BAPS Toronto Mandir Vandalized

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Ajay Shah (Photo: HunduPact Website)
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WASHINGTON, D.C – There has been a series of strategically targeted attacks against Hindus across North America. On Wednesday evening, extremists vandalized and defaced the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto spray painting saffron-colored profanities on the temple’s entrance including “Hindustan murdabad” which translates to “death to India” and “Khalistan zindabad” which translates to “long live Khalistan.”

Tejal Shah, Director of the VHPA’s Hindu Mandir Executive Conference (HMEC), said “HMEC strongly condemns the defacing and vandalization of the BAPS mandir or any mandir. This is a shameful act of Hinduphobia, a hate crime and blatantly anti-India activity. We are looking for full scrutiny and strict actions from the government of Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in addressing this unacceptable crime. This weekend, leaders of dozens of Hindu mandirs are gathering in Cincinnati, OH to discuss the safety and security of Hindu temples in North America and how mandirs can actively engage the local communities and law enforcement to provide enhanced security to mandirs and prevent such attacks in future.”

Ajay Shah, President of World Hindu Council of America and Convenor of HinduPACT while codeming this attack on the Hindu Mandir said, “This incident comes just a few weeks after the vandalism at the Mandir in Queens, NY where a statue of Gandhi was twice vandalized. We strongly believe that these increased incidents of vandalism are directly correlated with the vitriol unleashed by Hindu-hating groups such as Hindus for Human Rights that have specifically targeted BAPS. It is disappointing to see that in addition to increased attacks on Mandirs, systemic Hinduphobia is growing in every sphere of North American Hindu life and is well documented.”

Shah further added, “In Canada, we have seen the Prime Minister denigrate the sacred Hindu symbol the Swastika, giving Hindu haters more ammunitIon to attack them. On the other side of the border, in America, President Joe Biden and the White House failed to invite even one Hindu representative to their interfaith meeting titled “United We Stand” which was held on September 15.”

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