Local Sikh Community Holds Services
BEDFORD, Ohio — Members of this Sikh temple in Bedford say when they come to worship, they try to leave the evils of the world at the door.
However, Sunday’s deadly shooting in Wisconsin that left seven people dead, including the gunman have leaders here re-thinking how safe they are in their own house of worship.
“Psychologically, mentally, you’re surrendering yourself, you’re not concerned about your safety because you’re in God’s place and that people are just laid back in most cases,” says Baltek Randhawa, temple member, “There’s really no way to tell if somebody’s carrying similar kinds of thoughts even here. We know we have cameras, security cameras inside…we think we can probably put some outside too and just keep an eye, if you see any suspicious activity.”
Jasvinder Singh Khatra’s 84-year-old cousin was one of the people killed in the gunman, who police identify as Wade Michael Page.
“I called my nephew, he said ‘my dad is in there’, but I don’t know what happened, somebody told me he got shot,” he said.
Baltek Randhawa says Sikhs have been fighting extremists like the Taliban for hundreds of years. He says since the September 11th terror attacks, people have confused them with Muslim extremists, and if people knew more about their religion, they may not be misinformed about some of their customs.
“They might be thinking I’m putting my own flag above the US flag, although it’s just a religious flag out there. We believe in almighty God, there is only one God and he protects everybody.”