It's widely believed that the Tsarnaev brothers' ethnic heritage played a role in their alleged decision to bomb the Boston Marathon. Their ancestors came from the largely Muslim Republic of Chechnya. In the past two decades, Chechen Islamists seeking independence have committed some of the world's worst terror attacks. In light of this week's events, Redding Imam Abu Bakr H. Salahuddin and Sikh Priest Amarjit Singh are speaking out, hoping to reach people who may blame their respective cultures and religions for the Boston attacks. They both say they're saddened by the events.
Singh says Sihks are often mis-identified as Muslims. In 2007, a north state man was convicted of using a truck to ram into Anderson's new Sikh Centre, causing widespread destruction and delaying it's grand opening.
Salahuddin says Islam is a religion of peace, and he's saddened by those who claim violence in the name of Islam. The Centre is hosting it's annual Vaisakhi Festival May 4, celebrating a day of non-violence, and showing people what Punjabi life is like in Northern India.