Updated: Palatine Gurdwara Leaders React to Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting

Seven people, including the shooter, are dead after a rampage during morning services in Oak Creek, WI.

Updated 6:20 p.m.: Palatine Police Commander Tom Murphy tells Patch department representatives met earlier with leaders of the Palatine Gurdwara, and patrols will be increased in the area around the clock.

Murphy said the police presence will be heightened, especially during services, but all information received so far indicate the incident was isolated, and is not a regional threat. 

Earlier: The Wisconsin Sikh Temple tragedy has reached the hearts of the Sikh religion’s brothers and sisters who belong to the Palatine Gurdwara.

“As soon as we heard [about] it, it was dreadful, heartbreaking. It is things like this that make us lose our trust, and the openness that our religion encourages fires back on us,” said Sukhdev Ghuman, president of the Palatine Gurdwara.

Ghuman said a handful of the 2,500 members who attend services at the Gurdwara went to Oak Creek earlier today to track down loved ones and offer what assistance they could to the survivors and to the families who lost someone.

“One of our members who already traveled to Wisconsin contacted his sister, and she was luckily not there during the shooting because she and her family were running late,” Ghuman said.

The entire Gurdwara prayed earlier this afternoon for those who are injured and those who lost their lives.

“These people came for peace and worship, they did not ask to die,” Ghuman said.

Ghuman said a vigil will be arranged in the coming days at the Palatine Gurdwara. The service will include special prayer sessions to draw strength from God for those who have suffered because of the murderous rampage.

Dr. Balwant Hansra, past president of the Gurdwara, said crimes against members of their religion have occurred in the past at their Palatine location.

“After 9-11, many people thought we were related to Osama bin Laden, even though their followers don’t wear turbans or beards, and we received very poor, hateful treatment because of it,” Hansra said.

In the late 1970’s, Hansra said 13 windows were broken after Ayatollah Khomeini caused unrest in Iraq. It cost the Gurdwara $2,500 per window to replace them.

“This entire incident is a shock. We believe in brotherhood, sisterhood and humanity, and pray for our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin now,” Hansra said.

Both leaders are reconsidering the food pantry that is open to everyone in light of the tragedy, out of fear for the well-being and safety of their members. 

A dispatcher for the Palatine Police Department, who did not give his name, said police have a heightened level of awareness in the area of the Gurdwara due to the Wisconsin shooting. 

GuitarMan August 08, 2012 at 02:35 PM
@ Alex. Alex my original post is not about blame; it’s about how silent white people are toward public comments political groups and individual politicians make that stoke animosity toward, for example, our president. You know the pitches, Mr. Obama wasn't born here, is Muslim, and therefore not a legitimate president. It’s political and it’s a question to conservatives; when will conservatives speak out against the unsubstantiated comments toward people of color that they are “taking the country from us”. The most distained groups discussed by conservative politicians are black welfare queens, undocumented Mexicans’, and terrorist Muslims (anyone Arab in appearance). It’s not rocket science, just common sense, words have consequences.
GuitarMan August 08, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Yeah, I'm getting replies from some new commetors, but the link doesn't come back to that name. How many alias are some folks using?
Sully August 08, 2012 at 02:46 PM
So right now he's Alex. You know, every time I ask someone to prove me a liar, instead I get a personal attack (such as being called a moron, per Alex, or whatever choice of name he's using at the time). "Alex", I'm really curious as to why you've changed your name four or five times in the same string of comments.
GuitarMan August 08, 2012 at 02:53 PM
@ Gary & Joe Thompson. I think you are the new and improved "Joe Thompson". If not please advise. Mr. Thompson one of your responses to me is: "I recall several occasions during the D46 school debates and other posts where you were blatantly making racist comments. Others pointed them out specifically in the past, too." However, I have not ever made racist comments toward anyone on this blog. On the other hand, I do call out white people for their apparent ignorance as to how words about other ethnic groups have consequences, and as I've stated in this thread I believe the Oak Creek matter is one example of the consequences. As a side note in no way do I believe this is a second amendment issue, just in case you are tempted to veer of into another topic.
GuitarMan August 08, 2012 at 03:13 PM
@ Alex Stevens. Come on, name calling? Take this to heart Alex, if you were in grade school, you'd be scolded for resorting to name calling. I don't agree with all comments, but calling someone a "mouron" is more like taking your ball and going home. To much heat, then get out of the kitchen, but don't sulk if you are unwilling to answer a question.


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