California Gurdwara Vandalized
July 30, 2013 (Los Angeles, CA) — Late last night on July 29th, the Sikh Gurdwara (Sikh congregational place of worship) in Riverside, CA was vandalized in an apparent hate crime. The word ‘terrorist’ was spray painted around the complex.
The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) has been in direct contact with Riverside County Sheriff Department, the Riverside Police Department, the FBI and Department of Justice CRS urging them to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
“It is horrible to see an attack of hate on a place of worship as we reflect on the lives lost one year ago during the attack on the Oak Creek Gurdwara. Attacks and vandalism against any of the nation’s houses of worship must be condemned by all Americans. These acts strike the very foundation of religious tolerance, a fundamental freedom this country was built upon,” said SALDEF Executive Director Jasjit Singh. “We call upon local and federal law enforcement agencies to rightfully classify this incident as a hate crime and bring the perpetrators to justice to show that hate and violence are not tolerated in our society.”
According to community members who contacted SALDEF, sometime between late night and this morning the vandalism occurred. No witnesses have come forward yet, but anyone with information regarding this situation should please contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department directly.
SALDEF urges all Sikh Americans to immediately report any incidents of harassment, bullying or assault to SALDEF and your local authorities. In all emergency situations, please contact law enforcement immediately by calling 911. If you or someone you know has been a victim of any racially motivated crime, please contact SALDEF directly at 202.393.2700 or via our Report an Incident Form.
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