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Canada Brampton Sikh Elementary School Vandalized By Racist Graffiti

Jan 7, 2005
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Brampton Sikh elementary school vandalized by racist graffiti

Laura Kane
Staff Reporter - THE STAR - July 10, 2012



TORONTO STAR PHOTO Ripsodhak Grewal, principal of the Khalsa Community School Brampton,
the province's largest private Sikh school, looks at racist vandalism spray-painted
on the gymnasium's outside wall early Tuesday morning.



Ripsodhak Grewal doesn’t know why teenage vandals would scrawl swastikas and the letters “KKK” onto the walls of a Sikh elementary school.

He does know something must change in Brampton, which has seen two high-profile racist incidents in recent months.

“It’s hard to imagine this happening in the 21st century,” he said. “I’m beginning to wonder what we are missing when we are educating these young children.”

Grewal is principal of Khalsa Community School, the province’s largest private Sikh elementary. He first saw the graffiti Tuesday morning, after neighbours reported it to police.

Security video from Monday night shows three young people — their faces too blurry to be identified — spray-painting the back gymnasium wall.

Brampton is home to the largest concentration of South Asians in Canada, at 31.7 per cent of the population. The graffiti incident comes just months after a racist YouTube video in which a 16-year-old Brampton girl equated “turbans” with “terrorists” and complained her entire school was “brown.”

Khalsa moved last June from a majority Sikh community in Malton to a more mixed neighbourhood in Brampton, after purchasing a former Catholic school building.

This is apparently the first racially motivated attack against the school. When it first moved into the neighborhood, vandals smashed the school bus windows, prompting Grewal to install security cameras.

Peel Regional Police spokesman Peter Brandwood said police do not have any suspects, but will increase their presence in the area.

“Hate-based crimes in our region always remain a priority,” he said.

The region saw 76 hate crimes in 2010, down from a high of 95 in 2009. The majority of those crimes were vandalism.

Graffiti attacks against Sikhs are not uncommon, said Balpreet Singh, acting executive director of the World Sikh Organization of Canada.

“We’ve been quite concerned about incidents across the country,” he said.

A Montreal temple in December was spray-painted with the words “F--- Indians,” while in April vandals scrawled “terrorist” over Vaisakhi Parade posters in Surrey, B.C.

Perminder Sekhon, a realtor whose two children attend Khalsa school, said he has occasionally heard racist comments from teenagers. Still, he insists the neighbourhood is safe and welcoming.

“It’s just troubled young people,” he said. “Even if I got the chance to meet them, I’ll not say they must be punished. They need counseling, that’s it.”

The vandals face potential charges of mischief, but courts can take into account hate-based motivations as aggravating factors.

A man who spray-painted swastikas and racist epithets onto an interracial couple’s home in Newmarket was found guilty of mischief and criminal harassment in June.

With files from Star news services

source: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1224660--brampton-sikh-elementary-school-vandalized-by-racist-graffiti
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
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A school that has had a few amateur racist slogans spray painted on it is not, in my view, big news. This is a Khalsa school, so obviously the slogans will be aimed at race. If it were a special needs school, they would probably have been aimed at those of special needs.

Come on, we should stop being so precious, its just kids being kids,

It is this sort of heavy handed attitude that results in kirpans being drawn at the slightest perceived insult. Counselling, rather than punishment, education rather than revenge, is what is needed here, What would Guru Gobind Singhji, who suffered very real attacks and losses, have to say about this...., a few scrawled words, and not very imaginative ones at that
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Mentor
Writer
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Jul 4, 2004
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KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA
And have we forgotten that the NEGROS have had such Garfitti painted on their doors churches..and even worse Burning Crosees, etc for at least a HUNDRED YEARS...the KKK swastika etc are OLD HAT as far as the USA/Canada are concerned..I am surprised that this made the "news"...its JUNK. (Harry ji has already made this point). IGNORE.= juveniles playing pranks...
 
Jan 7, 2005
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3,760
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
WSO condemns racist vandalism of Brampton Sikh school


Brampton (July 10, 2012): The World Sikh Organization of Canada condemns the vandalism of Brampton’s Khalsa School. On Monday night racist graffiti was spray-painted onto the walls of the Sikh elementary school. Security video appears to show that the vandals were three young people.

WSO had previously expressed concern over increased racist hostility against the Canadian Sikh community in the wake of news stories portraying Sikhs as extremists.

“While we are deeply saddened by the vandalism of the Brampton Khalsa School, we’re not completely surprised by it. There have been several incidents of vandalism against the Sikh community across Canada and even recent reports of racist attacks against members of the community. Sikhs have been in Canada well over 100 years and also form an important part of the community in Peel. It’s sad that such acts of intolerance still take place but we’re sure they are not representative of the community at large" Said Ranjit Singh Dulay, WSO's Ontario Vice President.

WSO has called for the vandalism of the Brampton Khalsa School to be investigated as a potential hate crime.

WSO legal counsel Balpreet Singh said, “the safety of the children who are attending summer sessions at the school is paramount. Attacking an elementary school is simply cowardly. What's also disturbing is that the perpetrators appear to be youth themselves. It’s important that those responsible for the vandalism are caught and made to answer for their actions.”

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Balpreet Singh

Legal Counsel

416-904-9110

balpreetsingh@worldsikh.org

source: http://worldsikh.ca/news-release/wso-condemns-racist-vandalism-brampton-sikh-school


************************************************************

CAIR-CAN Condemns Vandalism at Brampton Sikh School
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:28 am

- For immediate release -

(Ottawa, Canada – July 11th, 2012) - The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today condemned the recent vandalism of Khalsa Community School in Brampton, Ontario. According to a report, vandals spray-painted a swastika and KKK on the exterior gymnasium wall.

“CAIR-CAN stands firmly with all Canadians in denouncing this act of racist vandalism. We wish to express our solidarity with the Sikh community and all victims of such intolerant and divisive acts.

“CAIR-CAN urges local politicians and security officials in Brampton, as well as provincial and federal governments, to work together to continue to combat all forms of racism and hate-motivated crimes. We call on law enforcement to send a strong message against hate crimes and intolerance,” said CAIR-CAN Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“We also urge school administrators and community leaders to remain vigilant and to immediately report suspicious behaviour to the proper authorities in order to establish a clear record of such incidents.”

CAIR-CAN is a national, non-profit, grassroots organization striving to be a leading voice that enriches Canadian society through Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

CONTACT: Ihsaan Gardee, CAIR-CAN Executive Director, 613.254.9704; 613.853.4111

- 30 -


CAIR-CAN - P.O. Box 13219 Ottawa, Ontario K2K 1X4

source:
http://www.caircan.ca/itn_more.php?id=3162_0_2_0_C
 
Last edited:
Jan 7, 2005
3,450
3,760
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada


Jewish Community Expresses Solidarity with Sikh Community After Racist Graffiti found at Elementary School

Upon learning of the racist graffiti spray-painted on a Sikh elementary school in Brampton, Ontario The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto issued the following statement:

“UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs offer our solidarity to members of the Sikh community which have been affected by this act of hatred,“ said UJA Federation chair Elizabeth Wolfe. “This is a cowardly attempt at intimidation.”

“It is shameful that in this day and age an elementary school would be subject to such racism. In a civil society, an attack like this is rightly seen as an attack against all, which violates our core Canadian values of human rights and respect for all faiths,” noted David Spiro, The Centre’s co-chair for the Greater Toronto area.

“To the Jewish community in particular, the swastika represents hatred and evil; symbolizing the murder of six million Jews. We are grateful that Peel Region police are taking this matter very seriously and we have full confidence that they will do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Spiro.

source: http://www.cija.ca/press-releases/jewish-community-expresses-solidarity-with-sikh-community-after-racist-graffiti-found-at-elementary-school/
 
Jan 7, 2005
3,450
3,760
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Overwhelming support in wake of vandalism of Brampton Sikh school

Submitted by WSO Editor on Thu, 12/07/2012 - 14:03


The response to the vandalism of the Khalsa Community School in Brampton from Canadians of all our various communities and elected officials from every political stripe has been overwhelmingly supportive of the Sikh community.

Recognizing the importance of presenting a united front against intolerance and hatred, several national and local organizations issued statements condemning the vandalism of the Sikh elementary school as a violation of our shared Canadian values and human rights.

Some of the organizations who issued statements include:

- the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN);
- the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA);
- the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.


Many elected officials also issued statements in solidarity with the Sikh community including:

- Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Hon. Jason Kenney,
- MP Parm Gill (CPC),
- NDP Toronto Caucus Chair Andrew Cash (Davenport) & National Caucus Deputy Chair Rathika Sitsabaiesan
- Liberal Leader Bob Rae & Jim Karygiannis
- Ontario Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Hon. Charles Sousa
- Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak
- Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Jagmeet Singh


Willowdale MP Chungsen Leung Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Kenney, Chungsen Leung also personally visited the Khalsa Community School and took part in the clean up.

WSO would like to thank all those who have expressed their solidarity with the Sikh community. Racism and hatred have no place in Canadian society and all Canadians must stand united against such hate attacks, regardless of which community is targeted.

source: http://worldsikh.ca/blog/wso-editor/overwhelming-support-wake-vandalism-brampton-sikh-school
 

Luckysingh

Writer
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Dec 4, 2011
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A school that has had a few amateur racist slogans spray painted on it is not, in my view, big news. This is a Khalsa school, so obviously the slogans will be aimed at race. If it were a special needs school, they would probably have been aimed at those of special needs.

Come on, we should stop being so precious, its just kids being kids,

It is this sort of heavy handed attitude that results in kirpans being drawn at the slightest perceived insult. Counselling, rather than punishment, education rather than revenge, is what is needed here, What would Guru Gobind Singhji, who suffered very real attacks and losses, have to say about this...., a few scrawled words, and not very imaginative ones at that
Harry ji, your point is spot on and is very realistic for this issue.
You may be wondering 'why all this fuss?- no one was hurt?'

However, having lived on both sides of the atlantic, I know that in Canada, this becomes big news. Whereas in UK, these things happen all the while and are considered pretty harmless.
Such crime is very low when compared to the UK and many people find it disturbing. I mean the front page of your local news here is usually about somebody's lost and found cat or how some kid has multiple scholarships...etc..
Compared to local news in UK it is normally of a postive nature and not about sombody's misfortune.

You may understand a little about all the fuss over this 'minor' issue.
This is labelled as a vandalism and racism issue among the people here, but over there it would be just simple vandalism, as no one was physically threatened or abused then you couldn't label it as a racist attack.
 

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