Gov. Jay Inslee spoke out against acts of intolerance last week after the recent vandalism incidents at two Hindu temples in the Seattle area.
On Feb. 15, members of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell discovered the words “get out” and a swastika spray-painted on an outside wall. Two weeks later, members of the Sanatan Dharma Temple in Kent found their windows broken and the word “FEAR” written on the wall.
“There are still elements that act as agents of intolerance and hate and we have got to stand up against them every day,” Inslee said in prepared remarks on Thursday.
Along with his public remarks, Inslee also set aside time last week to meet with the leaders of the Hindu temples that were targeted and also with local Muslim leaders.
Bothell temple chairman Nit Niranjan and vice chairman Mani Vadari said the governor’s response was encouraging, and said it was important for elected leaders to criticize acts of intolerance publicly.
Vadari said the temple had never been targeted by such a blatant display of hate before, and the messages that were scrawled on the walls still affect the members.
“Those kinds of statements are hurtful,” he said.