Indian-Americans & allies in Texas call on city council to condemn Hindu supremacism, investigate Hindutva group
During a city council meeting, Christians and their allies from diverse backgrounds sought an investigation into the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Frisco, Texas (December 7, 2022) – Indian-American Christians joined by people from diverse backgrounds called on the local elected officials to condemn and investigate the funding of anti-minority hate and bigotry in India by the Frisco-based Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF), a Hindu supremacist group.
GHHF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, held a fundraising event on November 27, listing one of the causes on their flier as demolishing “illegal churches” in Tirupati, a city in India’s Andhra Pradesh state.
On Tuesday, December 6, more than 100 Indian-Americans from all backgrounds attended Frisco City Council meeting, where 12 members from local Christian, Sikh, Dalit, and Muslim communities educated the elected officials about the hateful activities of Hindu supremacist (Hindutva) groups in the United States, as well as its impact on India’s religious minorities especially Christians and Muslims.
“Global Hindu Heritage Foundation has openly admitted its intent on a widely circulated flier. The leader… falsely writes how dangerous Christians are, and falsely claims that Christian charity organizations are used as a cover for forceful Hindu conversions,” said Pastor Justin Sabu, pastor at Zion Church, which has a campus in Frisco, Texas.
“Destruction of these churches is not actively sanctioned by the Indian government. Instead, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation efforts will fund and grow a militant group committed to violating principles of basic human rights and freedom of religion enshrined in the Indian constitution,” Pastor Sabu added.
“GHHF is using Frisco soil, Texas soil, and collecting money from Texas residents to promote hatred and division in India. I’m afraid that if decent citizens do not rise up to the challenge and defeat these extremist organizations, the peace and harmony between different religious communities will be affected in India.,” said Jensen John, Chairman of the Church of The Way in Frisco, Texas.
“I humbly urge you, our elected leaders, to investigate and put a stop to hateful campaigns and stop the poisonous rhetoric that is being propagated in our community,” he added.
Pieter Freidrich, a journalist and activist, called India a, “hell on earth for Indian Muslims and Christians.”
“For Christians, India is now ranked the 10th most dangerous country in the world… And yet just last week, right here in Frisco, Texas, we had an American nonprofit organization fundraising to support the demolition of churches in India at a time when Indian Christians are falling under the knife day by day by day,” Freidrich said.
Renowned Indian-American journalist Vijaylakshmi Nadar called for investigating and revoking GHHF’s certification.
“Extreme Hindu nationalists in India and in the US insist that there were forced conversions by Christian missionaries in India decades ago. However, many converted to Christianity to escape the debilitating cruelty of the caste system,” Nadar said.
“Hindu nationalists have for decades tried to coerce the poor Christians back into the fold [of Hinduism], often with force and violence,” she added.
“[Global Hindu Heritage Foundation’s] president is from my home state [in India]. He wants to destroy the churches in Tirupati,” said Daniel Muchala, another Frisco resident who has lived in the US for 47 years. “He studied in a Christian college; he benefited from all the Christian institutes there. The churches they want to burn are more than 100 years old.”
Gurvinder Singh, a resident of Dallas, Texas, while referring to the mass killings of Sikhs by Hindu extremists in 1984 in India, said: “As a Sikh American, we came here because of the genocide that was inflicted upon our people… And now to see that this thought process has followed us here into Frisco is unfathomable.”
“We see that with organizations with pompous names calling for the demolition of churches, calling for the extermination of other races, calling for the othering of anyone who does not believe in their warped ideology,” Singh added.
“Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is very open about the fact that they support Hindu supremacism, or Hindutva. I wonder if they would be equally open about the ugly fascist origins of Hindutva,” said Syed Abdul, a resident of the neighboring city of Irving, Texas.
“It is not possible to support ‘parts’ of Nazism, and it is not possible to support ‘parts’ of Hindutva. It is an ideology that must be unequivocally condemned by all people, and it starts with our local leadership here in Frisco,” he added.
Another Frisco resident Mohammed Tanveer lauded Christians in India for their role in the upliftment of the country and said: “I ask the city council to stand with Indian minorities and Christians that live in Frisco, for we are hurt and tormented by the fact that organized planning is being done in the name of charity to demolish 75 churches.”
“I want the Indian Christian community in Frisco and in all parts of the world to know that we Indian Muslims stand with you in this moment of sorrow and torment,” said Ayesha Habeeb, a resident of Plano, Texas.
The Indian American Muslim Council reiterates calls by the Indian Christian community and their allies in Frisco and urges federal and state law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into the GHHF and their role in funding hate and violence against religious minorities in India.