Oppose biased, counterfactual and anti-Hindu position of USCIRF at the Capitol Hill.


Oppose biased, counterfactual and anti-Hindu position of USCIRF at the Capitol Hill.

This petition made change with 1,234 supporters!
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) started this petition to Honorable Senator,

On December 12, 2018; U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) – a quasi-government body in Washington, D.C. has scheduled a hearing that will explore the rising challenges to freedom of religion or belief in India and opportunities for U.S policy to address these challenges. The hearing is also expected to call for investigating peaceful Hindu and Indian American organizations.

Based on past publications and track record, USCIRF has been promoting an aggressive, biased, and counterfactual anti-India and anti-Hindu posture on the Capitol Hill. It is a stark irony that while this body makes judgements on the state of religious affairs in the largest democracy in the world and on one of the oldest faiths in the world, Hinduism; it has consistently and absolutely lacked any representation by people of Hindu faith. On the contrary, it comprises of commissioners who have consistently shown anti-India and anti-Hinduism biases.For example, earlier this year Mr. Tony Perkins was appointed as one of the nine commissioners of USCIRF.

Mr. Perkins has publicly demonstrated lack of religious tolerance himself. In 2007, when asked about the protest by Christian fundamentalists against Hindu Prayer before the US Senate, he said, “No one can legitimately challenge the fact that the God America refers to in the national motto and other places is the monotheistic God of the Jewish and Christian faith. There is no historic connection between America and the polytheistic creed of the Hindu faith.”

He has also spoken out against a yoga and meditation program for PTSD prevention that was organized by the United States Marine Corps. He described the practices, which are rooted in Hindu tradition, as “goofy” and getting in the way of a personal relationship with God.

An ex-Chairwoman of USCIRF, Katrina Lantos Swett has repeatedly and incorrectly used inflammatory and unsubstantiated language of “increased attacks on religious minorities”, a “long standing pattern of impunity and immunity by the current Modi government”, “lack of accountability and large scale communal violence” in India using unrelated, one-off, and selective incidents.
India is home to unparalleled linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity. Throughout its history, India has served as a refuge for persecuted religious groups or those fleeing violence from around the world including Jews. India is one of the very few, perhaps the only, places in the world where Jews were never persecuted. Similarly, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhists who fled to India after escaping Chinese oppression have been welcomed to establish the Tibetan government in exile in the northern Indian city of Dharamsala.

For reference, here is a brief quote of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from a December 5, 2018; article in Times of India. (full article can be found at https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/muslim-nations-must-learn-about-religion-from-india-dalai-lama/articleshow/66949081.cms )
“There are various religions and traditions in India having population of over 125 crore (1.25 billion). Muslim countries should learn from India, so that there is peace. There is coordination among all the religions here and due to non-violence principle, modern India is developing.”

Indeed, as per the Pew Research Forum, since the freedom of India in 1947, population of minorities in India has remained stable and that of Muslims have increased sizably.

USCIRF has also shown tendency for extreme Hinduphobia by commissioning an entirely outsourced report exclusively written by a writer-activist Dr. Iqtidar Karamat Cheema raising serious questions about the Commission’s credibility and transparency. It should be noted that Dr. Iqtidar Cheema, is a British activist who has been previously honored by several Pakistani
government bodies, has consistently advocated for Pakistan’s foreign policy objectives, and has endorsed various organizations striving for a separate Sikh state of Khalistan—including support of the Babbar Khalsa, a terrorist organization banned by the United Kingdom and India. It is no secret that Pakistan has vested interests in destabilizing India and rupturing the social fabric of the Indian society.

Indian and Hindu Americans have contributed enormously to the progress of USA. As our representative, we request you to formally question and take measures to scrutinize and curtail such biased narratives being promoted by a quasi-government body, funded by tax-payers’ resources that operates on the pretext of ensuring worldwide religious freedom but in reality has tried to suppress the religious freedom of Hindus. We also request that you question non-representation of organizations supporting wider Hindu American diaspora and selective representation of anti-India and anti-Hindu outfits that have never wished well for India or the inclusive faith of Hinduism.

We seek your urgent help in preventing demonization of such a peaceful and all-inclusive way of life called Hinduism that has never forced itself on anyone and has always accepted multiple ways to seek the truth.



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