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Think Out Loud

The Sikh Religion

Dave Blanchard / OPB

It’s been a little over a week since a man walked into a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and killed six people before turning the gun on himself. Authorities still don’t know the motive behind the murders. What is known is the killer, Wade M. Page, was a member of two white supremacist bands.

Since 9/11, violence against Sikhs has risen. Some Sikhs say it is because people confuse them for Muslims due to their turbans and beards. 

But Sikhism and Islam are very different religions, with very different origins. Sikhism began in the Punjab region of India at the end of the 15th century. The religion emphasizes the equality of all people, and service and charity to those in need.

We visited a Sikh temple — called a Gurdwara — a week after the Wisconsin shootings. The morning consisted of shared meals, prayers, and songs and readings from the Sikh holy book—the Guru Granth Sahib.

What is your experience with the Sikh religion? What questions do you have for Sikhs in Oregon?


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