The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Christian Fanatics Firebomb Hindu Temple in Guyana

Friday, November 4th 2005
Stabroek News

The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha has called for an investigation, followed by the necessary steps, into the squib-throwing incident in Alexander Village on Tuesday night.

The Dharmic Sabha said it strongly condemned and shared the concern of the Alexander Village community, particularly devotees of the Vishnu Mandir, over the bedlam in the area on Deepavali night.

Representation was made to the Commissioner of Police by the Sabha's President both last year and again this year, a press release from the Sabha said. "The disregard for sacred festivals and the constitutional right to worship in peace cannot be lightly treated and the Sabha expects protection during the observance of these occasions."

On Tuesday - Deepavali - persons ganged up and tossed squibs at the mandir for hours. The Sabha urged that, that attack and those in previous years in Alexander Village be "thoroughly investigated and steps taken to prevent the recurrence".

Squib terror seized Alexander Village near the Vishnu Mandir on Tuesday night, when persons parading the streets threw illegal firecrackers for hours.

In the end, a hole was blown in the roof of the mandir, two PVC water pipes were ruptured, and squibs exploding in the gutter splashed dirty water on the walls of the temple. Parts of the mandir where the squibs could easily enter had to be shuttered.

But the mandir wasn't the only place coming under attack, a devotee of the mandir who witnessed the explosive display, said a house opposite the mandir also had its water line ruptured.

The 'war' went on for several hours.

"This thing start like from seven o'clock till midnight. They was throwing squib at each other. This going on for about six years," the mandir member said.

The squib throwers lined the street outside householders' fences, but some even had the temerity to enter yards, sitting on a woman's veranda in one instance. "They jumping the fence," the member said. He and another member stayed inside the mandir, as did others in the area. "People couldn't come out."

For this very reason, the member said, the mandir no longer lights as many diyas as it used to. "We only light 12 diyas."

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