Hindus often do not discuss the issue of ‘Hinduphobia’ that is rising in the West. The reason is not that they are unaware, but because they feel that eventually people targeting them would realize that they are wrong.
It is common in the West, especially in the USA, to degrade Hindu beliefs, something that does not happen with any other minority this often, because Hindus do not have the habit of playing the victim card. This is all fine; it is in the nature of Hindus to become one with the rest and they do not see themselves or their problems as any different from that of the others and that is why Hinduphobia never gets discussed as it should be done.
‘Minority persecution’ plank which is used so often by other minority groups is not used by Hindus as it refuses to see themselves in the light of helplessness. But how far can this laidback attitude go on especially when the Hinduphobia is on the rise? Let us consider a few recent incidents:
Last year, a signboard of a planned Hindu temple in North Carolina was fired on July 4, leaving over 60 holes in the sign.
Hinduphobia was again on full display when the Hindu temple in the Old Lake Highlands, north Texas in the US was vandalized and had nasty images painted on walls with the number ‘666’ and an upside-down cross.
This is worrisome as the incidents point to a trend, but the Obama administration has failed to acknowledge it. Eventually, Hinduphobia returned with full force on February 15 last year, when the perpetrators sprayed Swastika and also wrote ‘Get Out’ on the walls of the Bothell Hindu Temple which is in the Seattle Metropolitan area.
Eleven days later, on February 26, perpetrators attacked the Kent Hindu Temple and broke several windows and painted the word ‘fear’ on the walls.
Now let’s come to this year, the year of 2016, here we find that the Bullard Elementary School in Kennesaw in Ga. was under duress recently because it introduced Yoga which the parents objected to as they felt it was like an encroachment of non-Christian beliefs. Eventually, the school apologized and the Sanskrit greeting of Namaste was banned. Worse, there were rumors that there was some crystal gazing also happening in the school, talk about getting creative with rumor-mongering American style.
It is better that those who don’t like do not do Yoga, rather than commit to it only to spread negativity around it to discredit the Hindu minority as some kind of devil-worshipping cult. In any case, it is a fact that Yoga is every bit Hindu and those who do not wish to take benefits from it, should first acknowledge it or rather stay away from it. This is also their right, but problem occurs when those who do not respect Hinduism spread nonsensical stuff around it. It is here that the deep-entrenched Hinduphobia gets revealed.
But still, if this is not enough to discuss Hinduphobia, then consider the latest; an American Muslim, Mohammad Dar, who is a Dairy Queen franchise owner in the South East Texas has put up anti-Hindu signs on his property.
The franchise stands on the State Highway 146 in Kemah and Dar believes that the Hindus may look like humans, but they are acting like monkeys.
This he said in an interview with the KHOU-TV and if we believe his words then he says that many customers of his do believe that he has made a point. Hindus are demanding that the signs be taken down but the Muslim man continues to ignore. Imagine the uproar if it were not the Hindus but any other community?
Hinduphobia is something that can be challenged and perceptions can be changed but for that Hindus need to be willing to speak on it. So far, they are shy or simply do not care to educate others on Hinduphobia like the Muslims so effectively do on Islamophobia. Besides this, there is no other way to tackle the disease of Hinduphobia.