EL SOBRANTE (KRON) — An El Sobrante community is coming together to stand up against hate and show their support for members of the Sikh faith.
This comes after two high-profile attacks that rocked the El Sobrante community.
Many people came to the Sikh temple that aren’t even of the Sikh faith. They came to say, “We’re with you.”
On Wednesday night, the El Sobrante community sent a message of love and inclusivity, remembering two of their members that were attacked in recent months.
Last September, Maan Singh Khalsa, a Sikh, survived a violent beating.
Two months later, Will Sims, an African-American man, was shot to death outside of a local club.
“It’s unfortunate that martyrs have to spring forth to raise attention,” local pastor and resident Henry Washington said. “But I celebrate his life because he brought us together. It’s unfortunate for him and his family but prayerfully, we’re made better.”
“We’ve come up here with a friend that’s a Sikh, and the community is very open and welcoming,” resident Joni Owen added. “There’s a lot of concern in Richmond about the hate crimes. And I was very disturbed when the Sikh was attacked. That motivated me quite a lot to support.”
Sikhs across the United States have been mistaken for Muslims because of their headdress. And they have been unfairly targeted in light of terror attacks.
But for those at the event, it’s not just about this faith.
“For me, when they say OK, there should be tolerance, but I feel there should be understanding rather than just tolerance, so we’re trying to understand each other,” Sikh Amarjt Pannu said. “And that’s why we’re here–all of us.”
“Wanted to learn about the Sikh community, and then also just to see how the El Sobrante community is coming together,” resident Johanna Lavorando said. “I think it’s pretty important that regardless of what nationality you are or what religious you are, I think that it’s important that we all come together.”
Last week, two men were sentenced to three years in prison for the attack of Khalsa.
And three men have been charged with the murder of Sims.
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