HAF Highlights Persecution of Hindus in Muslim-Majority Nations
Washington, D.C. (October 26, 2010) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) articulated the extensive oppression of Hindu minorities in Muslim-majority nations at The Plight of Minorities and Expatriates in Arab and Muslim Countries: What the U.S. Should Do, a conference sponsored by the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR). Drawing upon extensive data in HAF’s 2009 human rights report, Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, Professor Ramesh Rao, HAF’s Human Rights Coordinator, highlighted the discrimination faced by minorities, particularly Hindus, in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Afghanistan.
Other presentations focused on the persecution of Copts in Egypt, plight of Christians in the Middle East, repression of minorities in the Arab Middle East and Iran, experience of Baha’i communities in the Middle East, status of Jews in Arab countries, women’s rights under Sharia law, compatibility of Sharia law with the U.S. judicial system, and oppression of minorities in Iraq.
Labeling the muted complaints and silence of the media, governments and scholars in recording this history of oppression of minorities in Muslim-majority countries as “taboo history,” Prof. Carole Basri of the University of Pennsylvania Law School urged speakers and participants to engage lawmakers more vigorously by shedding light on the plight of minorities in many Muslim-majority nations. Dr. Ali Alyami, Executive Director of CDHR, said, in his introductory remarks, that representatives of these persecuted minorities should collaborate and speak with one voice to give voice to the oppressed in Muslim-majority nations.
“It was heartening to meet with representatives of the Copts, Ahmaddiyas, Baha’i, Christians, and Jews at this conference, and join them in voicing our distress at the fate of minorities, including Hindus, in Muslim-majority nations across the world,” said Prof. Rao. “It is important we build on the synergy created in this first meeting and demand action from our lawmakers and administration officials who have succumbed to the pressures of the 57 member-nations of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) by disregarding these atrocities.”