Washington: Describing the killing of innocent people at a Gurudwara in Wisconsin by a gunman as a "horrific incident", the White House today said that Sikhs in the US have been a victim of hate crime in the country since 9/11.
The White House also reiterated the great contribution made by the Sikhs community in the American life.
"It is certainly the case that Sikhs have been targeted in America in the past, since 9/11, because they have been believed to be Muslims, and that has been a tragic event -- I mean, a violent -- whether it's against Sikhs or Muslims, this is clearly horrible and unacceptable," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in response to a question.
Amid raging debate in the US on the gun control issues, the White House said US President Barack Obama favours "common sense measures" to protect the second amendment rights.
Carney was responding to questions on the protest against American gun control laws in India and the US following yesterday's shoot out at a Wisconsin Gurdwara.
The White House said the tragic incident is being investigated by the FBI and would not comment on the motive of the sole gunman, who has been identified as former army man.
There is no scheduled announcement for the US President, Carney said when asked if Obama would be travelling to the Gurdwara in Wisconsin where the tragic incident happened.
"I have no other foreign leader calls to read out to you at this time," Carney said, when asked if Obama would be speaking to the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.
"The President and the first lady yesterday, and again through me today, expressed their deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the community that was affected," he said.
"And the President noted yesterday, as I am today, the important contribution that Sikhs have made and continue to make to the broader American community. And we need to remember that," he added.
"The specifics of this particular incident are under investigation," he said.
First Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012, 10:24