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Sikh Temple Vandalized–but were Muslims the Intended Target?

Images of the vandalism at the Sterling Heights Sikh temple

Images of the vandalism at the Sterling Heights Sikh temple

Sikh Temple Vandalized–but were Muslims the Intended Target?


Vandals targeted a Sikh house of worship in suburban Detroit this week. But there are signs they intended to target Muslims.

According to the Sikh Society of Michigan, the Sikh temple (known as a Gurdwara) in Sterling Heights has been under construction for several years, without any incidents or controversy.

That changed when someone vandalized the building sometime on Sunday night.

The vandals spray painted “don’t builed” [sic] on an outside wall. They also left images of a cross, a gun, and a misspelled version of the name “Mohammed.”

Muslims revere Mohammed as a prophet, but it has nothing to do with the Sikh religion. The word leads many to believe to believe the vandals thought they were targeting Muslims.

Dawud Walid, executive director for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), calls the vandalism a hate crime.

“We joined the Sikh community in calling for local and federal law enforcement to use their full resources to investigate this recent hate crime,” Walid said.

The US Justice Department in Detroit says the incident is on their radar. They’ve met with members of the Sikh community about it.

But a DOJ spokeswoman says it’s yet how they’ll be involved in the investigation, or any potential prosecution. Anyone with information about the incident should contact Sterling Heights Police.

Walid also suggests the incident could stem from politicians’ “fanning the flames” of xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in an election year.

“We hope that they will be a little more responsible,” Walid said. “They should understand that their statements and ads may push people over the edge, and they do have consequences.”

The US Sikh community has fallen victim to anti-Muslim sentiment before. A Sikh man was murdered in Arizona soon after the September 11th attacks. The killer thought he was Arab or Muslim.

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  • JT

    Ahmed, I think it’s unfair to make accusations without any proof.

  • Omar

    lol i sympathize with our Sikh brothers for looking “Muslim”! (there is no such thing as Muslim looking) just another proof how racist and stupid Islamophobes are..

  • Ahmed

    The misspellings and curse word transliterated into English leads me to believe that an immigrant Iraqi Christian is responsible for the graffiti, many live in that vicinity.

  • Solid Snake

    @Jack “Air Mohammed”

    New line of athletic basketball sneakers…. presumably worn by Muslim athletes who want to ‘fly’ to the hoop…har har

  • Rajesh

    White America strikes again.

  • Jack

    “Air Mohmed”? RA?

  • JT

    More proof that Islamophobes are exceptionally stupid.

  • mindy1

    How sad 🙁

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