Chairman Crowley Statement on the 5th Anniversary of the Oak Creek Sikh Gurdwara Shooting

August 4, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.)  – House Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on the upcoming 5th anniversary of the tragic shooting at the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which claimed the lives of six worshippers and seriously injured several others on August 5, 2012:

“Five years ago, our nation was struck by a cowardly and tragic act of violence that took the lives of six innocent worshippers in a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. As we grieve for the victims, their loved ones, and the greater Sikh American community, we are reminded that much work remains to be done. Whether it is a gurdwara in Oak Creek, a church in Charleston, or a mosque in Quebec City, an attack on one faith is an attack on all. On this somber anniversary, we must reaffirm our commitment to fighting intolerance anywhere and everywhere.

“The tragic fact remains that Sikhs are all too often victims of discrimination and hate. I will continue my work to ensure civil rights for Sikh Americans and educate others about this beautiful faith and community. Our memory of Oak Creek will not be one of violence, but of people coming together to stand up for what is right and against hate in every form.”

A recognized leader in Congress on issues related to the Sikh American community, Crowley spearheaded a multi-year, successful effort to convince the federal government to begin collecting data on hate crimes committed against Sikh Americans. In addition to his work on hate crimes against the Sikh American community, Crowley led the successful effort in the House of Representatives to expand opportunities for Sikhs in the U.S. Army. He also led the effort to convince the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to end its discriminatory policy against Sikh players earlier this year.