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Fri Aug 5, 2022, 03:15 PM

The Oak Creek Temple Shooting Forever Changed America's Sikh Communities


On August 5, 2012, a white supremacist gunman stormed the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the town of Oak Creek, opening fire on worshippers preparing for Sunday morning services. Six people lost their lives that day; a seventh was severely paralyzed and, in 2020, passed away from his injuries. A responding police officer was shot 15 times and survived with medical complications. And the lives of members of Sikh communities in Milwaukee and across the United States were changed forever.

The Oak Creek shooting took place about one year before I arrived in the U.S. Echoes of the shooting had traveled through media coverage in Thailand, where I was born and raised, but I arrived in the United States with only a vague understanding of the weight of such violence. Sadly, in the decade since, I have come to learn that the incident has been largely forgotten — despite it being among the deadliest attacks on a house of worship in recent American history.

As a Thai Sikh woman, I often reflect on notions of identity and community and how they inform, together, the space I take up in the world. In Bangkok, I was undoubtedly a member of a distinct minority group, but that experience profoundly differed from being considered an immediate “other,” as in the moment I landed in the United States. I have experienced emotional whiplash while trying to find my place in both countries, and it has been sobering to sometimes feel as though I'm someone who belongs, who is a stranger, or both simultaneously.

The gurdwara, or the Sikh house of worship, is such a space where I’ve found both refuge and dislocation. When I return to Bangkok and enter the gurdwara, I’m deemed the foreign-educated woman who passes through only once in a while to visit family; when I visit a gurdwara in the United States, my darting eyes betray me as an international visitor who's trying very hard not to stand out. In every gurdwara I have visited, however, I have felt nervous but safe, searching for my place. Even though I stand out, I am always welcomed with prayers and langar (communal food).


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Reply The Oak Creek Temple Shooting Forever Changed America's Sikh Communities (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Friday OP
IbogaProject Friday #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 04:53 PM

1. Extra horrible as a main tenet of their religion is to defend other religions.

One of their beliefs is to defend religious freedom of all faiths. So extra horrible they were attacked.

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