CAIR Stands with Sikhs After Hate Vandalism of Calif. Gurdwara

Gurdwara-vandalism(ANAHEIM, CA, 7/31/13) -- The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today expressed solidarity with the Sikh community in that state following an apparently bias-motivated attack on a Gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship.

The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) reported that a Gurdwara in Riverside, Calif., was vandalized and the word "terrorist" scrawled on its walls sometime during the night of July 29, just days ahead of the first anniversary of the deadly shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. 

SEE: California Gurdwara Vandalized

"We stand in solidarity with the Sikh community and against the actions of a tiny minority of bigots who violate our nation’s longstanding principles of religious tolerance and inclusion," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "As we have stated many times, an attack on any house of worship is an attack on all houses of worship."

Ayloush said that CAIR has spoken out a number of times against bias-motivated attacks on American Sikhs. [NOTE: Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.]

SEE: Muslims Stand with Sikhs After Wis. Shootings
CAIR Condemns Brutal Attack on Elderly California Sikh

CAIR recently called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for similar acts of vandalism targeting mosques nationwide.

SEE: CAIR Asks Feds to Probe Threats to NJ Mosque

In May, CAIR began distributing new safety and security guidelines to mosques and other houses of worship nationwide. The new CAIR publication, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," was produced in response to recent bias attacks, including a series of incidents last year targeting American Muslim institutions.

Community leaders may request a free copy of CAIR's "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety," by going to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html

SEE: CAIR Distributes New Mosque Safety Guidelines 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: Communications Coordinator Yasmin Nouh, 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851, or [email protected]; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, [email protected]; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, [email protected]