National News

Durham Sikh temple holds interfaith vigil for Wisconsin victims

Posted August 8, 2012

— A Sikh temple in Durham opened its doors Wednesday evening to hundreds of people of varying faiths who share in the heartbreak over a mass temple shooting in Wisconsin.  

They lit candles, prayed together and heard from Sikh and community leaders.

"We are still in shock," said Tejpal Singh Dhillon, a leader of the Sikh Gurudwara of North Carolina.

Investigators say former Fort Bragg soldier Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee before turning the gun on himself Sunday. He has been tied to white supremacist groups, but investigators are still working to determine a motive.

Dhillon said he thinks it's possible the gunman confused the Sikh community with the followers of Osama bin Laden.

He said people have misconceptions about the turbans Sikhs wear. The religion calls for covering hair in public out of respect.

Durham temple stresses tolerance in wake of Wisconsin shooting Durham temple stresses tolerance in wake of Wisconsin shooting

"People with turbans are totally harmless. They are not belonging to any militant or terroristic group," Dhillon said.

Rabbi John Friedman, a leader of the Judea Reform Congregation, said the mass shooting is painful for all people of faith.

"We should care about all people," he said.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell called for the community to respect each other's differences and settle disputes peacefully.

"We've just got to come together and find a way to solve our problems without using violence, especially guns," he said.

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  • TeresaBee Aug 9, 2012

    What a beautiful thing.