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KKK Symbol Appears At Hare Krishna Temple

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KKK the symbol of the Ku Klux Klan appeared on the walls of the Bhakti Vedanta Cultural Center, a Hare Krishna Temple in Chandler, Ariz. on Aug 1 reports New York weekly India Abroad .


"We feel it is an act of hate" Bhaktaraj Swami, one of the 13 monks at the Center told India Abroad. He said ignorance could be at the root of this vandalism. "Many people do not know the difference between Muslims and Sikhs. They do not know much about other religions."


This is the first such incident at the Hare Krishna center except for a stolen car and a incident in 1996 when someone threw a rock. Chandler police spokesman George Arias, however, expressed doubt that white supremacists are involved. "It's just a bunch of graffiti on a church. There's nothing that indicates it's a hate crime." He pointed out some of the graffiti referred to marijuana and said KKK could be the initials of the perpetrators rather than the Klan.


But the monks fear they were specifically targeted since neighboring buildings were not vandalized. Eight miles from Chandler is Mesa, where Sikh gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot dead after 9/11. Also not far is Phoenix, where truck driver Avtar Singh Chiera was shot recently.


Some 10,000 Hindus live in the area. On Aug. 20, Krishna Janmashtami, the biggest festival for the Hare Krishna order is expected to draw 2,500 devotees.


Jalal Ghazi and Elizabeth Price contributed to this report.

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