Victims of Sikh temple shooting remembered on 1st anniversary

WiG and AP reports

Today marks the first anniversary of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and civil rights advocates are urging the president to hold a summit to address violence against religious minorities.

On Aug. 5, 2012, a gunman with neo-Nazi ties stormed into a gurdwara in Oak Creek and began firing. He killed six people and wounded three others in what is remembered as one of the most lethal attacks on an American house of worship since the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

In a joint statement released on Aug. 5, The Sikh Coalition, Muslim Advocates, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Anti-Defamation League, Interfaith Alliance, Rights Working Group and American Civil Liberties Union remembered the victims and their families.

The statement said, “We hope that our national leaders will address the escalating crisis of violence and discrimination against religious minorities in America. Too many lives have been destroyed because of hate violence from the shooting at the Oak Creek gurdwara to the multitude of violent attacks on members from the Arab, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and South Asian American communities.”

“Approximately 100 organizations and 37 members of Congress have called on President Obama to directly tackle the problem and host a summit to find solutions on how to protect religious minorities and prevent violence and discrimination. Now, more than ever, President Obama’s leadership is critical to this issue; we hope that he will take action and that tragedies such as these never happen again.” 

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