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Local Sikh Educator Aims to Spread Awareness of Faith


As the Federal and local investigations into Sunday’s tragic shootings at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek continue, people all over Southeast Wisconsin hold vigils for the victims and their families, and try to make sense of the violence.

Milwaukeean Raminder Kaur attended a downtown vigil Sunday night in honor of the victims of the Oak Creek temple shooting. She says she's gone to services at that temple with her 8-year-old son - who she sometimes worries is a target because of his faith.

"Since we are Sikhs we don't cut our hair, so it's very hard for me to raise him as Sikh because he comes home and complains sometimes about a bully," she says. "No matter how a person dresses, we're all the same so let's not hate each other on the basis of religion."

Paul Chawla is from theSikh Religious Society of Wisconsin in Brookfield. He is on the Executive Committee of the organization and is also a volunteer educator there. He says Sikhism is a relatively young religion – it’s only about 500 years old, and its history in Milwaukee is relatively young as well.

Chawla spoke with Lake Effect’s Dan Harmon, and begins with a brief overview of Sikh history in Milwaukee.

Dan Harmon was one of the original members of Lake Effect (formerly At Ten). He started at WUWM in November of 1998 and left December of 2015 after 17 years of production.