In the wake of the gunning down of four marines at military facilities in Tennessee by a Muslim youth with "unshorn beard", a Sikh rights group has asked Sikh-American community members to exercise caution as they become vulnerable to hate crimes following such incidents.
The caution came after a 24-year-old gunman opened fire at two US military centres in Tennessee on Thursday, killing four marines in a rampage that officials said was being probed as an act of "domestic terrorism." The shooter was identified by the FBI as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez.
The Sikh Coalition expressed condolences for the victims and their families following the shooting at the military facilities in Chattanooga.
"We also ask the Sikh American community to exercise caution and vigilance following the attack. The shooter was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez and maintained an unshorn beard," it said.
The group said the Sikh community and other religious minorities are vulnerable to backlash, hate crimes and discrimination following such attacks.
It urged people to notify law enforcement of any threats or violence and reach out to the Sikh Coalition for assistance.
"The Sikh Coalition is in contact with federal authorities to bring attention to our community's concerns," it said.