Washington: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called for a moment of silence in honour of the victims of Sunday's tragic shooting at a Wisconsin gurdwara, saying the gunman was "motivated by hate".
The tragedy that claimed the lives of six worshippers at the Oak Creek suburb of Milwaukee "is even more profound because the Sikh religion and the Sikh people are such peaceable, loving individuals", he said at a campaign event Tuesday in Elk Grove, Illinois.
"And I think it is also more tragic because the shooter was apparently someone who was motivated by hate - hate based on race, hate based on religion," he said referring to the suspected shooter Wade Michael Page, who was shot dead by a police officer.
"For all those reasons this is something which touches us very deeply. In our moment of silence I certainly pray that God might rest the souls of those who lost their lives and comfort those that mourn."
Later speaking to about 280 supporters at a fundraiser in West Des Moines, Iowa, Romney said that "it was a tragedy for many, many reasons".
"Among them is the fact that people, the Sikh people are among the most peaceable and loving individuals you can imagine, as is their faith. And of course, the person who carried out this heinous act was a person motivated by racial hatred and religious intolerance."