Today six innocent Sikh worshippers who were shot in their place of worship for no apparent reason, will be cremated. The funeral is as a result of the brutal gun attack by a former-American soldier at a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last Sunday.
To mark the funeral, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund has called for a “National Day of Remembrance and Solidarity.” Vigils are being held across the country as well as worldwide.
It was shocking to see a gurdwara making live global news but for such unfortunate reasons last Sunday. Sky, BBC and CNN news covered the story a couple of hours after it happened. Social networks began covering the story in tweets and updates before that.
Amitabh Bachchan was the first Indian actor to tweet about it. This is testament to the significance and impact of a dreadful attack to worshippers who were none the wiser to a, presumably psychotic, man that showed up with the motive to go on a killing spree.
It’s sparked a debate on the treatment of Sikhs in America post-9/11 because they are often mistaken for being Muslim and associated with Osama Bin Laden because of their turban and beard. Anti-Islamic sentiment has triggered over 700 reported attacks to Sikhs in the country.
The motive behind this particular attack is yet unknown although the 40-year-old former soldier, Michael Wade, who killed 6 Sikhs before being shot dead by a police officer, was the former lead of a white supremacist group.
It’s so disturbing that hate or prejudice to this scale for any community can drive a person to indiscriminately take lives. The gurdwara was predominately full of women and children at the time because a Punjabi class was being conducted.
I shudder to think what they must’ve gone through when an unwanted, unexpected, unprovoked evil man opened fire arbitrarily in the place they considered most precious and safe – their place of worship.
It sickens me to think we are in the twenty-first century yet barbaric attitudes remain in the un-evolved minds of bigoted, prejudice, uneducated and narrow-minded fools. I’m against capital punishment but sometimes I find myself debating with my conscience– could such sick minds be influenced to change or are they so corrupt that they don’t deserve a dignified life?