Terrorism is the proper word for the lone gunman who shot up a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. on Sunday, killing six worshippers and wounding many more before he was shot to death by police.
Wade Michael Page can never tell us exactly why he committed the attack, but there's enough about his background to suggest the attack was based on hatred. Page was a self-described member of a white supremacist group, the "Hammerskin Nation." He wrote frequently on white supremacist websites and was a member of white supremacist heavy metal rock bands with names like Definite Hate and End Apathy.
Hatred begets terrorism, whether the terrorist is a Middle Eastern muslim fanatic or an American skinhead who believes he is somehow defending his culture.
Sikhs have been taking heat ever since muslim fanatics brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. People think they are Muslim, when they are more an offshoot of Hinduism. It is a faith based on peace, finding harmony with God through prayer and meditation.
But they look different, and to hate-filled people, someone who is different is a threat and a target. Whether he was acting as part of a conspiracy or on his own, which is more likely, Page was committing an act of terror.