Local Sikhs see shooting as learning opportunity
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Local Sikhs sing a prayer of peace inside on local temple in North Las Vegas. It's a prayer for the six victims shot and killed during a Sunday service at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
"When this happened it was very shocking for all of us," Amar Chadha said. "Our families were calling from India and asking are you safe? I said we are find here in Vegas."
But the loss of any Siki is felt among the tight-knit religious community. Sikh leaders in Las Vegas told Action News they spoke with family and friends who witnessed the shooting.
"They are bewildered and baffled at the moment, it's an emotional thing, it's a sort of 9-11 for us in a way," Teji Malik said.
Since 9-11 Sikh's have feared their traditional turban and long hair make them targets of hate crimes. In March 2011, police said a local Sikh man was shot and killed while making a deposit at a bank on Sunset and Eastern.
"Right now that we are thinking, is America safe for us?" Chadha said.
The violence is a far cray from the peaceful and welcoming religion Sikhs practice. Sikh leaders want to use Sunday's shooting as an opportunity to teach people about their religion.
"There is always goodness in people," Malik said. "We are all good people, hatred is bred by the outside environment."
The community is invited to the Sikh temple on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at 6341 Lone Mountain Road. Here you can pray for the Sikh community and learn more about the Sikh religion.