Hinduphobia or anti-Hindu hatred have a tragically long history which continues to this day across the globe. They are fueled by a range of factors, including religious intolerance, religious exclusivism, a lack of religious literacy, misrepresentation in the media, academic bias still rooted in oftentimes racist, colonial-era misportrayals and, in the diaspora, generalized anti-immigrant xenophobia and hatred.
A working definition of Hinduphobia was developed by in 2021 at the Understanding Hinduphobia conference held at Rutgers University:
Hinduphobia is a set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviors towards Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hindus that may manifest as prejudice, fear, or hatred.
Hinduphobic rhetoric reduces the entirety of Sanatana Dharma to a rigid, oppressive, and regressive tradition. Prosocial and reflexive aspects of Hindu traditions are ignored or attributed to outside, non-Hindu influences. This discourse actively erases and denies the persecution of Hindus while disproportionately painting Hindus as violent. These stereotypes are used to justify the dissolution, external reformation, and demonization of the range of indigenous Indic knowledge traditions known as Sanatana Dharma.
The complete range of Hinduphobic acts extends from microaggressions to attempts at genocide. Hinduphobic projects include the destruction and desecration of Hindu sacred spaces; aggressive and forced proselytization of Hindu populations; targeted violence towards Hindu people, community institutions, and organizations; and, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Hindu Americans are hardly exempt from such attacks on their religion and culture. Worse yet, the existence of Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu hatred is often denied, which itself is a form of the same.
In the past several years anti-Hindu hate crimes, ranging from temple desecration to acts of physical violence have been on the rise in the United States.
Words matter as does context and intent. In this glossary, learn about a spectrum of terms and tropes which have lent to a perception of Hindus as grotesque, untrustworthy, bigoted, evil, or violent. With greater understanding of the ways that Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu hate manifests around us, Americans at large can better recognize malintended inaccuracies, false allegations, and hateful attacks and speak out against them.
The Hindu American Foundation requests help in tracking incidents of identity-based and bias-motivated intimidation, harassment, and violence in our communities by filling out the Anti-Hindu Hate and Hinduphobia Incident Form, if they or someone they know has experienced or witnessed an incident.
HAF encourages all Americans to review our Know Your Rights Guide, as well as our Temple Safety and Security Guide.
Disclaimer: Hinduphobia - A set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviors towards Hinduism and Hindus that may manifest as prejudice, fear, or hatred. - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view