Sikh teen asks for religious tolerance

Published: Thursday, Aug. 16 2012 12:00 p.m. MDT

People attend a candle light vigil for the victims of Sunday's shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, during the national night out event at the Oak Creek Civic Center in Oak Creek, Wis.

Tom Lynn, Associated Press

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Our take: Sikhism has made many headlines since the Wisconsin shooting, and articles informing Americans of the religion's practices and principles from an impersonal, journalistic standpoint abound. This letter to the editor of Akron.com from a Sikh teen helps to bring the discussion to a more relatable level.

I am writing to express my condolences to the entire Oak Creek Gurdwara Sikh community. As a teenage Sikh-American, I am moved to write this letter to speak out against injustice, ignorance and religious intolerance. My heart shrank in disgust and sadness as I watched the tragedy of the Wisconsin Gurdwara shooting unfold before my eyes; I am flabbergasted by the knowledge that someone would murder innocent worshippers in sanctity of a religious setting. I fail to understand how anyone could be moved to commit an act of violence against any human: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, atheist, Sikh, etc.

Like the majority of Sikhs residing in the United States, I was born here; I am a U.S. citizen. I owe my allegiance to this country and am just as loyal to this nation as my fellow Americans. The very American values of freedom and sacrifice for ones country are paralleled by the teachings of Sikhism. The three basic principles of Sikhism are to work hard to earn an honest living, share ones earnings through charity, and to remember our divine creator.

Read more about a Sikh teen's call for tolerance on Akron.com.

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