STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ/AP) – Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders say they will speak out Friday morning against vandalism at a Sikh temple being built north of Detroit.

The religious leaders will join the Sikh American community of Greater Detroit at its gurdwara, a place of worship in Sterling Heights.

Racial slurs, drawings of what appear to be a cross and gun, and references to the 9/11 attacks were scrawled between Sunday and Monday in the temple.  The grafiti included a misspelling of the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, along with the misspelled message “Don’t Build.”

A member of the Sikh community discovered the vandalism. The temple is expected to be finished this summer.

Spokeswoman Raman Singh said anyone witnessing the damage may be asked to come forward. Police are investigating the case.

Sikhs in the U.S. have occasionally been the target of anti-Muslim sentiment because Sikh men traditionally wear turbans and grow beards.

In a statement released earlier this week, CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid called the vandalism a “hate crime.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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