New York, NY; August 7, 2012— American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger today issued the following statement on behalf of the staff and board of directors of the human rights organization in response to the tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin:
A man holds his hands in prayer as he walks inside the Sikh Cultural Society in the Queens borough of New York August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
We are heartbroken by the shooting in a house of worship in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that took the lives of six members of the Sikh community and wounded three others. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Sikh community and offer our prayers for all involved.
This senseless tragedy is a bitter reminder that we must ensure human rights for all and speak out against violence, bigotry and discrimination. Every person has the right to live with dignity and physical safety.
The United States has long welcomed people of all backgrounds to its shores. American Jews are no strangers to persecution, and our heritage teaches that we must speak up for all who are treated as “strangers.” We take this moment to reaffirm our commitment to working for a world in which the essential dignity of every person is respected.
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David L. Marcus