Orange County, California, religious leaders have asked authorities to investigate into a possible hate crime at the Sikh Center temple after it was vandalized early in the morning of Dec. 6.
Gang graffiti was found on the exterior of the Sikh Center in Buena Park on Dec. 6, and the words "F*** ISIS" were found scrawled on a truck belonging to a member of the temple, India.com reports.
“We believe that the Gurdwara Singh Sabha was vandalized because it is a Sikh house of worship,” Gurjot Kaur, the coalition’s attorney, said, according to the LA Times. “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.”
According to Cpl. Bret Carter, the scribbling on the side of the temple never mentioned Islam. Carter noted that there’s no indication that the graffiti was a hate crime. Regardless of the crime’s classification, police have agreed to increase patrols near the Buena Park temple.
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“I am thankful for law enforcement’s attention to this investigation,” the temple’s President Inderjot Singh said. “However, I believe this crime must be investigated as a hate crime to ensure that we do not ignore the patterns of intolerance and violence that Sikhs and other minority communities continue to face.”
Kaur noted that the Sikh community is often targeted because of the community’s dress and grooming. The community is especially fearful of hate crimes in the current political climate following a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California.