Endorsements of the Hindu American Foundation's 2006
Hindu Human Rights Report
Below are endorsements from HAF's report, Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2006
I would like to commend the Hindu American Foundation for publishing this critical report, which demonstrates how much work must be done in combating human rights violations against Hindus worldwide. By bringing these abuses into the light of day, the Hindu American Foundation is leading the fight for international policies that promote tolerance and understanding of Hindu beliefs and bring an end to religious persecution.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
The Hindu American Foundation's annual Hindu human rights report is a critical resource in documenting human rights violations in South Asia, as well as other parts of the world. As the Foundation continues to raise global awareness of these abuses, I will work with them by informing my colleagues in Congress of the findings of this report.
Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
Freedom of religion and expression are two of the most fundamental human rights. As the founder and former co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India, I commend the important work that the Hindu American Foundation does to help end the campaign of violence against Hindus in South Asia. The 2006 human rights report of the Hindu American Foundation is a valuable resource that helps to raise global awareness of these abuses while also identifying the key areas that need our attention.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
I commend the Hindu American Foundation for compiling a comprehensive report on the continuing human rights challenges Hindus face worldwide. The 2006 report will provide a vital resource to guide policymakers, international institutions and non-governmental organizations as we continue in the pursuit of religious freedoms and improved human rights around the world.
Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN)
I am writing to endorse the Hindu American Foundation’s report, “Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2006.” The widespread violations that occur are mostly ignored by the American media and government, so I applaud your efforts to bring needed attention to the issue. I look forward to continuing to work together in the future on behalf of the Hindu-American community and Hindus around the world.
Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA)
As Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Indian and Indian Americans in the 110th Congress, I am honored to once again offer support for the Hindu American Foundation’s yearly report. Human rights abuses must be taken seriously, and this survey provides valuable information to keep my colleagues and I informed about unfortunate threats against Hindus around the world.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC)
The Hindu American Foundation's revealing report shows us how Hindus worldwide have been treated as marginalized minorities. We need to urge other nations to take steps that will ensure the human rights of these disenfranchised people are restored.
Minnesota State Senator Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley)
Hindu American Foundation's 2006 Hindu Human Rights Report provides an excellent documentation of the human rights issues that Hindu's are encountering in various nations. I commend the Hindu American Foundation for offering recommendations for consideration by governments to alleviate the ongoing violations of human rights.
Iowa State Representative Swati Dandekar (D)
Several years ago in testimony to Congress regarding Religious Freedom in Saudi Arabia, I called for adding Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists to oppressed religious groups who are banned from practicing their religious and cultural rights in Saudi Arabia. This report is a great effort in bringing to attention the religious rights and freedoms of 1 billion people with magnificent culture and a great civilization. I wish to see this effort expand further to include cultural awareness in the Persian Gulf countries and the Muslim Middle East of Hinduism, the largest religion and closest geographically to the region, but is severely misunderstood.
Director, Institute for Gulf Affairs
Everyone who is concerned with obtaining the necessary human rights and privileges for people of all religions should be indebted to the Hindu American Foundation for bringing into the light the serious discriminatory practices and unacceptable behavior which in any way makes for insensitive treatment of Hindus and their faith. The impressive scholarship and challenging research in the Hindu American Foundation’s study provides a unique foundation to secure long overdue attention to the concerns of the Hindu community. All of us who are concerned with the true meaning of human rights must lend our support to the Hindu community whenever and wherever ignorant and cruel judgments isolate and demean Hindus and any other minority which is suffering, even briefly, pain, indifference and antagonistic assaults.
Ernest H. Weiner
Executive Director, Northern California Region
American Jewish Committee
Thank you for your efforts in supporting and defending human rights. Efforts of NGOs like your organization should make this world a better place for all. We need to help each other and cooperate.
Ibrahim Al Mugaiteeb
President, Human Rights First Society- Saudi Arabia
The Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2006 should serve as a wakeup call about the dimension of human rights abuses against Hindus, largely unknown to the international community. Hopefully, this report will spur agencies like the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and NGOs to begin to address this significant problem.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Associate Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center
I have gone through your 3rd Annual report on the human rights of Hindus in South Asia and other countries, including Bangladesh. The condition of religious minorities in Bangladesh has not improved much with the present caretaker government. We continue to demand an inquiry into the persecution of Hindus and other religious and ethnic minorities committed during the tenure of the previous four party alliance government and trial of the perpetrators of these human rights violations as so far nothing has been done. We believe secular democracy is one of the main safe guards of the minorities in every country. Removal of ‘secularism’ as one of the state principals and inclusion of Islam as the state religion in the Bangladesh constitution relegated non-Muslims as second class citizens and created space for increasing discriminations and persecution.
South Asian People's Union Against Fundamentalism and Communalism
We join with representatives of diverse religious and ethnic groups, policymakers and community leaders alike, in recognizing the important efforts of the Hindu American Foundation to regularly and extensively monitor, analyze and promote awareness of human rights problems, particularly those affecting Hindus around the world, and to propose means to improvement. We share a vital commitment to protecting the fundamental rights of Hindus, as those of every person, and to combating all forms of bigotry and discrimination. HAF's contribution in this regard is certainly to be commended.
David J. Michaels
Director of Intercommunal Affairs, B'nai B'rith International
Being an international human rights organisation, GHRD welcomes the reports, investigations and research of HAF. In addition to the daily research GHRD executes in the field, this report is very valuable for our staff in the South Asian region as well as the staff at The Hague. The annual human rights report which was launched by HAF last year contributed to the wide appreciation and increased insight of the important work of HAF. A much better understanding of the human rights situation in the South Asian regions is the result. GHRD will again distribute and demand attention for this report within the network of NGO’s, politicians, civil society and governments in Europe and the countries in South Asia where GRHD has representation.
Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD), The Netherlands
B’nai Brith Canada is pleased to endorse the Hindu American Foundation’s 3rd Annual report on the human rights violations against Hindu minorities worldwide. We are most impressed by the thoroughness in which you outline the plight of these Hindu communities. We applaud your vigorous efforts to raise awareness of the discrimination suffered by individuals of the Hindu faith and more generally to promote tolerance and understanding worldwide.
The Jewish community is sadly all too familiar with being targeted for hate. We know from our own experiences the devastating impact of being singled out for racism. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Hindu community and with all minority groups who are similarly targeted in this fashion.
Your report stands as an important resource that sheds light on the Hindu community’s fight against racism and as an important testimonial on the continuing work that must be done to fight bigotry and intolerance whenever and wherever it occurs. We thank you for your valuable contributions to promoting an anti-racist agenda and look forward to cooperating with you in the future on anti-racism educational initiatives.”
Executive Vice President, B’nai Brith Canada
On behalf of the Indo-American Kashmir Forum (IAKF), I commend the Hindu American Foundation for yet again compiling a detailed report on the status of human rights of the Hindu community in South Asia. The Kashmir issue has received greater media coverage in the past few years than ever due to the active peace process between India and Pakistan. Nevertheless, the plight of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit (Hindu) community is often neglected. The Pandits were forced out of their ancestral homeland due to terrorism over 17 years ago, and their numbers in the Kashmir valley are continuing to dwindle. The HAF report helps raise awareness of this dire situation and its resultant destructive effect on the rich Kashmiri Pandit culture. The 2006 Hindu Human Rights report is well-referenced and serves as an excellent resource on issues pertaining to human rights of Hindus in South Asia.
Rahul T. Pandit, M.D.
President, Indo-American Kashmir Forum
Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist & Christian Unity Council, USA commends the Hindu American Foundation’s (HAF) extremely valuable reports on the gross violation human rights against the Hindus where they live as a minority group. HAF’s participation in hearings/forums organized by such powerful organizations as the USCIRF on the status of religious freedom of the minorities and its annual report have been very effective in drawing the US legislators/government’s attention to the plight of Bangladesh’s oppressed Hindus who are faced with the threat of total elimination through a state-sponsored campaign blatant discrimination, brutal persecution and atrocities. We urge HAF to include in its future reports such terrible facts as that, Bangladesh Public Service Commission uses the oral part of its exam to deny Hindu candidates jobs even if they top the list on the written exams (Transparency International Bangladesh Report 2007).
Dwijen Bhattacharya, Ph.D.
Spokesperson & Director of Communications & Publications
Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist & Christian Unity Council, USA
Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM-Dhaka-Bangladesh) has been pleased to know that Annual report on "HINDUS IN SOUTH ASIA AND THE DIASPORA; A SURVEY OF HUMAN RIGHTS 2006 " is going to be released. I had the opportunity to go through the Executive Summary of the report, which prompted me to endorse that Hindu American Foundation's recommendations on the violation of human rights in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago are very authentic, systematic and well-documented. The gigantic task undertaken by HAF in documenting ongoing violations of human rights in South Asia and the Diaspora is commendable which gave birth to a new dimension for the protection of rights of Hindu minorities in mitigating their sufferings at the time of distress and need. I especially pay my respect to those who by their dedications made the report more effective and transparent in the international arena. I, on behalf of HRCBM-Dhaka-Bangladesh hope to continue our efforts to contribute necessary assistance to HAF in the future.
Rabindra Ghosh, President
Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Hinduism never promulgated nor promoted violence and suppression against the growth of other faiths. Instead Hinduism welcomed and encouraged the presence of other diverse faiths. However noble the journey of Hinduism may be some states do not appreciate and recognize the presence of Hinduism. In fact of late there has been continuous suppression and indiscriminate demolition of Hindu places of worship without any justification and/or valid reasons. In this brutal act the state and public authorities play a key role. The state has in effect ignored and neglected the welfare of the minority Hindus. This behavior is unconstitutional and travels against all international conventions, legislations and fundamental freedom. It is now important that this form of organized crime must be brought to international attention all in the hope of seeking some form of redress and permanent remedy. For that purpose we believe all reports gathered, compiled and reduced into printed form by the HINDU AMERICAN FOUNDATION and contained herein would be most useful although it is "provocative" but remember it is the reflection of truth. We strongly advocate that the HINDU AMERICAN FOUNDATION should continue this form of challenging works all in the hope of preserving a faith that existed even before the birth of mankind.
P. Waytha Moorthy
Hindu Rights Action Force, Malaysia
As a worldwide organization that represents practitioners of the Vaishnava sampradaya (denomination) within the broader Hindu faith tradition, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) wholeheartedly endorses the Hindu American Foundation's 3rd Annual report on the human rights of Hindus where they are minorities, "Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2006.”
In meticulously researching, compiling, and presenting this report on the human rights of Hindus around the world, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has rendered an invaluable service – not only to Hindus, but to all concerned with protecting the dignities and rights of people to freely practice their faith. We appreciate the obvious time, and dedication that went into the production of this report, and applaud HAF's commitment to delivering a nuanced and sensitive portrayal of the human rights violations suffered by hundreds of thousands of Hindus across the globe.
This year's report builds on the excellent work of the previous years, and expands coverage to Hindus in areas of the world that are seldom considered. We were particularly pleased that the report included the recent state-sponsored persecution of a Vaishnava Hindu community in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The local government's barbaric mistreatment of this peaceful religious minority – including the demolition of homes and confiscation of land – drew outrage from the worldwide Hindu community and was condemned by no less than the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair. The inclusion of Kazakhstan in the HAF report is a badly needed next step in raising awareness about this persecution and harnessing the international support needed to overcome it.
In an age where complex global situations are far too often addressed in polarizing, extremist terms, it is refreshing to see the HAF report take the higher road of accuracy and informed concern. The report balances an even-handed, objective approach with the emotionally stirring reality of tragic human rights abuses. Behind every fact and figure, the report reminds readers, is a real man, woman, or child.
Director of Communications, North America
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
The report reflects a true picture of events that have unfolded in Fiji and we wish to congratulate HAF for the efforts in safeguarding and promoting Hinduism across the globe. However Fiji remains a safe country where we freely practice our religion without any fear of victimization from the general community at large. It is unfortunate that such is not the case for other Hindu brothers and sisters residing in the troubled nations of this world. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and look forward to working closely with HAF.
Surendra Kumar JP
Former National President, Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji
I congratulate the Hindu American Foundation for producing the 3rd Annual Hindu Human Rights report on the status of Hindus in regions of South Asia where they are minorities. This report is very extensive and covers many more countries. Once again, an objective compilation from reports by credible human rights groups of the bigotry and hatred that Hindus have faced in parts of South Asia, Afghanistan and Fiji. I can’t think of a better organization than HAF which is focused on educating policy makers and leaders of a diverse community to promote understanding and harmony.
Chairman, Kashmir Task Force
Founding member, Indo-American Kashmir Forum,
Kashmiri Overseas Association and the Indo-American Community Federation
“Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2006”, the Third Annual Report of the Hindu American Foundation, is an exhaustive and impressive document on the plight of Hindus in countries (and even in parts of India itself) where they are a minority and are discriminated against and subjected to untold injustices and indignities. The Report is one more feather in the cap of HAF which continues to do stellar work in promoting inter-religious understanding, religious tolerance and pluralism. At this juncture, BIRD warmly greets and wishes HAF all success in its campaigns to obtain and protect the human rights and privileges of all Hindus who are, as minority, now suffering, even briefly, pain, indifference and antagonistic assaults, in many parts of the globe.
P .N. Benjamin
Coordinator, Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (India)
The Pagan Federation and the Pagan Federation International strongly disapprove of religious persecution in any country, and supports the rights of all peoples to follow the Gods and spirituality of their choice without fear of oppression from government or neighbours. We support the work of the American Hindus in monitoring and publicising the plight of their fellow believers around the world. It is only through knowledge of persecution that pressure may be brought to bear to end it.
The Pagan Federation (UK) and the Pagan Federation International
The HAF’s ‘Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2006’ report provides a detailed evaluation of the oppression of Hindus in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and Bangladesh, with the latter two being the most pressing situations. It is our hope that the international community will take note of the situation, especially in Bangladesh, where, if events continue on the present course, will have few or no Hindus in another decade or two.
Managing Editor, Hinduism Today Magazine
This disturbing report should serve as a wake-up call, particularly to the United Nations and the government of the United States, that Hindus are a persecuted minority group in numerous countries across the globe. The report itself is thorough and well-crafted. The suggestions for action are a particular strength of this report. One hopes that the UN and the US will use their powers of persuasion to improve the plight of Hindus, just as these institutions have made relieving the oppression of other minority groups an important priority. All who are committed to the values of tolerance and pluralism should advocate for the implementation of the HAF’s recommendations outlined in this report.
Jeffery D. Long, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religion and Asian Studies
Chair, Department of Religious Studies Elizabethtown College
With every new survey by the Hindu American Foundation of the plight of Hindus, in South Asia and the Diaspora, the list of Countries and the list of crimes discriminating and denying human rights to Hindus increases and the crimes against Hindus become more violent. This new survey for 2006 includes over ten countries, plus the State of India, and the report does not mention Europe or the United States where the crimes against Hindus are also common. Reading this report should awaken every citizen of every country and let each one cry out the brutal reality taking place before every body’s open eyes, for if today Hinduism is the bench mark for victimization, tomorrow it could be any one, Hindu or non Hindu. How can we call ourselves civilized when Hindus in our midst are the victims of murder, rape, invasion and destruction of their temples, of their sacred texts, discriminated socially, harassed to convert to other religions, in one simple word, deprived of their human rights? We should be thankful to the Hindu American Foundation for the information they provide in this Survey 2006, and hopefully join in vigilance to protect the rights of Hindus as if they were our own.
Antonio de Nicolas, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Director of The Biocultural Research Institute, St. Augustine, Florida
Prosperity and goodwill in the 21st Century rests on the premise that the nations of the world will hew to the letter and spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hindus around the world have enriched the societies and nations they are citizens of but it is deeply unfortunate that they are the targets of both officially sanctioned and locally inspired discrimination in many countries. The Hindu American Foundation has, through this report, highlighted the plight of minority Hindu groups in countries like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, and I hope that American lawmakers and the media will play a part in influencing human rights policies in those countries where Hindus (as well as others) are discriminated against.
Dr. Patricia Cormier
President, Longwood University
This report by the Hindu American Foundation about the religious persecution suffered by Hindus around the globe is a real eye-opener. Predictably, the most grievous violations of human rights have occurred in Muslim countries. As a minority in religious cultures that consider them to be "idolaters," Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan face persecution routinely. What is most disturbing is that this blatant oppression goes unnoticed by the United Nations and even by our own government, and seems to have no policy impact. And it is not only Muslims who engage in Hindu-bashing; the Christian majority of Fiji is hardly better, although anti-Hindu policies have not been adopted by the government there. The saddest case of all, however, is in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, where for decades Hindus have been subjected to ruthless ethnic cleansing. The remarkable Hindu culture of Kashmir has been obliterated there, and Kashmiris suffer an exile that is unknown and ignored. More surprising is that anti-Hindu policies are followed, whether officially or unofficially, in Trinidad and Tobago, Bhutan, and to some extent in Sri Lanka as well. One hopes that this report will be widely read in government circles and promulgated in the media. This is a heartbreaking story indeed, but fortunately sound policy recommendations are included in the report on each country, recommendations that ought to be considered for implementation by both the U.N. and the State Department.
Nathan Katz, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies, Florida International University
I commend a group of American Hindus of diverse race and nationality to bring forward the 2006 Hindu Human Rights Report. This is of immense importance to people who care about tolerance, pluralism and democracy throughout the world. It is noteworthy, as the report mentions yet hardly known, that Hindus are not only killed, cleansed or discriminated in Hindu-minority states — including states where they are the indigenous peoples, as well as in Hindu-majority India. Just in Bangladesh, her Census reveals that the number of Hindus lost from the land since 1947 is close to 49 million. I am grateful that the report highlights the inhuman act of confiscating millions of acres of land and homes of indigenous Hindus through the Enemy Property Act in Bangladesh. Beyond Kashmir there are several areas in Hindu-majority India where Hindus have been targeted for violence and discrimination. For example, no one has been arrested yet after two dozen Hindu monks and nuns were murdered (in the 1980s) by an anti-Hindu mob in the prestigious Ballygunj area of liberal, progressive Calcutta; or how poor, oppressed-caste Hindu (and Buddhist) refugees settled by India in the 1960s and 1970s still languish as stateless in eastern, northeastern and central India (while elite Non-Hindus and Hindus receive citizenship). You mention that the New Vrindaban Hindu temple has come under attack from the authorities. I was witness to the opening in 1999 of that shrine dedicated by Hindus of Kazakhstan. I hope that HAF’s Report will prevent it from being demolished like Turkmenistan’s Hindu temple. By highlighting human rights violations against Hindus worldwide, the Hindu American Foundation is providing a much-needed service to make our lives a little better.
Sachi G. Dastidar, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, State University of New York, Old Westbury
All those concerned with the questions of Religious Freedom and Human Rights around the globe should read this valuable report put together by HAF's representatives in diverse countries where Hindus are persecuted. The Report's recommendations must be taken up immediately by human rights organizations everywhere, notably the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Amnesty International and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. I hope the next year's report shows substantial redress. In any case, my appreciation of the HAF's commendable efforts in bringing such gross violations of the rights of Hindus particularly in India's neighborhood -Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan- to light.
D.R. Sardesai, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of South and Southeast Asian History
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
The Hindu American Foundation should be commended for its diligence in preparing its third human rights report. These thoughtful and well-sourced documents fill a significant lacuna, providing important information on the abuses suffered by members of the third largest religious community in the world. In addition, the legal and political analyses which the authors have added to this year’s report are especially welcome and will hopefully lead to greater sensitivity to and public discussion of the concerns highlighted.
Dr. J. Peter Pham
Director, The Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs
James Madison University
Although human rights have come to the forefront burner of attention for an increasing number of individuals and organizations in the international community, the issue still faces great hurdles. The report by the Hindu American Foundation addressing both human rights and religious persecution of Hindus all over the world is both a fact-filled and valuable document that should be a must read for all those who support individual rights. While the treatment of Hindus has improved in a few countries, it has become worse in many more, especially those with Christian or Muslim governments. Leaders of these religions, as well as governments of all countries must condemn such oppression and join together to improve treatment of religious minorities. Reports like this can help us to understand the breadth of the problem and hopefully inspire genuine efforts toward promoting equality and human rights.
Ramdas Lamb, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Religion, University of Hawai'i
The work of the Hindu American Foundation is an inspiring example of a minority group educating America and the world about its human rights needs. These efforts are a shining example on how to improve the quality of life for all members of our global family, wherever they may live.
Stuart Sovatsky, Ph.D.
World Congress on Psychology and Spirituality Co-convener
This is impressive work, and can have great impact. Thank you for the worthwhile and selfless dedication.
V.V. Raman, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Physics & Humanities, Rochester Institute of Technology
Please let me endorse the work you have done for all of the global Hindu community to be aware of the actions taking place against Hindus worldwide. This is an important endeavor and an example of how other Hindus should be willing to stand up for the cause of protecting, preserving and sharing the Vedic culture. Thank you for your outstanding work.
President, Vedic Friends Association
This survey report is an unfortunate revelation of the distress and pain suffered by fellow human beings in various geographies of the planet – simply because of their faith, which happens to be a minority religion in the regions highlighted. Upon reading the instances of persecution of Hindus as detailed by HAF in the report, there can be only one reaction by anyone, be it of Hindu or any faith – urgent action is needed to stop the violation of fundamental human rights any and every where. More importantly the various faiths and global leaders collectively need to ensure that in an enlightened 21st century there should be no medieval practices that violate the sanctity of free thought and peaceful pursuit of godliness by any one of any faith. The global community owes to its fellow citizens an environment where the mind is free of fear – for if we turn a blind eye on one, it may be our turn next. I hope this report by the HAF will contribute to wide awareness, and stimulate the imagination of all readers, of any faith, towards action to eliminate such sorrowful practices.
President, The Imagindia Institute
Given that the human rights abuses in every corner of the world are monitored, and this influences not only the images of various peoples but also the policies towards them, it is important that this be done in a manner that is fair and equitable to all cultures. Typically, human rights reports have been such as to depict Hindus as perpetrators of abuses against others, or even against each other, but rarely have they focused on issues where Hindus are the victims of others. This may be partly due to the fact that unlike the Abrahamic religions where martyrdom is glorified (and suicide bombing is one extreme kind of this syndrome), in Hinduism there has NOT been the glorification of martyrdom. The glorification of martyrdom in some religions led to the glorification of "victimhood,” a phenomenon which is not found in Hinduism. HAF is to be congratulated for its pioneering work in bringing awareness to human rights issues facing Hindus in various countries. This annual report is sure to become an important reference work over the years. My hope and recommendation is for HAF to expand this report to also include abuses against Hindus within India and in Western countries including the United States. In this regard, I would recommend including Hinduphobia -- i.e. hate speech and cultural denigration of Hinduism -- as a category of human rights abuse.
President, Infinity Foundation
We would like to offer our profound thanks to the Hindu American Foundation, as a leading international voice, creating awareness of the plight of Hindus in countries around the world. Your concern and active involvement in protecting the human rights of Hindus are highly commendable. As America is the most powerful and influential country in the world, the Hindu American Foundation has a major role to play in the international community. We thank you for your ongoing help with our Kazakhstan Hindu community.
Manor Temple President, ISKCON UK
In the early 21st Century energy security, economic growth patterns and the war on terror are the prevailing global themes that dominate the media and academic research. In these circumstances the focus is often deviated from those areas where atrocities are taking place against Hindus in minority communities. I commend the Hindu American Foundation for its excellent work in sustaining our focus on these very important issues.
The 2006 report is especially informative, not only for its clear presentation style and rigorous detailed research, but also because it has effectively captured the alarming global scale and magnitude of these atrocities. The recommendations section attached to each area of research demonstrates a proactive forward thinking approach to the issues raised and this gives one hope for possible change in the future.
Executive Director, Transnational Indian Identity
We fully endorse the human rights content as also independently verified by some of our UK organisations. The predatory nature of certain religions which do not respect the human rights of others' ways of life and seek the destruction of others' faiths and cultures must be condemned by society at large. United Nations Article 18 on Religious Freedom must be reviewed to curtail the freedom of certain religions whose very right to such freedom makes it imperative on them to proselytize humankind to their own faith or culture or way of life. The UN must take the lead in protecting all faiths and cultures by promoting "respect" for all religions in its Human Rights Charter.
General Secretary, Hindu Council of UK
We welcome this report published by the Hindu American Foundation, which highlight's the consistent and ongoing violations of human rights of Hindu's globally.
Secretary, International Swaminarayan Satsang Organisation-Europe
We commend the Hindu American Foundation for its excellent work in completing this 3rd report on the human rights violations against Hindus in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago. We are sure this report will draw appropriate attention to the despicable practices of genocide and ethnic cleansing going on these countries against the peaceful and law-abiding minority Hindu communities. We very strongly condemn this shameful act of genocide and urge upon the authorities to take immediate steps to ensure the physical, political, and economic security and well being of Hindus minorities in these countries.
Dr. A. Balasubramaniam
Chairman, Hindu Council Australia
The facts presented in this report are very alarming to the situation of Hindus in these countries. These ongoing grave human rights violations must be stopped. Joined effective actions should be taken to create awareness by means of the media and lobby networks. The AGNI Foundation thanks the staff of HAF for this clear and detailed report.
Chairman, Agni Foundation (Netherlands)
It is indeed a matter of great satisfaction and pride to see that HAF has been making excellent efforts to keep the interests of Hindus in the forefront so that our rich culture and heritage are not lost. The recent efforts of Arya Samaj to preserve and communicate the Vedic values to our next generations which are growing up in countries around the globe are very much in the same direction. The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha America fully supports HAF and wishes it success in its noble pursuits.
President, Arya Pratinidhi Sabha America
The ‘human rights’ is a burning issue, as it affects everyone all over the globe. It is essential to promote and respect ‘human rights’ for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. The Hindu American Foundation should be commended for this extraordinary report exposing several discriminatory practices leading to unpleasant treatment of Hindus and their faith. I hope this report will help the lawmakers, revisit this issue and take appropriate steps to ensure and protect the security of Hindus in South Asia. My sincere thanks to the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) for their continued, invaluable service to humanity.
Uma Mysorekar, M.D.
President, The Hindu Temple Society of North America
I applaud the tireless efforts of Hindu American Foundation to bring to the attention of all human rights activists across the globe the plight of Hindus in various countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia etc. This is the report that should be circulated widely in the halls of justice, U.S. Congress, United Nations, International organizations, and all the organizations concerned with the gross violation of human rights. HAF’s third annual report brings to light the facts as to how some countries are bent on destroying the ancient civilizations. All the organizations who champion the cause of Human rights should openly challenge the abuses of human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide by these governments to protect the security of the Hindus who have been subjected to numerous atrocities over so many decades.
V. V. Prakasa Rao, Ph.D.
President, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation
I have read the 2006 report and am very happy to provide endorsement on behalf of Hindu University of America. The report has been significantly enhanced with more details and wider coverage of the data from the earlier year. The average citizen, whether of USA or India, is largely ignorant and uninformed about the abuses of human rights committed against innocent and helpless Hindus in many countries. This report will help draw the necessary attention of the policy makers, elected officials, concerned citizens, media and NGO’s. I congratulate HAF in undertaking this important and much needed task of bringing to light the plights of Hindus.
Vice President, Hindu University of America
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our friends at the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) for their invaluable effort in producing a detailed account of the systematic persecution, ethnic cleansing, forced conversions, decimation of places of worship and untold discrimination perpetrated against Hindus in various parts of the globe. The latest volume (HAF’s 3rd annual report) highlights these crimes alerting the proponents of “freedom of religion” and the broad international community that the fundamentalist zealots targeting Hindus and Hinduism must be tamed and finally neutralized before it is too late.
These reports containing facts, figures, empirical research and above all unrebuttable evidence fill a huge vacuum and are central to building realistic awareness campaigns for taking necessary remedial measures. We sincerely hope that the resultant campaigns would become an effective instrument against injustices, repression and out right discrimination confronted by Hindus. The availability of such a fact based body of evidence has the potential to contribute towards general peace and forestall further repression by fundamentalist regimes thus avoiding further deterioration of conditions as witnessed in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Darfur and other parts of the world.
One of the glaring facts brought out, though not surprisingly, by the latest HAF report is how some fundamentalist Islamic regimes treat their minorities with contempt, hatred and discrimination, particularly Hindus. Such modus operandi clearly related to their predatory instincts must be rejected and condemned universally. It is our fervent hope that the HAF’s report will serve as a wake up call for freedom lovers every where and will motivate them for initiating needed measures to eliminate religious persecution and discrimination from all socio-ethnic segments of Human civilization. We call upon the people and governments of the civilized and democratic world, taking inspiration from this report, to strengthen and enlarge the horizons of religious freedom and administer a stern warning to the violators of this doctrine to change or face dire consequences. Based on this general philosophical foundation we hope that the crusades against Hindus and Hinduism in various regions of the world will be terminated and the Govt. formed by India’s real majority plays a leading role in this transformation. We must combat hate and promote tolerance without marginalizing any religious groups.
Dr. Jagan Kaul
Forum for Secularism and Development (USA)
The Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum fully supports HAF’s initiative of highlighting the suffering of various Hindu minorities in different parts of the world including the Indian sub-continent. It is over 18 years since Kashmiri Hindus, the aboriginal people of Kashmir, were forced to flee their habitat, the Kashmir valley, by Muslim extremists at gunpoint. It is important that human rights groups like HAF openly talk about such atrocities in international forums. In the case of Kashmiri Hindus, the Central Government of India and the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir must be forced to declare Kashmiri Hindus as an internally displace minority. Their political rights must be immediately restored by reserving at least five seats in the state legislative assembly, by protecting their places of worship and their over five thousand year old cultural heritage, and by ensuring their safe and honorable return to the land of their ancestors. Keep up the good work.
Ashok K Koul
Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum
The meticulous efforts of HAF are to be lauded for bringing to light the large number documented incidents of human right violations against Hindus in many countries in 2006. It is appalling that at such large scale, systematic violations of human rights of a targeted group have been going on for so long without any significant cognition from many self- proclaimed international human rights groups. In many instances human right violations are generally attributed to small group of extremists but given the scale human right violations for a very long period of time one wonders that such violations are tacitly accepted by the public and governments in general.
During a visit to MIT in Cambridge about six years ago I recall meeting a well educated gentleman originally from Bangladesh who offered an excuse of interest in properties of Hindus, as opposed to religious hatred, for committing atrocities against Hindus in Bangladesh. And, this was acceptable to him. It would be important for HAF to survey a general attitude of public in accepting human right violations against Hindus. In this regard, it is also important to document violence against Hindus by political class for their public derogatory remarks, state laws to regulate and degrade Hindu way of life, support of academic material denouncing Hindu values, and outright support of people who commit violence against Hindus. Further, I urge HAF to look into instances where Indian governments (particularly those led or supported by communists) of all shades have used their power to create violence against Hindu communities in India beyond Jammu and Kashmir, and thus have encouraged other countries, including USA to create hostile conditions to Hindus through media and academic indoctrination.
Bal Ram Singh, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Indic Studies
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth