Thread on Hinduphobia and intolerance towards Hindu students at @txfastate @CCISD via Item 22 on the TFA Fall 2020 Legislative Docket. Link to our letter urging both to remove the topic from the docket. cohna.org/tfa-letter/ 1/n
The debate topic "Curbing Hindu Nationalism" promotes hostility towards Hindu students, by presenting that their faith is 'ultra-right-wing' and hateful towards those who are not Hindus. The debate topic is framed as a derogatory description of Hinduism. 2/n
There is already widespread #Hinduphobia and lack of understanding of #Hinduism in schools. Positioning of Hinduism as intolerant via such ill-informed and factually inaccurate debates is certain to make matters worse. 3/n
A 2019 survey, conducted by @onlinebullying, has shown that over 23% of Hindu kids face bullying because of their religion. cyberbullying.org/bullying-and-r… 4/n
Not to mention, the debate topic is also filled with factual errors, and violates the Texas RVAA 25.152(a)(2), which requires that public forums in schools be based on neutral criteria. 5/n
For example, on line 1 of resolution, the RSS is declared a political party and a paramilitary organization, which it is not. 6/n
Similarly, and contrary to what is claimed on lines 3-4, there is no evidence to show that there is a systematic effort to preach violence against those who do not subscribe to Hinduism. 7/n
Finally, there is blatant misinformation (line 6) about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), an asylum act passed by the government of India. 8/n
The act does not discriminate against Muslims any more than the Lautenberg Amendment of the US discriminates against everyone who is not of Soviet or Southeast Asian origin, and which mainly benefited Jews and Christian minorities escaping persecution. nytimes.com/2017/08/26/us/… 9/n
The amendment was further extended in 2004 (via the Specter Amendment) to include persecuted minorities from Iran. 10/n
In 07/2020, 20 Senators wrote a letter @mikepompeo urging him to grant emergency refugee status to persecuted Hindu and Sikh minorities in Afghanistan, via the FY20 US Refugee Admission Program, through P1 and P2 embassy referrals. cohna.org/cohna-applauds… 11/n
Furthermore, an analysis of previous similar debate topics in @txfastate shows disparate treatment of Hinduism in this resolution/debate topic. 12/n
Past debates never targeted a religion. E.g. A 2016 Resolution on Boko Haram didn't mention Islam or Sharia, both of which are central to the group's philosophy. cnn.com/2014/06/09/wor… 13/n
Why then, does a resolution on India, focus on "Hindu Nationalism," if not to denigrate Hinduism? 14/n
The words ‘ultra-right-wing’ have a specific context and meaning to everyone in the US. They refer to white supremacist groups who have not hesitated to use mass violence towards all in the past. adl.org/resources/glos… 15/n
It is deeply traumatizing for a child in the Hindu faith to be told that their faith is the same as that of the Neo-Nazis, for example, who are indeed the ‘ultra-right-wing’ in the US. 16/n
It is outrageous that such a charge could be brought against Hinduism, which has welcomed persecuted people of all faiths – Parsis, Jews, Syrian Christians and Muslims – with open arms and without infringing on their right to practice their religion. Links below. 17/n
We are fully supportive of the freedom of expression and understand that debate essentially involves unpopular positions. But when the positions are based on gross misinformation and are worded in such a way to cause harassment and trauma... 19/n
...to a particular group of students based purely on their religion, it crosses the line dividing advocacy from phobia and hate speech. 20/n
We therefore urge the @txfastate and the WB Ray High School (@CCISD) to remove this topic from the legislative docket. We are happy to set up a dialog with the TFA and WB Ray High School to find neutral ways of debating the situation in India as well as the CAA. 21/n

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More from @CoHNAOfficial

17 Jul
1/n ACTION ALERT: Urge @NYSenate to include the Nazi Hakenkreuz and NOT the sacred Swastika in NY school curriculum on hatred and intolerance. Sign the petition at chng.it/twQkR5MtLZ.

@SenatorBiaggi @Brooks4LINY @SenatorCarlucci @NYGovCuomo
2/n We welcome a bill advancing education against hatred and bigotry; support the noose as being labeled and taught as such. But, deeming the Swastika as a hate symbol perpetuates misinformation & intolerance against Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Native American, and other traditions.
3/n Swastika is thousands of years old, far predating World War II, and has been a symbol of good fortune, peace, and prosperity since time immemorial.
Read 14 tweets
30 Apr
THREAD

On April 23, 2020, @Harvard_Press tweeted the below racist and evocative picture about #Hinduism and #Hindus to promote a talk by @ajanthasub with @tmkrishna @BIC_Blr.
Picture shows a #Hindu religious figure grinding a mill stone, conjuring up a devilish figure and crushing black figurines or throwing them into fire (one figure is even seen holding the religious figure's foot).
@Harvard_Press failed to to review the contents of the link. Interestingly, the picture is not even from the book and was used specifically to promote the book and the lecture.
Read 16 tweets

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