Washington: A Gurdwara has been vandalized in Los Angeles suburbs with hateful graffiti addressed towards ISIS, Sikh community leaders have said, fearing this "hate crime" is a repercussion of the California shooting.
"We are concerned about the safety and security of our community members. We are of the opinion that this is a hate crime and that this is a direct result of a possible backlash from the San Bernardino killings," said Inderjot Singh, president of Sikh Gurdwara in Buena Park, a suburb of Los Angeles.
The incident, which occurred early on Sunday morning is being investigated by local law enforcement agencies. "The Gurdwara was vandalized during Sunday early hours and a hateful graffiti was seen on the walls of the Gurdwara and also a truck parked in the parking lot.
The graffiti included the phrase, "F@#k ISIS," and the words "Islam" and other reference of gangs," Washington-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education said in a statement. The Gurdwara is attended by over 800 community members on a weekly basis.
The White House, which was informed about the incident, has forwarded the incident to the Department of Homeland Security to investigate. "The Sikh community across the nation is in a heightened state of alert and is deeply troubled by this latest incident.
We are appealing to all Sikh place of congregation to be in touch with the local law enforcement agencies as well with the elected officials," Dr Rajwant Singh of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said. Singh also expressed concern over the recent anti-Muslim rhetoric made by some of the contenders of American presidency.
"This will directly result in elevated level of violence against minority religions in America and particularly the Sikhs. We are fearful that this kind of hate speech against Muslims with engulf Sikhs and members of the Muslim community across the nation," he said.