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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hindu Temple in Monroe Georgia vandalized

What a shame it is to vandalize a place of worship. I do hope the Walton County Sheriff finds the bad guys and punish them accordingly. We cannot let any one get away with such disrespect for fellow Americans who are Hindu, or any one.

In behalf of World Muslim Congress and Foundation for Pluralism, we condemn this incident and pray for sanity to come to people.

Mike Ghouse

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Hindu American Seva Communities
Transforming Ourselves, Our Communities, Our Country

August 5, 2014

HASC Guides Vandalized Hindu Temple in Monroe Georgia to Strengthen Security and Emergency Plans

Livingston, NJ, August 5, 2014:  Early Saturday morning, August 2nd, Vishwa Bhavan Mandir, a Hindu temple in Monroe, Georgia, discovered their building and the statue of Lord Siva (murti) was vandalized. The building and the statue was defaced with black spray paint, consisting of profanity and other damaging graffiti. The Walton County Sheriff Department’s has started the search. So far, it is not known who committed this act of vandalism.

The Vishwa Bhavan Mandir reached out to Hindu American Seva Communities (HASC) to guide it in developing an emergency action plan and to bring more awareness of the issue of vandalism and hate crime in our temples.  HASC works closely with the Department of Homeland Security. And, as a member of DHS’ Faith Based Advisory Council HASC provides a Hindu/Dharmic perspective to the agency.

The desecration of the Lord Shiva statue (murti) was significantly heartbreaking for the Hindu community in Georgia, as it is the main deity of worship.  Across the country, we find, many mandirs (temples) do not actively voice their concerns other than file a police report.

“It is important for our places of worship, around the country, to be aware of what has happened as this could happen to anyone.  They should educate themselves and be prepared with a security plan and not wait for an act of vandalism or a hate crime to start the process. Just last week in Queens, NY a Sikh father of two was critically injured due to a targeted hate crime, hence it becomes even more imperative for the Dharmic community (people of eastern traditions) to speak up and have more law enforcement resources devoted to finding the hate attackers,” urged Anju Bhargava, HASC, Board Member.

SC is a progressive American organization advancing seva (community service), and social justice to ignite grassroots social change and build healthy communities while strengthening our places of worship.  Through education and policy changes it seeks to bridge the gap between US government and Hindu and Dharmic people and places of worship.  One such educational resource is the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship which can ugment development of security and protection plans.

HASC urges our places of worship to transform this heinous crime and moment of pain into a moment of understanding towards greater understanding and social harmony. It is important for us to come together and address the issue of vandalism and hate crime impacting our communities and places of worship.  

For additional information please contact seva@hinduamericanseva.org or the Vishwa Bhavan Mandir head priest, Pandit Nar Chowbey,  hkchowbey@gmail.com, 404-861-7589.

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