March 16, 2019 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, NY: In the largest act of mass violence in New Zealand’s history, two mosques were horrifically attacked during Friday prayer services. In a statement issued yesterday, the Sikh Coalition has expressed solidarity with the Muslim community and offers its condolences in their time of mourning.
“This tragedy follows other recent deadly attacks on houses of worship in America, including a synagogue in Pittsburgh, an African American church in Charleston, and a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek”, said the US based Sikh civil rights and advocacy group.
The New Zealand massacre began when a gunman entered a mosque and shot at Muslim worshippers as they gathered for Friday prayers. He then drove to another nearby mosque and murdered more worshippers. As of now, reports indicate that there are at least 49 people dead and many more injured. It is also being reported that the gunman is a “white nationalist who hates immigrants.”
The Sikh Coalition urged community members to know their rights, remain vigilant and always report cases of bias, bigotry and backlash.
“This horrific recurring pattern and epidemic of hate must end. No community or faith should ever feel unsafe in their house of worship,” said Sikh Coalition Executive Director Satjeet Kaur. “We ask that gurdwaras and all communities in the United States remain vigilant and always report cases of bias, bigotry and backlash.”
“The Sikh Coalition provides completely free and confidential legal assistance to Sikhs who have been discriminated against or subject to bias based upon their religious beliefs or identity. If you believe you have been discriminated against or subject to bias, please fill out our legal intake form to request free legal assistance”, the statement reads.