BUENA PARK (CBSLA.com) — The parking lot of a Sikh Temple was vandalized over the weekend in what’s being investigated as a possible hate-crime, according to police.
The vandalism across the walls of the parking lot as well as on the trailer of a truck happened overnight Saturday at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Buena Park.
While most of the graffiti was illegible, there was a reference to ISIS, specifically a statement that said: “[Expletive] ISIS” as well as the word “Islahm.”
The graffiti, possibly gang graffiti, was discovered when people arrived for services Sunday morning.
The vandalism comes on the heels of the San Bernardino mass killing, which temple members say is a hurtful reminder that their religion is often misunderstood.
They say Sikhs are a peaceful people and have no connection to any of the violence that unfolded in San Bernardino.
In response to the vandalism, the group put up a banner to show their solidarity with the victims that reads: “We are American Sikhs. We pray for the victims of San Bernardino.”
Buena Park police say they’re investigating the vandalism as a possible hate-crime and the FBI is aware of the situation.
For the foreseeable future, temple members have been told police will be on hand for their biweekly prayers.
In the meantime, Sikhs at the temple have invited whoever was responsible for the vandalism to pray with them.
“Come to us. We’re open and we will tell you who we are,” said Paran Singh, a temple member.
Police say they have a person of interest, but no one is in custody.