Milpitas Sikhs Express Sadness, Shock in Wake of Wisconsin Temple Shooting

Congregations in Milpitas and San Jose are busy on Sunday praying for those who lost their lives in the Midwest Sikh Temple shooting.


A religious leader at the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple in Milpitas expressed sadness and shock Sunday afternoon in the wake of news that a gunman had killed at least six people at a Sikh worship house near Milwaukee.

"Although we're far away, we're sad about it. It's tragic," said Gurdev Sandhu, who was busy helping prepare a seva for devotees. The religious ritual consists of providing service and serving food.

According to wire reports, the shooter died after exchanging gunfire with police in the suburb of Oak Creek.

"We're feeling really sad right now because of the shooting. It's tragic it happened in a religious place. We condemn all shootings, including the one in Colorado. We're peace loving people and we live in harmony with other communities," said Sukhdev Singh Bainiwal, one of the directors at the Sikh Gurdwara Temple in San Jose, the largest in North America.

"I believe it [shooting] will not happen in the Silicon Valley because we have good relations with other faith groups and the local community. We respect all religions and I'm shocked that again this could happen in our community," Bainiwal said.

Bainiwal explained he had heard about the shooting through an email sent to him by a close a friend in Chicago this morning, alerting him that a Caucasian person had opened fire at the Milwaukee Sikh temple, first shooting a Sikh priest in the parking lot of the gurdwara, or temple, then entering the gurdwara building, where he allegedly shot at random.

The e-mail noted that a policeman at the scene had been injured, that the gunman was inside, and that he thought 10 people had been shot, including the president of the gurdwara, whom he named.

"Sunday is a big day at the gurdwara. We have lots of the sangat, or membership, come to pray and so they're feeling sad and we're questioning how could this happen in a Sikh temple," Bainiwal said.

Asked if the congregations in Milpitas or San Jose are feeling scared or anxious because of the shooting, Bainiwal said Sikh devotees have confidence the event will not repeat itself here because of the South Bay's diversity, and because "we live in peace and harmony together."

"We're doing prayers here for the victims," he said about congregation members in Milpitas and San Jose. "We'll continue to pray for those who have perished and their families."

The management at the Sikh temple in San Jose has stated that it will provide help and support to the Sikh families in Milwaukee affected by the tragedy.

There are about 40,000 Sikhs in the Bay Area, many residing in San Jose, Milpitas, Fremont, Union City, Hayward and El Sobrante. The largest concentration is found in San Jose, said Bainiwal, whose temple is considered the largest in North America and is located in Evergreen Valley.

Frank Geefay August 06, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Is there data that points to the majority of mass murders and assassins having extreme right wing leanings? Even those who do not survive must leave evidence behind about their lives. I suspect it might go much deeper than that. But I am as mystified about their motives as you.
OldTimeGilroy August 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Perhaps it might be a good idea for some of you to wait for the perpetrator to be identified. Most of these type of incidents are committed by disgruntled parishioners. @Frank: "Is there data that points to the majority of mass murders and assassins having extreme right wing leanings?" No, there's not. The communists (extreme leftists) are so far ahead they'll probably never be caught. Their murders of their own citizens in this century alone top 100 million.
Rajeev Madnawat August 06, 2012 at 02:49 AM
One sad news after another. What is going on in our country. Are we putting too much focus on protecting the country from foreign enemy and disregarding the real threat from within us?
Susan August 06, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Step one: Ban high-capacity gun magazines Blood drenched NRA nut job Wayne Lapierre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBEFRk9ylaQ&feature=related
marilyn August 06, 2012 at 04:03 AM
I live in San Bruno, ca, and have a wonderful friend who is a Sikh living in London. I have known him for many years. I am so saddened that someone would shoot any people while praying or in any other venue. This makes Americans look so crazy and racist. I can't believe we have had another shooting in this country. I do not like public ownership of guns , and wish the NRA would understand that many Americans see assault rifles and gun ownership for other than hunting, police, FBI, or other licensed authorities is causing havoc in our country Marilyn S,
Frank Geefay August 06, 2012 at 08:37 AM
I think there is enough killing all the way around not to point the finger at just any extremist group. From what I have observed in the past most perpetrators of mass killings in America have been done by loners with little if any affiliation with leftist or rightest or any groups. That is the main problem. If they had been part of a conspiracy by a leftist group it would have been easy to go after that group. Since they seem to be much more random it is about impossible to know who they are to stop them.
Frank Geefay August 06, 2012 at 09:02 AM
You are so right. The enemy is really within. We would like to blame violence and all our woes on some non-American outside source. But really we are own our worst enemy. We created bigotry and hatred toward anyone different than ourselves. We try to raise ourselves to a higher standard by putting others down. It is often the downtrodden, those being repeatedly bullied and put down who can't take it any more and sometimes resort to violence, the only way they can release their rage. What make us such animals towards others that drive them to such extremes? There really seems something wrong about our culture which encourages us towards such behavior against others.
David H. Perez August 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Folks, I never said I think these shooters themselves have extreme right-wing leanings. I simply pointed out that there is a readily accessible segment of our media that fans the flames of division, intolerance and hatred. I then questioned whether this type of hateful propaganda might give a person (of any political persuasion) who is already on the edge encouragement or permission to commit a violent act.
Lynn V. August 06, 2012 at 03:06 PM
One of the biggest problems in our culture is the shift from placing the good of society second to the "rights," entitlements, and desires of th individual. It is estimated that 1 in 25 people is a sociopath - that is born without a conscience - but most will never be diagnosed because they are able to hide their sociopathy from even the best professionals. Our western culture with its focus on individual success at the expense of the greater societal good only fuels this I-centered way of life. Eastern cultures, with their emphasis on doing what is best for family and community rather than the individual have much lower rates of sociopathy and pschopathy. We have created the "perfect storm" of causes: corporate and government greed, a deepening divide between the haves and have-nots, the loss of our middle class due to the economic conditions, increased hatred of other cultures due to ignorance and envy of their perceived prosperity, and a myriad of other causes. How do we take back our society? By going back to a society-centered focus and less emphasis on the "what's in it for me" attitude of today. Times are tough for most of us and may only get tougher in the coming days so we need to come together as a nation, remember those who have fallen victim to the depravity of another, and shine light on the darkness that is overtaking our people. My heart and prayer go to those families and loved ones whose lives are forever changed by this latest senseless killing spree.
Pacificat August 06, 2012 at 04:09 PM
The gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple was a "frustrated neo-Nazi" who led a racist white supremacist band. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2012/08/06/motive_sought_after_6_slain_at_wis_sikh_temple/
Cathy P. August 06, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Why am I not surprised? Sick wacko...
OldTimeGilroy August 06, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Welcome to the Liberal-land cliche plantation, Frank.
Sarah T. August 06, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I am new to Millbrae and the Patch community. I was starting to feel defeated and disappointed by various comments in some article posts that made my new community sounded bitter, classicist & racist. The compassion and sympathy many of you have expressed here are uplifting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and letting me see a different side of this community. My heart goes out to the families who's been impacted by the shooting. Violence can consume and install fear in us in ways that blind our compassion, humanity and believe in the goodness of people. If we let it. While, there are fringe segments of this country that is consumed only by violence. I believe that the majority of us are good people and who strive everyday to build community. Beyond legislating gun control, I think we all have a responsibility to practice and teach tolerance, to look beyond the color of our skin, the religions we practice, or our orientation. As I tell my 4 yr old son, when he asks what kind of animals we are, I tell him, we are all humans...
Cathy P. August 06, 2012 at 06:40 PM
@OldTimeGilroy: liberals haven't cornered the market on violence, this has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism, try contributing something intelligent to the conversation next time.
Cathy P. August 06, 2012 at 06:48 PM
@OldTimeGilroy: this is not a "left or right wing leaning" issue. This is type of hate is present on both sides -all sides- it is everywhere.
Jo Tog August 06, 2012 at 07:21 PM
There are some out there , inside America, that are trying to destroy us. Divide us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCsI_HMSRWI&feature=share
Jo Tog August 06, 2012 at 07:35 PM
My condolences go out to the Sikh Community. http://www.hangthebankers.com/breaking-4-man-team-carried-out-sikh-massacre-says-eyewitness/
Mckenna Smith August 06, 2012 at 10:26 PM
This domestic act of terrorism could have been prevented if this US Army reservist had been screened for the mental problems he was probably suffering from. Ironic he had been working in the psychological operations unit. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sikh community.
Cathy P. August 06, 2012 at 10:30 PM
The difference between Drudge and real journalism is that Matt Drudge never checks anything. He unapologetically admits this, and he says he doesn't have time for that. I find his willingness to run defamatory stories without checking his sources to be highly unethical. Therefore, I don’t read the Drudge report often nor do I take it seriously.
Frank Geefay August 06, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I hope you have more answers than I. In this instance it appears that the perpetrator was from the extreme right fringe. Does this make conservative right wing people more suspect? I think not. There are no reliable profiles to identify these individuals.
Frank Geefay August 06, 2012 at 11:26 PM
"1 in 25 people is a sociopath" implies that I probably know a few. I'd like to know the source of this information. I feel that 4% of the population being sociopaths is way too high a number. If this is true it seems that we should be having far more ruthless killings. Does this mean that societies in which the individual is valued less than society have far fewer or no sociopaths? If so what exactly are the trigger mechanisms that bring out the sociopath in people? I would agree that many who commit mass killings are likely sociopaths but does that mean that most mass killers are sociopaths?
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz August 07, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Unfortunately there is always a secret group living in the USA that things should go their way. Or no way at all. It's something we must grapple with. My condolences to the Sikh Families. We have never lived in a "Safe" World.
Mark Burns August 07, 2012 at 03:52 AM
We are a Nation of more than 300 million people. Frank's (and other's) comments are so depressing and such broad generalizations you would think violence is erupting on every street corner across the US. Every hour of every day. Cheer up. When you say things like, "What drives us to perform such violent acts . . ." stop and think about the last violent act you performed or your family performed or your neighbor performed. Anything come to mind? How about friends, relatives, co-workers? Take out the 'us' in that statement too. It doesn't describe me and it doesn't describe the vast majority of people throughout the world. And it isn't the right wing folks either. The shooter was purported to be a Neo-Nazi White Supremacist. Last time I checked, there was not a seating area for them at the Republican Convention. Consider Occupier Wall Street versus Tea Party in terms of violence, rapes, drug dealing, public destruction; anything having to do with breaking the law. I think the score is 100 to None. The Occupiers were even congratulated for their activism by the President and Nancy Pelosi. Time to think for yourself and not parrot what you read and hear in the media.
Susan August 07, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Nice try, Jo Tog, but we don't do crazy over here. You want us to believe our government is programming these mass killers for Obama? "This really is a government playbook to destabilizes the United States with the end goal being the confiscation of our guns; the irradiation of the 2nd Amendment." This seditious nonsense is coming straight from the NRA. They don't want us to rationally discuss a solution, or the clear intent of 2nd Amendment because it's bad for business.
Frank Geefay August 08, 2012 at 03:43 AM
My remarks were directed towards mass killings, not Wall Street occupiers. To imply that because there are 300 million people in this country we should expect a few mass killing here and there to me is a sad commentary on our society. And when I make such comments as "What drives us to perform such violent acts . . ." it should be obvious that I am not asking this of every person but that the word "us" is a figurative for "anyone". I think most other readers would not take it the literal way you have. I am obviously not saying that everyone is a mass killer as you are trying to make it sound. That is insane. My English isn't that bad. Give me a little more credit. This is a very sad and depressing event and it is happening with greater regularity. It is unacceptable to me that we should be resolved that this trend should continue. We have a big problem and it is a very sad fact that needs to change. I'm not sure how to say this any clearer.
Mark Wyman August 08, 2012 at 05:24 AM
We need to put a stop these Christian extremists. They peace but their holy books are filled with hate, violence and bigotry.
Susan August 08, 2012 at 04:22 PM
A "Neo-Nazi White Supremacist" is by definition a right-wing extremist; a domestic terrorist. The most disturbing thing is right-wing conservatives in congress are on record for providing cover for them. Remember the DHS Right Wing Extremist Report? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/06/1117242/-Remember-the-DHS-Right-Wing-Extremist-Report DHS Crushed This Analyst for Warning About Far-Right Terror http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/08/dhs/all/
Susan August 08, 2012 at 06:11 PM
There is plenty of intolerance in other orgnaized religions as well. There are extremists on both the left and right. Perhaps you mean we should put a stop to religious and political extremists. They are all cuckoo clocks, and they should be run into the sea.
Robert August 08, 2012 at 06:29 PM
@Cathy P.: So what is the difference between Drudge and ABC, NBC, CBS, MSN, CNN or the Huffington Post. You make it sound like they verify their facts. In the end it is up to each individual to do there own research because the mainstream media does not.
Cathy P. August 08, 2012 at 07:21 PM
@Robert: I agree with you 100% about " it is up to each individual to do there (their)own research..." Whether or not you believe that the mainstream media verifies their facts or not is up to you, that's why it's important to read all sides. I just happen to be of the opinion that Drudge is one of the worst.


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