who was also killed in a shootout with cops -- opened fire at a suburban Milwaukee temple, critically wounding three and killing seven worshipers during Sunday services.
Police and the FBI haven't revealed a possible motive in the Sunday morning rampage that shocked Oak Creek. Tattoos on the body of Page and certain biographical details led the FBI to treat the attack as an act of domestic terrorism, Los Angeles Times said quoting sources. Eyewitnesses have said that the shooter had a "9/11 tattoo" on his arm.
Several leaders of Sikh organizations nationwide say the killings have brought to the surface fears that have lingered since 9/11 when some ignorant about their beliefs began mistaking them for potential terrorists.
"This is something we have been fearing since 9/11, that this kind of incident will take place," said Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Washington-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education. "It was a matter of time because there's so much ignorance and people confuse us (as) being members of Taliban or belonging to (Osama) bin Laden."
In fact, the Sikh religion has nothing to do with Islam. Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world with a population of upwards of 30 million worldwide. There are an estimated 250,000 Sikhs in the United States having first arrived in the late 19th century. Sikhism was founded in the Punjab region in India in the 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev. Sikhism broke from Hinduism due, in part, to its rejection of the caste system. It is a monotheistic religion, and the basic Sikh belief is represented in the phrase Ik Onkar meaning "One God."
Because of its rejection of the caste system, Sikhism has a strong background in promoting equality and was one of the first belief systems to champion equality for women. Among people who know followers, Sikhs are known as honest, kind, and peaceful. Just because they don’t cut their hair and wear turbans and believe something different doesn’t automatically make them an enemy.
Our verdict: OMG. It is so sad that ignorance (and by that I don’t mean lack of intelligence, I mean lack of knowledge and understanding) continues to run rampant and cause so much violence. My heart breaks for the families of the vicitms. The hate in this country will destroy us if we let it.