Second Seattle-area Hindu temple vandalized

The Hindu temple in Kent reported broken windows and graffiti scrawled on the wall in the past week — the second vandalism at a Hindu temple in the Seattle area in the past few weeks.

Staff at the Sanatan Dharma Temple discovered that overnight Thursday, someone had broken windows at the temple and scrawled the word “FEAR” on the wall.

The Kent Police Department told KOMO TV on Sunday that preliminary information doesn’t show that most recent vandalism in Kent had a racial or religious motivation.

The Feb. 26 incident followed two weeks after the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell was targeted by graffiti.

In the Feb. 15 incident in Bothell, someone had written “GET OUT” on the exterior wall of the temple on the exterior wall of the temple. At nearby Skyview High School someone had scrawled the words “Muslims get out,” sparking concerns that some communities, including Hindus, are being attacked for being perceived to be Muslim.

Last week, Hindu and Muslim leaders gathered together, calling for an FBI investigation of the Bothell vandalism as a hate crime.

This year, the FBI expanded its collection of information about religious hate crimes to include hate crimes targeting Hindus, Sikhs, Mormons, Buddhists, Jehova’s Witnesses and Orthodox Christians. FBI officials also said the bureau will collect information on anti-Arab bias as motivation of crimes.

The media descend upon the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell, after it was vandalized. (Photo by Ayesh Photography via CAIR-WA.)
The media at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell where local Hindu and Muslim leaders gathered to call for an FBI investigation of the recent vandalism there as a hate crime. (Photo by Ayesh Photography via CAIR-WA.)

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