Monday, December 31, 2012
HASC applauds DOJ efforts to track anti-Hindu hate crimes and urges FBI to implement it
- Community recommendations slowly coming to fruition –
Washington, D.C. December 13, 2012: HASC applauds the DOJ directing FBI to include the "Hindu" category in tracking hate crimes and urges the FBI to expand the South Asian category and to explicitly track crimes against Hindus and Hindu and Sikhs and against all Dharmic (Eastern Traditions) places of worship. We have also asked DOJ and FBI to change their website to identify Hindu and Sikh as a separate category as the South Asian category does not reflect targeted faith crimes.
Anju Bhargava observed: "Serving on President's Advisory Council, I was part of a sub-committee making recommendations to enhance Inter-religious Collaboration and bring forward the concerns of our community in the Council's report “New Era of Partnerships: Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Final Report of Recommendations . We brought these issues to the highest level and recommended that Department of Justice and Homeland Security to reach out to the Dharmic American community to understand their needs in addition to responding to the needs of the Muslim community following 9/11 tragedy. See pages 81-86, specifically recommendation 7.
Subsequently I recommended DHS and DOJ create a separate category to track crimes against the Hindu and Dharmic community and expand the South Asian category. HASC appreciates the effort of data collection advocated by other organizations, especially SAALT. And now I am also coordinating with the US Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity I have further urged DHS and DOJ to collect relevant data for our community and increase education of the
Dharmic faiths. This recommendation has also been supported by other organizations, especially Hindu American Foundation as well. Today, HASC is working with our Dharmic faith communities at the grass roots level to implement these recommendations such as by organizing training programs with DHS for our Dharmic community, especially in light of the Oak Creek Gurudwara shootings. "
We are delighted that the communities' ongoing efforts are finally coming to fruition. The Hindu and Dharmic community is becoming an integral part of the American landscape. HASC aims to continue the community development and capacity building efforts for the Hindu and Dharmic people and places of worship.
We are delighted that the communities's ongoing efforts are finally coming to fruition.
Exceprt from: “New Era of Partnerships: Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Presents Final Report of Recommendations " - Recommendation 7 of Inter-religious Cooperation.
..... Some non-Muslim Americans, including Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist Americans, also have experienced civil rights violations in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.24 After September 2001, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice noted that Arab, Muslim, Sikh,and South-Asian Americans, as well as people who were perceived to be members of those groups, had been the victims of “increased numbers of bias-related assaults, threats, vandalism and arson.” Accordingly, the Civil Rights Division launched an initiative “to work proactively to combat violations of civil rights laws” against these Americans. Its initiative is aimed at reducing the incidence of these bias-related assaults, threats, vandalism, and arson as well as prioritizing cases involving discrimination against these Americans in employment, housing, education, access to public accommodations and facilities, and other areas. After September 2001, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice noted that Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South-Asian Americans, as well as people who were perceived to be members of those groups, had been the victims of “increased numbers of bias-related assaults, threats, vandalism and arson.”25 Accordingly, the Civil Rights Division launched an initiative “to work proactively to combat violations of civil rights laws” against these Americans.26 Its initiative is aimed at reducing the incidence of these bias-related assaults, threats, vandalism, and arson as well as prioritizing cases involving discrimination against these Americans in employment, housing, education, access to public accommodations and facilities, and other areas.
The Council recommends that the Department of Justice continue this emphasis and work with the Department of Homeland Security as well as faith-based and community groups to hold townhall meetings to discuss citizen concerns on civil liberties."
18 Pew Research Center
21 Gallup and the Muslim West Facts Project, Muslim Americans: A National Portrait, March 2009.
22 Gallup and the Muslim West Facts Project, Religious Perceptions in America: With an In-Depth Analysis of American Attitudes Toward Muslims and Islam, January 2010.
24 Khyati Joshi, The Racialization of Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism in the Unites States
HASC Expresses Condolences on Tragic Death in NYC subway
- Urge DOJ and FBI to Track Hindu Hate Crimes Separately -
Washington D.C. December 30, 2012: HASC expresses grief over the tragic death of Mr. Sunando Senand concern over xenophobia against Hindus, as well as Muslims and Sikhs. Last Thursday, Mr. Sen was pushed onto the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens by Erika Menendez, a 31-year-old woman and crushed by an oncoming train. “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Rightfully, she ischarged with murder as a hate crime.
Though there is a high level of acceptance of our community in America, sometimes we see gaps through intolerance and violence. Unfortunately, innocent people are impacted when individuals turn against any group of people.
Following the 9/11 tragedy, Hindu and Dharmic people, including children and youth, have been have been the victims of increased numbers of bias-related assaults, threats, vandalism and arson, subjected to harassment, bullying and even killed.
Many of these heinous acts of are under-reported, and if reported are not tracked as hate crimes. We need the Department of Justice (DOJ) to have a separate Hindu category to track anti Hindu hate crimes and urge FBI to implement to raise the profile.
Many Hindu and Dharmic places of worship are vandalized and our community does not report such crimes for fear of retaliation. The community needs to report the crimes and continue to collaborate with the Department of Homeland Security to increase vigilance and awareness.
In Old Bridge, NJ, Dr. Divyendu Sinha was beaten to death in front of his wife and children, by five people for no reason. The family and community are still waiting for the trial of 4 of the 5 culprits.
We hope these heinous acts against our community will not go unnoticed and the death of Dr. Sen will not be in vain. Just as the community improves its own security infrastructures we urge DOJ and FBI to track these hate crimes separately for appropriate data collection and action.
We hope education and interfaith collaboration will dispel ignorance as we come develop our pluralistic communities together.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Hindu American Seva Charities changes name to Hindu American Seva Communities
Community Building and Capacity Building efforts remain the same. Only the name has changed!
Washington, D.C. December 12, 2012. Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) is now Hindu American Seva Communities (HASC), an independently registered not-for-profit organization. The new name clearly reflects the vision of our organization: community development and capacity building through public, private and education partnerships.
The new name augments HASC’s mission, HASC is a progressive American organization advancing seva (community service), interfaith collaboration, pluralism, social justice and sustainable civic engagement to ignite grassroots social change and build healthy communities and coalitions while strengthening our places of worship. Through education and policy changes it seeks to bridge the gap between US government and Hindu and Dharmic people and places of worship.
“America values the individual contribution and empowers its citizens to self-govern their communities at the local, state and national levels. Volunteerism and community service are an integral part of our national consciousness and the very backbone of our communal existence. Values that resonate with Dharmic philosophy of self-reliance are part of our historical heritage; these values enabled Gandhi to win freedom in India” explained Anju Bhargava, HASC Founder.
Shekar Narasimhan, HASC founding Board member observed, “As a new immigrant community it is imperative we connect with America and develop infrastructure capacity to serve and address our social justice concerns. Through coalitions, HASC is working to make service and volunteering a defining part of Hindu and Dharmic American life.”
HASC’s key five focus areas are:
1. Development of Seva Centers to provide services (eg Refugees, Military, health); promote National Days of Service
2. Strengthening Security of Dharmic Places of Worship
3. Development of Youth/Next Generation Seva Leaders and Women’s Empowerment
4. Promoting Energy conservation, preserving the Environment, Eco-Dharma and Bhumi Seva
5. Dharma and Social Justice education and advocacy
“Seva is an integral part of Hindu and Dharmic traditions and sadhana (practice), and it is transformative. To achieve its mission, with an inside out approach, HASC seeks to mobilize communities through service at local and national levels to affect development and strengthen our Hindu American identity.” said Ved Chaudhary, HASC founding Board member.
“From its inception, HASC has worked to unite faith and secular communities in social equity projects and to strengthen the diaspora immigrant civic engagement of the New Americans, for the common good. Through these efforts HASC is pushing out boundaries for social justice and interfaith collaboration, connecting the community with government agencies and working to strengthen our places of worship, a public, private, education partnership!.“ Dr. Siva Subramanian, HASC founding Board member.
HASC thanks the community for its support from its formation in May 2009 to respond to President Obama’s Call to Serve. Now, your generous donations will help continue the effort to develop programs to strengthen our community.
Donations for ongoing support and program development can be made through PayPal.
- You can Sponsor a specific program and Support Our Effort through your generous tax-deductible donation -