British Columbia

'Ignorance and fear': Racist graffiti at Kelowna Sikh temple draws condemnation

The graffiti scrawled on a wall at the Gurdwara Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society was discovered on Monday as a congregation was starting.

'Whoever vandalized the gurdwara would have been better served to actually learn more about Sikh community'

The gurdwara said in a statement it has been vandalized once in the past but that police were not contacted at that time. (Gurdwara )

Racist graffiti on a Sikh temple in Kelowna is drawing words of condemnation.

The graffiti scrawled on a wall at the Gurdwara Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society was discovered on Monday as the congregation was gathering.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) has been in contact with members and is offering support.

Amanpreet Singh Hundal, the WSO's vice-president for B.C., who also lives in Kelowna, said in a statement he was "disappointed" by what happened.

"We believe it is ignorance and fear that drives racism, and the Sikh community will continue to reach out to educate and build bridges despite incidents like this," he said.

"Local gurdwaras in Kelowna regularly host high school students for tours and information sessions on the Sikh faith and those will continue. Whoever vandalized the gurdwara would have been better served to actually learn more about  the Sikh community by going inside the gurdwara to ask questions and enjoying the free meal available to all visitors. Kelowna is our home and racist incidents like this won't faze us."

The statement said that the gurdwara has been vandalized once in the past, but that police were not contacted at that time. 

The WSO is encouraging community members to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity around gurdwaras to the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.