August 5, 2023 (Oak Creek, WI) — Today, the Sikh Coalition joins Sikhs and others in Wisconsin and across the nation as we pause to commemorate the 2012 attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, WI. Eleven years ago today, a neo-Nazi gunman murdered six sangat members and permanently injured several others in the deadliest act of anti-Sikh hate in U.S. history.
We solemnly remember Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suveg Singh Khattra, and Satwant Singh Kaleka, who were killed in that horrific attack. We also honor Baba Punjab Singh, who passed away in 2020 due to complications related to the injuries he sustained during the attack, and we remain inspired by the perseverance of those who were also critically injured at the time, including Bhai Santokh Singh and Lt. Brian Murphy. On this day of commemoration, we pray for all of these individuals and their families—and we are grateful to the entire Oak Creek sangat, which sets a powerful example of resilience for the entire nation.
Last year, the Sikh Coalition was deeply honored to join the Oak Creek sangat, partner organizations, and allies for a vigil and series of additional commemorative events at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. To raise awareness about the 10-year anniversary nationwide, we were also proud to lead a campaign for sangat members to contact their elected officials in support of key legislative reforms, convene a congressional briefing on protecting houses of worship, build and share the Oak Creek Learning Hub along with the Revolutionary Love Project, and support local and national media coverage as well as place more than 20 op-eds in newspapers across the country. Finally, we were also grateful to work with more than 20 sangats across the nation on our National Day of Seva and National Night of Vigil initiatives.
Through this and our other wide-ranging work, we remain committed to remembering those we lost in the Oak Creek tragedy, and pushing forward our education, outreach, and advocacy efforts to prevent further acts of targeted violence.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.