THE BC Sikh Gurdwara Council on Thursday said in a statement that it “condemns the attacks in and around the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa which resulted in the loss of life of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was a 24-year-old reservist serving in Hamilton from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada regiment. We stand in solidarity with all our fellow Canadians against these heinous acts and we as a country will come out stronger because of love, understanding and tolerance while simultaneously not falling prey to fear-mongering or identifying a specific race, religion or ethnic group as perpetrators.”
It added: “This attack was an attack on all Canadians regardless of our differences in appearance or way of life. It is our hope for a safe, secure, discrimination free and equal Canada that binds us all together. It should be our similarities and hope that shines through in these moments.
“There are elements of every race, religion, ethnicity and even nationality that believe they are superior in some form. This element has unfortunately been displayed in our history time and time again. This small minority does not and never has represented the dreams, aspirations and way of life of an entire nation of peoples. The blame for acts like this lay squarely on a thought process of differentiation of life and its value based on hate.
“We must remember that our struggle for a safe and secure world must start at home. We as Canadians must become active to ensure acts like this do not occur again. Whether we engage in circles to support Aboriginal peoples to secure their way of life or engage at the ground level to ensure that affordable housing is available to all in our cities across Canada, it is we the people who will determine how Canada responds now and in the future. [Even] if we the people are not able to stop an attack on Canadian Parliament, then we the people definitely have the ability to not respond as our attackers would hope and isolate individual communities and place blame to the point where hate crimes become justifiable responses to hate crimes. We the people of Canada need now, more than ever, to stand together as one and challenge this hate-filled thought process through dialogue amongst ourselves and our elected officials.
“Prayers for our fallen brother Cpl. Nathan Cirillo will be offered across not only Sikh Gurdwaras but in Muslim mosques, Hindu mandirs, Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, Buddhist monasteries and individual homes of all the faiths and people that make Canada what it is today … a country in which we are aspiring to end discrimination and hate and a country worth not only living for, but dying for as well. We should never forget:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
BC Sikh Gurdwara Council includes:
* Harbhajan Singh, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, New Westminster BC
* Rajinder Singh, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Surrey BC
* Davinder Singh, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, Surrey BC
* Kundan Singh, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Surrey BC
* Giani Narinder Singh, Gurdwara Sahib Dukh Nivaaran, Surrey BC
* Karam Singh, Gurdwara Sahib Khalsa Darbar, Vancouver BC
* Kulwant Singh, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Gurdwara, Abbotsford BC
* Gurmail Singh, Gurdwara Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar, Abbotsford BC