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The Abrahamic States of Hatred – II Glimpses of Hinduphobia in Western Popular Culture

Read the previous section of this series here

Ever so sanctimonious in their critique of others, the white liberals of the West often fail to look inwards and check their own character deficits. The simple truth is that they harbour many of the same biases that Western Right do – the two disparate groups just rationalise their hatred in different ways.

 White liberals have directly attacked many sacrosanct tenets of the Hindu faith — like vegetarianism, reincarnation, murti puja (‘idol worship’), the belief in numerous deities, and respect for animal life — instead of going after the perpetrators of acts they deem unacceptable. When the comedian Jeremy McLellan posted about a specific issue, in this case, isolated incidents of mob violence in India against beef-eaters, and used it as an excuse to lambast ‘fascist’ India, a hoard of Islamists and their white enablers showed up in the comments section — using severely “othering” language against Hindu people for the ‘crime’ of valuing the life of a domesticated animal deeply loved in Indian culture. Here is just example of one such white enabler.

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This white woman’s impression of Hinduism is that of a cruel pagan faith comprised of deities that command children to starve. You wouldn’t see her making that extrapolation with regards to Christianity, given that there are hundreds of thousands of homeless people in the United States that have been shunned by mainstream Christians.

You would think a culture that has an obsessive relationship with domesticated felines and canines, so obsessive, in fact, that they will go to extremes to defend them, even to the detriment of their fellow human beings, would have some respect for the fact that Hindus simply value another intelligent mammal. White, Western folk spew racist hate against East Asians for making some animals — considered pets in Western culture — a part of their diet, but these people also refuse to commiserate with Hindus for sharing their sentiments, albeit with a different animal. No, the Hindu relationship with the cow is something that warrants their disdain. 

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The sole voice of reason.

The problem with McLellan’s shtick is that as a white American male, he occupies the highest spot on the totem pole of privilege in American society. For a privileged white male, with absolutely no connection to the Indian subcontinent, to engage in politicking that could eventually pit members of the Indian/South Asian-American diaspora against one another — using ‘comedy’ as a smokescreen — is not only utterly execrable, it is incredibly dangerous. South Asian Americans are especially vulnerable in America’s political climate. Hindus, Sikhs, and of course, Muslims, have all been targeted and murdered by white supremacists.

In McLellan’s deranged world, though, the act of a white man railing against a brown demographic is kosher — if it helps the white man earn money from another brown demographic that has a historical hatred of the former.

That McLellan would even assume that the ‘admiration’ and ‘hospitality’ he receives is genuine, when it really is just a spot of colonial obsequiousness being exhibited by subcontinental Muslims towards him for indulging them in their anti-Hindu fantasies — is proof of how blithely unaware he, a hyper-sheltered white male, is of the way the world really works. That he basks in it is also proof of the way he values the way his subservient brown base swarms around him, their white saviour of choice. This is not healthy. It is deranged.

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When Umer Ali, a Pakistani commentator, called McLellan out for his endorsement of Pakistan’s Islamist blasphemy laws, McLellan went into a tizzy.

In March 2018, McLellan then crossed another line by sanitising Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in a now-deleted tweet. This could not be more perfect proof of the way the white Western Left have been manipulated by Islamofascists, and have essentially been turned into useful idiots for a cause that is diametrically opposed to the values that the white Left champion. This was another red line for some of Pakistan’s more moderate citizens, who then started turning against him in droves.

It betrays belief that someone like McLellan would endorse a law that has lead to much death and suffering, not only for Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian minorities, but also for Pakistan’s minority Muslim sects who are considered kafirs by the Sunni majority — the Shias and Ahmedis, to name a few. His callousness was a slap in the face of Asia Bibi, an innocent Pakistani Christian mother of five, whose high-profile blasphemy conviction resulted in global condemnation. Bibi, sentenced to death for supposedly blaspheming Islam, has been incarcerated for almost a decade — with seemingly no end in sight.

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Another discussion thread. McLellan’s original tweet that sparked the furore (now deleted) can be seen in a screenshot provided by the user mahwashajaz_.

 McLellan’s verbiage simply conveyed one thing: That he opposed the mis-enforcement of blasphemy laws, not the very existence of the concept, per se. Misplaced priorities, McLellan? If you are in favour of the ‘right’ enforcement of blasphemy laws, you should campaign for the repeal of the First Amendment, a provision that safeguards free speech in your country, instead of trying to subvert the Global South’s struggle for free speech.

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Pakistanis sharing memes that take a dig at McLellan.

A number of progressive Pakistanis and Pakistani-Americans appear to have seen right through McLellan. Whether or not they acknowledge his Hinduphobic bigotry is another thing (it would be a great act of ‘Desi’ solidarity if they did), but the point is — they see right through his performative fraternation of Pakistani Muslims — which really is just an exploitative way for him to make money off an unsuspecting demographic.

It would be a folly to assume that McLellan’s shtick merely exists for the sake of his ‘stagecraft’. As mentioned earlier, he is motivated not just by financial gain, but also by a Judeo-Christian bias he appears to harbour against a very specific demographic. McLellan is a practicing Catholic who thinks highly of the “people of the book” (i.e. his co-Abrahamics), but looks down on the adherents of non-Abrahamic, non-monotheistic religions.

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In a post praising interfaith solidarity, McLellan just had to interject with a casually Hinduphobic remark — as if Hindus are not co-adherents worthy of respect. Because nothing demonstrates Abrahamic interfaith solidarity more than a collective hatred of the infidel, whether they are called heathens, kafirs, or goyim.

 

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That McLellan would subtly denigrate the Hindu practice of Murti Puja in a response to the rise of nationalism in India is just another one of the many racist red lines he has crossed.

Although this is but the tip of the iceberg, McLellan's Hinduphobia is time-consuming, and frankly speaking, mentally exhausting to even document. It should not have to be stated that the deliberate, agenda-driven targeting of Hindus online by white men and Islamists is morally reprehensible. That something so obvious needs to be said completely defies belief. It runs contrary to the worldview that Hinduism teaches: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam  —  which means the world is one family.

 It is not McLellan’s personal Hinduphobia that is tiring to witness. White men have been monumental disappointments to the collective realm of humanity for the last few centuries. Indeed, white men have historically made anti-Hindu statements that are far more odious than anything McLellan (or Werleman) can possibly come up with. No, what is truly sickening is the way that he has allowed his online pages to turn into virtual no-go zones and safe spaces for Islamofascists of all stripes, who congregate in the comments section and spew all manner of abuse against Hindus.

 With all the time he has on his hands, McLellan could have issued a statement saying that he does not condone such vile language, but in refraining from rapping his followers, he has thus made himself complicit in the ongoing demonisation of Hindus by subcontinental Islamofascists who have merely followed the precedent that they have set in the Indian subcontinent for over a millennia. Attack, maim, and destroy the Hindu in their own indigenous land, and then claim victimhood. It now works as a force multiplier when paired with white liberal guilt.

 McLellan is not the only one of his kind that exists. There are many like him. Some of them live public lives. Others lurk in the shadows. It is not possible to document them all, but perhaps this short foray into McLellan’s activities will help Hindus understand the nexus that seeks to undermine them, and carry out more investigative work.

 People like McLellan and Werleman deserve to be called out for being intellectually dishonest. They need to be used as examples of how Western capitalism can turn people into moneyed monsters who will sell themselves and their values short. They do not actually care about fascism, let alone believe anything that they say about India becoming a fascist state. Even today, India is a far more responsible liberal democracy than the United States, which is in fact, a settler-colonial gestapo state that has always masqueraded as a liberal democracy — just look at the incarceration rates of Black Americans and the violent abrogation of Native rights. If by fascism they mean totalitarianism, India then fits the bill far less than China, Russia, every single Islamic country, and to some extents, Australia — a state that has opened literal gulags for refugees on its outlying islands, all at the same time while India has selflessly harboured hundreds of thousands of Rohingya — often at great cost to its own internal security.

 McLellan and Werleman do not have the slightest grasp of the Indian subcontinent’s history, societal dynamics, or culture. They do not care that Indic religions lack the totalitarian streak and the potential for authoritarianism that is a central feature of Islamicate parts of the world. They do not care that the biases central to Islamist rhetoric — like the oppression of women, LGBT people, and infidels — simply do not exist in Indic culture. They do not care that Hindus and Buddhists are not the ones waging war with the West, despite the fact that the United States has bombed Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and even threatened to attack India during the Bangladeshi Liberation War, thus giving Hindus and Buddhists every reason to hate the West. They do not care to account for this discrepancy when claiming that Islamists attack the West simply because of the war in the Middle East, not because their modus operandi is to mercilessly hate people who are different.

 If McLellan and Werleman are so intent on attacking fascists, they would do well to read up on SS Handschar, SS Skanderberg, SS Kama, Amin al-Husseini, and the totalitarian nature of the unified caliphate that many Islamists seek. They would do well to read up on the Ghaznavid Empire, the Durrani Empire, Delhi Sultanate, and the genocidal ravages of Timur— who stacked tens of thousands of Hindu skulls in Delhi, proclaiming his victory over the infidel idol worshippers.

 Islamism is real, unbridled, fascism. There is a reason why the term ‘Islamofacism’ was coined many decades back, and is now a term that is gaining increasing currency in academic circles. If fascism were to become a reality in the 21st century, then you would have played your part in facilitating it by ignoring its very real victims, like the thousands of Hindu and Sikh girls raped in the United Kingdom by Pakistani men — who have escaped the consequences of their actions because white liberals were so concerned about not being racist, that they ended up being complicit in the destruction of young brown lives. You would have played your hand in its rise, by stifling the thousands of voiceless Muslim youth who seek to break free of the oppressive dynamics that define their very existence.

 Your ignorance of the far-reaching effects of Islamofascism, and the dishonest mudslinging against the people actively fighting against it, destroys brown lives that are not Muslim — thus earning you a place amongst the worst racists on this planet. Racism is really about people higher up on the totem pole of privilege manipulating social dynamics in a way that is detrimental to people lower down. You, McLellan and Werleman, fit the bill perfectly.

Ultimately, the onus also lies on Indian people to stop seeking approval and acceptance from white people. Indian people need to stop the colonial obsequiousness, and perhaps a rude slap in the face will be the only way for them to receive a wake-up call. The Western world will never be India's ally. If Hindus seek allyship, they need to look to their Indic neighbours, but most importantly, within their own selves. A fractured people will be incapable of defending themselves when the wolves come for them. This rule has held true in India for thousands of years, and will again be demonstrated when the wolves come for Hindus. And they are coming.

Author: 'Eklavya'

Published: May 30, 2018

Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Jagrit Bharat is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Jagrit Bharat and Jagrit Bharat does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. 

 

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