In a joint statement, the religious leaders said that “placing highly revered Hindu and Jain deities to adorn a casino night-club was very disrespectful, out-of-line, and could be disturbing to the adherents of these faiths.”
The nightclub, whose tagline is “Good Karma Awaits,” said it is removing the statue of Mahavira, which Jain leader Sulekh C. Jain said belongs “in a temple for veneration and not to be misused or mishandled by the patrons of a night club.”
“We deeply apologize to those who are offended by recent images and we will work diligently to ensure such insensitive depictions don’t happen again,” the Foundation Room said in a statement to Fox News.
“We have always strived to promote dialogue to bring us closer together and are committed to this sentiment moving forward,” the Foundation Room said, adding that for more than 20 years it has strived to promote “racial and spiritual harmony through love, peace, truth, righteousness and non-violence.”
In addition to Jain leaders, others including Nevada’s Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen R. Karcher, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Buddhist Priest Matthew T. Fisher, and Jewish Rabbi ElizaBeth Webb Beyer.
The group urged William Hornbuckle and Paul Salem, acting CEO and board chairman, respectively, of MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay Casino, to offer a formal apology to Hindu and Jain communities “for this insensitivity.”
“Hindu deities Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, goddess Saraswati and others were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in a casino night club for dramatic effects or mercantile/other agenda,” Rajan Zed, president of Univerisal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement to Fox News. “Such denigration of sacred deities was hurtful to the devotees.”
The faith leaders say they support free speech, “but faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers.”
The Foundation Room’s description says: “Immerse yourself in our DEITY dancer experience; party the night away amidst the Vegas lights with these out of this world Nightlife Goddess’s; who add the perfect touch of high-class debauchery…”