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'Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness; Only Light Can'

Posted: 08/07/2012 1:28 pm

"My Intent is to answer anger with compassion, violence with peace." | Support Brandon's Intent

There was another act of senseless violence committed this weekend when a gunman opened fired at a Gurdwara, a Sikh temple, in Wisconsin, just three weeks after the incident in Aurora, Colo. Six people were killed, including the president of the temple. This terrible incident is just one of the many acts of violence that the Sikh community have endured since 9/11. A lot of people were angry because of what happened that fateful day in September, but violence is never the answer to violence. No religion or community, whether they are Muslims, Sikhs or Christians, should bear the burden of a single person's crime.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community (1967) had this to say:

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.


Sikhs have long been a peaceful community. The three pillars of the religion are to meditate in the name of God, to earn an honest living and to share what you have with your whole community. They believe that all human beings are created equal and that every human life is precious. The Golden Temple, in Amritsar, India is the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. It is also the world's largest free eatery. They welcome any and everybody who wants to eat. Whether you are a billionaire or hungry and poverty stricken, everybody sits together and eats, reinforcing their belief that all humans are created equal. In a conversation with CNN, Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Washington-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said that the community is also praying for the shooter. They ask God for mercy, even for the one that hurts them.

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