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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Worshipers at South Salem Temple Believe the Burning of Their Flag is an Act of Terrorism

Release Date: Jul-24-2006 21:39
News Source: Salem-News.com

Kevin Hays Salem-News.com

Recent vandalism at the Sikh temple has left many in Salem angry and shaken, and the organization trying to educate people about who they are and why they are not a threat.

(SALEM) - People who worship at the Dashmesh Darbar Sikh Temple on Oakhill Ave SE in South Salem say the violent and destructive acts committed against their building over the weekend amounts to more than a hate crime, they say it was an act of terrorism.

The desecration of the former Lutheran church is definetely not the first hate crime acted out against a Salem religious organization, it has happened more than once at Temple Beth Shalom, the Synagogue in North Salem, and other locations.

Police say that while it is alarming and concerning, it is not something that happens frequently in the capitol city.

Investigators say a 4-foot flag with the Khanda, the symbol of the Sikh faith was burned by the vandals. The flag was on a pole located behind the Temple

Fire investigators say the flames spread to some nearby grass and a chain link fence that surrounded the flag pole. Fortunately, it was quickly extinguished.

Police say flowers were ripped out, and a bike was thrown onto the opposite side of the property.

It leaves church leaders saying they pan to install surveillance cameras and a fence around the entire property.

Church members have replaced the flag pole and flag.

If you have any information on the fire call Salem police at (503) 588-6123.

For more information on the Sikh faith, visit: www.sikhs.org

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