With our heads covered and shoes off, we went into the Sikh Association of Baltimore, where Oak Creek, WI seems like next door.
"The community always had a fear that this kind of thing might happen since September 11 th," said Jesse Singh, Sikh Association of Baltimore.
The congregants in the Randallstown community heard the news after their Sunday morning service. They came back to the temple to pray and to shed some light on their beliefs.
While it's not known yet if the Sikhs in Wisconsin were targeted, threats have been common over the past 10 years. The Sikh coalition in Washington reports 700 incidents since 9/11.
"I would still like to believe that this was a random act and not label the mainstream society of this great nation as hate crime," said Singh.
Sikhs says they are often confused with Muslims since they cover their heads with turbans and refrain from shaving their beards. But it is an independent religion, created 500 years ago in India.
"Sikhism was formed to fight against injustice, basically what our nation was built upon and what our forefathers built the United States on," said Singh.
The president of the Maryland Muslim Council is showing support.
"It is our effort to sideline people who are extremists, and that we share our beliefs that Americans would be a much better nation if we can get over our differences," said Dr. Hasan Jalisi, president, Maryland Muslim Council.
The holy book keeps them grounded, as the FBI investigates the shootings as a domestic terrorist type incident.
"This shows that we are Americans and we are resolved to be an American, to be an American is not diminished by this," said Singh.
The incident in Wisconsin has them on the fast track to update their own security system at the temple. A prayer service is being planned for this week; we will pass along details as soon as we get them.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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