US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris commemorated the ninth anniversary of the 2012 gurdwara shooting in Oak Creek that claimed the lives of seven Sikhs, according to the White House.
The commemoration took place Thursday during a meeting with representatives of the Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community where they discussed the fight against hate crimes against Asians, the White House said.
Six Sikhs were killed in the attack on August 5, 2012, in which four people, including a policeman, were injured and one person died last year as a result of the shooting.
The gunman, described as a white supremacist, committed suicide by shooting himself when police responded.
Sikh community leaders praised an earlier tweet from Biden on the anniversary of the attack on Oak Tree gurdwara.
Biden said in his tweet: “Nine years ago today we witnessed an unspeakable act of hatred when a white supremacist shot dead 10 people in a Sikh temple. As we remember those whom we lost in Oak Creek, we must continue to oppose hatred and bigotry and ensure that all can practice their faith without fear. “
Sikh Council on Religion and Education Chairman Rajwant Singh said: “We are grateful to President Biden for his compassion and his firm stand against hatred and violence. The Sikh community has been shaken by this tragedy and our community is still concerned about the hate rhetoric tolerated by certain political interest groups. “
Gurwin Singh Ahuja, co-founder and executive director of the National Sikh Campaign, said: “Violence against Sikhs has been on the rise for several years. After September 11, many Americans associated a turban and beard with terrorism and an alarming number. people have turned to racism and violence against our community. “
The “Sikh National Campaign is committed to creating a positive awareness about Sikhs in this country,” he added.
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