PALATINE (CBS) — As America mourns the Connecticut victims, members of the Sikh community find themselves reeling all over again.
When asked where his mind went after hearing of the Connecticut shooting, Siikh worshiper Nirmal Ghuman said, “It went to Oak Creek thinking about the pain those individuals are going thru in that community, just like were here.”
Last August, a white supremacist killed six people at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin before he was shot by police.
Now, Sikh leaders say, it’s happened again.
“Those children were somebody’s babies, grandchildren, brothers, sisters — so many lives have been lost,” said Sukhdev Kaur from the Sikh Religious Society. “Our hearts go out to them.”
At their Palatine temple, Sikhs remembered the Connecticut victims in prayer, noting the pall cast over the normal holiday season.
“Rather than all those celebrations, the grief and sorrow has stricken,” said Rajinder Singh Mago, from the Sikh Religious Society.
Sikhs here acknowledge differences between the Oak Creek attacks and the Connecticut massacre, but also the complete similarity in the pain of loss.
And state Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, said all people of faith have a duty to reach out to those most alienated, and most dangerous.
“Try to fix the broken so there isn’t somebody who is so driven to the point that they don’t even recognize the evil of shooting down innocent 5- to 7-year-olds,” said Murphy.
Coincidentally, leaders had invited several state lawmakers to the Palatine temple to honor their efforts in passing a resolution denouncing attacks on Sikhs and Muslim Americans.
It turned out that invitation came on the weekend following another incident of mass murder.