Community Supports Sikhs After Temple Vandalized

March 16, 2007

Author: Ryan Sabalow

Source: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

ANDERSON -- A diverse group of area religious and community leaders on Thursday pledged their unequivocal support to the Sikh community, while roundly condemning vandalism at the group's temple.

"We're all one family," Anderson Mayor Keith Webster told a crowd of at least 50 people who attended a noon gathering at the vandalized Sikh Center off Deschutes Road.

Webster joined Shasta County Administrative Officer Larry Lees, Supervisor Les Baugh, Sheriff Tom Bosenko, Anderson police Capt. Robert Kirvin and representatives from local Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, American Indian and Muslim groups to say that racism and religious intolerance have no place in Shasta County.

"This hasn't happened to one segment of our community," said Lynn Fritz, community outreach minister with the Spiritual Enrichment Center in Redding. "It happened to all of us."

The speakers' message of unity, respect and love seemed to resonate with the Sikhs.