Posted by | August 5, 2012 15:44 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Sarah Betancourt

A white male in his early 30s began shooting in the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin near Milwaukee on Sunday morning. At least seven people are dead, including the gunman who exchanged gunfire with law enforcement. The temple has a congregation of 300 to 400, according to its website.

According to the Journal Sentinel, there could be as many as 30 victims; among those shot was the president of the temple, Satwant Kaleka.

“Since I’ve been alderman, for about three years, there has never been any trouble, or any problems,” County Alderman Dan Jakupczyk  told Fox News of the temple. “They have been good citizens.”

Online forums are rampant with racist comments about Muslims. Sikhs don’t practice the same religion as Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say. According to a CBS report, “Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the U.S. since 9/11, which advocates blame on anti-Islamic sentiment.”

By: Sarah Betancourt

Sarah Betancourt is a Boston-based journalist who has written for In These Times, Open Media Boston, Spare Change News, Boston.com, the Boston Globe Environment Blog, and has had work appear in video on the National Geographic Water Currents Blog. She writes primarily about Boston politics, labor, Generation Y issues, and environmental policy.