Perth: racist vandals mistake Sikh temple for mosque

Bennett Springs graffiti

A Sikh temple in Perth’s north-east has been spray-painted by vandals with anti-Muslim graffiti.

Sikh Gurdawara Perth treasurer Amandeep Singh said CCTV captured two vandals spray-painting the Bennett Springs temple, which is under construction and due to be finished in February, about 1.30am on Wednesday. He said he believed it was a case of mistaken identity. “I think they have confused us with Arabs or Muslims,” he said.

“They have spray-painted abuse at Muslims and Arabs, and they have sprayed ‘Aussie Pride’ and other rubbish like that, lots of bad language. They’ve covered a big area and we will probably have to do a lot of re-painting, and they’ve sprayed it on granite and marble and that could be really expensive to replace.”

The Sikh religion originated in the Punjab area of India in the 15th century, and is not related to Islam or associated with Arabs.

Mr Singh said the vandals had to realise that spray-painting their temple not only hurt the Sikh community, but also the nation as a whole. “I would like to tell these people, they need to realise that Australia is a multi-cultural society and they need to respect the beliefs of others, we all need to respect each other,” he said.

“This sort of thing it damages us as a nation, we need to be more accepting and whether people are Arab or Muslim or Sikh or, whatever a person looks like or their religion, they need to treat that person as they would like to be treated, with kindness and respect.”

Police spokesman Sam Dinnison said local police were investigating the incident.

WA Today, 29 October 2014

See also “Vandals attack Sikh temple by spraying anti-Islamic slurs on walls”, ABC News, 29 October 2014

And “Confused vandals target Sikh temple”, West Australian, 29 October 2014