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California State Senate set to pass anti-Hindu bill

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research scholar, and counterterrorism specialist. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers.

The California State Senate is currently considering a bill that has raised concerns among Hindus as it appears to target them under the guise of “caste discrimination”. Notably, the bill is introduced by Senator Aisha Wahab, who is the first Muslim and Afghan in the California State Senate.

The introduction of this bill has sparked backlash from the Hindu community, who see it as an attack on their beliefs and practices. Senator Wahab and her political allies have claimed that she is facing Islamophobia and death threats from “extremists” in response to this bill.

Despite the clear implications and concerns raised by the Hindu community, the media has largely ignored the issue and has not addressed the potential impact of the bill on Hindus.

This controversy has also affected Senator Wahab in her heavily South Asian district and highlights the challenges of navigating complex cultural issues in a diverse nation like the United States. Sen. Wahab has defended the bill, characterizing it as a civil rights measure aimed at protecting people.

However, the bill’s focus on an issue that is stereotypically associated with Hindus, without acknowledging the potential implications, raises questions. The media’s failure to address these concerns further adds to the controversy.

This situation has also led to Democrats being drawn into potential conflicts between different religious groups, including attacks on Jews and Hindus.

Sen. Wahab had launched a congressional campaign for Rep. Eric Swalwell’s seat in 2020, indicating that her stance on issues related to Hindus could become a national issue for her party.

Wahab, a progressive tapped by Newsom to highlight his signature gun control effort, appeared to be caught off guard by the vitriolic response to what she views as a straightforward issue.

“This is a civil rights bill”, she said in an interview. “It’s very simple. We’re trying to protect people”.

A Muslim legislator pushing a bill aimed at a practice that is stereotypically (and wrongly) associated with Hindus (in fact there’s caste discrimination in Pakistan as well and de facto in her own native Afghanistan) when Muslims and Hindus have a long history of conflict is not innocent. And it makes no particular sense to fail to mention the elephant in the room.

Even assuming Wahab was actually innocently unaware that there has been a longstanding conflict between Muslims and Hindus, and that Hindus in her district and around the world would feel attacked by this move, the media should have at least asked her about it instead of buying her act.

Now Democrats have let themselves be dragged into Islamic attacks on Jews and Hindus.

Senator Wahab launched a 2020 congressional campaign for Representative Eric Swalwell’s seat. So, she would like to be in the US Congress which means her particular issues with Hindus, much like pro-Islamist Representative Ilhan Omar’s issues with Jews and Hindus, will likely be a national issue for her party as well.

Meanwhile, there are reports of anti-Hindu atrocities in Bangladesh, including abductions of Hindu girls, killings of Hindu boys, and attacks on Hindu temples. These incidents of violence against Hindus have been on the rise, with some Muslims targeting minority communities.

The abduction of Hindu girls remains a grave concern, with some girls fortunate enough to be rescued after being kidnapped. Teachers have also been involved in abducting Hindu minors, further exacerbating the issue.

In a recent hate crime, a madrassa student broke into a Hindu temple, smashed the idols of Hindu deities, and fled the scene. Despite initial reluctance from the police, the Hindu community demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrator.

Ashlyn Davis wrote in Jihad Watch, of all their barbarities against the minority community, abducting their minor girls remains the favorite among some Muslims. Only a few girls are fortunate enough to be rescued after being abducted by a Muslim in Bangladesh; 17-year-old Snigdha Dutta Priya was one of them. A student of Balika Government College, Snigdha, was kidnapped from Batolli village under Anowara police Station in Chattogram district on July 19. Her family realized that she was missing when she didn’t return from college that day.

After inquiring with her friends, the victim’s father approached the local police station to file a report. However, authorities remained indifferent to the complaint for days and took no action to find the girl. Disappointed with this inaction, the family approached local Hindu activists, who compelled the police to act. They then raided a residence at Hathazari and recovered the girl, twenty-one days after she went missing, and arrested her abductor, Sajjad Hossain.

Not just random miscreants like Sajjad Hossain, but even teachers have joined the bandwagon in kidnapping Hindu minors. Local police arrested 34-year-old Manjurul Islam from Chattagram for abducting 11-year-old Rupali (name changed) and rescuing the girl from a hotel with the accused teacher. “After receiving the complaint, we started to track the accused teacher. After a few hours, we tracked the teacher in a hotel in the Bandarban area. We raided the hotel and recovered the minor girl,” stated Jahidul Kabur, the officer in charge of Kotwali police station.

In another unabashed hate crime, reported on August 30, a madrassa student broke into a Hindu temple in Madhubagchala Union under the Madhapur police Station of Tangail district in Bangladesh. In one of our previous reports, we discussed how some Muslim minors compete with adults in hatred when attacking non-believers.

This case further supports our study, as the accused is a minor who snuck into the temple with a stick, smashed the idols of the Hindu deities, and fled the scene. As soon as the news broke out, disappointed Hindus and temple committee members informed the police, who found the culprit after interrogating local shop owners, and arrested one Muhammad Maniruzzaman.

Hindus have also complained that the police were reluctant to arrest the accused, and insisted that the Hindus forgive him. But the Hindus demanded exemplary punishment for the boy, and the police relented.

After receiving the news of their son’s arrest, Maniruzzaman’s parents reached the police station. Claiming that their son was mentally unstable, they demanded that he be released. “Mental illness” is a familiar excuse that parents and relatives of Muslim miscreants often employ after Muslims get caught executing a hate crime.

During his interrogation, however, Maniruzzaman exhibited no signs of mental instability; instead, his responses were steeped in bigotry, establishing that it was nothing but an intense commitment to Islam that motivated him to vandalize the Hindu temple. “Worshipping Murtis is forbidden in Islam. So I’ve broken it,” he responded when asked why he had broken the idols.

While minor boys from Muslim backgrounds are tearing down Hindu temples, Hindu boys are killed for absurd reasons. It’s not just Hindu girls who become easy targets of Islamic violence; minor boys are not safe, either.

Hindu Voice in a report said, days after 13-year-old Adreep Ahan Sayan went missing, police found his body; as per reports, his Muslim female friend’s family members are suspected of the murder. Sayan’s father approached the local police station on August 29 after the seventh grader didn’t return home from school. Upon checking the CCTV footage of the path taken by Sayan, the police saw him walking along with a female schoolmate and a burka-clad woman. That was the last known information regarding his whereabouts.

On August 31, police recovered his body from a nearby stream. Sayan’s family identified the body; he was in his school uniform at the time of death. While the victim’s family and locals allege that this was a preplanned murder, the police have not arrested anyone yet. These incidents of violence against Hindus highlight the challenges faced by minority communities in some parts of the world and the need for greater awareness and action to protect their rights and well-being.

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research scholar, and counterterrorism specialist. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers.
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