Hindu Americans Expose Online Hate in Latest Report

via HAF published on March 18, 2007

Internet websites promoting religious hatred and intolerance towards Hindus and Hinduism are proliferating, and this trend has adverse long-term consequences for the Hindu American community, according to the latest report released by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) today.  Entitled Hyperlink to Hinduphobia: Online Hatred, Extremism and Bigotry Against Hindus, the publication argues that exposing online hate-speech is a crucial first step in combating a major factor behind prevalent negative stereotypes of Hinduism.


 


In its fifty-two page report, (http://www.hafsite.org/pdf/hate_report_2007.pdf)  the Foundation traces the origins of online religious hate and bigotry, and presents evidence of the text and pictures from actual websites that illustrate their concerns.  According to statistics provided in the report, “demonic” and “satanic” are the terms most commonly used today to describe Hinduism by numerous anti-Hindu websites easily accessible on the Internet.


 


“The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the internet,” said Vinay Vallabh, lead author of the report, and member of the Foundation’s Executive Council.  “We must vigorously identify, condemn and counter those who use the Internet to espouse chauvinism and bigotry over the principles of pluralism and tolerance.”


 


The Foundation initiative is similar to successful and well-publicized efforts of human rights groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center, among others, to monitor hate sites.  These organizations have in various instances collaborated with Internet Service Providers (ISP) to establish voluntary guidelines aimed at limiting access to certain websites and discussion groups.


 


“Though it is less well-known in this country, anti-Hindu bigotry is every bit as ugly and dangerous as anti-Semitism or racism, and every bit as present on the Internet,” wrote Prof. Jeffrey Long, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, in his foreword to the report.  “As we all know, murderous rampages have been inspired by anti-Semitic and racist websites. And it is not necessary for a website to exhort its readers to actual, physical violence for it to lead to such violence.”


 


Through this report, the Hindu American Foundation hopes to complete a critical analysis of anti-Hindu hate groups and their message.  Such analysis is necessary, lead author Vallabh asserted, as according to the Foundation, content identified in this report threatens interfaith dialogue, mutual respect and civil discourse at best, and ultimately could lead to violence at worst.  Vallabh pointed to the recent attacks on Hindu temples in the United States, and ongoing persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan as consequences of inaction.  


 


“Online hate is at the vanguard of societal misunderstanding and intolerance,” Vallabh added.  “It is our hope that this report will encourage ISP’s to voluntarily restrict sites that wantonly promote hatred and intolerance towards Hindus and Hinduism or any other religion—a necessary step as we continue our balancing act between free speech and licentious speech that leads to violence in the electronic age.”


 


Copies of the report, which includes basic information about Hinduism and a glossary, are being distributed to members of the United States Congress, non-governmental organizations, journalists, Hindu leaders and human rights groups.  It is available for purchase and can be downloaded for free from the Foundation’s website at www.HAFsite.org


 


WWW.THEMIRACLESOFJESUSMINISTRY.ORG
Summary of website – This website claims that worshipping Jesus Christ is the only way to truth and that all other religions are false.


 


Website creator/sponsor – The Miracles of Jesus Ministry, an organization started by Patricia A. Thomascvi


 


Hatred conveyed by website – The following statements are from the website, and some are in the screenshot below:


 


“Shiva is called ‘the destroyer’ (Hello! what is Satan called?) and he represents both the destructive and procreative forces.” cvii


Have you ever participated in, read about, or worshiped a Hindu ‘god’ (demon?)” cviii


I truly don’t believe that most Hindus REALIZE what is going on. They are misled by traditions and false beliefs…Also – India is in the 1040 window – in the middle of the seat of Satan’s power.”cix


http://www.themiraclesofjesusministry.org/vision-1-30-05.htm


Last viewed – February 3, 2007


 


WWW.CBN.COM


 Summary of website – This website is a compilation of daily news stories impacting the Christian world, programming on the various CBN outlets, and other features.


Website creator/sponsor – Pat Robertson and the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), a multi-media non-profit organization which broadcasts to nearly 200 countries and also offers a round-the-clock telephone prayer line.


Hatred conveyed by website – Chief among CBN’s programs is “The 700 Club,” a daily television program featuring Robertson. He has reportedly made hate-filled statements against Hindus and followers of other religions over the years, such as stating that Hinduism is demonic.  


The fact that this website would contain hateful comments towards Hindus is, therefore, not surprising. Hinduism is disrespectfully referred to as a cult instead of as one of the world’s major religions and practices such as yoga and meditation are, once again, linked with Satan and demons – ” Demons lurk behind the Hindu and other oriental religions, as well as behind the mind control teachings.”xxiv


Robertson also asserts that poverty and overpopulation in India are the result of the Hindu religion and conveys his intolerant attitude towards the practice of Hinduism in America with the statement, “it seems strange that religions which have brought such trouble to India would be imported to America where we have flourished and prospered under Christianity for several centuries.”xxv He also states that Hindus are worshipping the “wrong God.”xxvi


 


WWW.CHICK.COM


Summary of website – The website provides online information that is also contained in pamphlets, booklets, videos, and other material of Chick Publications, all of which degrade Hinduism and other “false” religions. These material are available for purchase and patrons of the website are encouraged to widely distribute them.


Website Creator/Sponsor – Chick Publications was founded by Jack Chick and has published hundreds of illustrated booklets in nearly one hundred languages.


Hatred conveyed by website – The practices of meditation and yoga are becoming more and more accepted in the West as not only techniques to reduce stress and improve one’s overall physical condition, but also as means to achieve mental balance and spiritual upliftment. In spite of this growing awareness, this site associates meditation and yoga with demons:
 


“What is actually happening is that as the person meditates to blank out his mind,he is opening himself up to the entrance of demons. These demons then give all sorts of experiences in the spirit world and the link between the soul and spirit is forged…It (yoga) cannot be separated from the demonic religion which created it.” Xxvii


 


It also describes Shiva, a deity revered by Hindus, as a demon: “Yoga students are taught to ‘reach for Shiva, or light.’…When they reach out to the ‘light of Shiva,’ they are reaching out to a demon god.”xxviii


In a booklet titled “The Traitor,” a fictional story is told about a child offered as a sacrifice to the Goddess Kali. Kali becomes angry with the village inspector for arresting the servant who sacrificed the child and, therefore, kills the inspector. Through it all, the booklet demonizes Goddess Kali (who represents the feminine energy of the universe in Hindu belief) and states that Hindu Gods are controlled by Satan:


 


“…Kali will destroy both you and your family…”xxix


Satan created all the gods of India. They are demons who will rob your soul  and take you into hell. Satan controls all false gods by telling the great lie…that after death, the soul is reincarnated.”xxx


 


Another example of Chick’s malicious publications is a booklet titled, “What’s Wrong With This?” This fictional story concerns a lady at a museum who becomes disgusted by a work of art depicting a man worshipping an idol in the form of a bird. In one part, the characters are looking at a painting that is obviously made to depict a Hindu god when a man states: “That includes paintings which can be worshipped. Jesus left Heaven to stop all of that nonsense…”xxxi


 


Hatred towards other faiths – Chick Publications promotes hatred not just against Hindus, but also towards Muslims, Catholics, and others as is evidenced by the following titles of their tracts:


 


“Last Rites – When this Catholic dies, he learns that his church couldn’t save him “; “The Little Bride – Protect children against being recruited as Muslims. Li’l Susy explains that only Jesus can save them”; and “Allah Had No Son – The Allah of Islam is not the God of creation ” xxxii

Welcome to Haindava Keralam! Register for Free or Login as a privileged HK member to enjoy auto-approval of your comments and to receive periodic updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

Responses

Latest Articles from World Focus

Did You Know?