Devoted Christian Man Hammered Three Buddhist Statues in Arkansas
Obsessed by his religion, namely Christianity, 21-year-old Shawn Michael Israel, armed with a hammer and a Bible, attacked a Buddhist temple in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
It is reported that three statues were destroyed, the total loss amounted to more than 10 thousand dollars. Wat Lao Santitham asked for help restoring statues on GoFundMe, where over 140 people have already donated almost 7 thousand dollars.
«Recent events have brought many people to do unspeakable things for whatever reasons. Unfortunately these things usually don’t have a positive impact. Today I was heartbroken to find out that a Buddhist temple I helped build as a child and still drive 4 hours every few weeks to visit was vandalized. The perpetrator was caught but not before destroying 3 of the Buddha statues that were housed by the back gate,» said in a statement.
According to police reports, Israel has committed a hate crime against other religions. During interrogation, the offender said that he destroyed the “false idol” and was only guided by following the Ten Commandments.
Also in its testimony, Israel told the authorities that this was the second attempt at vandalism. Shortly before the destruction of the three statues, he came and tried to smash one of them, but the instrument of crime broke during the destruction of the head of the first statue. Therefore, he went behind the hammer and returned a little later to complete the job.
"The Fort Smith Police rightly called this an act of “religious intolerance.” Israel has a May 11 court date. He’s been charged with “first degree criminal mischief greater than $5,000 but less than $25,000, a class C felony,” reports Friendly Atheist.