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Los Angeles area Sikh Gurdwara Vandalized

December 8, 2015 | By

Los Angeles/Washingon: A Sikh Gurdwara (house of worship) based in Buena Park in Los Angeles suburbs, was vandalized during Sunday early hours and a hateful graffiti was seen on the walls of the Gurdwara and also a truck parked in the parking lot. The graffiti included the phrase, “Fuck ISIS,” and the words “Islahm” and other reference of gangs. Buena Park Police Department is investigating and has been in touch with the officials of the Sikh congregation. President of the Sikh Gurdwara, Inderjot Singh said, “We are concerned about the safety and security of our community members. We are of the opinion that this is a hate crime and that this is a direct result of a possible backlash from the San Bernardino killings.”

Sikh Gurdwara is attended by over 800 community members on a weekly basis. It is located very prominently on the main road in the city.

Los Angeles area Sikh Gurdwara Vandalized

Los Angeles area Sikh Gurdwara Vandalized

Sikhs have faced hate crimes and violence in the past due to their outer appearances and a Sikh temple was attacked by a gunman in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012 and six Sikh members lost their lives in that shooting. Sikh men wear turban and beard and often become a target of hate due to ignorance about Sikh religion and its origin in America. There have been numerous cases of Sikh community members facing violence since 9/11 and the first hate crime in the aftermath of 9/11 resulted a killing of Sikh man in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education based in Washington, has contacted the White House and senior White House officials have immediately contacted the Gurdwara president Inderjot Singh. In addition, White House has forwarded the incident to Department of Homeland Security to investigate.

Dr. Singh said, “The Sikh community across the nation is in a heightened state of alert and is deeply troubled by this latest incident. We are appealing to all Sikh place of congregation to be in touch with the local law enforcement agencies as well with the elected officials.”

He added, “We are also concerned with the recent anti-Muslim rhetoric coming out of some of the contenders of American presidency. This will directly result in elevated level of violence against minority religions in America and particularly the Sikhs. We are fearful that this kind of hate speech against Muslims with engulf Sikhs and members of the Muslim community across the nation.”

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