A new report—“Religious Persecution in the United States”–has burned Uncle Sam at the stake of religious discrimination on its land over the centuries. (The report has emerged in response to US acting chaste in condemning India in its Religious Freedom Report).
Hindus would be particularly distressed that Tulsi Gabbard, a Vaishnava Hindu and a devotee of Sri Krishna, seeking democratic nomination as a Presidential candidate in 2020, has been relentlessly attacked over her faith and ridiculed as one from the “Krishna cult.”
The report observes that it’s typical in the United States to demonize persons of Hindu origin as practising a “cult”, as has been the case over the decades with Hindu gurus who racked up millions of devotees in a short time and were thus seen a threat to the Protestant ethos of the land.
This year itself, Swaminarayan Temple in Kentucky was vandalized and black paint was sprayed on the deity as were the words on the wall: “Jesus is the only God.” In April 2015, a Hindu temple in north Texas met the same fate but the images sprayed were far nastier. The same year, two months earlier, Hindu temples in Kent and Seattle Metropolitan area was defaced and trashed.
The report notes with concern that anti-Hindu sentiments aren’t restricted to base and vile attacks from faceless bigots alone in the United States. Media mogul Pat Robertson calls Hinduism as “demonic”; Evangelical leader Albert Mohler insults the followers of Hindu faith as demonstrating “Satanic power.” Hindu prayers in the US Senate are disrupted by terming them as “abomination.”
The report also reminds the US State Department about “dot-busters”—a hate group in New Jersey alluding to “Bindis” on Hindu foreheads. Dotbusters had vowed to take all necessary step to drive Indians out of Jersey City.
The report terms the latest US censure against India as “unfounded” and wonders if it has anything to do with the “foreign funding” to NGOs being scrutinized and impounded by the Modi government, and “missionary” activities of its preachers being impeded.
The report also speculates if US rebuke against India has been nudged by the pro-Khalistan lobby in the United States and Canada who seek an independent country carved out of India and interestingly has no such demand on Pakistan which has under its control most of Punjab!!! It’s no secret that pro-Khalistani lobby “gifts” more than just goodwill to important political parties and members in the US Senate.
Lest it be taken as the work of a pro-Hindu lobby, the report cites the persecution of Japanese in the United States and it was much before the two came face to face during the Second World War. Laws were passed that openly discriminated against the Japanese. They were not allowed basic rights such as holding lands etc. Japanese were ridiculed as “yellow peril.” The New York Tribune found them “uncivilized, unclean and filthy beyond imagination.”
The report reminds the United States of its persecution even of its own brethren: In this case Catholic Christians. Since the time when the British Protestants took over the American colonies, Catholic Christians have faced persecution in the United States. Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. has characterized the prejudice against the Catholics as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people.” Mob violence, burning of Catholic property, the killing of Catholics are too many to be recounted here. President John F. Kennedy, a catholic, knew of this prejudice and kept away from Catholic churches. He declared in 1960: “I am not a Catholic candidate for President. I am a Democrat candidate for President…I don’t speak for my Church…my Church don’t speak for me.”
The report concludes with a reprimand to the United States and advises it not to believe in its own propaganda of being a “melting pot” where everyone is free to practice his/her own religion. It advises the US to mind its own business as India would surely do its own.
I conclude this piece with the advisory that the Report condemning “Religious Persecution in the United States” has been prepared and published by my own good self. I take full responsibility for the facts mentioned above as do I accept with humility all the praise which is bound to come my way.
Author of “How United States Shot Humanity”, Senior Journalist, TV Presenter