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Religious intolerance: Hindu temple vandalized in Texas; Christian gang suspected behind the attack

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A Hindu temple was vandalised in Texas by an international gang from a predominantly Catholic nation of El Salvador, media reported.

The vandals painted the doors of the North Texas Hindu Mandir in Lake Highlands suburb of Dallas with the mark of Mara Salvatrucha, a symbol of devil worship.

Talking about the graffiti which has shocked both Hindus and non Hindus alike,  the temple board member Krishna Singh told 11CBS network in Dallas-Fort Worth that it was a big shock for the community.

A nine-year-old devotee Gracie Reed, told 11CBS that it was a horrifying incident.  “To me, it’s really horrifying because I don’t know who would do this to a church,” the child said.

Where is religious tolerance in US?

While the US President Barack Obama was first to criticise India over religious tolerance, he along with other Christian leaders have not reacted as of Sunday to the Texas vandalism.

A lot of Christian leaders like former Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Pat Robertson, have also called Hinduism a demonic cult.

Robertson is not alone, a Christian pastor Franklin Graham, has also denounced Hindus as followers of a “false religion”.   He even went on to say that “none of their 9,000 gods is going to lead me to salvation. We are fooling ourselves.”

Previous attacks on Hindu Temples

February 2015:  Two temples were vandalised in Washington State in north-west US

August 2014: Lord Shiva’s statue at the Vishwa Bhavan Hindu Mandir in Monroe in the state of Georgia was desecrated with black paint.

July-October2014: 17 separate incidents of anti-Hindu vandalism in Loudon County in Virginia

  • “”Christian pastor Franklin Graham, has also denounced Hindus as followers of a “false religion”. He even went on to say that “none of their 9,000 gods is going to lead me to salvation. We are fooling ourselves. “” Does this pastor know the meaning of Salvation?People with erroneous information about others make final claims and judgements. This is infertility of a mind.

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  • “”Christian pastor Franklin Graham, has also denounced Hindus as followers of a “false religion”. He even went on to say that “none of their 9,000 gods is going to lead me to salvation. We are fooling ourselves. “” Does this pastor know the meaning of Salvation?People with erroneous information about others make final claims and judgements. This is infertility of a mind.

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Hindu Icons Which Have Spiritual Significance

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

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rangoli
Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home. Pixabay

Hindu Council of Australia has compiled a list of Hindu Icons that Hindus may wear on their body and which have spiritual significance. This list has been made to remove confusion among non-Hindus about what is sacred to Hindus.

Hindu Sacraments worn on the body

Hindu icons all year round

bangles
Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item. Pixabay

Scared Hindu icons that can not be removed

  1. Nose stud – essential for girls during puberty, can not be removed for one year.
  2. Yajnopavit/Janaue – essential for boys after their Yajnopavit right of passage, once worn can not be removed and worn again without extensive rituals (not even during swimming lessons)
  3. Sindoor/Mangalsutra – essential for married women. Removal is not permitted while husband is alive.
  4. Choti/Shikha – small hair tail for boys during a right of passage.
  5. Pagdi (Turban, A cloth wrapped around the head) – touching or removing it is disrespectful. It can be removed for a short period in privacy, like when having a shower and must be worn as soon as possible.
  6. Sivalingam (Veera and Adi Shiva people, Lingayat) or other Hindu Gods as pendant in a necklace.

Sacred Hindu icons that can be removed by the wearer

  1. Bindi – optional for women and girls, it can not be removed by others.
  2. Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item
  3. Kondhani – a bracelet made of black thread worn around the waist
  4. Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
  5. Ear rings/studs for boys and girls in some families
  6. Gem stone on rings for special effects of planets
  7. Hindu Sacraments worn on Special Occasions

    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles. Pixabay
  1. Tulsi Mala – A necklace of Tulsi beads. During special religious observations.
  2. Teeka, Tilak, Vibhuti – essential during Hindu prayers, optional otherwise
  3. Mehendi/henna/turmeric – essential when getting married or when a close family member gets married, optional for married women during karva chauth day. Henna is a fast colour (looks like a emporary tatto) that takes a week or more to fade away
  4. Men are not allowed to cut their hair during Sabramalai month (Mid of November to January 14/15)
  5. Rakhi – a special bracelet worn on special festival day of Rakhi.
  6. Kajal/Surma (dark black eye ointment)
  7. Raksha/mouli – multi colour thread bracelet as a protective icon during special days
  8. Gajra – a flower arrangement by woman at the back of there hair.

Hindu icons in a Hindu home

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

  1. Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home.
  2. Home shrine

(Originally Published: Hindu Council of Australia)