Austin Vigil for Victims of Sikh Temple Shooting
A candlelight vigil will be held on the Texas Capitol grounds tonight, in memory of the six killed and several wounded in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin over the weekend.
On Sunday, a gunman with ties to white supremacy groups stormed into a gurdwara, or temple, in Oak Creek, Wisc., just outside of Milwaukee. Echoing the call after the Aurora, Colo., shootings to focus less on an alleged perpetrator than their victims, NPR notes that Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel has an interactive set of short profiles about each of the six people who were killed.
Locally, Austin is home to some 300 Sikhs, according to a statement from the Singh Sabha Gurdwara of Austin.
It notes that:
Sikhism is a 500-year old monotheist faith with its origins in Punjab, India, and is different from Islam and Hinduism. With 25 million followers worldwide and over 700,000 in the U.S., Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. Observant Sikhs do not cut their hair and Sikh men wear a turban. … While the community has often been targeted in retaliation for the terror attacks of 9/11, Sikhs are a peace-loving people that do not condone violence against people of any faith.
The candlelight rally, in conjunction with the Sikh Student Association of the University of Texas, is at 8:30 p.m. on the grounds in front of the Texas Capitol.