Sikh Shooting

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Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 09/23/2012 09:53 AM

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Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting

August 5, 2012 was a day filled with fear and chaos for an Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sikh temple. Priests began to prepare lunch as members of the congregation arrived for the usual Sunday services. It was an ordinary day, until an armed man entered the temple and started to fire his gun. Fearful congregants hid in bathrooms and prayer halls while making frantic phone calls begging for help from anyone they were able to reach. By the time the first police officer had arrived, six people already lay dead and three others were wounded. The killer, Wade Michael Page, was shot in the stomach by another officer, and then fatally shot himself in the head. Many people see this incident as an act of terrorism, but investigations are still not complete.

Not only did the mass shooting have a large affect on Oak Creek, Wisconsin, it also has an impact on the rest of the United States. Many Sikh communities across the nation wish for a better public understanding of their religion. They are often mistaken for being Muslim because of the way they dress and external symbols of their beliefs (turbans and beards). Since 9/11, Sikhs have faced many hardships in schools, airports, and have even been denied employment. They struggle for equality and do not have the same opportunities in education, employment, or housing. Many Sikhs believe racism, ignorance, and hatred are to blame for the shooting in the temple. Incidents like these clearly show that our nation still has a long way to go in understanding and becomi