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CAPAC Reacts to Shooting at Sikh Temple in Wisconsin

Washington, DC – Earlier today, a shooting occurred at a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that left seven dead and others wounded.  Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements in reaction to this tragic event:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chair:  “I am shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence that targeted the Sikh American community of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in their own house of worship. My thoughts are with the victims and their families as we try to understand what led to this tragedy. I have worked closely with the Sikh American community for decades and know of their tremendous contributions to our country. While the exact motivations of the shooter are still unknown, I hope that Americans of all faiths and backgrounds can come together to prevent incidents like this from ever happening again.”

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus: “Earlier today, gun tragedy struck our nation once again when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims affected. No community should have to be faced with such terrible violence, especially one that takes place in a serene and peaceful place like a house of worship. I have been proud to closely work with the Sikh community through my career and am horrified that such senseless violence would fall at their doorstep. Yet, as we struggle to comprehend these tragic events, I know that it will be the strength and the character of the peace-loving Sikh community along with the selflessness of the larger American community that will guide us in these difficult times.”

Background

The shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, left at least seven dead, including the suspected gunman. The local police chief has reported that the authorities are treating the shooting as a “domestic terrorist-type incident.”

Sikhism is the fifth biggest religion in the world with over 25 million followers and 500,000 followers in the United States. Sikh American advocacy groups have reported a sharp rise in bias based attacks after 9/11. The Associated Press reported that that more than 700 such incidents took place in the U.S. over the last decade, which many advocates believe are rooted in anti-Islamic sentiments. While Sikhism is distinct from Islam, Sikhs have long beards and turbans which can lead some to mistake them for Muslims.

P.S. – The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.

Community Notification by NYPD

The NYPD is increasing coverage in and around Sikh temples in New York City today, including the deployment of Critical Response Vehicles, as a precaution in the wake of the Wisconsin shooting.

There is no known threat against Sikh temples in New York City, however, the coverage is being put in place out of an abundance of caution. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NYPD-Increases-Presence-Sikh-Temples-Following-Wisconsin-Shooting-7-Dead-165069886.html

Sikhs Killed in USA Terror Attack on Sikh Gurdwara (place of worship)

Sikhs Killed in USA Terror Attack on Sikh Gurdwara (place of worship)

Dr Harcharan Gill, who was at the scene said, “The police response was quick but the paramedic team waited for almost two hours to go inside the Gurdwara building,  sensing the possibility of of another shooter, which was not the case. The community is in deep shock, we never thought that this could have happened with us.” Continue reading ‘Sikhs Killed in USA Terror Attack on Sikh Gurdwara (place of worship)’ »

UNITED SIKHS supports NYC OEM to prepare for Hurricane season

New York, USA: UNITED SIKHS volunteers participated at the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) disaster management event held at OEM NY warehouse on 30th July, 2012.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) plans and prepares for emergencies, educates the public about preparedness, coordinates emergency response and recovery, and collects and disseminates emergency information. The event marked coming together of volunteers from different NGO’s and non profits to help the core OEM team pack the emergency supplies and prepare in advance for the upcoming hurricane season. The packed kits will help in operational effectiveness of distribution points and centers that will be set up in case a hurricane hits the region.

UNITED SIKHS team appreciates all the thought and planning that NYC OEM team has been putting together in this arena. Jasminder Kaur, a UNITED SIKHS volunteer said:- “It was truly an amazing experience working together with volunteers from different NGO’s and communities. The preparation will surely help alleviate a lot of pain points and concerns in case of any unfortunate hurricane strike”.

UNITED SIKHS participates at the INTERFAITH VIGIL at the UN Church

New York,USA : UNITED SIKHS participated at the Interfaith Vigil for the United Nations Negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty on 26th July at the Church Center for the United Nations. The evening brought together leaders, scholars and representatives of different religions and faiths across the world to pray and advocate for a strong and binding Arms Trade Treaty.

The United States and 192 other countries are nearing the end of negotiations at the United Nations on a global treaty aimed at
controlling the trade in conventional weapons. The estimated $60 billion international arms trade is unregulated, though countries including the U.S. have their own rules on exports.

Representatives of different traditions collaborated and read prayers to support the desire for real transformation from violent conflict to restoring of communities and reconciling of relationships. Jasminder Kaur, a UNITED SIKHS volunteer, read an excerpt from the Sikh’s Holy Scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji along with its English translation to mark the representation of Sikh faith towards this cause.

The event concluded with  everyone lighting a candle in the hope for a positive outcome at ATT negotiations .

Link to the prayer video :- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_22-RoZG5c&feature=channel&list=UL

English translation : – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APeqZtmR3xU&feature=channel&list=UL

 

UNITED SIKHS invited to be a part of United Nations Arms Trade Treaty negotiations

New York, USA

UNITED SIKHS has been invited to represent Sikh Faith at the UN Arms Trade Treaty final day of negotiations at the UN Church Center . The eve will mark as an interfaith gathering where people from all faiths will concertedly pray/meditate for a miraculous closing to what is a difficult political negotiation between member states regarding rules and regulations surrounding the international trade in conventional weapons.

We hope you’ll be a part of the cause with us no matter whether you’re to speak or to stand and will pray with us, with or without physical presence, in solidarity with those who suffer because of the immoral trade in conventional weapons and with those who are working hard to make something good happen for the world.

6/13 Living Room: The Sikh Way, followed by music!

Here is your opportunity to witness a super Sikh Living Room, featuring the esteemed Dr. Balbinder Bhogal, who holds a chair in Sikh Studies at Hoftstra University, and two Tony Blair Faith Acts Fellows (a Jew and Christian) who are working at United Sikhs this year and will share how they have experienced their neighbor’s faith.

Sonny Singh, Arooj Aftab, and Bhrigu Sahni (a Sikh, Muslim, & Hindu!) will provide music during the Living Room and will play a set at 9 pm. Come out to celebrate four years of Faith House and the spring season at Charlotte’s Place!

Wednesday, June 13 , Program: 7-8:30 PM Music Set at 9 PM,  Location: Charlotte’s Place107 Greenwich Street, between Rector & Carlisle St

Please RSVP on Faith House Website. Free and open to the public

UNITED SIKHS hosts its 45th Blood drive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha,Carteret, NJ

Marking yet another anniversary of the unfortunate 1984 attacks on Harmandir Sahib(Golden temple) in Amritsar, UNITED SIKHS, in collaboration with Community Blood Services (CBS), hosted a blood drive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Carteret,,NJ. More than 40 community members participated and generously donated blood. This was UNITED SIKHS’s 45th blood drive and yet another attempt to serve the community in every possible way.

According to America’s Blood Center’s(ABC), only 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood out of which less than 10 percent do annually, and about 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood. One pint of blood can save up to three lives and with the support of Gurdwara Management and CBS, we were able to collect more than 40 pints of blood in this blood drive.

UNITED SIKHS has been consistently conducting blood drives in different communities to respond to this vital and crucial need of people all
over the world. A big thanks to all those who donated blood at the drive and those who perform this sewa on a regular basis. Also, we thank the management of Gurdwara Singh Sabha at Carteret,NJ who has always been very supportive and compassionate in organising such drives.

We cannot undertake such important projects without the support of generous community members like you. Please volunteer or donate today!

To organize a blood drive in your region write to sikhaid@unitedsikhs.org. For more information on Blood Drives or other UNITED SIKHS Community Service initiatives, visit us at www.unitedsikhs.org.

 

6/13 Living Room: The Sikh Way, followed by music!

Here is your opportunity to witness a super Sikh Living Room, featuring the esteemed Dr. Balbinder Bhogal, who holds a chair in Sikh Studies at Hoftstra University, and two Tony Blair Faith Acts Fellows (a Jew and Christian) who are working at United Sikhs this year and will share how they have experienced their neighbor’s faith.

Sonny Singh, Arooj Aftab, and Bhrigu Sahni (a Sikh, Muslim, & Hindu!) will provide music during the Living Room and will play a set at 9 pm. Come out to celebrate four years of Faith House and the spring season at Charlotte’s Place!

Wednesday, June 13 , Program: 7-8:30 PM Music Set at 9 PM,  Location: Charlotte’s Place107 Greenwich Street, between Rector & Carlisle St

Please RSVP on Faith House Website. Free and open to the public.
Donations accepted online or at event.

Great Opportunity for NYC Youth- Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

NYC Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with summer employment and educational opportunities. In 2011 Department of Youth and Community Development employed 30,628 participants and placed them at 5,732 worksites.  Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs at government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sports enterprises, and retail organizations.

The application deadline for this program has been extended to Friday, May 25th, 2012.

Click here to apply