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Last updateSat, 16 Jun 2018 7am

Recent Political Attacks in Hawaii Against Hinduism – Christianity’s Violent Conquest of Pagans

Recent Political Attacks in Hawaii Against

It is an important occasion (of Janmashtami) and we all celebrate all over the worldand so it’s a time for joy, celebration, sharing. What I want to talk to you about is that while our community was getting ready for this celebration, there were certain forces, certain Hindufobic forces who launched an attack.

This was a politician in Hawaii, who attacked another politician - a Hindu one. The Hindu politician is actually westerner by birth, Hawaiian native, her name is TulsiGabbard, representing her district, and very openly and publically a Hindu. Very supportive of all sorts of Hindu causes, somebody you can rely on, for representing our point of view. There aren’t any others who are already out there in the political spectrum, being so open and publicabout a Hindu identity.

So her opponent attacked her and I will read out some of the viciousanti-Hindu allegationsand comments which were used to rabble-rouse Christian support against the Hindu candidate.

So a woman named Angela Kaihui, started this campaign and she is a political contestant against this Hindu candidate. So her posters said things like –

“Do you agree or disagreethat a vote for Tulsi is a vote forSatan, the devil”; she calls Tulsi a Satan Worshipper. “One God versus Thousand gods- which one do you want?”

There is artwork in her posters showing a devil with fire in hell to indicate that this is very dangerous kind of religion that this person (Tulsi) hasand then there is another poster which says that in America we are fighting a holy war and it says “holy Bible versus Gita”, those are the words, “Christianity versus Hinduism”, those are her exact words.

Then there is a sort of portrayal of an image of Shri Krishna with some kind of implication that, he isconsidered to be superior to Christian God.

So this sort of smear campaign, Hinduphobic campaign went on in Hawaii.

I don’t want you all to over generalize and say everybody is like that, because that is not the case but my point is deeper. It is not about this particular instance. This instance reminds us and it calls upon us to question, introspect some deeper historical things which I want to talk about. The GOP, the party, that this person (the Christian who made attack) represents, disowned these remarks and did not support her views. The GOP said we don’t approve of it and so the matter ended.

But for me the matter should not end because the criticism of this person who made the Hinduphobicattack, was not out of respect for Krishna. This is election season – (so underlying feeling was) let’s not say something which can cause us to lose votes or lose campaign contributions; let us be politically correct. So it’s more like- let’s not make a political mistake. It’s not because we genuinely respect Krishna. This is a sort of a political decision to disown rather than really respecting the Hindu faith - so that’s a problem for me.

It also bothers me that there was no mainstream outrage; had the same thing happened for Islam, had this being a case of Islamophobia; all these TV people would be interviewing academic people and media people and people from various communities to denounce it. None of that happened in this case.Or if the attack was anti-Semitic – against Jews. There would have been a big outrage but because it is Hinduphobic, even our community doesn’t stand up and really make a big deal out of it. We are embarrassed. May be, we are too proud to be victims, we would rather not rock the boat. We think that we are doing very well materially and so we don’t want to worry about these kind of things. I want to talk about this, this is not one instance so please don’t get into the details of this instance as though that’s the only kind of instance that happened.

I want to talk about the collective consciousness of the American people, western people, Christianity where do these images come from and that’s something very important for us to understand.

Now why are Christians afraid of this business of many Gods, polytheism, images, so called idol worship? The message I want to give is that, Christianity in Europe was a foreign religion. The white Europeans were not originally Christian. Christianity was a violent invasion of Europe: an area which used to be pagan; their own names for their religions were different, but the Christians started calling them pagans and that name became the way they refer to. So the pre-Christian native religion had been there for thousands of years. They were invaded by a foreign conquering aggressive religion – Christianity - that converted these white Europeans.

At the time of Christ, Christianity was only a middle eastern thing. So Christianity is actually an Arab related, Israeli related, middle eastern religionsouth of the Mediterranean. North of the Mediterranean where it is Europe,actually did not have Christianity. So Christianity spread, it took a thousand years for Christianity to spread gradually northwards until it takes over Europe. So around a thousand years after Christ, Europe became fully Christianized or almost fully Christianized.

So this is important thing to remember - Because the fight between Christians and the native pagans was a very violent one, was a very vicious one and the process of conversion was not a cake walk, it took a long time. More violent the conversion process is, moreis the trauma in the unconscious. So in the European Christian unconscious, there is this memory of their past, their heritage, their ancestors who were actually not Christians.

So to get rid of the pagan religion, it had to be demonized – (various accusations were made) - they are Satan worshippers, they are devil worshipers, they are idolators. All kinds of myths had to be created, to oppress them, kill them, justify violent actionsagainst them. And this is well recorded. If you study Christian history, how it spread in Europe, this is well recorded.

Of course after that same kind of process happened in Africa. The invasion of native religions, demonizing these religions in order to convert them. Then it happened in Latin America, the same kind of thing and it is now happening in India. So if you want to understand what is going on in India and what is a likely outcome (look at Europe) - we often look at Africa and Latin America, but we don’t look at Europe - Europe also has the same history and this is extremely important.

So in the European mind, there is an unconscious memory buried of their past and the need to demonize that past and constantly abuse it, to accuse it, to call it evilhas been programmed in them. So the fight against idols, polytheists, female divinities, sacredness of nature, all of that had to be abolished because those were the pagan religions.

So this is the point I am trying to make. When they come across such things in Hinduism, they are reminded of something in their own past which they rejected. Hinduism is reminding them, it resembles that, whichthey rejected, with violence; that what they got rid off as something devilish and so for hundreds of years it has been pounded into them that - this is wrong, this is bad, this is evil. You are going to go to hell.

Not because it was done to hate Hindus, Hindus area recent encounter for them. But this was pounded in them because thenative religions of Europehad to be uprooted, eradicated and destroyed.

So the point I am making is that it’s a very easy for a Christian to incite other Christians against Hinduism. It is not so easy to do the same thing for Islam. There are different ways of fighting with Islam in Christianity. But when it comes to the fighting Hinduism they just have to arouse the pagan link and pagan kind of idea that this is devilish and these are things that we have rejected a long time ago.

So I want to leave this with you that there are two ways in which Hindus are being attacked. There is a Christian way about which I just talked which is to paganize it and then rabble rouse against all such people who are deemed idol worshippers, many gods and multi armed gods and strange weird gods and specially goddesses are considered very scary and all the native things of the nature worshipping is considered wrong.

Then there is the other way of hating which is the left way, secular, not based on Christianity but human rights. So “Human rights are being violated”, “caste system” those are the ways. And these two - left wing and right wing, sides of the west,kind of collaborate often and that’s the subject of one of my books, “Breaking India”

Hawaii is a very interesting place and this latest episode I just told you about happened in Hawaii. Christianity in Hawaii is less than 200 years old. It is one of the newest Christian places. So memory of the pre-christian pagan past is rather recent. The pre-Christiannative religions of Hawaii are still fighting Christianity. It’s not a done deal. They are not eradicated. People don’t want to talk about it but if you go there, you look up, you can go to places there, where they are still practicing (pagan religions), hiding, afraid, but they are not giving up. So the fight against the pagans is very recent, and very active. This is a live battle going on. So it’s easy to rabble rouse some foreign, pagan kind of association of Hinduism in that context.

I want you to understand that. The one thing I would like you to start thinking about is - when you come across westerners who are Christians, which most of them are. Remind them that their ancestor religion was actually not Christianity. They are victims of being colonized and being invaded by an aggressive Christianity which started around the 4th century in a very aggressive way for almost a thousand years to take over Europe. Many of them actually reject Christianity or want to go back to Vicar, which is their own pre Christian native religion, they want to go back to that, especially lots of white women want to go back to their Vicar tradition because they resonate with it more. So this is something which gives you a talking point when you are dealing with Christians, that - hey you Europeans are not really Christians from the beginning. Christianity is a Middle Eastern religion that you have adopted. It is a foreign religion that you have adopted. This is an interesting point that is historically accurate and Christian historians actually validate this.

All this is part of what I call reversing the gaze.

The west studies India very seriously. We don’t study the west as seriously. If something like the episode in Hawaii – happens in India - somebody got raped, somebody got killed, some violence, somebody made a statement against someone else - the western scholars will immediately link it back to Manu smriti, Ramayan all kinds of old historical stuff and blame it on that and then saythat these Indians are carrying all that baggage and try to interpret every little thing in that context.

They will connect the dots in a certain way that they have been taught about who the Indians are. We need to do that in reverse, not disrespectful but just objective that, when such a thing happens in the west rather than taking it as an isolated instance - we should be able to interpret it in the context of deep culture.

What is a deep western culture? What is there about America, Christianity, History, past etc. the whole mythology of the west. What is there about it that causes these things to happen. We should be interpreting events in the US and Europe, whether it is a rise of a Donald Trump or there is a rise of these kind of episodes, whether it is a school textbooks that are biased against instance. We should interpret these not as isolated things but as a kind of manifestation of something much deeper.

Author: Rajiv Malhotra

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