A Sikh temple in Orange County, California was vandalized with anti-ISIS graffiti last weekend, apparently in retaliation for the San Bernardino shootings. Sikhs are commonly misunderstood to be Muslim.
From The Associated Press:
The Sikh Coalition says a graffiti vandal hit the temple in Buena Park sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The coalition says a member's truck in a parking lot also was targeted by someone who misspelled the word "Islam" and made an obscene reference to ISIS.
Inderjot Singh, president of Sikh Gurdwara Singh Sabha temple, which hosts 800 worshipers a week, called the incident a "hate crime."
"It is a case of mistaken identity, that is our main concern," he told the OC Register.
According to the Washington-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), congregants arrived Sunday morning to find a truck in the parking lot belonging to a temple member tagged with "F—- ISIS" and "illegible" references to Islam, which authorities say the perpetrators misspelled, on the building's walls.
SCORE's Dr. Rajwant Singh, who previously warned recent shootings would lead to violence against other religious minorities, called on all Sikh congregations to be vigilant and work with law enforcement if necessary.
A similar graffiti incident was reported in the United Kingdom over the weekend as well.
Sikhs represent one of the largest religions in the world, with more than 25 million followers. The OC Register reports that more than 50,000 Sikhs live in LA and Orange counties.
This is not the first time that Sikhs (whose men wear turbans and grow beards) have been targeted in anti-Muslim crime: In 2012, a shooter killed six at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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