The Universal Society of Hinduism has received a rejection notice from the Arkansas secretary of state's office denying them permission to erect a statue of Hanuman -- a Hindu god -- next to a display of the Ten Commandments on capitol grounds, the Washington Post reported.
Earlier this year, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed a bill into law allowing a privately funded Ten Commandments monument to be erected on state capitol grounds in Little Rock, which led the Hindu society to ask if they could erect their own privately funded monument recognizing their religion.
According to society president Rajan Zed, his group had asked in an Aug. 6 letter for permission to erect the statue of the Hindu Lord Hanuman, only to be told they needed to take it to the legislature for approval.
The rejection letter stated the group needs to take their case to the General Assembly for approval or to submit an application to the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission. Kelly Boyd, the chief deputy secretary of state, wrote in the letter that her office was only involved in the Ten Commandments case because the legislature had mandated its placement on the property.
The Hindu society may soon be joined by the Satanic Temple which is preparing to apply for a spot in Arkansas on which to erect an 8½-foot-tall bronze statue of Baphomet -- a goat-headed figure with horns and wings -- which had previously been planned for state grounds in Oklahoma.
During debate on the Ten Commandments monument Arkansas lawmakers side-stepped accusations that it was religious display, pointing out its historical significance as a legal document.