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"Santokh Singh Sahi speaks with guest during a meet-greet with members of the Sikh community, on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 at the Glen Avon Library. " (Credit: STAN LIM/Press-Enterprise)

“Santokh Singh Sahi speaks with guest during a meet-greet with members of the Sikh community, on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 at the Glen Avon Library. ” (Credit: STAN LIM/Press-Enterprise)

After a Gurdwara near Riverside, California, was vandalized in late July with the word “terrorist” spray-painted on its walls, the Sikh community held an open house to engage with its neighbors in the area:

Santokh Singh Sahi, 72, a member of the temple, Riverside Gurdwara, said the open house Tuesday night, Sept. 10, and the support the temple has received leading up to it decreased the apprehension temple members felt after the vandalism.

“We feel more safe and secure because of his efforts,” Singh said after the event at the Glen Avon Regional Library in Jurupa Valley, glancing toward Antonio Arias.

Arias, 62, the Jurupa Valley resident who proposed the open house as a reaction to the vandalism, said the hate crime was a result of ignorance about Sikhism.

“We all become strong by knowing each other,” said Arias.

Read more at the Press-Enterprise.

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