August 6th, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Temple shooting dredges up memories of long history of bias crimes against Sikhs

Immediately after the September 11, 2001, terrorist acts, Sikhs came under attack.

Mistaken for Muslims for their beards and turbans, they became ripe targets for zealots seeking revenge.

The first person murdered in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks was a Sikh – a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, named Balbir Singh Sodhi who was shot five times by aircraft mechanic Frank Roque.

In the intervening years, the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based advocacy group, reported more than 700 attacks or bias-related incidents.

Some Sikhs had their houses vandalized; others were spat upon. In some extreme cases, Sikhs were set upon by groups of people and beaten.

As the incidents waned, the community had hoped the worst was behind them - until Sunday when a man shot and killed at least six people at a temple outside Milwaukee, wounded a police officer, and was himself killed by another officer's bullets.


Filed under: Crime • U.S. • World
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. mike from bflo, ny

    Just got done watching a doc on the sodhi family. several months after balbir was murdered his brother was shot and killed in SF. and still the sodhi fam upheld their love and pride for the amer. dream.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. ericke

    So, they this a domestic terror attack but not the Colorado or Tuscon shootings?

    August 6, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      sorry...wh!te on wh!te is justah regular ole crime...if a protected class minority is involved we must add priority points, sophisticate the charges, and a federal eyeball is thrown in...for american justice system tend to be blinded by color...if it's any consolation women are considered a the wh!te women do qualify for both blinded justice system and the federal eyeballing...contrary to popular beliefs they are considered most protected class...ask any wh!te man

      August 6, 2012 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Truth

    82nd Airborne says:
    August 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm
    Ironic how this is a “Domestic Terrorist-Type incident” yet the Ft Hood shooting was not. Oh thats right, Major Hassan was a Muslim and it wouldnt be politically correct to call him what he is..a terrorist. It also would take away Obama’s the ability to claim there hasnt been any acts of terrorism on our soil since he became POTUS. It also serves as an opportunity for those on the left along with liberal media outlets like CNN (propaganda mills) to further their agenda of destroying the 2nd Amendment. The hypocrisy displayed by those on the left never cease to amaze me.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Whew? Mass murder is mass murder! What you, certain government agencies or the press choose to call itf it's still the same. After the fact, desk bound analysts may choose to classify the crimes based on motive because that's what they do. The deranged killers who did the shootings in AZ, West Virginia and Colorado might be called insane, but not terrorists. The shooting at Ft Hood and now
      The Sikh temple are attacks of terrorism, I guess. But this CR*P about attacks on Obama's watch is like blaming Bush for 9/11. Jeez!

      August 6, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      Truth seems like hate filled so called phony " patriots" like you should brought the count up to eight during that shooting. We in this country are tired of hatful racists!

      August 6, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      The only people who are considered and labeled as terrorists in this country are Muslims. Its politically incorrect to call any other a terrorist. Thats why I'm a bit surprised at this crime being called as such.

      August 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. doug the slug

    A long history of ignorance, like not being able to tell the difference between an orange and an apple. Wait, they don't look like me, and I don't understand what they're doing, so I guess they must die. How can you argue that someone that racist, and that stupid, should have the right to bear arms? Here, dim bulb, take this gun, watch some TV, and then go out and make some good choices.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    IMO, this shooting, in addition to Ft. Hood, Aurora, and Tuscon, are all domestic terrorist acts.

    August 6, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mickey1313

      @banasy,i agree. I'm 100% against the patriot act, but if going to be used, then these are the people to use it against. The guy in colorado should already be in federal holding and being subjected to intrusive interrogation. However im not convenced he was acting alone, without support. Maybe im gulable, but I think alex jones might be on the right track

      August 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. s kel

    ok right wingers,defend this shooter!

    August 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    While we we rightfully wax against these individuals who commit these acts of domestic terrorism, we tend to forget those who are responsible for spreading,paranoia, hatred and fear to further their political agenda. Begun by that crime designed tor this very purpose – 9/11

    August 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |