April 6, 2017
The following statement was issue by Ajay Shah, Convener, American Hindus Against Defamation:
There have been several attacks on the followers of Sanatana Dharma across the USA in past few months. On February 22, 2017, two Indian software engineers, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were shot in Kansas, resulting in Kuchibhotla’s death. On March 2, 2017, Harnish Patel, a convenience store owner was shot dead in South Carolina and On March 3, Deep Rai, a Sikh was shot in his own driveway in Seattle. While three incidents do not necessarily make a trend, a rapid succession of events have traumatized and aggravated the Hindu community and the community is now grappling for answers.
AHAD, the most prominent organization dedicated to countering defamation of Hindu dharma, encompassing of spiritual, social, religious practices, culture, icons and images, has announced creation of a registry to document all the cases of hate and bias against Hindus across the US. This first-of-a-kind registry will record verified information about religious hate-driven incidents, violent and non-violent attacks, online and off-line harassment and bullying, abuse, stalking, and discrimination in schools, colleges, workplace, public and private places.
AHAD coalition members have consistently helped Hindus targeted due to hate or bias since the days of Dotbuster attacks in early 1980s. As the leading Hindu organizations in US, we would like to assure the Hindu community that AHAD and its coalition partners will serve as community resources. We stand ready to help you in your need. If you are a victim of violence, harassment, or abuse due to your belief, religious practices, race, or national origin, report the incident to the local law enforcement, and, document the incident details to AHAD at ahad.hindunet.org. Community guidelines for Hindus who have faced hate in any form is available on the AHAD website. AHAD also plans to organize community programs across the country to raise awareness of Hindu issues.
Hindu tolerance and penchant for peace and universality should not be taken as a sign of our weakness. In the cases of recent incidences our community received needed support from the authorities, and the community is appreciative of the support received. We will work closely with local, state and federal agencies to ensure that appropriate legal actions are taken against hate crimes and abuses, and the religious freedom and rights of the Hindu community in the US are protected as guaranteed by the US constitution.
While there are many in a society that are driven by xenophobia and Hinduphobia, sometimes aided and abated by shows such as Reza Aslan’s Believers on CNN, we have come to appreciate that at its very core, the United States is a diverse, and welcoming society. The presence of three million relatively recent Hindu immigrants and the second generation of Hindus, many of them, students in schools and colleges a testament to the openness of a nation that has attracted and embraced the universal and peaceful ideals of Sanatana Dharma. The Hindu community is now actively engaged in the American life. The Hindus are now joining the armed forces to defend the country, and participating in many local and national charity programs, including support for families of our troops, disaster relief, education assistance, blood donation drives, and services for homeless. In the ancient Vedic spirit of “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah,” (May All Become Happy), Hindus too, have welcomed over 20 million Americans to some of the core practices of Hindu dharma as we collectively progress towards peace and prosperity
About American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD)
American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) is the first and the most prominent Hindu organization in USA. A project of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), AHAD has been actively monitoring media and products to ensure accurate representation of Hindu dharma, culture, images and icons.
For further information, please contact:
Convener, American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD)
Phone: (858) 866-9661
About World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) is the most prominent organization of Hindus in USA. Founded in 1970, it has branches across the country. For more information, please contact:
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
P.O. Box 600
460 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821