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Sikh temple vandalized with spray-paint in Jurupa Valley

(The Press-Enterprise/PE.com)
July 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Sikh temple in Jurupa Valley was vandalized, spray-painted with the word "terrorist." The crime leaves worshippers terrified and neighbors angry.

For nearly 30 years worshippers have come to the Sikh temple in Jurupa Valley along busy Mission Boulevard.

And while they've dealt with a lot of vandalism over the years, they say they've never seen anything like this: The word "Terrorist" was spray-painted in two places around the temple.

Worshippers are fearful.

"Of course we are terrified, there's no doubt about that," said Sandokh Sahi, a worshipper at the temple.

Sahi says hundreds of people worship here every week. He says not only is he scared, he's upset that people would equate his religion with terrorism.

"We are peaceful people, we don't believe in violence," said Sahi.

Neighbors who live near the temple can't believe it either.

"I think it's terrible that people around here are doing that," said neighbor Steve Bartholomew. "The neighbors across the street go to the church here and they've been very nice, all the time."

The temple is getting support from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who released a statement: "We stand in solidarity with the Sikh community and against the actions of a tiny minority of bigots who violate our nation's longstanding principles of religious tolerance and inclusion."

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department is investigating this as a hate crime, and they say they have a number of leads.

At the temple, while worshippers wait for an arrest to be made, they have a message for the person or persons who did this.

"You will ultimately be identified and brought to justice, as this country stands for justice," said Sahi.

(Photo courtesy: The Press-Enterprise/PE.com)


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