Jun 28, 2016 4:13 PM GMT
http://unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-17-06-2016_1.htmlThe American Sikh Community Offers Help and Stands in Solidarity With the Victims of the Orlando Shooting
Orlando,USA: Late Saturday night leading into early Sunday morning, Orlando, Florida was stunned by a devastating hate-crime when 29-year-old Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub (an LGBT community based social lounge), and gunned down more than 49 individuals, also wounding 53 others. The incident took place around 2:00 am, and after a three-hour stand-off, Orlando police shot and killed the gunman.
Omar Mateen was American-born. He had no ties to the muslim faith and although ISIS sympathizers praised the attack, no claim of responsibility has been taken by Jihadist groups.
"This was an act of terror, and an act of hate," stated U.S President Barack Obama on an official address to the nation. "This is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender."
On Monday evening, a candlelight vigil ceremony was held to honor those that were killed during the heinous attack. The Orlando Sikh community, guided by Baljit Singh stood alongside their fellow Americans to give condolences and show support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.
The Sikh Sangat of Orlando community spokesperson, Baljit Singh said, "In this grim hour we offer our deepest condolences for all those affected by the horrific event and offer our prayers for those departed."
UNITED SIKHS, an international human rights not-for-profit organization (NGO), thanks the Sikh community of Orlando for standing in solidarity with our fellow Americans during this difficult time. The Sikhs of Orlando, whether children or adults, have shown their humility, respect and devotion with this act of seva (selfless service), a core tenant of the faith. Wanda Sanchez Day, Esq., Acting National Legal Director of United Sikhs, Inc., states "Sikhs believe that all people should aid the innocent against violence and hate. They too have been the victims of hate crimes and backlash, especially since 9/11. Much of this backlash today is fueled by the public's lack of awareness of the Sikh culture and the community's struggles."
Using funds gathered by the Sikh sangat, over 4,000 drinks were delivered by the Sikh community during the vigil ceremony to keep people refreshed and hydrated, along with 1,600 snack packs and more than 200 candles.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SikhismThe fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. Although one of the youngest amongst the major world religions, with over 25 million adherents worldwide, Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism_and_sexual_orientationSikhism has no specific teachings about homosexuality and the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, does not explicitly mention heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality. The universal goal of a Sikh is to have no hate or animosity to any person, regardless of factors like race, caste, color, creed, gender, or sexuality. Within the last few years the topic of homosexuality has become much more discussed in religions all over the world, and this has created a fierce debate of whether or not homosexuality is acceptable in Sikhism. The fact that it is not mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib has sparked debate within the religion, and the once tabooed topic of homosexuality is now being discussed within Sikhism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism_by_countrySikhism can be found predominantly in the Punjab region of India but Sikh communities exist on every inhabited continent, with the largest emigrant population being in Canada, with slightly more than in the United Kingdom. There are approximately 30 million Sikhs in the world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_AnandpurA depiction of Bhai Bachitter Singh killing the drunk elephant set by Mughal forces on the Sikh forces in the battlefield with Nagni Barcha (snake spear) given by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.