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US Sikhs to submit memorandum to Obama

August 13, 2012 12:46 IST

The Sikh community in the United States plans to submit a memorandum to President Barack Obama, expressing their commitment to uphold the highest values of the American society and peaceful co-existence in the wake a shootout at a Gurdwara which left six worshippers dead.

Details of the said memorandum was read out at a peaceful candle-light vigil and meeting of Sikhs in front of the White  House last evening, which was attended by hundreds of people from the Greater Washington Area.

"We want to extend our appreciation to the President Barack Obama for offering his sympathy to the victims and their families. We are also thankful to him and various state Governors for the gesture of flying the US Flag at half-staff, as the nation mourns the victims," the memorandum says.

The gathering of the mourning Sikh community among others was addressed by Paul Monteiro, associate director at the White House Office of Public Engagement; former   Virginia Senator George Allen and a host of government official, political leaders and members of the Sikh community.

Besides the candle-light vigil, the Sikh Americans sung religious hymns and peace songs and vowed that they would not take revenge for the crime committed against them by a sole gunman, a white supremacist.

The Sikh community members were in special praise for police officer Brian Murphy who put his life at stake to counter the gunman. Murphy is now recouping from bullet injuries in a hospital. His condition is said to be improving.

"We wish to thank police officer Brian Murphy for his heroic act in attending to his duty and wish to celebrate his courage in serving the community," says the memorandum.

"We wish to reiterate that Sikhs believe in peaceful co-existence with other beliefs and faith in the community... The universal message of Sikhism is based on one single principle -- one God prevails in all of us and therefore we observe total equality of human race, irrespective of color, creed, religion or gender," it says.

"Today, once again, Sikhs rededicate themselves to spread their universal message and serve humanity. The Sikh temples or Gurudwaras are open every day to everyone to experience meditation, peace and community feast - we Sikhs welcome and invite our American friends to grace our Gurudwaras and bless us with their presence," it says.

"The US is the land of opportunity and Sikhs have been here for more than a century, contributing in every field and area of life. We Sikhs are committed to upholding the highest values of the American society and peaceful co-existence with others based on trust, universal brotherhood and mutual respect for each other's belief," it adds.  

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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