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Carmichael Rabbi Among Those Who Show Support for Sikh Community

Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike gathered at a West Sacramento temple to pray and offer condolences for the victims in last weekend's Wisconsin shooting.

Just getting the headwear right was a challenge for some, but members of the Sikh Temple of Sacramento were eager to help confused visitors Wednesday night, tying on scarves and showing them where to stow their shoes before entering the prayer hall.  

Religious leaders, elected officials and community members from around the Sacramento region embraced the area's Sikh community at an interfaith service Wednesday as members of that faith struggle to deal with .

"Why are we the target? We don't understand," said Darshan Mundy, a public relations officer for the West Sacramento temple. "The whole community is confused."

Representatives from Christian, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim and Jewish faiths spoke to the crowd, offering condolences and pledging support for the Sikh community.

"It is a religion that promotes peace and promotes love," said Jon Fish, president of the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento. "Whenever something tragic happens we have to focus a little clearer on peace and on love."

Rabbi Nancy Wechsler-Azen of Carmichael's also added her support for the Wisconsin victims.

"Every soul is a holy soul," she said. 

Elk Grove City Council Member Sophia Scherman said the Oak Creek tragedy "opened up wounds we thought were beginning to heal" .

"Just to look at the Sikh community and the sorrow and pain in their faces is just like it was in Elk Grove," Scherman said. "The look on the faces of the young [at Wednesday's service]–I'll never forget the look on their faces."

Ken Cooley, a Rancho Cordova City Council Member , wore a long orange scarf given to him by Sikh community members during that city's first city council meeting in 2003.

"We just see them as a valued part of our community," Cooley said.

He said he couldn't find words to describe the horror that took place in Wisconsin.

"It is an affront to what a place of worship represents," he said. "It's not just violence, it's sacrilege–and that would be true in any faith."

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The Sikh temple will hold a candlelight vigil at 7:30 p.m. Friday on the west steps of the state capitol.

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jimspice August 09, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Our friends at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin obviously have a lot on their minds right now. To ease their burden somewhat, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee has stepped forward to accept online donations to the temple’s Victims Memorial Fund at http://www.SikhHelp.org/. Contributions are processed securely online through the IFC PayPal account, and all proceeds will be transferred directly to the temple. The IFC is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your donation may be claimed as a charitable contribution for tax purposes. If you prefer to donate the old fashioned way, check or money order can be sent via snail mail to: Victim Memorial Fund c/o Sikh Temple of Wisconsin 7512 S. Howell Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154 You can also help spread the work by “Liking” and “Sharing” the SikhHelp.org Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SikhHelp
Roberta Hubbard August 10, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I wish I knew this gathering was taking place, I would have attended. I have been thinking about these peoples losses, and their innocence taken away in an instant by someone who had free access to guns. The evil and unjust act of another overtakes the good and innocent. So sad. I just don't get it.
Roberta Hubbard August 10, 2012 at 04:06 PM
BAN ASSULT WEAPONS http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/obama_romney_guns/?rc=fb_share1&r_by=-5989274-UQ8ww9x

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