Stoughton Religious Communities Join Hands to Stand Down Hometown Vandalism

March 6, 2006

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 6, 2006 The Boston Globe reported, "It was an urgent chore that brought together people of different faiths -- brushes and spray bottles in hand.

Standing shoulder to shoulder at the Striar Jewish Community Center, Dr. Saeed Shahzad, a local Muslim leader, spritzed a cleaner on the wall, while the Rev. John E. Kelly, pastor of a local Roman Catholic church, and Zack Lappen, 14, a member of the center, scrubbed with brushes.

Less than 24 hours after someone had painted 11 large swastikas on the side of the center, leaders from several religions came together yesterday to scrub away the hate. As they worked, 60 people cheered, sang in Hebrew and English, held signs proclaiming 'No Place for Hate,' and clapped as the acting police chief, Chris Ciampa, vowed to catch the culprits... Police said the center had been defaced between 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. yesterday, when a maintenance worker arrived to open the doors and discovered the swastikas, about 4 feet across, defacing the walls and the front doors.

Ciampa labeled the markings a hate crime and said solving the crime was the police's top priority. As of yesterday afternoon, no suspects had been identified, he said."