The Day After

by: Blaine Skrainka

August 6, 2012

The day after the mass shooting in Wisconsin, at the Sikh Cultural Center in Queens
(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

A woman takes a moment of prayer at the Sikh Cultural Society of Queens, New York.

With the gunman shot dead, it remains unclear if the mass shooting at the Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was a hate crime. What is known is that the alleged shooter, Wade Michael Page — a legally-armed, ex-soldier — was a known Neo-Nazi.

The Sikh community, with American cultural roots stretching back over a century, has faced increased discrimination post-9/11. Since Sikh men wear turbans and unkept beards, many are mistook for Muslims. The Sikh religion is a monotheistic offshoot of Hinduism. 

Earlier today, less that 24 hours after the attack on the Sikh temple, the Islamic Society of Joplin, Missouri burned to the ground. While cause and motive have not been established, the same mosque was victim to an arson attack earlier this month.

Despite our country being founded on immigration and religious pluralism, racism and nationalism remain mainstream aspects of American life.

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