WASHINGTON, August 6, 2012 — The American Islamic Congress (AIC) expresses its deepest condolences and sympathies to the Sikh community and the town of Oak Creek, Wisc., after the tragic events yesterday, which claimed the lives of six innocent people at their place of worship.
Today, AIC’s Co-Founder and Executive Director Zainab Al-Suwaij released the following statement:
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were affected by this shooting. We pledge our support as these communities grapple with the unimaginable heartbreak and upheaval caused by this unprovoked and hateful act. We condemn this deplorable act of hate-filled violence and mourn the loss of life that resulted.
Sikhs, Muslims and many other faith communities came to this country seeking democracy and freedom and hoping to worship freely. Not only were six innocent lives lost, but also lost is the promise of peace, security and sanctuary for those peacefully and privately practicing their faith. Freedom of religion is one of the founding principles of the United States. This reminds us we must not take this freedom for granted.
We must be vocal advocates for religious freedom while also supporting each other through the growing unity of the interfaith community. Incidents such as this, as well as the mosque burning in Missouri earlier today, reaffirms AIC’s mandate and commitment to religious freedom both here at home and abroad.
We must come together and continue working together to strengthen interfaith dialogue and promote intercultural understanding and tolerance to ensure that similar senseless acts of violence never happen in the future.”