Leaders say incidents are part of nationwide rise in hate crimes targeting American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim
(SEATTLE, WA, 2/24/2015) -- On Wednesday, February 25, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), along with leaders from the Hindu, Christian and Muslim communities, will hold a news conference to call on the FBI to investigate the apparently bias-motivated vandalism targeting the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center (HTCC) and Skyview Junior High in Bothell, Wash.
WHAT: Interfaith Leaders to Seek Federal Hate Crime Investigation of Vandalism Targeting School and Hindu Temple
WHEN: Wednesday, February 25, 11 a.m.
WHERE: Hindu Temple and Cultural Center (HTCC), located at 3818 212th St. NE, Bothell, WA 98021
According to news reports, a Nazi swastika and the phrase "GET OUT" was found spray-painted in red on the exterior of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center on or around Sunday, February 15. Also according to these reports, a swastika and the phrase "MUSLIMS GET OUT" was found spray-painted on the exterior of Skyview Junior High.
Photo documentation of the hate graffiti has been provided to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Department and Bothell Police Department. The incidents appear to fit a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community.
A recent Washington Post article cited FBI hate crimes statistics showing that anti-Muslim hate crimes are still at about 5 times more common than they were before 9/11.
"As the city of Bothell, our state and our nation grow in diversity, law enforcement authorities must send a strong message that people of all faiths, races, and ethnicities belong here, and our children can go to school and places of worship without fear of bullying or hate motivated violence," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "The FBI and the US Attorney's office must also send a clear message to the public that those who target civilians because of their race, religion, ethnicity, or other protected status, will be met with the full force of the law."
Bukhari noted that there have been a number of similar incidents nationwide including at least 6 possibly bias-motivated incidents in and around the city of Bothell in recent months.
See: Series of Incidents Targeting Bothell Mosque
See: Letter Documenting Incidents Targeting Bothell Mosque
See: Woodinville/Maltby Area Muslim Cemetery Vandalized
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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