Toronto Hindu Temples Vandalized in Misplaced Backlash for Terrorism Arrests

June 27, 2006

Source: Starbroek News

On June 27, 2006 the Starbroek News ran a letter to the editor from a citizen named Vishnu Bisram that read, "According to a report in a newspaper in Toronto, Hindu temples, including those where Guyanese worship, were attacked in Toronto last week. The temples were apparently mistaken for mosques and the Hindu worshippers as Muslims.

A prominent Guyanese pundit, Krishna Sukul, called on followers to keep the faith and respond with non-violence. Altogether, 12 Hindu temples and six community centres were attacked and vandalized. The attacks all took place following the arrest of the 17 suspected Islamic terrorists... [Pundit Krishna Sukul of the Hindu Satsangh Organization] said that because of the clothing some Hindu men wear, they are often mistaken for Muslims. As well, persons not familiar with either religion often mistake Hindu temples for Islamic mosques, though they are distinctly different in architectural style. The first time Hindus suffered was after the attack of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington. Hindus and Sikhs were attacked in the US and their temples and homes vandalized. In Canada, a Hamilton temple was viciously damaged by vandals after 9/11.

Pundit Sukul feel there should be some form of police protection for the temples and Hindu community centres in Canada. He also encouraged 'the faithful to be vigilant and in the event anything should happen, keep a record of the incident.'"