Detroit Muslims Reach Out to Sikh Community in Wake of Deadly Violence

By Adil James, TMO


1,000 Detroiters attended a Sikh Temple (or Gurduwara) on Monday August 13th to commemorate the horrific violence against the Oak Creek Temple on Sunday morning, August 12, 2012, during which a white supremacist killed six innocent Sikhs (five men and one woman) he encountered at the temple.

Wade Page, the army soldier who had served before 9/11, and received an honorable discharge, but who had been demoted prior to discharge, used a legally purchased handgun to commit the murders and to kill himself after he was wounded by police.

Detroit Muslims attended the memorial service, the Muslims being in part organized by the Michigan Muslim Community Council and the Interfaith Leadership Council of the Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC). 

Attendees included many members of other faiths as well., and along with many other major Muslim community groups MMCC issued a press release condemning the horrific attack.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy.  May God grant much patience to the families of the victims.  To God we belong and to Him is our return. (Baqara: 156)” said Dr. Muzammil Ahmed, Chair of the MMCC.

Ghalib Begg, Senior Advisor to MMCC, spoke as well, saying “This attack was intended for Muslims, but our Sikh brethren became the victims, bringing home this traumatic, tragic, horrible act of violence close to Muslim American hearts.” 

“We stand together today in mourning.”

Many prominent Muslims were in attendance, including Eide Alawan, Shahid Tahir, Qaid Saifee, Dr. AS Nakadar, and others. Some of the Muslims broke their Ramadan fast at iftar time at the temple to show solidarity with the Sikh community.

Dr. Tirlochen Singh, one of the leading members of the temple, said it is unfortunate that we are gathered here for such an unfortunate reason. He emphasized the importance of compassion and mutual devotion and understanding.


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