February 20, 2020
The following statement was issued by the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), the most prominent national American non-profit organization on February 2, 2019.
India’s neighboring countries persecute minorities without impunity. Just last week, a Hindu girl was abducted from her own wedding venue in Sindh province of Pakistan, converted to Islam and forcibly married to a person she never knew. A couple of weeks ago, a Hindu temple was ransacked in Pakistan, and the local Hindus were intimidated and forced to withdraw their complaints against four miscreants. In 2010, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian had a simple argument with a coworker who then accused her with blasphemy. Without any proof, Bibi was sentenced to death. Due to immense international pressure she was finally released in 2019. On July 1, 2018, a bomb attack by Islamic extremists claimed 10 innocent Sikh lives in Afghanistan. On November 2, 2016, New York Times reported that in the preceding week, coordinated attacks were carried out on Hindus and Hindu temples in Bangladesh.
The Hindu population in Bangladesh has dwindled from 30% to 7% today. In Pakistan, it has been reduced from 12.9% to 1.6% and in Afghanistan the Hindu and Sikh population has been reduced to fewer than a couple of thousand. The Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jews and other minorities have been killed, forcibly converted or driven out of their homes.
India, the largest democracy in the world, with its tolerant Hindu ethos has stood as a beacon of hope for these persecuted minorities. The Constitutional Amendment Act, passed by the Indian parliament, on December 11, 2019 declares India a sanctuary country for these persecuted minority refugees from their tormentors driven by extremist Islamic religious frenzy and grants them priority immigration status.
This is no different than the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) passed by the US Congress, which provides a pathway to permanent residence for Cubans who were victims of communist oppression. India’s CAA is modeled after the Lautenberg Amendment to the Jackson–Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974. Enacted on November 21, 1989, this amendment specifically provides refugee status in the United States for nationals from the Soviet Union and later the former Soviet Union, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania who are Jews, Evangelical Christians, Ukrainian Catholics or Ukrainian Orthodox; as well as nationals of Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia; and Jews, Christians, Baha’is and other religious minorities from Iran.
Resolution 31926 of the Seattle City Council is an attempt to blame the victims and further victimize them. The proponents of this bill are driven by extremism against persecuted minorities. Some of these Hindu haters may have Hindu sounding names, but let there be no doubt that they are using the City Council platform to further abuse Hindus and their spiritual home, India.