Hindu Americans Across the Nation Condemn Latest Hate Crime in New York City

Washington, D.C. (November 30, 2015) -- Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and Hindu Americans from across the country condemned a possible anti-Hindu arson in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens over the Thanksgiving weekend.

According to reports, a man was caught on camera setting fire to dozens of iconic jhandi flags outside of a Hindu residence. Guyanese and Trinidadian Hindus often use jhandi flags to commemorate auspicious occasions.

“Any isolated anti-Hindu attack in the United States is an attack on us all,” said Murali Balaji, HAF Director of Education and Curriculum Reform. “The centuries-old tradition of displaying jhandi flags is one that Guyanese, Trinidadian, and Surinamese Hindus have continued proudly, despite their marginalization in the United States. Any attack on such traditions should be investigated as a hate crime.”

The attack is the latest to target Hindus, primarily those of Indo-Caribbean descent, in New York City over the past year. In March, possible anti-Hindu graffiti was posted in the South Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens. Authorities have been unable to find a motive or the perpetrators of that incident.

While the NYPD is investigating the latest incident, HAF leaders urge law enforcement to look into a possible hate crime against Hindus. Queens is home to the largest Hindu community in New York City.

NYPD officials are asking anyone with information on the crime to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.