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Romney confuses shaikh for Sikh

Spokesman says he was not trying to offend people

  • Washington Post
  • Published: 13:27 August 8, 2012
  • Gulf News

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney
  • Image Credit: AP
  • In this August 3, 2012, photo, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to reporters after he campaigned at McCandless Trucking in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

West Des Moines, Iowa: Mitt Romney mistakenly confused the words “Sikh” and “shaikh” at a fundraiser on Tuesday night when he offered his condolences to the victims of last weekend’s shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee correctly spoke of the Sikh religion earlier in the day at a campaign event in Illinois.

But at the Iowa fundraiser, he instead talked about the “shaikh temple” and the “shaikh people”.

Referencing his earlier event in the Chicago area, Romney said: “We had a moment of silence in honour of the people who lost their lives at that shaikh temple.

“I noted that it was a tragedy for many, many reasons. Among them are the fact that people, the shaikh people, are among the most peaceable and loving individuals you can imagine, as is their faith.”

Romney spokesman Rick Gorka said the candidate “mispronounced similar-sounding words” and was not trying to offend people of the Sikh faith.

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