Tulsi Gabbard, US Congresswoman from Hawaii and a presidential aspirant for the 2020 elections, set social media on fire when she called out the Hinduphobia in the United States. The Veteran said that she has experienced it in each of her campaigns for the Congress and in the presidential race. She also said that politicians and the media in the USA not only tolerate it but foment it as well.
Unfortunately, Hinduphobia is very real. I’ve experienced it directly in each of my campaigns for Congress & in this presidential race. Here’s just one example of what Hindus face every day in our country. Sadly, our political leaders & media not only tolerate it, but foment it. https://t.co/60MDtszQHf
— Tulsi Gabbard ? (@TulsiGabbard) March 5, 2020
Along expected lines, people were quick to dismiss statement of Tulsi Gabbard on Hinduphobia and accused her of acting in bad faith. Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu serving in the US Congress and throughout her campaign, malicious attacks have been made against her and links drawn between her and the RSS due to her Hindu faith alone even before her comment on Hinduphobia.
In this report, we shall look into 10 incidents in the US that reveal the pervasive Hinduphobia in the country, that proves statement by Tulsi Gabbard right. It is also important to note that an overwhelming majority of the US population follows Abrahamic religions which believe that Hinduism worships ‘False Gods’. Therefore, Hinduphobia comes naturally to the United States.
1. Temple Vandalized in Washington (2015)
The Hindu Temple and Cultural Center, Bothell, Washington was vandalized by miscreants in the year 2015. A Swastika was sprayed and “Get Out” was painted on the walls of the temple in the Seattle Metropolitan area. It is one of the largest Hindu temples in the entire North West. The incident occurred just before Mahashivratri.
2. Hindu Temple Vandalized in Texas (2015)
A Hindu Temple in Old Lake Highlands, north Texas was vandalized with offensive spray images in 2015. The number ‘666’ and an upside-down cross was spray-painted on the door of the temple. In Christian lore, 666 is considered the number of the Devil.
3. Severed Head of Cow placed in Hindu Cow Sanctuary (2016)
The severed head of a cow was dumped at the Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary in Monroe County, Pennsylvania in 2016. The Pennsylvania State Police called the incident “ethnic intimidation, criminal trespass and harassment.” Rajan Zed, the president of the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism, had said that “Hindus are highly concerned” over the incident and asked the Pennsylvania Governor and Monroe County Chairperson to reassure the community.
4. Hindu Priest Assaulted in New York(2019)
Swami Ji Harish Chander Puri was assaulted just blocks away from his Temple in Glen Oaks, Queens, New York. He told the police that a man he’d never seen before approached him saying that he didn’t want him in the neighborhood. Then the man beat him with an umbrella and punched him. The Governor and the New York Attorney General condemned the attack but NYPD did not say why they did not deem the attack a hate crime.
5. Muslim Man puts up anti-Hindu signs in Texas (2016)
Mohammed Dar, a Dairy Queen owner, regularly put up anti-Hindu signs in and around the restaurant. Some of them accuse Hinduism specifically of being based on racism. One sign read ‘Obey preserve implement Constitution of the USA NOT monkey ism (sic) of Dark Ages.’ He has also said about Hindus that ‘They may look like humans, but they act like monkeys.’
Dar said further ‘Racism is the foundation of Hinduism. That is the fact. Anybody has a problem, I challenge them to prove me wrong.’ ‘This is not offensive. It’s educational,’ he added. Dar was later forced to give up his shop.
6. North Carolina Hindu Temple Sign Fired at over 60 times (2015)
A signboard for a planned Hindu temple in the US state of North Carolina was fired at leaving over 60 holes in the sign. The Om Hindu Organisation of North Carolina was planning to build a 3,600-square-foot temple in Clemmons and had bought 7.6 acres at the site.
7. 40 Hindu Flags torched in Queen, New York (2015)
An arsonist torched 40 religious Hindu flags in the courtyard of a Queens home on Thanksgiving Day. The Police investigated the matter as an anti-religious criminal mischief. Rajan Zed, the leader of Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement that Hindus are “highly concerned” about the reported burning of the flags. He called on Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to ensure the safety of the Hindu community in Queens.
8. Swaminarayan Temple vandalized in Kentucky (2019)
Vandals broke windows at Swaminarayan Temple, located in the state capital’s Bardstown Road, and wrote hateful words on the walls of the Temple. In a room upstairs, profane messages were spray-painted on the walls along with several black crosses. Phrases including “Jesus is all mighty”, “Jesus is Lord” and “God” were also sprayed in black paint on the walls. The Metro Police Chief called the incident a hate crime.
9. Anti-Hindu vandalism in Virginia (2014)
Graffiti reading “No Hindus allowed” were discovered in Loudon County, Virginia in 2014. “It’s disappointing to see this,” Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman Chapman said. “It’s a lack of understanding of cultural diversity and it is something we have to really understand and embrace. We’re taking this incident very, very seriously and we’re going to look into all aspects of it.” In January 2015, derogatory graffiti targeting Hindu culture was found spray-painted on the back of a home in the same county.
10. Hindu Temple vandalized in Georgia (2014)
Vishwa Bhavan Mandir in the Monroe city of Georgia was vandalized by miscreants and graffiti and profanity were discovered at the Hindu place of worship. The statue of Lord Shiva was covered with black spray paint. The Hindu American Seva Communities (HASC) which took up the case, said the incident of vandalism has shocked Hindus across the country. Two people were arrested in connection with the attack.