Hindu temple, school vandalized with hate message in Washington State before Shivaratri Celebration. Condemned as ‘the cowardly act’ and ‘very sad moment’ for America.
HENB | Overseas Desk – Delhi | 18 Feb 2015:: Unidentified Vandals in Bothell, Washington, paint Swastika – an ancient symbol of peace in Hindu culture – on side of three decades old temple alongside racist message “Get Out” out of bare stupidity. As police started investigation on the attack on a Hindu temple, Indian-American groups condemned the incident as “the cowardly act” and “very sad moment” for America.
In the latest attack targeting Hindus places of worship, a temple in Washington State was vandalized on the eve of its planned celebration of Maha Shivaratri, according to media reports. When members of the Hindu Temple Cultural Center in Bothell, 36 km from Seattle, went there on Sunday they found a swastika painted on it and “Get Out” scrawled in large letters with spray paint.
In the US, white supremacists have adopted the Nazi swastika as an ideological symbol. KING 5 TV, an NBC affiliated station in Seattle, said, “In Hinduism, swastikas signified peace long before it became a Nazi symbol. In this case, temple leaders say it’s now being used not just to hurt their believers but a neighborhood.” The Bothell temple incident comes ten days after President Barack Obama criticised India at an inter-religious prayer meeting saying intolerance there “would have shocked Gandhiji.”
“I was paranoid to say the truth, this just doesn’t look right to me,” temple member Jay Araman told Seattle’s KIRO TV, a CBS affiliate. ”He fears the red graffiti, sprawled across the outside of the temple, could be a sign that someone is planning something violent,” the station added. Echoing the fears, Thampipillai Thilakarjah told Q13 Fox TV station that his 11-year-old son was scared to visit the temple.
The KOMO NEWS highlighted the matter as “Residents of a Bothell neighborhood were shocked and disgusted to learn that a local temple and school were vandalized with racist graffiti this weekend.
Neighbors found hateful graffiti on the side of Skyview Middle School on Sunday morning, which is just two blocks away from a Hindu temple that was targeted the same day.
As much as the spray paint on the wall is trying to divide this part of Bothell, families and a resilient religion say they cannot be broken.
‘That kind of shocked me,’ resident Jeana Schroeder said of the vandalism.
Written with red paint, the vandals scrawled ‘Muslims get out‘ on a school wall. They also painted a swastika on the wall.
Neighbors say they live in a diverse and tolerant community and are disgusted by the messages of hate.
‘I don’t want hate in my neighborhood,’ said Eric Schroeder.
A Hindu temple located just two blocks away from the school was tagged with a similar message and the same red paint. “
The Bothell Reporter newspaper reported that the incident was under investigation but no suspect has yet been identified according to Shari L. Ireton, a spokesperson for Snohomish County Sheriff. ”The timing of this crime, occurring before a major Hindu festival, warrants special attention from law enforcement,” said Jay Kansara, Hindu American Foundation (HAF)’s Director of Government Relations. “We are encouraged by the ongoing thorough investigation of the Bothell City Police Department.”
“The Bothell Hindu temple has been here for more than 20 years and we have never had any issues,” worshiper Sriram Subramaian said on Sunday.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said that visitors were “most welcome” in Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell. The temple’s mission is to “Promote social, cultural, religious, and spiritual understanding,” according to Zed.
It was sad that such graffiti showed up on its wall a day before the temple was scheduled to celebrate the major Hindu festival of Maha-Sivaratri, he continued. Efforts to build this temple reportedly began in 1980’s.
Zed said in a statement that it was shocking for the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Hindu community, who had made lot of contributions to the nation and society, to receive such signals of hatred and anger.
Ankur Vaidya, President of Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) called it “the cowardly act” and “a very sad moment for USA.”
There has been a spate of anti-Hindu across the US in recent months. In August a Murti (deity) of Shiva at the Vishwa Bhavan Hindu Mandir in Georgia state was desecrated with black paint. The phone lines of the temple in Monroe, near Georgia, were cut and graffiti wits hate messages were written on it. The local sheriff’s office arrested two people in connection with the attack. Shocking: Alabama police officer throws Indian grandfather Sureshbhai Patel mercilessly to ground! (Watch video)
Between July and October in Loudon County in Virginia, police documented 17 separate incidents of anti-Hindu vandalism, HAF said. In response to these attacks, the US Justice Department has mandated the inclusion of anti-Hindu hate crimes as a category in crime-reporting forms starting in January.
In an incident involving an Indian, but not directly linked to his religion, 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel was attacked by a police officer in Madison in Alabama state and left partially paralysed. The officer was dismissed from the police force. In Bothell, a government-run school was also defaced with a swastika and the words, “Muslims Get Out,” according to Q13 Fox.
“It is not understood whether the racists in America are quite unable to identify their main rebel Muslims with the other infidels? Three years back they did the same wrong and attacked a Sikh Temple (Gurudwara) in north-central United States where Sikhs in Wisconsin were attacked under an misleading identification crisis with Moslems. Everybody know that Hindus and Sikhs both consider Om, Swastik and Khanda as very sacred symbols for their faith. So, these should not be amalgamated with any Islamic or Nazi symbols. Hindus and Sikhs are not Semitic not they have any reservation for Radical Islam. But why they are being attacked in America, US Prez Obama must address it,” said an Hindu Social Activist in USA to HENB over telephone.
But, the series of blatant racism in America should not be overlooked by the US President, Barack Obama before exhorting others about ‘communal harmony’ and ‘free religious rights’.
Interesting enough that the same ink, color, mode of hatred was seen also in Europe a month ago in the wall of a French synagogue. Who are behind this international conspiracy of hatred and making a situation of suspense and suspicion, while the whole world should be united against ISIS, BOKO HARAM and the others believe in JIHAD and RADICAL ISLAM!
As per our estimation all these are done by whoever must be instigated by Radical Islam psyche. In this week some teens from Muslim ghetto held after 300 Jewish tombs defaced in France. The same spraying of colour and graffiti are detected.