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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 03:34 GMT
UK Hindus meet to discuss attacks
Hindu festivities
Hindu leaders are angry about attacks during festivities
Leading British Hindus are meeting on Sunday to discuss ways of tackling violence against their community.

Organiser C B Patel said Hindus had suffered worse religiously motivated violence than Jews in recent years.

Hindu leaders will be joined by politicians and representatives from the Metropolitan police.

The conference has been called in response to an attack on the Ealing Road temple in west London during the Hindu festival of Diwali.

There has been anger over both that attack, on 25 October, and another attack on a temple in Edgware on 8 November.

Hindu leaders fear they are seen as a soft target by thugs, particularly during festivals like Diwali.

I believe people know up until now Hindus are the easy targets and that's why we have to learn to look after ourselves
C B Patel
Mr Patel, publisher of Asian Voice newspaper, said the meeting at Northolt in Middlesex was an opportunity to work out national strategies to make sure Hindus were able to discourage the attacks.

He said there was a need to learn "how to defend ourselves, how to learn from the Jewish community, how to have national co-ordination".

"It's unfortunately very serious, not only attacks on temples, but festivities... people have thought it is convenient and they can get away with attacking them. The threat is serious and increasing."

He said it was "religiously motivated [and] racially motivated".

"I believe people know up until now Hindus are the easy targets and that's why we have to learn to look after ourselves.

"If you look at anti-semitic activities in the last 10 years, and we have done some statistical study, Hindus have suffered more attacks on temples, serious burnings."




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