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School also target of graffiti against Muslims.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: A Hindu temple and nearby middle school were both vandalized with messages of hate on the U.S. West Coast, catalyzing an investigation and sending reverberations throughout the town of Bothell, a municipality described by one of its residents as “a very intellectual place.”
Over the weekend an unknown culprit scrawled, “Get Out” and a swastika on the walls of the temple, which is one of the largest Hindu places of worship in the entire North West region. They also defaced Skyview Junior High a block away, tagging it with another swastika and the ultimatum, “Muslims Get Out.”
The Snohomish county sheriff’s department is investigating this case as malicious harassment, while the local Fox affiliate KCPQ got in touch with the Northshore School District, which said the same person could be responsible for staging both of the racially motivated crime scenes.
“This kind of thing should not happen in the US. Who are you telling to get out? This is a nation of immigrants,” the chairman of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center’s board of trustees, Nitya Niranjan, told the Press Trust of India.
The local community has rallied behind its Hindu and Muslim members, posting signs of support around the Seattle metropolitan suburb and writing cards penned with kinds words in hopes of erasing the bigoted ones, according to KCPQ.
“I don’t want hate in my neighborhood,” Eric Schroeder told Seattle’s Komo News.
In response to an escalating number of incidents involving Hindu temples being vandalized, as of January 1, the Department of Justice has mandated all crime reporting forms include the category “anti-Hindu” under the possible motives for hate crimes.
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