May 1, 2020
The following statement was issued by the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), the most prominent national American non-profit Hindu organization
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) on USCIRF “Whipping up Hinduphobia will Lead to Bullying and Hindu Bashing in the USA”
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), strongly denounces the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Annual Report, which has recommended that the State Department designate India as a “country of particular concern,” a status reserved for “the worst of the worst” countries for religious freedom.
Commenting on the report, Ajay Shah, Executive Vice President of VHPA said,
This is not unexpected from a commission whose chairman Tony Perkins has demonstrated his Hinduphobic views in the past. He opposed the first Hindu prayer in the Congress in 2007 by saying ‘No one can legitimately challenge the fact that the God America refers to in the pledge, our national motto, and other places is the monotheistic God of the Jewish and Christian faith. I seriously doubt that Americans want to change the motto, ‘In God We Trust’… to ‘In gods We Trust.’ That is essentially what the United States Senate did today.” Commissioner Perkins’ disdain for Hindu dharma even extends to Yoga. Referring to the inclusion of yoga for treating PTSD, Commissioner Perkins said, “In the military, it’s out with God—and in with the goofy!”
This highly malicious USCIRF report is totally irrelevant to Indians and India, a vibrant democracy based on all-inclusive Hindu ethos. The people and the government of India are capable of responding to USCIRF appropriately. However, the impact of this report on American Hindus cannot be understated. There is a direct connection between mockery of religious tradition, now legitimized by a government sponsored body and hate based attacks and bullying and we will hold USCIRF responsible for every attack on Hindu faith and tradition in the US for attempting to legitimize Hinduphobia and Indiaphobia.
Utsav Chakrabarti, Director of Awareness and Public Relations, said, “We thank COMMISSIONER GARY L. BAUER and COMMISSIONER TENZIN DORJEE for expressing dissent against the malafide characterization of India by USCIRF. It is unfortunate that despite having Commissioners from all major religious communities, who have experience in working within their communities; USCIRF refuses to include Hindus with experience of working with the Hindu community, as one of their Commissioners. To say the least, that in itself shows the inherent anti-Hindu bias of this quasi-institution.”