Gov. Jay Inslee visits Spokane Sikh Temple - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gov. Jay Inslee visits Spokane Sikh Temple

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After speaking inside the Spokane Valley Sikh Temple, Governor Inslee drank tea with members. After speaking inside the Spokane Valley Sikh Temple, Governor Inslee drank tea with members.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee visited Spokane's Sikh Temple Wednesday. The governor's office has been in touch with the Sikh leadership since last month's desecration of the temple.

“The Sikhs of Spokane has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support by the larger community in the last few weeks following the incident last month, and are so pleased our leaders are standing with us.” said Suburna Nagra, the spokeswoman for the Spokane Sikh Temple. “We have been touched by the response and hope to continue to build bridges of understanding about our faith and culture here in Spokane.”

Last month a man broke into the temple and caused over $30,000 in damage. According to court documents, he told detectives after walking into the temple through an unlocked door, he smelled something burning. They say he then took off his clothes and soaked them in water "to prevent them from burning." He used two fire extinguishers throughout the temple. Those court documents say he believed he was destroying a Muslim mosque, and he thought the holy book he ripped up was a Qur'an. In reality, that was the Sikh scripture -- Guru Granth Sahib. Those court documents say the man, identified as Jeffery Pittman, told detectives he "became delusional upon seeing the swords and other religious symbols and believed he was in a church used by ISIS and the Taliban." He also admitted to using meth three days before and drinking that night.

“We were stunned to hear of this incident and hope the community recognizes the tragedy of any house of worship being desecrated.” says Skyler Oberst, President of the Spokane Interfaith Council.

In addition to Inslee's visit, a community open house has been scheduled for April 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information contact the Spokane Sikh Temple.

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