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Sikhism in the United States

  • The Sikh faith is the fifth-largest in the world, with more than 30 million followers. It includes belief in one God and that the goal of life is to lead an exemplary existence.
  • The temple in Oak Creek, south of Milwaukee, was founded in October 1997 and has a congregation of 350 to 400 people.
  • There are an estimated 500,000 or more Sikhs in the United States.
  • Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 by Islamist militants, Sikhs have sometimes been confused publicly with Muslims because of their turban headdress and beards.
  • Members of the Milwaukee Sikh community complained to police and a state representative last year about an upturn in robberies and vandalism at Sikh-owned gas stations and stores.


Barack Obama 'deeply saddened' by Sikh temple attack

President Barack Obama said he was "deeply saddened" and pledged his administration's commitment to fully investigate the shooting.

At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded.

As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.

– Statement by President Obama

Obama told situation at Sikh temple is 'under control'

President Barack Obama has been told the Sikh temple shooting situation is "under control". Credit: Kerim Okten/PA Archive/Press Association Images

United States President Barack Obama has been told the situation at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin is "under control" after a shooting rampage there on Sunday and the killing by police of the lone gunman.

Security officials briefed Obama about the incident and he later called Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi and the trustee of the Sikh temple, Charanjeet Singh, to express condolences for the lives lost, the White House said.

US authorities treating incident as 'domestic terrorism'

The US FBI are handling the investigation into the Sikh temple shooting as a "domestic terrorism" case, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said.

The best information is that there was only one gunman.

– Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards

He also said the temple complex has been cleared, but they are still methodically searching the area.


Obama told of temple shooting, says White House

President Barack Obama has been told about the fatal shooting spree at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a White House official has confirmed.

John Brennan, Obama's counterterrorism adviser, told him about the shooting.

The president is now receiving updates on the incident in suburban Milwaukee, the official said.

At least seven people have died, including a gunman, and at least three people are seriously wounded, local police and hospital officials said.

'At least seven killed' in Sikh temple shooting

Ambulances Credit: APTN

A shooting during a Sunday service at a Sikh temple has killed at least seven people, including the gunman, and injured "dozens" more, leaving at least three critically wounded.

Four people were shot inside the temple and three were shot outside.

Police have closed off the area. Credit: APTN

Smiran Kaleka, a niece of one of the wounded men, said a number of gunmen walked into the kitchen of the temple in Oak Creek and started shooting. She said her mother had told her the shooters were white men.

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