|Washington, DC - Today, the United States Senate made history by allowing Hindu clergyman Rajan Zed to give the morning prayer opening the Senate session. This was the first time in the history of the United States that a Hindu prayer was offered before the Senate.
United States India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) Chairman Sanjay Puri said, "The fact that Rajan Zed was allowed to give a prayer before the U.S. Senate should make us all proud as Americans. Religious diversity and tolerance are the foundation on which the United States was built."
Unfortunately, protesters disrupted the proceedings by shouting from the Senate viewing gallery. USINPAC has sent a letter to American Family Association Chairman Donald Wildmon denouncing his position of non-tolerance regarding religious diversity.
"Religious diversity is an important aspect of our constitution and our rights as citizens. Organizations certainly have a right to protest, but the disruption of these proceedings was unnecessary and, frankly, un-American," commented Sanjay Puri. "Frankly, I am dismayed that people would protest this very basic ideal, and I welcome other faiths to be allowed to be given an opportunity to offer a morning prayer."
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, "If people have any misunderstanding about Indians and Hindus all they have to do is think of Gandhi who gave his life for peace. I think it speaks well of our country that someone representing the faith of about a billion people comes here and can speak in communication with our heavenly Father regarding peace."