A newly-built Sikh gurdwara has been vandalised and painted with obscene messages and anti-Islamic slurs in Australia's Perth city.
The multi-million dollar gurdwara in Bennett Springs was painted with the words like "Aussie pride" and "go home", ABC reported. Security cameras of the gurdwara were also damaged. "We are from India, particularly from Punjab, we have got no relation with any other religion.
We are Sikhs and our religion is totally different from any other religion," said the pastor Satjit Singh.
He said the vandalism was very upsetting and the damage could cost up to $50,000 to repair. I'm ashamed because I'm also a citizen and someone who is a citizen here has done it, he said. "It hurts me, and I believe it's insulting to the Australian community and the people."
The treasurer of the gurdwara, Aman Deep Singh, said it was very hurtful. "Whoever has done this, he has done a shameful act, and also, please get your knowledge right," Aman Deep said. "Make the difference between Arabs and Sikhs and above all we all are here, we have left our businesses, jobs. They have done so much damage.
They have not actually just done the damage to this temple, they have done the damage to the whole country," he said. He said these "shameful acts" damaged the progress of the country.
Labor MP Margaret Quirk said the racial slurs showed "complete ignorance". "Most of the people that worship in this temple are in fact Australian citizens and this of all weeks; it's particularly shocking," she said. Sikh soldiers were beside Aussie soldiers at Gallipoli and so this week of course we remember that it's the centenary of our soldiers going to Gallipoli and we serve next to many soldiers who were of the Sikh religion, she said.
"It would be no less acceptable if this was done on a mosque but it does show the calibre of the people that are doing this graffiti. I think racially and religiously motivated vilification and graffiti should be stamped on immediately," she said.
"On behalf of the West Australian community I certainly want to apologise to my friends in the Sikh community that they have to put up with this rubbish," she added. The incident has occured few days after two Perth mosques and an Islamic school were vandalised and had been painted with slogans against Islam.