Glasgow & West Scotland

Anti-Islamic graffiti on Glasgow Central Gurdwara

The graffiti, some of which we have blurred out, was written on the wall of the new Gurdwara. Image copyright Glasgow Gurdwara
Image caption The graffiti, some of which we have blurred out, was written on the wall of the new Gurdwara

Anti-Islamic graffiti has been written on the wall of the new Central Gurdwara in Glasgow.

Members of the Sikh community discovered the green paint with the Islamaphobic message next to a Nazi swastika sign.

The graffiti was discovered two weeks ago and the Gurdwara decided to publicise the incident following the community meeting.

Police Scotland is appealing for information.

Surjit Singh Chowdhary, Vice-President of Central Gurdwara Singh Sabha, said: "The Sikh community completely abhors the hateful ideology of Islamophobia.

"We are in complete shock that such disgraceful words were put on the walls of this great Gurdwara.

"The Sikh community's gift to Glasgow has been commandeered as a platform for the hateful messages which do not belong in our country."

The £15m Central Gurdwara, in the city's Berkley Street, is due to open later this summer.

It will join the Glasgow Gurdwara in the city's Pollokshields, which opened in April 2013.

'Rampant Islamophobia'

Police believe the vandalism took place on either 23 or 24 March and was reported to them on 4 April.

Charandeep Singh, general secretary of Glasgow Gurdwara, added: "These words represent ignorance at its worst. Unfortunately in this climate of rampant Islamophobia, members of the Sikh community have fallen victim too.

"This sad incident should energise our political leaders and fellow citizens to continue the campaign to root out such hateful beliefs.

"We will continue our dialogue with the police, local and national politicians to create an inclusive society and celebrate the contributions made by Scottish Sikhs to our country."

Ch Insp Simon Midgely, the area commander for Glasgow West End, said: "There is no room in our society for racial abuse and it is not acceptable to treat people in such a manner.

"I have no doubt that this incident caused individuals considerable distress, but I would like to reassure them that this matter is under investigation.

"I would like to thank the Gurdwara who contacted police to report the matter, indicating clearly that people in Scotland will not tolerate racism. If anyone has any additional information or knowledge, please do get in touch with us."

Alex Neil, the cabinet secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioner's Rights, added: "There is no place in Scotland for the religious hatred and intolerance that we have seen expressed in the graffiti on the Gurdwara.

"Acts like this only reveal the ignorance of a few individuals who do not respect or appreciate Scotland's rich diversity. We will not let them speak for us."

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