Racists spray painted the phrases “white power,” “die Muslims die,” and “death to Allah” on a place of worship in Thornaby, a small town in northern England.
The only problem is it wasn’t an Islamic place of worship; it was a Sikh temple.
And actually, scratch that; that’s not the only problem. The white supremacist vandals also spelled the word “to” wrong, writing “death too Allah.”
I can’t say I’m shocked to discover that racist vandals who can’t tell Sikhs from Muslims also don’t know the difference between to and too.
British news publication the Gazette Live, which reported the story, noted that the vandalism “comes just weeks after thieves struck at the Shri Guru Nanak Gurdwara and Sikh Community Centre, stealing food and clothes.”
This is not the first time white supremacist desecrators spray painted anti-Muslim graffiti on the wrong place of worship. In a small town in Washington in February, vandals spray painted a swastika and the phrases “get out” and “Muslims get out” on a Hindu temple and school.
I have written before about the “racialization” of Islam and the racism inherent in Islamophobia, which make ignorant racists assume all brown people are Muslim.
Sometimes, this racist Islamophobia leads to violent hate crimes against Sikhs. In August 2012, a neo-Nazi who was radicalized in the US military—which has a history of accommodating and even supporting white supremacists and fascists—murdered six Sikhs at a temple near Milwaukee. Although he did not leave a message or manifesto and died in the attack, it is widely assumed that he thought he was targeting Muslims.