As some of you may have seen on our News tab, a Hindu temple in Minnesota was recently vandalized pretty severely:
Two 19-year-olds were arrested May 10 and charged with vandalising a partially completed Hindu temple in Maple Grove, MN, on April 5.
Maple Grove Police arrested local resident Paul Gus Spakousky and Tyler William Tuomie of Andover, MN, and charged them with first-degree criminal damage to property and third-degree burglary, both felonies…
Several of the deities were damaged in the attack, forcing the organisers to postpone the scheduled June 4 inauguration of the 43,000 square feet temple built at a cost of $9 million (about Rs 40 crore). [Link]
That’s the head of Andal Devi, and just one of eight sacred likenesses that were defiled in a Hindu Temple set to open on June 1st. By defiled, I mean the statues were decapitated and dismembered…
p>It’s pretty damned recent. The scoop is that vandals punctured walls and broke into a Hindu temple, ruined some Hindu Gods and left. Property destruction is never that focussed unless it’s a deliberate attempt to intimidate. Nearby Churches went untouched.
Six hundred people attended the community meeting that followed, where reports of neighborhood Indians having their houses vandalized and egged were exchanged. The attending Police Captain, Tracy Stille, verified these stories. [Link]
p>The Kominas, a Muslim punk band that we have previously blogged about, have decided to rush to the aid of the temple and their fellow South Asian Americans. They are putting on a concert to raise money for rebuilding the temple and it would be cool if our New York readers could represent.
p>Here are some details about the show and how it came about:
Well, I got in talks with the good folks at Galapagos to set up a Taqwacore benefit show, and the date’s been confirmed for June 17th.
That’s right: The Kominas are playing a benefit for the desecrated Temple on Saturday, June 17th 2006 at Galapagos Art Space (the huge backroom), located at 70 North 6th Street , Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
News of the temple’s desecration bothered a lot of folks, nevermind South Asians. But I’ve got a fairly diverse selection of Desi Punk and rock acts who’s eager to round out the bill. I’ll get that schedule drawn up ASAP, pakka.
The treasurer of said Maple Grove Temple contacted me, and his letter was really quite sweet:
“Salam Aleikum Basim Mian,
Thank you for your kind words. We are all glad to see the solidarity of our community. You may send the check to [omitted]
Best Wishes. We hope you have a great concert.
He said Salam Aleikum to me! I can’t get over how cool that is. As Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Sri Lankans… just as a huge diaspora, there’s a lot we can do to reinforce the ties to our des. Especially nowadays, when hostility regarding out sourcing, Islamophobia, and Johnny Appleseed’s own American bigotry has been piled on the shoulder of every Desi in America. [Link]
You can listen to some tracks by the Kominas here.
The Minnesota Temple officials appear shortsighted when it comes to the destruction of their temple. They don’t care to label the bigotry as a hate-crime “unless it will help track down the vandals.” [Link]
It’s left to us to teach the state of Minnesota the meaning of civilization.
Contact Agencies that may have the contacts to get the story heard. When it comes to Minnesota civil liberties initiatives, I’m only familiar with Project Common Ground, who deal with racism in our schools. They’re funded by the Wilder Foundation.
You can contact Project Common Ground with these numbers. [Link]