The young person at the Sikh Temple of Iowa in West Des Moines says he is like a lot of other kids, it's just that he happens to be Sikh and, thus, wears a turban.
But that youngster, Jeevanjot Singh, who is 12 and attends Jordan Creek Elementary School, is an especially bright kid with some especially keen insight about the shooting that left seven dead at another Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
"It's tragic, and probably a misconception of who we are," he said Sunday following the news out of Oak Creek, WI. "I think it's because of the turbans, and the stereotype that people who wear turbans are Muslim, and after 9/11, people think Muslims are bad."
Jeevanjot is not alone in that feeling.
"People don't spare even places of worship," Jagtar Singh, 67, said on Sunday. "If people have misconceptions about who Sikhs are, they should know we are a peaceful people. We believe in one God."
Singh is a past president of the leadership board of the Sikh Temple of Iowa, which has been here in West Des Moines since 1999. It is tucked amid houses in a residential area of the city, housed in a one-story brick building with an orange flag bearing the Sikh symbol hanging above the entry and a white picket fence in the yard.
Singh said he learned of the shooting, in which a gunman and six others died, in Oak Creek, a suburb of Milwaukee, when he arrived shortly before weekly services at 11:30 a.m. About 60-70 people attended the service, which went on as usual.
Following the service, worshipers gathered for a vegetarian meal called a "langer," which included vegetables, yogurt and a flat bread called "roti."
"How can this happen in a religious place?" asked Baljit Singh Virdi, 44, now on the temple's management board. "This is a place where you beg something from God. The people who do these kinds of things, why do they do this?
"Either they are evil or they have mental issues."
The Sikh Temple of Iowa will have a special prayer service in a couple days in response to the tragedy, he said.
As for Jeevanjot, he's already made up his mind how he'll deal with the shooting.
"I won't fight it," he said. "I won't get angry. I'll just pray that it won't happen again."