Vandals who hit Hindu temple ‘have no idea what we stand for’

BOTHELL — Someone spray-painted a swastika and the words “get out” on their house of worship. They responded with a message of love.

Members from the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center arrived Sunday morning to find the hateful words and symbol scrawled on a temple wall.

“The people who did it, they have no idea what we stand for,” said Nit Niranjan, chairman of the temple’s board of trustees. “We have a very straightforward religion that stands for love and respect.”

Ironically, Hindus employed the swastika as a symbol of well-being and good fortune long before the Nazis appropriated it in 20th century Germany.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the vandalism, spokeswoman Shari Ireton said. No suspects have been identified.

Bothell police are investigating similar graffiti reported Sunday morning at Skyview Junior High School, about three blocks away, police Sgt. Cedric Collins said. The two swastikas found there were accompanied by messages targeting a different faith: “Muslims go home” and “Muslims get out.” Like the writing at the Hindu temple, the anti-Muslim writing at the school was in red paint.

By midday Monday, a devotee from the temple had painted over the graffiti. Preparations were in full swing for Maha Shivaratri, a religious celebration expected to draw hundreds of people to the temple on the corner of 212th Street SE and 39th Avenue, east of Bothell. The annual festival pays tribute to the deity Shiva on the day he was married to Parvati, the Hindu goddess of love and fertility.

This wasn’t the first time the temple has been targeted with graffiti.

It also happened several months ago, though that time there was no specific message, said Bhargavi Kumar, secretary of the temple’s board of trustees.

“It’s outrageous,” Kumar said. “We’d love to know who did it.”

The temple received calls and emails of support Sunday and Monday. A banner affixed to a utility pole down the street proclaimed: “We Stand With The Hindu Temple.”

County Executive John Lovick, the former county sheriff, learned about the graffiti Sunday from his daughter, who saw it on her way to a nearby church.

“This is a welcoming community and a thriving community and we’re not going to let that kind of hatred survive,” he said.

In November, a separate religious community in southeast Snohomish County was shocked by what many viewed as a targeted attack. Vandals destroyed Muslim headstones and memorials at the Islamic Cemetery of the Bosniaks in the Maltby area. Sheriff’s deputies at the time said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the act of desecration was a hate crime.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Top row (L-R): Paul Roberts, Mary Fosse, Paula Rhyne, Greg Lineberry, Don Schwab. Bottom row (L-R):Lacey Sauvageau, Tommie Rubatino, Liz Vogeli, Ben Zarlingo, Demi Chatters.
Who’s running for Everett council? New candidates — a lot of them

Ten people are vying for positions newly defined by districts. Only two are incumbents.

Steve Oss (left) and Cassie Franklin.
Budget and homelessness at center of Everett mayor’s race

Steve Oss, a longtime transit worker, is challenging incumbent Cassie Franklin.

FILE - This October 2021, photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Puurs, Belgium. The U.S. moved a step closer to expanding vaccinations for millions more children as a panel of government advisers on Tuesday, Oct. 26, endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer's shots for 5- to 11-year-olds. (Pfizer via AP, File)
Pfizer vaccines for younger kids expected in state next week

The Health Department estimates about 30% of parents will seek shots immediately for children ages 5-11.

Gene Simmons impersonator, Jack Murrin practices on there bass guitar at his storage building on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Everett, Washington. Murrin, 51, a firefighter and impersonator, is putting on a 2-hour KISS concert with 19 songs in front of his north Everett home on Halloween.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
The Demon: Gene Simmons imitator hosts a free Kiss concert

Everett firefighter and paramedic Jack Murrin will return to the stage for a Halloween show at his home.

The parking lot of a Lynnwood apartment complex in the 19800 block of 50th Avenue West where a man was allegedly stabbed Friday night. (Lynnwood Police)
Lynnwood man arrested for allegedly stabbing acquaintance

They were arguing at an apartment complex and began fighting.

Caregiver charged with raping Everett woman with dementia

A DNA sample found “very strong support” that Kelvin Njeru was the suspect, prosecutors allege.

Vincent Cavaleri (City of Mill Creek) 20211025
Mill Creek councilman invites unvaccinated officers to apply

Police said a staffing shortage could become a crisis. So the City Council approved hiring bonuses.

Police block roads in south Everett in search for suspect

Officers were trying to arrest a suspect near Everett Mall Way and Third Avenue Southeast.

Woman, 60, shot after neighbor dispute near Everett

The suspect, 19, confronted the woman with a shotgun, and allegedly shot her.

Most Read