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Shall we persecute any one of us
For being an American citizen who prays?
Who contributes much and is industrious,
Who enriches our culture, our lives, and our states?
“When events like (Sunday’s shooting) happen, I want you to know that everyone is with you,” he said during a brief service inside the temple. “They might not come to visit as I have today … but I would say most all Utahns’ hearts are very heavy with a sense of sadness about what happened.”
The Huntsmans sat on the floor of the temple with Sikh members during a reading in Punjabi from the religion’s holy text. Afterward, they were presented with saffron shawls as a show of thanks and honor from the congregation.
“I want to thank you on behalf of a lot of people in this state for the contributions you have made to our society, to education, to industry, to the economy and enriching our culture and our lives in this state,” Huntsman said.
The former governor also thanked the Sikhs on behalf of his family, specifically mentioning daughter Asha Bharati, who was born in India.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, a member of the local Sikh congregation, called the shooting tragic.
“Any time these types of events happen, it’s absolutely devastating to a community, especially when it happens in the context of a prayer service and people at a church are gathering to just pray,” Gill said.
Sikhs worldwide have suffered persecution following 9/11, often mistaking them for Muslims.
“Whether somebody is going after Muslim Americans or Indian Americans, the fact that somebody is going after (anyone) with this hate and this kind of level of violence is absolutely, absolutely wrong,” Gill said.

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