Hindu center vandalized with hate speech

by: Nick McGurk Updated:

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BOTHELL, Wash. —

Bothell police say whoever spray-painted a Hindu temple with a swastika and the words “get out” may be responsible for a similar message at a nearby junior high school.

On Sunday morning, two swastikas were found spray painted on buildings at Skyview Junior High School, according to Bothell police. KIRO 7 saw graffiti that read “Muslims get out” near a swastika on the building.

At Bothell’s Hindu Temple Cultural Center, members discovered graffiti on the outside of their temple Sunday morning, as well.

"Snohomish County is not only a safe community, but it is also a welcoming community. You are so welcome in this community,” said Snohomish County executive John Lovick to hundreds of people at the temple Monday night.

The temple swelled with people who came to celebrate the night of Shiva, one of the most important events in the Hindu religion.

"I'm telling you now that we're going to do everything we can to try and find the person who did this and bring them to justice,” said Lovick.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Monday that no suspects have been identified but the incident is still being investigated.

Snohomish County is investigating the incident.

On Monday morning, it took about four hours to remove the hateful speech from the temple. When KIRO 7 spoke to Jay Arman he said the graffiti was worrisome.

 “I was paranoid to say the truth, this just doesn’t look right to me,” said Jay Araman, a member of Bothell’s Hindu Temple Cultural Center.

He fears the red graffiti, sprawled across the outside of the temple, could be a sign that someone is planning something violent.

In a statement issued Monday, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism condemned the incident. Rajan Zed is calling on his fellow Hindus to educate other Americans about their religion and suggested more cultural training in schools and for police officers.