Wednesday, September 2, 2009

US-based Hindu foundation condemns 'cow head' mob - Malaysiakini

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has demanded the Malaysian government to conduct a quick and robust inquiry to identify and punish leaders of the mob involved in last week's provocative and insensitive demonstration outside the Selangor state secretariat.

HAF, based in Kensington USA, also wants the inquiry to take stern action on the inaction of the police to stop such an offensive act of religious insensitivity.

HAF public policy director Ishani Chowdhury condemned the demonstration and demanded the Selangor government to rescind the order to relocate a Hindu temple in Section 23 of Shah Alam.

In an Aug 28 letter addressed to Malaysian ambassador to the United States, Ilango Karuppannan, Ishani described the demonstration as "vulgar, religiously provocative, and a racially incendiary act by a Muslim mob."

She also expressed regret that the police stood by and allowed the provocative act to be carried out

Ishani said the mob after Friday prayers threatening violence and bloodshed if the said temple - Sri Mariamman Kovil - was relocated to Section 23 of Shah Alam.

"As if to prove their intent, the mob left the severed head of a cow at the gates of the state secretariat," said Ishani.

She said the cow is considered sacred and revered by Hindus as a "symbol of purity, motherhood and ahimsa (non-violence)."

"We regret that the police failed to stop such provocative act," she said.

Discriminating against minorities

She stressed Malaysia had emerged as a country of particular concern for HAF in wake of numerous Hindu temple destructions and unfair custodial battles in Syariah courts involving single Hindu parents.

She also highlighted the many arrests and persecution of Hindu-Malaysian leaders, and Bumiputra policy laws discriminating against minorities.

"Thus, the countenance by local police of Muslim provocative acts has added cause for alarm in a country that is already facing volatile racial and religious issues," she said.

Ishani said HAF concerned about the law and order situation in the country, and the state's unwillingness to clamp down on religious bigotry.

She pointed such tensions would only bring about a greater sense of insecurity amongst Malaysian Hindus.

"HAF hopes that the Malaysian government would take steps to ensure that interests and rights of Hindus were protected and the temple safely relocated in Section 23 of Shah Alam.

"The leaders of the mob that carried out this heinous act and the policemen, who failed to stop it, must be brought to justice," said the HAF director.

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) condemned the unsavoury incident and accused Umno of having a hand in it.

"I believe Umno and certain police cohorts organised the inflammatory act intended to incite and create racial hatred and ill-feeling among Malaysian Muslims and Hindus," alleged Hindraf's London-based leader P Waythamoorthy (above).

He asked how the perpetrators were able to walk for over 300 metres in public, conduct seditious speeches calling for bloodshed and racial chaos without any interference from the police who were at the scene.

So far, he said police and the attorney-general chambers have done nothing on the contentious issue, except issuing lip service statements.

Fanning racial hatred

Waythamoorthy also slammed Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar for suggesting that the police would only probe the incident if a report was lodged.

"Here we are talking about an outright and outrageous act, fanning racial hatred that could threaten public security and the Selangor CPO says he needed a police report before action can be taken," he said.

Waythamoorthy recalled several instances where police had brutally arrested and questioned peaceful protesters without any reasons.

"To suggest that the police needed a report before they can take any action is absurd and nonsensical," said the Hindraf leader.

The inaction by the authorities, he said was the main reason behind Hindraf's belief that it was the work of Umno and its stooges to create unrest in Selangor.

He said under the so-called 1Malaysia concept, there should be no distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim dominated areas.

Under the concept, he said Malaysia shall be one multiracial and multicultural society with various communities co-existing and living together side by side and respecting each other's religious practices and beliefs.

Instead of promoting harmony amongst Malaysians, he said Umno was fast becoming a public threat by protecting such devious and extremist acts.

"Umno should curtail such irresponsible acts rather than seeding and sowing hatred for their own political survival," said Waythamoorthy.

He said the Prime Minister Najib Razak (above, left) should immediately issue a statement and take a firm stand on the matter.

He said the premier should not delegate this paramount duty to his 'mandores' and eventually hope for the whole issue to be swept under the carpet.

Waythamoorthy plans to lodge formal complaints with the United Nation's Human Rights Council, European Parliament, United Kingdom Foreign Affairs' select committee and the Global Human Rights Defence based in The Hague if the AG's chambers failed to charge these perpetrators.

Waythamoorthy also called on all peace loving Malaysians, who respect and cherish religious freedom and the right to co-exist, to join a Hindraf-organised peaceful candle vigil at Dataran Merdeka at 6.45pm on Sept 5.

Candle protest against Religious extremism in Malaysia

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