Utah Sikhs Invite Public to Mourn Wisconsin Shooting Victims

Aug 9, 2012

Members of the Sikh faith held an interfaith candlelight vigil Wednesday evening at the Sikh Temple of Utah to honor the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting that took place Sunday.

It began with song and prayer…followed by brief statements about love and acceptance from several speakers, including District Attorney Sim Gill and JB Singh, who’s a member of the Sikh Association of Utah.  Singh says they invited members of all faiths to join the church in remembering a half-dozen people who lost their lives Sunday and others who were wounded when a gunman strode into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and opened fire.

“We are here to pray to God to give them peace and rest,” Singh says.

Singh says the Sikh community in Utah has been showered with sympathy and care, adding the violence hasn’t shattered them, but made them stronger.

“We don’t have any fear," Singh says. "It can happen anywhere but in Utah, with the blessing of God, Never. Never.”

Alan Bachman is chair of the Salt Lake Interfaith roundtable. He says the invitation that was extended to the public is a great opportunity to send a message. 

“That it’s not something that anybody needs to fear or anybody should worry about any Sikh people being in their neighborhood," Bachman says. If they see people wearing turbans or the women wearing scarves [to know] that they are a very loving people and not anybody to be feared.”

Outside the temple people held lighted candles while observing a moment of silence. More than 100 people of different faiths attended the gathering.