For the Reporter
Hindus are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to create a task force on hate crimes in wake of two recent reports of vandals damaging temples in Kent and Bothell.
Spokesperson Rajan Zed said the Hindus community was highly concerned about the incidents. Zed, however, thanked Inslee for meeting with Hindu temple leaders on Thursday and condemning the acts.
The FBI was notified of the incidents. Local police investigated.
Vandals broke several windows and scrawled the word “FEAR” on a wall at a Kent Hindu temple late Thursday night, Feb. 26. Earlier in February, vandals spray-painted a swastika and the words “get out” on a Hindu temple in Bothell.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that it was shocking for his community to receive such signals of hatred and anger.
He suggested that a task force, headed by the governor, might include senior state administration officials, law enforcement agencies, school district superintendents, religious leaders, community and human/civil rights activists and academic experts.
Such a task force, Zed said, should be designed to tackle and prevent conflicts threatening community stability and well being and eradicate hate or bias-motivated crime, besides developing strategies and increasing awareness.
Zed said the task force should foster strong relationships and partnerships and build trust with diverse communities.
He also suggested that hate crime reporting should be further strengthened and law enforcement policies, procedures and practices should be reviewed to further energize their response to hate crimes.