PHOENIX - Phoenix police increased patrols Sunday around the three Sikh temples in the city.
Those who worship there said it brings them peace of mind knowing copycat crimes are a possibility.
There's still no motive for the shootings in Wisconsin , but Sikhs in the Valley said they blame hate and ignorance.
They said they've seen a big increase in anti-Islamic attacks since September 11th, even though the Sikh religion and Islam are very different.
Rana Singh Sodhi said the appearance of a Sikh, the long beards and turbans, often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims.
In fact, days after September 11th, Sodhi's brother, who was a Sikh, was shot five times and his death was the country's first backlash hate-crime after the terrorist attacks.
A year later, his brother was shot while driving a taxi in San Francisco. Sodhi admits he, too, has experienced the rampant religious discrimination of Sikhs.
“People go to the freeway and show me the middle finger and people try to crash me on the freeway and I was working at the gas station, I think two years back, somebody comes to me and says you leave or I will shoot you," said Sodhi.
The Sikh religion began in India and is the fifth largest religion in the world. Those who practice believe there's only one God. Turbans are worn as a symbol of spiritual dedication. The religion denounces discrimination based on class and religion and recognizes equality of men and women.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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