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Solidarity Event Shows Support For Sikhs

Ranjani Saigal

On August 23rd, an interfaith service was held at the Trinity Church in Boston. It was jointly hosted by the Islamic Council of New England, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and the Massachusetts Council of Churches to honor the victims of the mindless tragedy at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Prayers and Langar was offered by the Gurdwara Sahib in Milford, Guru Ram Das Ashram and Gurdwara in Millis, Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar in Medford, and the Sikh Sangat Society of Boston in Everett.

The great halls of the Trinity Church resounded with beautiful renditions of Shabad as people of different race and religion gathered to offer their support. “The   Trinity Service was so uplifting and energizing” said Sarbpreet Singh, who has actively engaged with communities in New England that were holding events. “These events are most touching for it brings forth great support. We also would like to use these events to educate people about Sikhism”. Pamphlets with information about Sikhism and even tee-shirts printed with information were distributed at the event.

Also attending the inter-faith service was the US Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz, and the Head of the FBI, New England Office, Richard  DesLauriers.  Earlier both, together with Detective Lt. Zinck of the Boston Police Department, Civil Rights Division, also met leaders of the Greater Boston Sikh community before the service to express their condolences for the killing of six members of the Sikh congregation in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and also to offer their support.

In addition, US Attorney Ortiz and Agent DesLauriers discussed some of the community’s concerns related to safety and security and how they could work together with the Sikh community to build stronger relationships with the local police and educate others about Sikhs.

"I'm pleased that US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and Agent Rich DesLauriers have taken this opportunity to reach out to our community and connect with us during this difficult time.  We look forward to building these partnerships further as we work to keep our communities safe and secure”, said Navjeet Singh who is Vice Chair of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

“We are convinced that what binds us together is stronger than anything that divides us” said Laura Rev. Laura E. Everett, Executive Director of the Mass Council of Churches, which is an ecumenical partnership that helped organize the event. The event ended with a prayer, not just for the victims of the tragedy but also for the tormented soul of the perpetrator of the crime.

Guru Ka Langar was served to the very large congregation in a very smooth fashion. The event was served its mission of bringing people together and educating people about Sikhism.

“If people would like to donate money to support the victims there are a few ways to do it.You can use this online site for donation.
http://www.indiegogo.com/Milwaukee-Sikh" said Deepika Sawhney, one of the attendees at the event.

The Milford Gurudwara made an announcement that they would take
donations made to the Gurudwara and pass it along to the victims in
Oak Creek.  Donations need to be clearly marked for the intended use.

The address is:
The New England Sikh Study Circle - Milford Gurudwara
204 E. Main Street, Milford, MA 01757
Ph: (508) 478-2469 | Email: management@nessc.org

We hope the uplifting moments created at such spiritual gathering will forever wipe hate crimes.


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