Hinduphobia in US: How leftists and Islamists joined hands to downplay it

Hinduphobia in US: How leftists and Islamists joined hands to downplay it

Amidst the growing anti-Hindu sentiment in the United States, leftists and Islamists have joined hands to downplay ‘Hinduphobia’ and instances of hate crimes against the Hindu community.

One such nefarious attempt was made by Aparna Gopalan, the news editor of Jewish Currents, in collusion with ‘historian’ Audrey Truschke, ‘journalists’ Asad Raza, Pieter Friedrich, and Raqib Hameed Naik.

On Wednesday (June 28), Gopalan wrote a 7500-word propaganda piece, which was titled – ‘The Hindu nationalists using the pro-Israel playbook’. At the very onset, she misled her audience into believing that bulldozers are used by the Indian government to intimidate Muslims.

Screengrab of the tweet by Jewish Currents

“The Washington Post called the bulldozer “a polarising symbol of state power under Narendra Modi,” whose ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is increasingly enacting a program of Hindu supremacy and Muslim subjugation,” she wrote in her article in Jewish Currents.

In reality, the BJP government has been razing illegal structures, irrespective of the faith or political affiliations of the accused. The illegally acquired properties of dozens of criminals and mafias have been demolished so far and the names include non-Muslims like Vikas Dubey, Yogesh Bhadora, Ramesh Pradhan, Badan Singh, Sundar Bhati, Vijay Mishra and many others.

In September last year, the BJP government in Uttarakhand demolished a resort, owned by Pulkit Arya (the son of an ex-BJP minister), after he was arrested for murder. Aparna Gopalan thus tried to claim deceptively that action has been taken only against the Muslim community.

Attempts to downplay acts of Hinduphobia

Throughout her vicious piece, the news editor of Jewish Currents made concerted attempts to downplay acts of Hinduphobia. For instance, the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee (TDMC) in New Jersey passed a resolution in September 2022, labelling several Hindu organisations as “foreign hate groups”.

The organisations included the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), SEWA International, Infinity Foundation, and the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation. TDMC demanded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should step up research on “foreign hate groups that have domestic branches with tax-exempt status”.

After all Hindu organisations put up a united front, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (NJDSC) condemned the Hinduphobic resolution. Aparna Gopalan lamented that the attempt to institutionalise Hinduphobia did not work.

She wrote, “The Teaneck incident is one of many in which Hin­du groups have worked to silence criticism of Hin­du nationalism by decrying it as anti-Hindu or “Hinduphobic.”

The sinister agenda of the editor of Jewish Currents became obvious when she roped in ‘historian’ Audrey Truschke, who is known for trivialising the atrocities perpetuated by the Mughal tyrant Aurangzeb on his Hindu subjects.

“The Hindu right wants to distract from India’s catastrophic human rights record…So there’s a lot of value in portraying Hindus as victimised people,” the Aurangzeb cheerleader was quoted as saying.

Tarnishing the image of Hindu advocacy groups

Aparna Gopalan also saw to it that the credibility of US-based Hindu advocacy groups was diminished through her propaganda piece. One of her primary targets was the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). As such, she onboarded ‘journalist’ Raqib Hameed Naik to tarnish the image of HAF.

Naik is infamous for denying the Hindu genocide, perpetrated by radical Islamists in the Kashmir Valley, in the early 1990s. It is thus obvious that he will discredit organisations, which are actively working for the Hindu cause.

Gopalan thus roped him in to bad mouth the Hindu American Foundation, and he certainly stood by her expectations. “What the HAF is trying to do is to conflate Hindutva with Hinduism—to prove that a criticism of Hindutva is an attack on Hinduism. There is no doubt that the HAF subscribes to the ideology of Hindutva,” Naik brazened it out.

In conjunction with him, Aparna Gopalan also sought to downplay efforts made by HAF to create awareness about Hinduphobia. She also quoted ‘journalist’ Peter Friedrich, known for his ties with a Khalistani and ISI operative, to further her agenda.

The news editor of Jewish Currents also hit out at the student group ‘Hindu on Campus’ and the ‘Coalition of Hindus in North America (CoHNA)’ for popularising the term ‘Hinduphobia.’

Aparna Gopalan also went on a diatribe against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and suggested that ‘Hindutva’ was on full display, even in the apex court of India. Her conclusion was based on the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Hindus in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi verdict.

She also cited ‘journalist’ Azad Essa to claim that RSS-backed organisations have been mushrooming in the United States. Essa is the same scribe who passed off the Islamic terrorist organisation, ‘Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),’ as a ‘Pakistan-based group in November last year.’

While trying to cast aspersions on the role of LeT in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, he had claimed, “Saturday marked the first day of the (Mumbai) attack, 14 years ago, which India blamed on the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba.” The news editor of Jewish Currents quoted the ‘journalist’ to fearmonger about the formation of Hindu advocacy groups in the United States.

Nonetheless, she was upset that Hindu organisations across the globe put up a united front to oppose the anti-Hindu event named ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’. Opindia reported in September 2021 how the event was targeting ‘Hinduism’ in the name of critiquing a political ideology.

Aparna Gopalan also attacked the Hindu American Foundation for not blindly believing in the dubious ‘Cisco caste discrimination’ case and suing the State of California.

Downplaying hate crimes against Hindus in the US

She wrote, “The HAF has also worked to mainstream the notion that “Hinduphobia” is running rampant in American society.” The news editor of Jewish Currents then went on to suggest that hate crimes against Hindus in the United States are ‘few’, ‘isolated’ and not necessarily the result of ‘Hinduphobia.’

“Progressive Hindu leaders oppose such attacks but question whether all of them truly constitute anti-Hindu hate crimes, noting that Gandhi is a regular target for pro-Khalistan activists,” she insinuated.

While ignoring the underreporting of hate crimes against Hindus, Aparna Gopalan stated, “Indeed, the data on anti-Hindu hate crimes undermine the contention that bigotry against Hindus is on the rise.”

‘Historian’ Audrey Truschke, known for her anti-Hindu views, readily agreed to the claims and remarked, “(It is)designed to take individual cases and assert a structural problem.”

As such, it comes as no wonder why both Truschke and Gopalan rejected a comprehensive report, prepared by the researchers at Network Contagion Lab at Rutgers University-New Brunswick (NC Lab) and highlighting the rise of Hinduphobia on social media and messaging platforms. 

While denying the existence of anti-Hindu hate and promoting known ‘Hinduphobes’, Gopalan wrote, “Some progressive scholars and journ­alists—including Essa, Friedrich, Naik, and Truschke—argue that it is important to continue poking holes in the idea that Hinduphobia is a real phenomenon.”

Cries foul over collaboration between Hindu and Jewish advocacy groups

The Hindu advocacy groups in the United States have reached out to their Jewish counterparts, who are often the subject of prejudice and denialism by the same leftist-Islamist ecosystem.

HAF, for instance, works with American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Aparna Gopalan lamented that the active collaboration between the Jewish and Hindu groups in the US had facilitated good defence deals between India and Israel.

As such, she sought refuge in an outfit (Hindus for Human Rights) with active ties to a radical Islamist advocacy group named ‘Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC).’ Nikhil Mandalaparthy, known for anti-Hindu troupes, is the Deputy Executive Director of ‘Hindus for Human Rights’.

He claimed, “The same playbook and even sometimes the same terms…copy-pasted from the Zionist context.” Azad Essa also suggested that the relationship between Hindu and Jewish groups has been brewing in the US since the 1990s.

“Driven by that sense of shared purpose, the AJC and AIPAC helped train new Indian American political groups—such as the Indian American Political Action Committee and the United States India Political Action Committee—to achieve their aims in Washington,” wrote Aparna Gopalan.

She cried foul over the webinar of the Hindu American Foundation with ‘StandWithUs’, a Jewish organisation that advocates for Israel, on December 8 last year. During the virtual interaction, Suhag Shukla of HAF shared with Peggy Shapiro the challenges faced by both Hindu and Jewish communities.

The duo also noted how vested interests tend to deny both anti-Semitisim and Hinduphobia in the same breath. Unimpressed by the discourse, Aparna Gopalan claimed, “The event is part of a broader collaboration between the Israel advocacy group and its Hindu counterpart.”

Views of Aparna Gopalan about CAA, Article 370 revocation

The news editor of Jewish Currents also resorted to peddling hysteria about the supposed ‘Muslim genocide’ in India by citing reports from USCIRF, among others.

Her anti-India stance became evident when she labelled the revocation of Article 370 as stripping of “constitutional protections from residents of the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir” by Narendra Modi.

As such, her disdain for the Hindu American Foundation also became crystal clear. In her propaganda piece, Aparna Gopalan wrote, “…On Kashmir, the HAF declares that the region “always has been and always will be an integral part of the Indian civilisational state,” a line almost identical to that of BJP defense minister Rajnath Singh.”

She also attempted to present a distorted version of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to her readers.”…(Modi) passed a law that creates a fast track to citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants, laying the groundwork for a religious test for Indian nationality,” Gopalan claimed.

In reality, CAA is meant to fast-track the citizenship of religious minorities who have escaped persecution in the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and have settled in India illegally before December 31, 2014.

Given that Muslims are not minorities in these Islamic countries, hence, they have not been included in CAA. Muslim immigrants from these three nations are, however, free to apply for citizenship through other routes.

Promoting anit-India outfits

Aparna Gopalan also threw her weight behind Sunita Viswanath of the ‘Hindu for Human Rights.’ She wrote, “Since its founding, HfHR has joined a small circle of anti-Hindutva groups in organizing against the Hindu right. To do so, they must contend with the emotional power of the new Hinduphobia strategy.”

In April 2022, OSINT handle ‘Disinfo Lab’ pointed out that the ‘Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR)’ was at the helm of promoting the misleading narrative of ‘Hindu Vs Hindutva’. The same organisation was also seen endorsing the ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ event.

As per Disinfo Lab, HfHR was formed in the year 2019 by two Islamist advocacy groups named Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and the Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI). Interestingly, the three organisations had formed another outfit called the Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA).

As per an article in The Hindu, the Alliance for Justice and Accountability had been at the forefront of leading demonstrations against the visit of PM Modi to Houston on September 22, 2019.

According to Disinfo Lab, Sunita Vishwanath also runs an organisation named ‘Women for Afghan Women, which is funded by the Soros Open Society Foundation (and eyeing a colour revolution in India)

Earlier, she had tried to create hysteria among Indian Muslims about the National Register of Citizens (NRC). “We are especially appalled by the most recent nightmare of the Kashmiri people and the situation of 1.9 million people in India who are rendered stateless due to the imposition of the travesty called the National Register of Citizens”, she had said.

The web of anti-India propaganda, as researched by DisinfoLab

Towards the end of her vicious article, Aparna Gopalan expressed hope that anti-Hindu and anti-India propaganda outfits will one day eclipse the efforts of Hindu advocacy groups in the United States

“Hindutva organisations may have positioned themselves as the representatives of the US Hindu diaspora, but Mandalaparthy said that groups like HfHR are contesting for space,” she concluded.

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