Swastika painted near arson attack on dry-cleaner business near Sacramento

The FBI is investigating an act of arson at an Arab Christian–owned dry-cleaning business near Sacramento as a hate crime after discovering racist graffiti and a swastika, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The fire broke out Sept. 14 around 3:30 a.m. at Star Dry Cleaners in Orangevale. Someone apparently broke through a window and ignited a gas can, said an FBI spokesman. On a brick wall outside, someone spray-painted a swastika and the words “f— Arab,” the spokesman said.

The business is owned by the Kurt family, Palestinian immigrants who have been in the United States since the late 1970s and who said they identify as Antiochian Orthodox Christians, the Bee reported. Pictures of the Virgin Mary decorated the store’s interior.

“It’s horrifying,” said Nancy Appel, associate regional director for the Anti-Defamation League. “The swastika has come to be a uniquely horrible symbol for Jews, but it’s also a generalized symbol of hate.” Damage was estimated at $60,000, the Bee reported.