Zafar Siddiqui

Zafar Siddiqui is a co-founder of the Islamic Resource Group (IRG), an educational outreach organization dedicated to building bridges between Muslims and people of other faiths. He currently serves as the director of interfaith and civic relations at IRG. Read more about Zafar Siddiqui.

Minnesota Muslims Stand with Sikhs After Wisconsin Shootings

Posted by: Zafar Siddiqui Updated: August 6, 2012 - 1:30 AM

The Minnesota Muslim community came out strongly in support of the Sikh community in the wake of Wisconsin  shootings. The Indian American Muslim Council (Minnesota chapter) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) sent out press releases expressing solidarity with Sikh Americans.

While the motive of the shooter remains unclear at this time, the FBI is treating this terror rampage as "domestic terror."

The Indian American Muslim Council (Minnesota chapter) released the following press release:
 

Indian American Muslims express shock and outrage over terror rampage at Sikh temple
 
Sunday August 5, 2012
 
Indian American Muslim Council (http://www.iamc.com) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos has expressed its unequivocal condemnation of the shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that has claimed the lives of six worshipers and the gunman himself.
 
"Today is a day of mourning for all who value human life and cherish freedom of religion," said Shaheen Khateeb, President of IAMC. "An attack on innocent people in a house of worship is an attack on our collective humanity and common values," added Mr. Khateeb.
 
The fact that the attack took place when temple members were reading scriptures and cooking food in preparation for the main Sunday service and community meal reflects the deep inhumanity of the perpetrator. It is also an indication of the cost in human lives that we pay for the growing culture of intolerance in sections of our society. While such intolerance remains confined to a small minority, the suffering caused by their distorted worldview is shared by us all. IAMC has called upon members of every community to eschew any rhetoric that promotes evils such as xenophobia and intolerance towards religious minorities.
 
IAMC has expressed its profound condolences towards the families of the victims and called upon law enforcement to investigate the incident as an act of terror motivated by hate.
 
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 13 chapters across the nation.
 
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The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) released the following press release:
 
American Muslims Stand with Sikhs After Wis. Shootings
Houses of worship urged to review advice in CAIR community safety kit

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 8/5/12) –- The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota (CAIR-MN) said today that American Muslims “stand with their Sikh brothers and sisters” following a deadly shooting attack targeting a house of worship of that faith this morning in Wisconsin.

SEE: Gunman, Six Others Dead at Wisconsin Sikh Temple
http://tinyurl.com/8zqjjov

In a statement, the Muslim civil rights organization said:

“While details of the attack and the motivation of the attacker are still emerging, American
Muslims stand with their Sikh brothers and sisters in this time of crisis and loss. We condemn this senseless act of violence, pray for those who were killed or injured and offer sincere condolences to their loved ones.”

CAIR officials are in contact with the Milwaukee Muslim community as it offers support to its Sikh neighbors.

Because of this and other violent incidents, CAIR is urging mosques and houses of worship of all
faiths nationwide to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit.”

SEE: Muslim Community Safety Kit
http://www.cair.com/ActionCenter/CommunityToolKit.aspx
CAIR: Mosque Attacks Common Nationwide
http://tinyurl.com/84l49vh

CAIR has in the past spoken out against bias-motivated attacks on American Sikhs. [NOTE: Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.]

Last year, CAIR offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals who gunned down two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove, Calif.

SEE: Muslim Civil Rights Group Offers Reward for Info on Gunman in Deadly Shooting
http://tinyurl.com/49uz8ey
CAIR: Muslim Organization Offers Reward
http://tinyurl.com/4ky7tz5

In 2010, CAIR called for an FBI investigation of an attack on a Sikh cab driver in West Sacramento, Calif. The driver said his passengers made anti-Muslim remarks during the attack. Two men were later arrested on charges of felony assault and commission of a hate crime.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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