(LOS ANGELES, CA – 3/1/2021) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) condemned the vandalism and suspected arson at a Buddhist temple in Little Tokyo last week.
According to the FOX/11, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to an incident at Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in the evening on Feb. 25. A pair of wooden lantern stands were burned, melting the electrical lamps above them. Two metallic lanterns were ripped off their concrete bases and a 12-foot-high glass window was destroyed by a lime-sized rock.
READ: Suspected arson at a Little Tokyo Buddhist temple being investigated as hate crime
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime as hate crimes against Asian Americans are increasing. The advocacy and tracking group Stop AAPI Hate noted “245 incidents of hate in Los Angeles County” against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders between March 20 and Oct. 28, with Chinese Americans the largest target (35%).
In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
“We express our solidarity and support of the Japanese American community in the wake of this desecration of a place of worship and unequivocally condemn acts of discrimination and hate crimes directed against Asian Americans, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hatred and harassment targeting houses of worship remains a serious problem. As we have stated many times, an attack on any house of worship is an attack on all our houses of worship. We stand with our sisters and brothers of Asian heritage and condemn the xenophobia and bigotry that has stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We commend the LAPD for investigating this incident as a hate crime and look forward to the apprehension of a suspect.”
Ayloush urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-LA’s Civil Rights Department at 714-776-1177 or by filing a report at: https://bit.ly/2L9Ezsw.
CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-851-4851 or firstname.lastname@example.org