Rose French writes about religious and spiritual matters for the Star Tribune. Before arriving in the Twin Cities this fall, she covered religion for the Associated Press in Tennessee, where she wrote about the Southern Baptists, United Methodists, Gideons and other religious groups and issues.
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The Sikh Society of Minnesota plans to hold a candlelight vigil ceremony Friday evening to honor those who died in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Members of the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple in Bloomington are hosting the 7:30 p.m. event to commemorate the six people who died and those injured during the shooting at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday.
Manjeet Singh, a spokesman for the Sikh Society, said Minnesota’s small Sikh community views what happened in Wisconsin as an “isolated incident and probably a hate crime.”
He says there’s no plans at this time to increase security at the temple. Singh estimates there’s approximately 250 Sikh families in Minnesota.
Singh says the Sikh society would like to hold future education-related events about the faith and its followers, who are often mistaken for Muslims because of their long beards and turbans.
Lori Saroya, president of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that since the shooting she’s fielded several calls from Twin Cities area mosque leaders wondering if they should increase security at the houses of worship.
Saroya is urging them to review CAIR’s advice on security procedures contained in its “Muslim Community Safety Kit.” She expects many within the Muslim community and other faith communities to participate in Friday’s vigil at the Sikh temple in Bloomington.