The shooting of the congregation at the Sikh Gurudwara in Wisconsin reminds us that we live in uncertain and unpredictable times. The killing of innocents, Sikh or not, is always unjustifiable and we at the Sikh Activist Network take time to grieve and remember the ones who lost their lives in Wisconsin, from the members of the congregation to the police officers who tackled the suspect.
We believe that this attack reminds us of the barriers Sikhs face in the USA especially post 9/11. Though some call it mistaken identity, in that Sikhs are confused for Muslims, this belief is problematic in its underlying assumption – it would somehow be ok if they were Muslim. Indeed Sikhs are not Muslims, but killing anybody based on what they believe goes against some of the underlying beliefs that the people of the United States of America stand for, along with the teachings of the Sikh Gurus.
Instead we should remember that there are people who hold such deep-rooted hatred that they would take a life to nourish it. There is only one way to fight such hatred; we must harness the power of love. We think the best road for the Sikh community to heal is to solidify and reinforce our founding principles of Nam Japna, Wand key Shakna and Kirat Karni (Meditation, sharing your earnings, and living honestly) and realize them with a renewed conviction.