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Jul-24-2006 21:39printcomments

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

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.

Dashmesh Darbar Sikh Temple Salem Oregon
Photos by: Kevin Hays

(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,

Here is the first article on the temple hate crime:

Fire at South Salem Temple Believed to be a Hate Crime Fire at South Salem Temple Believed to be a Hate Crimep


Comments are Closed on this story.

Sukhvir Singh August 3, 2006 12:39 pm (Pacific time)

i just came to know about this incident today from somebody and did an internet search and found this news article. I think TV/Media has over-presernted picture of Bin Laden attaching turban with terrorism in the minds of people. Unfortunately 90% people who wear turban in US are SIKHS who are historically the first people in India to fight against the Mughal and Afghan invaders and terrorists in India in the 16th century. SIKHS are not only against terrorism but always ready to fight against terrorism and defend weak sections of society. It is shameful act by some idiot to burn Nishan Sahib, the symbol of Sikhism.

Ranjeet Singh August 2, 2006 7:37 pm (Pacific time)

Singapore, a beautiful island city in South East Asia is known for their religious harmony and tolerance...the country laws have ZERO tolerance on individuals who commits religious hate crimes and also strictly forbids anyone from speaking ill of other faiths. Severe punishments are mete out for the acts of vandalism on places of worship. US should adopt the same approach.

rishi August 1, 2006 12:26 am (Pacific time)

sikh religion is a religion of tolerence and sacrifices,but this does'nt mean that we should be underestimated,we can answer back in a way the opponent want from us

Manjit Singh July 27, 2006 12:23 pm (Pacific time)

On July 4 celebration this year in Fremont, California, Sikhs passed out water bottles with information on Sikh Americans and Sikhism. Every Gurdwara and Sikh organization needs to do the similar thing. May be even free T-Shirts. I thought the bottle was a very creative idea and even posted a picture on my blog and may be will add the manufacturer as well if some needs.

sam sidana July 27, 2006 9:07 am (Pacific time)

Its the duty of the fed.Gov tomake strict rule(laws) for these terrorists and also to educate them along with the simmilar efforts must be made by the all sikhs.Its a need of the time. without Strict Law as Terrorist it 'll not solve any problem in USA and World of Un acceptence and Hatred.

Gurjendra Singh July 27, 2006 8:58 am (Pacific time)

After 9/11 Sikhs are working very hard to educate people about Sikhs, Our Media is not putting many stories about sikhs. I will request Sikhs with resourses to approch to TV media to teach about SIKHS.

Hardie Singh, Johannesburg July 27, 2006 3:09 am (Pacific time)

Its really a shameful act, committed by some narrow minded unlawful people. Sikhs by nature are peace loving and dont need this kinda treatement atleast in the country like US. Probably its another instance of Mistaken identity. The Government should take the responsibility to educate the local community in alliance with Gurudwara. Feel sorry, but hope this instance wont infuse tensions with other local community. Waheguru Bless us all!! Sarbat da bhalla......... Fateh

Harjeet singh July 26, 2006 10:20 pm (Pacific time)

Waheguru ji ka khasla Waheguru ji ki fateh Pappi ko marne ko paap maha bali hai. Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ki fateh.

Cecilia Moran July 26, 2006 4:34 pm (Pacific time)

Looking at things positively, I pray that people will want to learn more about other religions and stop being so ignorant of others. I believe that Sikhs are the nicest people I have ever met and it is so unfair they are constantly hated on. Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh

Ujjal Goraya July 26, 2006 8:30 am (Pacific time)

Hatred and vandalism against any faith should be condemned.Sikhs unfortunately are victoms of a"mistaken identity"It is the duty of Gurdwara management committies to educate others about who siks are by frequently putting ads in the newspapers,local radios and other media.It will have a positive effect.

Kushwant Singh Raud July 26, 2006 6:30 am (Pacific time)

It all comes down o the level of ignorance in our community, a differeniation into what a Sikh? This all boils down to the lack of education provided by the state. Here in the UK were urging the education council to provide and teach our young in their early years. We need declassify ourselves as asians and more towards Sikh.

Navdeep Singh Randhawa July 26, 2006 5:13 am (Pacific time)

Sikhs have been in North America for well over 100 year now but yet little progress has been made in terms of acceptance into mainstream society. The first Sikh pioneers were labelled as 'hindoos' and now over a century later we are labelled as 'muslims and terrorists'- - so how can we say that any progress has been made??. The Sikh community needs to have a more proactive approach to community relations and must make an earnest attempt to educate the wider population as to who the Sikh people are, what we belive and what differentiates us and makes us unique from other ethnic/religious groups.

Kim Portland July 26, 2006 4:48 am (Pacific time)

It is very strange that after 5 years of 9,11 people stil consider sikhs not citizens of this free country. I wonder when this idealism of hate will come to a dead end. I am an Irish and i do believe what it is like not being accepted. What blacks had to go through in the entire USA is what Sikhs are having to start a fresh to get equal rights and be accepted. ^The question remains "Is it not the governments duty to settle a minority by teaching ignorant and uneducated people of their beliefs and culture"....

Manjit Singh July 26, 2006 3:04 am (Pacific time)

Sikh Gurus prophesized that there is one and same light in all beings. Let us blossom ourselves into loving, peaceful and caring humans.

Lakhvir Singh July 26, 2006 1:57 am (Pacific time)

only if the vandals knew what burden they are subjecting themselves into by attacking a home of worship. there is an account to pay for all that we do on this earth, and the justice up there is far more certain than any on this earth. by then, it may just be too late to cry over. may God bless them, like Guru Nanak Dev Ji said to even those that pelted him with stones: 'May you remain together (so that their venom of hatred does not spread to those loving ones).

jagmohan singh bammi July 25, 2006 10:02 pm (Pacific time)

it is most shameful incident and should be condemned.The culprits should be brought to books and should be briefed in details about the SIKH religion and should be freed subject to their acceptance of the mistak and promise not to repeat again.

Sahib Singh July 25, 2006 9:15 pm (Pacific time)

i can't seem to figure how ignorant can pppl get?? its not like they dunnno or don want to some pppl jus do it delibrately...these kind of racist pppl r no less then terrorists and they should be treated that way so others can learn a lesson n think 10 times before doing something like that....

kawaljeet chawla July 25, 2006 8:54 pm (Pacific time)

sikh youth should get involved in competitive sports and try for top positions ,that is where media and world will learn on what and who we are .just going to gurudwara does not solve the problem

Paul Richardson July 25, 2006 3:07 pm (Pacific time)

I have a neighbor who is a Sikh and have seen the local Gurdwara or Temple that the Sikh community have built in our area. Its very beautiful and provides a lot of free services to our community such as before there used to be homeless people needing a meal but their Langar kitchens feed the needy for free and they've always been active in improving our neighborhood. This is a shameful act by the most small-minded and ignorant of persons.

Bharat Vir Singh July 25, 2006 1:23 pm (Pacific time)

Some stone-headed people are hell-bent on hatred of others.No amount of convincing will change their twisted minds.They simply have to be dealt with by law.

Pritam Singh July 25, 2006 12:19 pm (Pacific time)

Some people are uneducated about the Sikhs and tend to make up their own ways of what they are. All it takes is a few minutes and read about what Sikhs are and stand for and thats enough to completely change your thought about what you thought Sikhs were.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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