OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee used a regularly scheduled press conference today to draw attention to recent crimes he said were signs of intolerance in Washington and urged the public to come forward if they had any information about the incidents.
“I condemn these acts of intolerance, intimidation and violence,” Inslee told reporters. “Diversity is a cornerstone of our state. It is what makes this such a great place to live, work and grow a family. I want to let all of those affected by the recent crimes know that Washington stands with you.”
Inslee’s comments were prompted by several recent events.
Hindu temples in Bothell and Kent have been vandalized, including bigoted graffiti. There was also anti-Muslim graffiti at a junior high school near the Bothell temple.
These incidents are occurring at the same time Seattle is experiencing an increase in violence against the LGBTQ community on Capitol Hill.
“It’s disturbing that we see this in our state,” the governor said. “As a state we are leaders in the fight for civil rights for everyone. But there are still elements that act on intolerance and hate and we must, as a state, stand against that.”
Attending the press conference today were Nit Niranjan and Dr. Mani Vadari from the Hindu Temple Cultural Center in Bothell, and Jugal Thakor from the Sanatan Dharma Temple and Cultural Center in Kent. Also in attendance was Shaykh Qasim Hatem, a resident scholar at the Mihraab Foundation, a non-profit Muslim organization.
Inslee urged people to step forward if they know anything about any of the recent crimes. If you know anything about the graffiti in Kent or Bothell contact the FBI-Seattle office at 206-622-0460. If you know anything about attacks on Capital Hill, please leave a message at the Seattle Police Department’s tip line at 206.233.5000.
*Photo: The governor met with Muslim and Hindu leaders prior to his press conference.
(L-R: Shaykh Qasim Hatem, Jugal Thakor, Nit Niranjan, Gov. Inslee, Dr. Mani Vadari, Ravindra Walia and Kul Gary, with the Sanatan Dharma Temple and Cultural Center)