American Turban

One year later, Austin, Texas Gurdwara still fights to survive

The Gurdwara in Austin, Texas (photo: lionheartznews.blogspot.com)

The Gurdwara in Austin, Texas (photo: lionheartznews.blogspot.com)

Anne Elizabeth Wynn, a writer for the Statesman (the local newspaper for Austin, Texas), describes her visit with her daughters to the Gurdwara Sahib Austin, and shares their learnings of Sikhism:

We all had spontaneously laughed at how impressively un-religiony this religion was. It espouses enough with that old human desire for priests and rituals and religious exclusivity! We’ve provided more than 1,400 pages of ecumenical guidance already! God calls to everyone! Go seek him yourself!

Wynn also provides a synopsis of the legal rollercoaster that the Austin Sikh community has faced in trying to preserve their Gurdwara from being torn down:

My girls were aghast. All the way home, they quietly shook with the shock of perceived injustice. While the issue is one of property rights, my girls intuitively grasped a more serious civil rights issue. And, after a long telephone conversation with a longtime member of the temple, we learned of acts of overt intimidation in the community and bigotry that moved us to tears. But, they also are moving my girls to action.

When news broke last summer about the reversal of an earlier court approval for construction and consequent order to tear down the Gurdwara, many voices from the American Sikh community spoke out in support of the Sikh congregation in Austin. Since last summer, the voices around the country have become quiet, but obviously the Sikhs of Austin, Texas are still struggling to keep their place of worship from being destroyed.

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