In February, Hindu temples in Kent and Bothell were the targets of vandalism.
On February 15, someone had spray-painted a swastika and the words “get out” on a wall at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell. On February 26, vandals targeted Kent Hindu Temple using bricks to break several windows and painting the word “fear” on a wall. Seattle police are currently investigating both crimes.
The Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs released the following joint statement from Commissioner Debadutta Dash and Director Michael Itti on March 3 in support of Washington’s Hindu community:
“We condemn the recent vandalism of Hindu temples in Bothell and Kent. Our communities and state embrace diversity and inclusion. These acts are contrary to our values and must not be tolerated.
“In the face of these hateful acts and messages, people from across the state have shown an outpouring of support to help the communities affected remain strong and resilient.
“The Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs stands in solidarity with the Hindu community and will look forward to continue working with community leaders to promote diversity, respect, and freedom.”
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed also said in a statement today that “it was shocking for the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful U.S. Hindu community numbering about three million; who had made lot of contributions to the nation and society; to receive such signals of hatred and anger.”
In another act of vandalism in Washington, on February 16, the words “Muslims Get Out” and a swastika were found spray-painted on a wall at Skyview Middle School, just two blocks away from the vandalized Hindu temple in Bothell. Associated Press reported that authorities believe the graffiti in both incidents were done by the same person.