Local Reaction To Sikh Shooting

August 6, 2012 Updated Aug 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM EDT

By WKBW News

August 6, 2012 Updated Aug 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - About 100 area families attend this Sikh Temple on Main Street in Williamsville.

It is similar to the temple in Wisconsin where that mass shooting took place Sunday morning.

Sikhs say they strive to be peaceful people and are rarely involved in political conflicts, either locally or internationally.

Now local members of the congregation are hoping to build unity out of the tragedy, as the Sikh community here and world-wide begin to heal.

Local Sikhs say they are often confused as being Muslims, but their religion is not affiliated with Islam, at all.

Sikhs believe that all people (men ,women, and children) are equal.

But the confusion stems from the fact that Sikh men grow beards and wear a turban. Nearly 1000 cases of Sikh related hate crimes have been reported nationally since the 9-11 attacks, but none of them were ever this tragic.

Tonight leaders of the local Sikh community are holding a prayer vigil, from 6 to 8 P.M. at the Sikh temple on Main street in Williamsville.

It is open to members of all faiths and will be followed by a community meal.