Sanatan Dharma temple

This wasn’t the first attack in the past year. Just this past month, on February 15th, the Hindu Temple Cultural Center was similarly attacked, painted with a red swastika and “get out”.

Temple Attacks: Growing Closer Together

The two most recent attacks seem to have come just after President Obama’s comments of intolerance at an inter-religious prayer meeting in February. However, they have occurred before that. For example, in August, the idol of Shiva was vandalized in black paint and between the months of July and October alone, Virginia had 17 incidents of anti-Hindu graffiti.

The Universal Society of Hinduism’s president, Rajan Zed, spoke to the media to say that the members of the Hindu community across the country are “highly concerned” by the temple attacks. He went to say that “it was shocking for the hardworking and peaceful US Hindu community numbering about three million, who had made a lot of contributions to the nation and society, to receive such signals of hatred and anger.”

These hate-filled acts were met with feelings of betrayal. Nitya Niranjan, the chairman of the board of trustees for the temple, spoke out towards the media, saying, “This kind of thing should not happen in the US. Who are you telling to get out? This is a nation of immigrants.” She went on to say the temple had been vandalized previously, though they didn’t alert the police.

The Hindu American Foundation’s director of government relationship added that the “timing of this crime, occurring before a major Hindu festival, warrants special attention from law enforcement.”

The Congress spokesperson for India’s Congress, PC Chacko, had this to say on the graffiti and vandalism occurring throughout the country: “If the government of the United States cannot protect other communities, especially the Indian communities there, then they have no right to speak about such things happening in other countries.”

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