CAPAC Marks Fifth Anniversary of Oak Creek Gurdwara Shooting

Aug 3, 2017 Issues: Civil Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, shooting where a gunman opened fire at a Sikh gurdwara and killed six people. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“Five years after the tragic shooting at a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, we pause to remember the lives lost in this senseless act of violence. The tragedy at Oak Creek reverberated across the nation because it was an attack on our shared American values of tolerance and religious freedom. Unfortunately, we have seen a dangerous rise in hate violence targeting Sikh, Muslim, South Asian, and Middle Eastern communities in recent months that serves as a sobering reminder that we still have work to do. As we reflect on the lives that were lost five years ago, let us also recommit ourselves to speaking out against prejudice and violence whenever it occurs. Hate, in any form, has no place in America.”

Congressman Joe Crowley (NY-14), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus:

“Five years ago, our nation was struck by a cowardly and tragic act of violence that took the lives of six innocent worshippers in a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. As we grieve for the victims, their loved ones, and the greater Sikh American community, we are reminded that much work remains to be done. Whether it is a gurdwara in Oak Creek, a church in Charleston, or a mosque in Quebec City, an attack on one faith is an attack on all. On this somber anniversary, we must reaffirm our commitment to fighting intolerance anywhere and everywhere.”

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08):

“Every year, my heart breaks with the memory of those we lost on this day five years ago at the Oak Creek Gurdwara, where innocent lives were taken in a senseless act of violence and hate. This year, the tragedy at Oak Creek is particularly resonant as we have witnessed an increase in hate crimes against Sikh Americans, Indian Americans, and other communities. As I reflect on the tragedy in Oak Creek, and those this year, I’m also reminded of the difference made by those who have stood up to hate: Police Lt. Brian Murphy was shot twelve times in the defense of the gurdwara, Sikh leaders have continued to speak out against prejudice and violence, and thousands across the nation have joined their call. As we mourn and honor the lives lost five years ago, we must recommit ourselves to combatting hatred and intolerance against every community.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“On the fifth anniversary of the tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, my thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this horrific act of hate and violence. No community should have to live in fear of violence because of their religious identity. Hate crimes like this are a betrayal of the American promise that people of all backgrounds will be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity.  As we pause to remember those we lost in Oak Creek, we must also recommit ourselves to ridding our society of hatred and discrimination.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):

"Five years after the senseless shooting in Oak Creek, WI, we continue to remember the innocent victims who were killed in this horrible attack. For many generations, the Sikh-American community has made important contributions to our nation and it is unacceptable that they continue to be targets of violence and bigotry. We must combat racism, intolerance, and violence wherever it exists. My heart aches for all who have been impacted by the terrible tragedy in Oak Creek, and the victims and their families remain in our thoughts and prayers.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.