“O God! The world is aflame, save it by Thy Grace.
Save it, by whatever portal it may be saved.”
Guru Amar Das, 3rd Sikh Guru
It was fear that fermented into hate, and then invaded the sanctity of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin this past Sunday. It was the fear of losing white entitlement and majority status, which is magnified by the ever-expanding presence of the brown, black, red, and yellow citizens and immigrants. It is the fear of becoming a minority in America, because everyone knows how our minorities have been violated, abused, used, disregarded, and discarded in ‘the Land of the Free’.
This fear induces , in too many, hate and disgust for the other, the foreign, the non-white, and the non-Christian. Hatred bears bitter and deadly fruit, that in this case took six innocent lives and sent threats of potential violence into thousands upon thousands of religious centers of varying faiths, complexions, and cultures.
This hate is a disease, and though white supremacists may host the most terminal form, let’s not be fooled, this malady is societal. Just imagine who would have had the greatest difficulty going through any U.S. airport security a month ago, white supremacist and now multiple murderer Wade Page or his heroic victim, Sikh Temple President Satwant Singh Kaleka.
Let us not be self-deceptive. Hate has become acceptable in America.It’s okay to hate Iranians, Palestinians, Nigerians, Afghans, Mexicans, North Koreans, Jews, Muslims, and the list goes on.
We use wars to justify hating a whole people and too often call it patriotism.
Wade Page was a product of the American society, but so was Satwant Singh Kaleka. Each one of us must decide which one of them was the authentic American, and if you choose as I think you must, Satwant’s death was not in vain. To our Sikh brothers and sisters, may the Creator of us all pour mercy upon you, sustain you, protect you, reward you, and give the rest of us the strength to join you in the work of rejecting hate, transforming fear, eradicating ignorance, and uplifting humanity wherever we are. Amin
Submitted by Imam Plemon T. El-Amin