Monday, December 04, 2006
Glastonbury is famous throughout the world but the town has made the news for all the wrong reasons over the 2006 Halloween weekend. It is with great concern that Hindu Human Rights reports an increasingly common attack on a religious minority here in the UK. In Glastonbury, a sacred site for mystical Pagan traditions, the town was taken back to medieval times when Christian extremists in a procession organised by a Roman Catholic group Youth 2000 took it upon themselves to attack local Pagans and threatened to "cleanse" them from the town. Pagan Federation member Yemaya Pinder was abused in her own shop, the Magick Box, while others were pelted with salt and threaten with everlasting hellfire among other verbal abuse.
Thankfully, both the local Catholic priest, Fr. Kevin Knox-Lecky, and the managing director of Youth 2000, Colin Connor, have condemned the actions of extremists of their flock. But we must remember that Pagans in this country do not seem to be treated on a par with other recognised religions. This is partly due to bigotry but also indirectly due the diverse nature of practices and beliefs within this community which do not fit well into a predetermined mental construct, so these traditions are often derided as "primitive" and "superstitious". But once they formed the basis of great civilisations such as the Greek and Roman, the major basis of what is understood to be Western Civilisation.
However, unlike many other Pagan traditions, Indian Paganism has survived the millennia maintaining a continuity with its past, and is now commonly termed Hinduism. For this reason Hindu Human Rights not only condemns that unsavoury actions which took place, but is also emphatic with our sister Pagan traditions with which we as Hindus have much affinity and which continue to be deliberately misunderstood, not least in how Hinduism is itself negatively portrayed.
( I would like to thank Rudra for passing me the related link)