US-based research organisation says dangerous hybridisation of hate against Hindus globally
Washington, Sep 22: There is now a dangerous hybridisation of hate against the Hindu community, a US-based scientific research organisation has said, citing the increasing attacks on them in this country and various parts of the world.
“We've seen that there's been a growth of over 1,000 per cent and anti-Hindu slurs are stoking fears of replacement mixing with anti-semitic memes, with other forms of narratives, and hatred shared by white supremacists, by Islamists, and others, and creating a toxic atmosphere of hostility,” said Joel Finkelstein, chief science officer and co-founder of the Network Contagion Research Institute.
Presenting key points of his latest research at the “Building Representation and Education on Hindu American Lived Experiences” organised by the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) at the US Capitol, Finkelstein said that in recent months vandalisation against Hindu temples had increased in the US, and in Canada, it is going through the roof.
"And now we see what amounts to a low-grade pogrom occurring in England,” Finkelstein told members of the Hindu American community. He was referring to the ongoing violence against Hindus in the United Kingdom. Based out of New Jersey, the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), a nonprofit organisation, studies misinformation, deception manipulation, and hate across social media channels.
Observing that Hinduphobia is one of the most complicated hatreds, Finkelstein said there is now a dangerous hybridisation of hate against the community. Responding to a question, he said that there is a likelihood of escalation of hatred against the Hindu community in the world.
Congressman Hank Johnson, the only Buddhist lawmaker in the current Congress, also expressed concerns over the recent increase in hate against Hindus in the US. “We must stand together against hatred towards our religion, race or background, but unfortunately, enough hate-related incidents, especially against Hindu Americans, are here in the United States of America as well as other groups,” Johnson said. Nikunj Trivedi from CoHNA said the contributions of Hindu Americans to American society have been profound over the years.
“We come from diverse … we're not just scientists or some nerds sitting in some classroom. We have different types of people you have from actors and actresses to Congressmen and CEOs,” he said. Responding to a question, Finkelstein said there had been a rug over this problem.
“There is a huge issue when it comes to Hinduphobia. It is very difficult to talk about it in the Hindu community,” he said. Over the past year, CoHNA has held three congressional briefings on various issues impacting the Hindu-American community.
“Hindus are a vibrant and diverse community that has contributed significantly to American progress, well-being, and democratic values, whether during the COVID-19 pandemic or in the day-to-day things that make the US a great nation,” CoHNA said.
“Yet, our community is often the target of bigotry and hate, as witnessed in the recent attack on a local temple in New York and the twice desecration of the Gandhi statue on temple premises, two separate hate incidents on Hindu men and women in California and Texas, or in the growing online hatred and academic bias against Hindus.
In fact, according to the 2020 FBI data, hate crimes against Indian Americans are up 500 per cent,” it said. Hindu community leaders and organisations from all over the US on Wednesday descended upon Washington DC to engage with their political representatives and discuss various matters impacting the community.