That hate crimes against Muslims even occur is sad and deplorable. But that other innocents are caught in the crossfire due to American ignorance about other cultures and religions is terrible still.
WEST SACRAMENTO, California — The daily stroll had become routine for two elderly Sikh men in a Sacramento suburb, as well as for neighbors and friends accustomed to seeing the men walk by with their long beards and turbans.
But the traditional headwear might have singled them out late last week when they were gunned down, one fatally, in what police are investigating as a suspected hate crime.
On Monday, local religious leaders pleaded for the community to come forward with leads but also said they will not be deterred by violence.
“Our community will continue to wear our turbans proudly,” said Navi Kaur, the granddaughter of Surinder Singh, 65, who died from his wounds.
His friend, 78-year-old Gurmej Atwal, remains in critical condition.
They were walking through their neighborhood in Elk Grove, just south of the California state capital Sacramento, Friday afternoon when someone in what witnesses described as a pickup truck opened fire.
Police said they have no suspects nor any indication the shooting was a hate crime, but said the turbans could have made the elderly men a target of extremists.
During a news conference Monday at a Sikh temple, a spokesman said the recent violence has scared some temple-goers into concealing any indicators of their religion.Sikhs often are mistaken for Muslims and have been the subject of occasional violence across the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
And people still ask why certain Muslims hate Americans? Might it have something to do with the great amount of arrogance, hatred, and ignorance on the part of some of our citizens? Americans should be united in working to cease this sort of treatment, here and abroad. This needs to be condemned, just as much as when a Muslim hate group targets Americans. This is just as terrible and just as depraved.