Sure, we can't know for sure the intent of Wade Michael Page who we now know was the gunman who killed six people in the tragic shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin - but we do know he was a "frustrated neo-Nazi" and while he probably didn't care about the differences between Sikh and Muslim, or maybe got them confused, or just wanted to kill some brown people he thought was ruining his country - the topic has been brought up in the news, and I wanted to post up a few different viewpoints and news in the aftermath of the shooting.
Sikh temple president died "protecting our church"
The president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, one of the six victims in Sunday's mass shooting, tried to tackle the assailant, but was shot and killed in the process. Simran Kaleka told CBS Milwaukee affiliate WDJT-TV that her uncle, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was "an amazing man. When we found out what he did we weren't surprised. "Because we knew that's exactly what he would do," Kaleka told WDJT-TV. "He left this world protecting our church, protecting our loved ones, protecting our families. And now we're just trying to find a way to protect our hearts through this tough time."
The Difference Between Muslims and Sikhs.. Misses the Point
As Jian Ghomeshi tweeted: "It's both interesting and disturbing that CNN keeps feeling the need to point out that Sikhs are not Muslims." Even some Sikh commentators found a need to make it clear that that they are peaceful people, which had a disturbing undertone of differentiating themselves from the bad, warring Muslims. This is a good learning moment for the American people of all religions, and especially for the American media. Yes, Sikhs are not Muslims and Sikhs are not Hindus, but jumping to clarify difference leaves the unfortunate, if unintentional, perception that there is something wrong with those "others."
Gunman's tattoos lead officials to deem Sikh shooting terrorism
Sikhism believes in one supreme being which is real and imminent and only experienceable in this creation; technically there is nothing in this creation which is devoid of it and distinct of it. It teaches that the God is omnipresent, transcendent, omnipotent, and omniscient. It also revolves around the belief in reincarnation. Emphasis is on ethics, morality, and values; the Sikh faith does not accept miracles. The Sikh school of thought believes in a form of reincarnation similar to Karma. The concept of hell and heaven in Sikhism is metaphorical and is said to be experienced by those who chose (or not) to live in the Five Thieves. Sikhism also believes in an omnipresent Onkar, the one constant in the Universe.
Sikhs recommend five prayers in the morning between 1 and 6 am (the five prayers can be said in succession within one hour for the well-versed): Japji, Anand Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Chaupai and Ardas; one prayer in the evening from 5 to 7 pm: Rehras and Ardas; and one before sleeping, around 8 to 10 pm: Kirtan Sohila and Ardas. Sikh scriptures teach the concept of moderation. Sikhism teaches a person to remove the Five Evils: kaam or kam (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (attachment), and ahankar (pride) .
Guru Nanak Dev Ji sought to improve the status of women by spreading this message: "From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad when she gives rise to nobility? From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all. O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman." (page (Ang) 473). In so doing, he promoted women's rights and equality, a remarkable stance in the 15th century which was actually put into practice by Guru Nanak and the following 9 Gurus.