A newly inaugurated Sikh gurdwara was vandalized between Sunday evening and Monday morning in Orangevale, California.
The Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara Sahib was vandalized with white nationalist graffiti, which included the phrase, “White Power” and depicted a swastika on a concrete slab at the front entrance.
The gurdwara was inaugurated on Sunday, Jan 12, and is still under construction so the front slab was empty said Manjit Singh Khalsa the head priest of the Sikh Temple. The man has used a black spray paint he said.
Talking to indica over the phone, Khalsa who is a head priest and has come from Canada said he learned about the incident when police visited them.
A neighbor saw the sign and informed the police.
He said until 6:30 pm there were over two hundred people and the gurdwara was inaugurated on Sunday. The incident happened after that.
“We are not shocked but it bothers us,.” “said Khalsa. and added, “Yes, it’s concerning. The FBI is investing the case.”
He said the complaint has been filed and he is sure the police would find whoever has done the mischief.
According to the press release from the Sikh Coalition, the community is in shock.
“We were shocked and saddened to discover this hateful message, because no group should ever be the target of this kind of bigotry,” said Orangevale Sikh community member Dimple Bhullar. “The Sikh community has been an integral part of California for 125 years, and we won’t let this divide or silence us now.”
The graffiti was discovered early Monday morning by a neighbor, and gurdwara leadership and law enforcement were immediately alerted. Since then, the gurdwara has retained the Sikh Coalition to assist in the case. As of now, there has been no arrest, but our organization continues to engage with local law enforcement to ensure that state and federal agencies are taking every appropriate action in response to this hate crime.
“We are grateful to local law enforcement for responding quickly to this ugly vandalism,” said Sikh Coalition Senior Staff Attorney Cindy Nesbit. “No community should ever feel unsafe in their house of worship, and it is essential that this case be investigated as a hate crime given the clear white nationalist rhetoric.”
In a statement, CAIR-Sacramento Valley/Central California (CAIR-SV/CC) Executive Director Basim Elkarra said:
“We condemn this hateful act of vandalism and stand with our Sikh brothers and sisters. We must all stand up against hate in our communities. We are here to support the Sikh community and encourage any witnesses to come forward with information about this hate attack on a house ow of worship.”