Peace conference involving faith leaders, officials held in Oak Creek

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OAK CREEK (WITI) -- A conference was held in Oak Creek on Sunday, March 3rd, drawing leaders of many different faiths. The common goal is to prevent another tragedy like the Sikh Temple shooting in August.

The "peace conference" included a panel of religious leaders, representing a variety of faiths including Christianity, Islam and Sikhism.

They were joined by Oak Creek officials, including Mayor Steve Scaffidi and Police Chief John Edwards.

The theme in the crowded banquet hall remained constant: We are one people -- a similarity that should overshadow differences in gender, race and religion.

Though everyone's message was the same, perhaps the most powerful moment was when the representative of the Sikh Temple stepped to the podium.

"What is tolerance? Tolerance is really permissive attitudes toward those whose opinions, race, culture, nationality is different from your own. Tolerance can be achieved if you go beyond appearances and get to know better and try to look deeper and know the person beyond the religion or color. If you do that, tolerance will follow. For the sake of our peace and happiness, let us all practice tolerance," Dr. Katwant Singh Dhaliwal said.

The meeting was organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Milwaukee. They have organized similar peace conferences in the past, but never in Oak Creek. They say the warmth of the Sikh Temple worshippers made this an easy decision.