FRIDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2011 12:52PTI | WASHINGTONHITS: 339
Three Indian American lawmakers from Maryland have demanded an “immediate apology” from David Williams, a hopeful for the gubernatorial post, for his “offensive remarks” against Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for participating in Hindu prayers with a dot on his forehead.
In a joint statement, Delegates Kumar Barve, Aruna Miller and Sam Arora from Maryland condemned the “offensive remarks” made by Kentucky State Senator and called for an “immediate retraction and apology”.
Early this week, Williams had lashed out at Beshear for his participation in a ‘bhoomi poojan’ or ground breaking ceremony of a manufacturing facility.
Williams charged that the actions of Beshear were tantamount to “idolatry” and criticised him for “sitting down there with his legs crossed, participating in Hindu prayers with a dot on his forehead.”
“His words were an insult to all Americans, not just to Hindus. I have served in the Maryland House of Delegates for more than two decades and have never heard an elected official use such reprehensible language toward their fellow citizens,” Barve said.
“In the difficult times we face, I cannot fathom why anyone would choose to use such inflammatory language instead of celebrating the economic impact and jobs the plant will create,” Miller said.
Arora said, “As a Baptist, I am embarrassed that someone would try to use our faith as cover for such inappropriate remarks.”
Yesterday, Williams had sought to clarify his remarks.
In a statement, he said, he believes in freedom of religion but believes Governor Beshear has worked to “undermine the Christian faith”.
Meanwhile, Washington-based Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has launched a public campaign against Williams seeking his apology.
“We need you to act! In one minute you can send a message to Williams, informing him that his words are unacceptable and demanding an apology,” HAF said in a mass e-mail sent to its support base in US.
“I request you to make a public apology, not only to those Hindus who you have so blatantly disrespected, but to the countless Americans who value and understand the importance of diversity in our country,” says the draft of the letter provided by HAF.