Sikhism Beliefs: Sikhs and Muslims Have Long History of Violence

The shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin has left a lot of questions unanswered as the story continues to unfold. As of now, it has been confirmed that an officer has been shot who arrived on scene as well as several males inside the temple and one suspect. The suspect has been described as a white male in his 30s.

Sikhism is a religion created in the 15th century and is one of the most widely practiced religions in the world. Sikhs are often confused for Muslims due to some perceived similarities in traditional dress, but in fact are quite different. The possibility that this was a hate crime carried out by an anti-Islam extremist or radical Muslim are both possibilities, as the likelihood of this being a random shooting is very low.

Muslims and Sikhs have also been at odds in the past. During Sikhism’s early days they often fought wars against Muslims for land and worshipers. Sikhs were greatly feared by Muslims during the 17th century for their increasing backlash against Muslim rule. Radical Islamic groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have attacked Sikhs for their religious beliefs in Pakistan and elsewhere in the region.

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Joseph Sarkisian

Joseph graduated with a Master of Science in international relations from the University of Massachusetts Boston and was an intern at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC. He completed his BA at Arizona State University in political science as well as studied Arabic language, terrorism/counterterrorism, and religion. Joseph also lived in Egypt where he studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo in 2007. Joseph was the Secretary of the Executive Committee for the University of Massachusetts Graduate Student Government, a teaching assistant in his department, and teaches a class on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. His main areas of interest are the Af/Pak region, Iran, Syria, and other current foreign policy issues.

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