Parliament Recognises Sikhs Lost in Wisconsin
In a Ministerial Speech delivered by Michelle Rowland to Parliament on the 15th of August, Ms Rowland addresses the recent Sikh Tradgedy in Wisconsin.
Ms ROWLAND (Greenway) (13:54): I rise today to offer my condolences to those affected by the recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, in which six worshippers were killed, and to acknowledge the grief felt by the large Sikh community whom I am privileged to represent in this place.
The Greenway electorate is a diverse and multicultural part of Western Sydney, an electorate which includes a similar gurudwara in Glenwood, where I live, and which is home to almost 5,000 people of Sikh faith. The Sikh community of Greenway and Australia generally are understandably shocked and distressed by this mindless loss of their innocent fellow believers abroad.In the wake of this tragedy, the Glenwood gurudwara became not just a place of worship but a place of mourning for Sikh brothers and sisters. In the words of Sikh Youth Australia President Mr Satwant Singh Calais:
Sikh Youth Australia will join Sikhs all over Australiain prayers for the departed and those who have been hurt. Our condolences go to all those who have suffered as a result of this tragedy. May the Almighty give all the strength to move forward from this sad event.
Sikhism is a progressive faith that preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God. As I have often stated publicly, many values of Sikhism are strongly aligned with those we all desire on a personal andnational level. So my thoughts are with all members ofthe Sikh faith at this sad time.
On this day, 15 August, which is also Indian Independence Day, I express my deepest regret atthis tragedy and reaffirm my commitment to the Sikhcommunity whom I represent in the federal parliament.
Sikhs in Australia were shocked to learn that a lone gunman had attacked innocent Sikhs ina Sikh Gurdwara (temple) in Oak Creek Wisconsin killing 6 Sikh men and women. Three others were critically injured.
Sikh Youth Australia (SYA) joins Sikhs all over the world in condemning this deplorableshooting of innocents gathering to pray in a place of worship. SYA also applauds the actionsof the US policeman who shot and killed the attacker despite being seriously hurt as he triedto help a victim.
Sikhs have a proud history over many years of contributing extensively to the country towhich they have migrated. The US is no different. Sikhs in the US serve proudly in itsdefence forces as well as in its police force. They are respected for their honesty and workethic and well liked wherever they have gone.
The fact that post 9/11 Sikhs have been mistaken in the US and in Australia as being Islamicterrorists because of their outward appearance and dress, points seriously to a need foreducation worldwide as well as in the US on who and what Sikhs are as a community.
SYA urges all Sikhs to be rational in their reaction to this shooting and to join hands globallyto raise awareness of the Sikh religion and Sikh culture in countries all over the world.
In the next few days SYA will join Sikhs all over Australia in prayers for the departed andthose who have been hurt. Our condolences go to all those who have suffered as a result ofthis tragedy. May the Almighty give all the strength to move forward from this sad event.