NYC Council Testimony in support of Resolution 1230 declaring support for Muslim communities, affirming religious pluralism, and urging all to stand together for peace and understanding.

Testimony in support of Resolution 1230 declaring support for Muslim communities, affirming religious pluralism, and urging all to stand together for peace and understanding.

Tuesday October 11, 2016, NYC

Hinduism is a religion which has pluralism at its very core.

VASUDAIVA KUTUMBAKAM: the world is one family. We are one.

“Sadhana” means religious praxis, or faith in action.  We in Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus seek to mobilize Hindus to speak and act for justice, particularly when justice is denied.  

In this time of heightened xenophobia, Islamophobia and increased hate crimes, we stand in solidarity with our Muslim American brothers and sisters, and add our voice and testimony in support of Resolution 1230, which declares “support for Muslim communities, affirming the religious pluralism of the United States, and urging all residents to stand together for peace and understanding.”

A June 2016 report issued by CAIR and the University of California at Berkeley indicated that the number of recorded incidents in which mosques were targeted rose to 78 in 2015, which is the highest number since the entities began tracking these crimes in 2009. The violent backlash that is taking place against innocent Muslims, Sikhs and other South Asians including Hindus across this country, is disheartening and terrifying.

We have seen death threats against one of our nation's only two Muslim congressmen in DC, hate crimes against numerous mosques and gurudwaras including a severed pig's head thrown in a Philadelphia mosque, attacks on Muslim-owned businesses, and most recently, the murder of a beloved Queens Imam and his assistant, in broad daylight in a busy street as they were leaving their place of worship.

Last Thanksgiving, Sadhana organized a large rally in response to a hate crime in Ozone Park, Queens, NY when a man set fire to 40 Hindu prayer flags in a Hindu family's front yard. Many hate crimes against Sikhs and Hindus are perpetrated by Islamophobic people who are ignorant of the difference between Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus.

Those who perpetrate such heinous acts of hatred and those who seek to deny Muslims their basic civil rights do not represent us or speak for us since our Hindu faith teaches us to live with each other as one family.

Our message to all those who reject these proponents of hatred, bigotry and violence is: “Join us. We are called to exhibit courage, love and compassion by standing in solidarity with our neighbors, our fellow community members, our brothers and sisters, for whom this moment is one of pure terror. Our time to act is now. Our time to speak is now. And we must act and speak together, as one.”

Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus is committed to standing with our Muslim American brothers and sisters, shoulder to shoulder, in our struggle to achieve equality and justice for all. #WeAreOne