Charan Gill: Wisconsin Sikh temple attack was not a random act of violence

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      By Charan Gill

      I am deeply saddened by the brutal loss of life and injury of members of the Sikh community in Wisconsin. I feel that this senseless and racist attack at a place of worship is not the act of a madman nor is it a random act of violence—this was well-organized and targeted by a racist group against the Sikh community in Wisconsin.

      Many people blame slack gun control laws, but it is my firm belief that by controlling gun violence, we will not be able to stop extreme racist groups from committing attacks against minority groups.

      I have lived too long, have seen similar attacks here in B.C., and have heard of other senseless acts of violence motivated by racism across the world. The seeds of ignorance are fertilized by hate and racism. These same seeds burn mosques, synagogues, and temples, create gunmen to murder innocent kids in Norway, and now open fire on innocent worshippers in a gurdwara.

      The fruits of these seeds of ignorance are bitter, poisonous, and deadly. Ignorant racists do not care about the differences in faith and practices or whether the victims of their crimes are women or children. Rather, they actively seek vulnerable targets, like Nirmal Singh Gill, who was the victim of an act of racism in Surrey.

      Racists and white supremacists cause fear in the wider community to demonstrate their force and power. It would be naïve to think that groups like these do not congregate and meet in secret, even locally. They wait in hiding and seek any opportunity to create hatred among people of all colour, religion, and ethnicity.

      Our communities should not live in fear but must unite to show racists that we are happy to live in harmony and have an intercultural understanding of one another. Education will not help racist groups—the only language they understand is strict law enforcement and appropriate consequences to deter them from criminal and racist acts.

      I would like to extend my sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this tragic incident. I strongly denounce this racist act of violence and am determined to not watch our community live in fear. Rather we should unite and organize a defence through education and intercultural understanding against white supremacists to ensure no minority group will suffer from racist and senseless violence again.

      Charan Gill is the CEO of Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society and a veteran antiracist campaigner in B.C.



      Tedd Alcuitas

      Aug 7, 2012 at 11:02pm

      Indeed we should unite to combat intolerance in our society and while this tragic incident happened in the U.S. we should be vigilant here in Canada. The same white supremacists lurk in our own backyard as evidenced by the attack on Nirmal Singh Gill in Surrey and the Filipino man they tried to burn in east Vancouver.

      Irresponsible statements from government officials who portray immigrants and refugees as ‘illegals’ who only come here to milk our medicare system to the detriment of our own citizens also fan the climate of fear and hatred against minorities.

      Labeling refugee applicants as receiving ‘gold-plated’ medical care and those who came by boat to escape the conflict in Sri Lanka as ‘terrorists’ are designed to arouse hatred for the immigrant community overall.

      It won’t be long before the violence of the word would translate into violence of the trigger finger and result in the massacre of innocent people.

      This is what the late Norman Cousins said about the massacre in My Lai during the Vietnam War. The American soldiers who mowed down villagers including children were conditioned by the idea that these people were indispensable.

      If the rhetoric is repeated often and long enough, it is no surprise that someone out there will vent their rage with the trigger finger.

      44 Magnum

      Aug 8, 2012 at 5:19pm

      So which well organized racist group is he actually referring to?


      Aug 8, 2012 at 10:38pm

      I heard that one of the victims was the father of Emmy award winning documentary film maker Amardeep Kaleka. The film Sirius seems to have some enemies in the silencing business. The Manchurian Candidate who was programmed to do this killing is now known to have turned his gun on him self. The Sikh people are now victims of a government false flag attack and are not going to fall for it's propaganda.