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Greater Boston Sikh Community Condemns Wisconsin Shooting

Sikhs from Somerville, Medford, Cambridge and Boston were trying to learn more about the circumstances of a deadly shooting in Wisconsin, according to a leader in the Boston Sikh community.

Members of the Greater Boston Sikh community were condemning a Sunday .

At the same time, the local Sikh community was trying to learn more information about the circumstances of the shooting.

Darfhan Singh, secretary of a gurdwara—a Sikh place of worship—that recently moved from Somerville to Everett, said members of the Boston Sikh community are "listening to the television and radio" in an attempt to learn more about what happened. 

"The investigation is going on," Singh said, cautioning against jumping to conclusions.

Although Singh, who was visiting North Carolina Sunday when news of the shooting broke, did not know anyone in the Oak Creek, Wis., area, where the shooting took place, he said the Sikh community in the United States is relatively small and connected, and members of the Boston community were busy making phone calls to see if they knew anyone affected by the shooting.

The gurdwara in Everett attracts members of the Sikh community from miles around, Singh said—members of the congregation come from Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Medford and other areas.

He also said the are gurdwaras in Medford, Millis and Milford.

Singh said that, since the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001, members of the Sikh community in some parts of the country have faced discrimination at the hands of people who think they are Muslim or from places like Afghanistan. (Sikhism is a separate religion, the fifth largest in the world.)

He feared the shooting in Wisconsin was a hate crime.

Sikhs in Boston, however, have not faced much discrimination, he said. "We don't have any type of problems in Boston."

Singh did not know Sunday afternoon if members of the Boston Sikh community would hold a vigil or a showing of support for the Wisconsin victims.

Leaders in the community were planning to learn more information about the shooting and meet to discuss it, he said.

The shooting took place at about 2 p.m. Sunday, after worshipers in Boston had already left gurdwara, so it wasn't something they discussed during worship.

It is believed one gunman, who was also killed in the incident, acted alone in the shooting.

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"We condemn it," Singh said of the shooting, adding that Sikhs are peaceful people.

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