Nassau County Police have increased security around the area's two Sikh temples in the wake of a shooting Sunday morning at a gurdwara in Wisconsin that left at least seven people dead.
Members of Plainview's on Old Country Road held an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the shooting. Dozens of Sikhs from Nassau's gurdwaras in Plainview and gathered in Plainview to formulate a public response to the tragedy in Oak Creek, south of Milwaukee.
"We need to get our message out in the media about who we are and to foster greater understanding about us," said T.J. Binder, president of the Sikh Organization of Sikh Americans. "We are Americans. We are Sikh Americans. And we are a part of this country."
A , killing at least six people. A police officer shot the unidentified gunman dead. The motive for the shooting is unclear.
Nassau Det. Lt. Gary Shapiro, commander of the Community Affairs Department, arrived at the temple in Plainview to reassure the community they had the support of the department.
"We are intensifying patrols in the vicinity of our Sikh temples and also around Sikh homes," Shapiro said. "We're here to support the members of the Sikh community. If anyone sees anything, we want them to know they can call 911."
Shapiro stressed that there is no specific threat to any Sikh temples in the metropolitan area.
Little is known at this time about the motive of the shooter in Wisconsin.
Glen Cove issued a statement Sunday night saying Glen Cove Police are also increasing patrols around the on Lattingtown Road.
"The Glen Cove Police Department already patrols all of our religious institutions but patrols have been increased with today's senseless violence in Oak Creek, Wisconsin," Suozzi said.
The Sikh community at large has struggled for the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks to be understood. Sikhs are often thought of as a sect of other faiths. But the Sikh faith is a distinct religion, formally founded in April, 1699, by its 10th living prophet "Guru Gobind Singh," in Punjab Province, India.
There are 30 million Sikhs worldwide, and is a central mission of local gurdwaras.