Washington: Sikh leaders in the US have expressed concern over vandalisation of a gurdwara with hateful anti-ISIS graffiti in Los Angeles and called for an investigation into the incident that has scared the community in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting.
“We believe that the Gurdwara Singh Sabha was vandalised because it is a Sikh house of worship,” Gurjot Kaur, Sikh Coalition’s senior staff attorney, said yesterday.
“We call on local and federal agencies to investigate this vandalism as a hate crime and request increased law enforcement security at the gurdwara immediately,” he said, adding that the graffiti can be a precursor for additional targeted violence.
Buena Park Police said they were investigating the incident that was reported to have happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning, wherein the gurdwara, along with a community member’s truck in the parking lot, were vandalised with hateful graffiti.
The graffiti included the phrase, “F*** ISIS,” along with gang references.
This act of vandalism, in the aftermath of the San Bernardino tragedy, is just the latest in a line of hate crimes against Sikhs in America, Sikh Coalition said in a statement.
In September, a Sikh American father was viciously assaulted in a suburb outside of Chicago after being called “Bin Laden”. In 2014, Sandeep Singh, a Sikh American father in New York City, was run over and dragged 30 feet after being called a “terrorist”.
In 2012, a gunman with Neo-Nazi ties walked into a Sikh gurdwara and shot and killed six innocent Sikh in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
In a statement, North American Punjabi Association expressed its serious concern over the vandalism of Buena Park based gurdwara.
“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,” said NAPA executive director Satnam Singh Chahal.
14 people were killed in San Bernardino shooting carried out by a husband and wife.