On Sunday, the South Asian community in Chicago, Illinois, came together with local and state officials at the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago to commemorate the passing of HR 1193 by the Illinois House of Representatives, an anti-hate resolution that was a collaboration between the South Asian American Public Research Institute (SAAPRI), local groups and State Representative Daniel Biss, condemning recent hate crimes against Sikhs, Muslims and other South Asians (and specifically, the mass shooting by a white supremacist in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August), and that encouraged civic participation by members of minority groups:
State Rep. Daniel Biss of Skokie was the chief sponsor of the resolution, which the General Assembly formally adopted Nov. 27. He said the resolution came on the heels of the Wisconsin shooting as well as incidents targeting mosques in Morton Grove and Lombard.
The ceremony, which began with prayer and ended in a question-and-answer session with Biss, Mussman, Sen. Matt Murphy and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, included calls to end hateful rhetoric in the political realm, introduce some restrictions to the constitutional right to bear arms, and expand mental health services to treat people capable of such violence.
The congregation also observed a moment of silence for the victims of Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. You can read more about the commemoration event at the Sikh Religious Society at The Daily Herald.