Sikh faith leader to offer invocation at Republican convention


Washington: In a move aimed at providing a healing touch to the Sikh community in the aftermath of the Wisconsin gurdwara shooting, a Sikh faith leader has been invited to offer the invocation at the Republican presidential convention.

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Ishwar Singh of the Sikh Society of central Florida will offer invocation immediately after the national anthem at the Wednesday evening session of the convention in Tampa Florida, where Mitt Romney will accept the party’s nomination for the presidential contest.

Located in Oviedo, an eastern suburb of Orlando, the society has been serving the Sikh community and around central Florida for over 25 years and has been running the Orlando gurdwara.

“I will take gyanis (priests) from the gurdwara who will sing Shabd (religious hymns) at the event,” said Ishwar Singh.

“It is a good thing for the community in the aftermath of the tragedy in Wisconsin,” he said, referring to the shootout in the Oak Creek gurdwara on Aug 5

Singh had approached RNC with a request for the invocation during the convention a few days ago. The formal confirmation came in the revised schedule of the convention announced Sunday.

Romney’s running mate and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan had attended the memorial service for the six Sikh worshippers killed in the Oak Creek shootout as he represents the Congressional district from Wisconsin.