Saperstein: "America is the most religiously diverse nation in the history of humankind and hate crimes targeted at religious, racial or ethnic groups tear at the fabric of our nation."
WASHINGTON, D.C. August 6, 2012 - In response to yesterday's tragic shooting at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"We are horrified by this weekend's attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. Our thoughts are with the families of those whose lives were taken and those who were injured. America is the most religiously diverse nation in the history of humankind and hate crimes targeted at religious, racial or ethnic groups tear at the fabric of our nation. Such assaults are more than mere acts of violence. They are nothing less than attacks on those values that are the pillars of our republic and the guarantors of our freedom. They are a betrayal of the promise of America.
These events also serve as yet another tragic reminder of the violence wrought by guns, which are simply too easily available to those who seek to cause grievous harm.
As a people who have endured persecution throughout history, Jews know all too well the dangers that stem from a failure to defend the religious freedom, safety and well-being of others and from a failure to speak forcefully and act effectively to bar discrimination against, and demonization, of the "other." The Reform Movement stands shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the American Sikh community, sends its prayers to the families of those who died and wishes healing to those who were wounded in this senseless tragedy."