CAPAC Members Remember Anniversary of Oak Creek Gurdwara Shooting

Aug 3, 2018 Issues: Civil Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 5, 2018 marks the sixth anniversary of the Oak Creek, Wisconsin shooting during which 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:

“Six years after the horrific Oak Creek shooting, we continue to honor the lives of Suveg Singh Khattra, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Ranjit Singh, Sita Singh, Paramjit Kaur, and Prakash Singh, who were tragically murdered when a gunman opened fire on their place of worship. Unfortunately, six years later, we continue to see alarming incidents of hate violence targeting Sikh, Muslim, South Asian, and Middle Eastern communities. In fact, just last week, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal was subjected to religious slurs by two radio hosts who mocked him for wearing a turban. This sort of bigotry is despicable and fails to reflect our values as a nation. Now, more than ever, we must recommit ourselves to speaking out against religious intolerance and reaffirm that hate has no place in America.”

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

“Six years ago, the lives of six innocent and peaceful worshippers were taken in a senseless act of hate. As we mark this solemn day with heavy hearts, we are painfully reminded that the Sikh community, and people of other faiths, ethnicities, and races, continue to be targets of bigotry and violence. We owe it to the victims of the Oak Creek tragedy to come together and renew our commitment to fighting intolerance whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. Every person in this country, no matter where they come from, what they look like, or who they pray to, deserves to live in peace.”

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08):

“Though six years have passed, I am still overcome with grief over the tragedy at Oak Creek Gurdwara. As families, including children, gathered together in community and faith, their peace was shattered by a senseless, hate-filled attack. Since that day, we have seen even more alarming attacks on those of the Sikh faith, Indian-Americans, and other communities across the country. Our nation must honor the victims who were injured and those who lost their lives on August 5, 2012 by dedicating ourselves to curbing hatred and gun violence in America. It is my hope that Americans like Police Lt. Brian Murphy, who was severely wounded in the defense of his neighbors at the gurdwara that day, will continue to stand up for the American ideals of tolerance, equality, and the peaceful right to worship.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“Six years ago, we lost six innocent souls in the tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. This horrific attack – driven by hatred and prejudice – shook our nation to its core. But in the aftermath of this horrific hate crime, people of conscience stood up against bigotry, xenophobia, and white supremacy. My prayers remain with the Oak Creek community. As we reflect on this solemn anniversary, let us recommit to ending hatred and discrimination in all forms.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):

“On the sixth anniversary of the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, we will never forget the six innocent Sikh-Americans whose lives were lost in an unimaginable act of violence and hatred. America was founded by immigrants seeking the right to worship freely. Combating bigotry and intolerance has become an even greater priority in today’s deeply antagonistic political climate. As we honor those lost to this terrible tragedy, we are reminded to reaffirm our commitment to defending people of all faiths. Our thoughts remain with the entire Sikh community and all those affected.”

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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.