HuffPost reporter Rowaida Abdelaziz vilifies Hindus in the US

The HuffPost, which has been at the helm of disinformation campaigns during the 2020 Delhi anti-Hindu riots, is back to demonising the Hindu community by lending credence to dubious historians and radical Islamist outfits. On Saturday (October 22), the American ‘liberal’ news blog published an article titled, ‘Far-right Hindu nationalism is gaining ground in the US.’ The propaganda piece, authored by its national reporter Rowaida Abdelaziz, tried to create hysteria about the supposed rise of Hindu fanaticism in the country.

At the very onset, she alleged that the Hinduphobic historian Audrey Truschke has been at the receiving end of ‘death threats’, ‘vicious vitriol’ and ‘hate emails’ for challenging the ‘predominant perception’ about Islamic tyrants by Hindu nationalists.

“The publication of her first book, in 2016, challenging the predominant perception of 16th- and 17th-century Mughal kings — Muslim rulers who are widely vilified by Hindu nationalists — put a target on her back,” the article read.

Screengrab of the propaganda piece in HuffPost by Rowaida Abdelaziz

Opindia had reported how Audrey Truschke went to great lengths to whitewash the tyranny of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and later tried to downplay the barbaric Portuguese inquisition in Goa.

The Hindu students of Rutgers University (Newark), where Truschke is employed as a Professor, were forced to write a letter to the varsity over her attempts to sell Hinduphobic fiction in the name of ‘history.

They were “aghast at the bigotry being peddled against Hindus” via continued derision of their religion, deities, and sacred texts. The students also pointed out how her anti-Hindu propaganda had the potential of resulting in targeted attacks, bullying, and backlash.

Rutgers University, instead of addressing the concerns of Hindu students, had backed Audrey Truschke and whitewashed her vile and bigoted anti-Hindu remarks as ‘academic freedom’. She also received overwhelming support from other anti-Hindu faculty members of the university. 

Rowaida Abdelaziz uses the trope of ‘Hindutva vs Hinduism’

The HuffPost reporter then went on a diatribe against Hindutva, going as far as to label it as ‘far-right Hindu nationalism’. She claimed, “(It) is a political and extremist ideology that advocates for Hindu supremacy and seeks to transform a secular and diverse India into an ethnoreligious Hindu state.”

Rowaida Abdelaziz further claimed, “Hinduism, the faith, is not Hindutva the far-right movement. But the label Hindu can be categorized as a religious, political or racial identifier depending on who is using it, explained Manan Ahmed, a professor and historian of South Asia at Columbia University.”

For years now, Islamists have been meticulously trying to draw a difference between Hinduism and Hindutva—a clever ploy to confuse ordinary Hindus into believing that these are two mutually exclusive ideologies and that attacking Hindutva is not akin to trashing Hinduism.

In reality, they don’t differentiate between Hinduism and Hinduphobia. Because of this semantical jugglery, ordinary Hindus come to believe that the Islamist outrage is against Hindutva and not against Hinduism.

But they fail to discern that the two are one and the same and the distinction is an artificial creation that the Islamists have presided over for the express purpose of undermining the consolidation of Hindus. 

Reliance on anti-Hindu organisations

Rowaida Abdelaziz then relied on anti-Hindu organisations to further cement her misleading narrative of ‘Hindu extremism’ and ‘Muslim victimhood.’ One such organisation is ironically named Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR).

According to Stop Hindu Hate Advocacy Network (SHHAN), HfHR has never raised a word for the rights of Hindus. “…It makes one wonder if they have decided that Hindus are not Human,” wrote the advocacy group.

Interestingly, ‘Hindus for Human Rights’ do not believe in the concept of Hinduphobia as much as it believes in Islamophobia. For this organisation, Hinduphobia is in fact a ‘Nazi hate speech construct.’

It thus makes sense why the HuffPost reporter chose to interview its Deputy Executive Director, Nikhil Mandalaparthy. Rowaida Abdelaziz provided a platform for Mandalaparthy to set the narrative in her favour and he did not disappoint.

He claimed, “We see Hindu nationalism as an ideology which seeks to transform India from a pluralistic secular democracy to a Hindu state in which non-Hindus are seen at best as second-class citizens and at worst targets for extermination and disenfranchisement of all sorts.”

Ironically, Nikhil Mandalaparthy also made a bizarre assertion that Hindu nationalists (brown race) in the United States are aligning themselves with white supremacists (who, by the way, believe in the existence of only the white race).

Nonetheless, he dismissed the existence of Hinduphobia or reports about the rise in anti-Hindu sentiments.

“It’s dangerous to contribute to this narrative of rising anti-Hindu sentiments because the people who are using this language the most are then turning back on members of our own communities and those who speak out against Hindu nationalism or caste or Islamophobia,” he claimed.

The anti-Hindu antecedents of HfHR is not surprising, given their open allegiance to a radical Islamist outfit’ Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC).’

“IAMC is our close partner and we trust them and stand with them. They are neither anti-Hindu nor pro-terrorist. These are preposterous claims. IAMC is a human rights organisation fighting for justice for all, ” it said in a tweet (archive) in February last year.

In reality, IAMC is a Jamat-e-Islami-backed lobbyist organisation claiming to be a rights advocacy group. In the past, it had reportedly collaborated with and had even paid money to various groups in the USA to get India blacklisted by the USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom).

IAMC has been caught spreading fake news and misinformation to further the Islamist cause in India. It was also slapped with UAPA in 2021. The Islamist outfit also awarded cash prizes to journalists from ‘The Wire’, ‘Newslaundry’ and Scroll to further their anti-India agenda.

As such, the HuffPost reporter did not miss out on the opportunity to interview one 48-year-old Minhaj Khan, who along with IAMC President Mohammed Jawad led a vicious campaign against the display of bulldozers during the annual ‘India Day parade’ in Edison township of New Jersey.

The Indian American Muslim council had also been seeking the revocation of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s US visa for being the Grand Marshal at the said parade. In utmost desperation, the Islamist outfit even begged the New Jersey lawmakers to take action against the Indian citizen.

Nonetheless, HuffPost provided ample opportunity for Minhaj Khan to play the usual victim card. He expressed fear about Hindu extremism in the USA while his co-religionists openly endorse ‘Sarr Tann see Juda’ (beheadings) for blasphemy in India.

“It pains us to witness the current regime in India trying to take away the most beautiful aspect of the land (US) — its richness, diversity and inclusivity — and now export it even to America,” Khan was quoted as saying.

HuffPost reporter reiterates debunked lies and half-truths

Rowaida Abdelaziz then repeated the usual lies about India, despite them being debunked from time to time. For instance, she made two references to the use of bulldozers, with the false claim that they are being exclusively used to demolish Muslim-owned buildings.

“In April, bulldozers razed houses in majority-Muslim neighbourhoods under dubious pretences,” she wrote in one instance.

In another paragraph, she pointed out, “In New Jersey in August, organizers of the local India Day parade came under fire for bringing bulldozers — symbolic of the bulldozers that have targeted Muslims in India — adorned with the faces of Modi and the hard-line Hindutva BJP minister Yogi Adityanath.”

The BJP government has been razing illegal structures, irrespective of the faith or political affiliations of the accused. The names include non-Muslims like Vikas Dubey, Yogesh Bhadora, Ramesh Pradhan, Badan Singh, Sundar Bhati, Vijay Mishra and many others.

Recently, the Uttarkhand government demolished the resort owned by the son of ex-BJP minister Pulkit Arya in connection to the murder of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari. Pulkit Arya is neither a Muslim student nor an activist but that did not stop the government from taking swift action against him.

Rowaida Abdelaziz tried to deceptively claim that action has been unilaterally taken place against Muslims. “Schools have banned Muslim students from wearing a hijab”, she then raked up the Karnataka Hijab row by explaining the full context to her readers.

When it comes to the question of personal liberty, it is very much protected in India. Women can choose to wear or remove headscarves in public, at their own will. In either case, the State apparatus will not tread into the sphere of one’s personal liberty.

The issue that arose in Karnataka was that of the uniform dress code. In secular institutions, the school administration has the right to determine whether religious clothing can be permitted within its premises.

In March this year, the Karnataka High Court observed that the Hijab is not an essential practice in Islam (and more of a choice) and uniform (for all) is a reasonable restriction on the Right to Freedom of Religion.

The same girls, who wish to wear hijabs, can freely do so in public. They are restricted only within the confines of educational institutes, where the concept of uniform exists. This also applies to students belonging to other religions (provided that the practice is not essential in their Faith).

The HuffPost reporter relied on the claims made by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2022 report, which has been dubbed as ‘biased and inaccurate’ by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

She accused the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) of fortifying the ‘core belief in a Hindu State’ and Hindu nationalists of propagating ‘a revisionist history’, without providing any evidence. Rowaida Abdelaziz lamented how 50000 people turned out for the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston (Texas) in 2019.

She also reiterated the fake claim, peddled by Qatar-based Al Jazeera and amplified by Audrey Truschke that “five American organizations with ties to Hindu nationalist groups receive (US) federal funding.”

in April 2021, Truschke listed the names of the 5 groups mentioned in the article and alleged that they are connected to the RSS. The controversial historian had alleged that one of the organisations, namely, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), had been involved in a coordinated attack against her. 

Rajiv Pandit, a Dallas-based surgeon and a member of the Board of Directors of the Hindu American Foundation, slammed Audrey Truschke for her defamatory and baseless allegations against the HAF.

In a tweet, he emphasised, “No, Audrey Truschke, as a board member of HAF, I can confirm that your name was never discussed as part of a coordinated attack, nor ever been brought up at the board level. Any such accusations are defamatory.”

While exposing her Hindu hatred and bigotry, Rajiv Pandit added, “It’s actually you who has been involved in targeted harassment. You, Audrey Truschke, have mocked Hindu texts, claimed Lord Rama was a misogynistic pig, that rape & “rape culture” were endemic to Hinduism, portrayed Hindus as bizarre “cow piss” drinkers, taught students that Hinduism is inherently oppressive, racist, and violent.”

Rowaida Abdelaziz – Jihad sympathiser and a rabid Hinudphobe

According to her author bio, Rowaida Abdelaziz is a New York City-based reporter for the American liberal news blog, HuffPost. Her area of expertise includes issues pertaining to social justice, immigration, and of course Islamophobia.

A closer analysis of her tweets and articles exposes her blatant Hinduphobia and attempts to downplay Islamic terrorism. In a tweet (archived) in 2017, the HuffPost reporter was seen admonishing Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan for sporting a bindi while making reference to the Islamic prophet.

“Girl, I know you are going through a lot & like exploring Islam. But quoting Prophet Muhammad with a picture of you wearing a Hindu bindi isn’t a good look,” she brazened out her disdain for Hindu symbolism. The tweet has now been deleted.

Screengrab of the tweet by Rowaida Abdelaziz

In another tweet (archive), Rowaida Abdelaziz asserted that Hindus commit mob violence and lamented how their co-religionists are not even asked to apologise for it.

“Muslims constantly condemn terrorism over & over again so if you don’t know that it means you’re not looking. Also, no one asks other groups of people (Christians after mass shootings or Hindus after mob violence) for condemnation so the ask for Muslims to do so is already unfair,” she said.

Screengrab of the tweet by Rowaida Abdelaziz

The HuffPost reporter also resorted to fear-mongering and falsely claimed that the Indian Prime Minister was not just stripping Muslims of their citizenship but building concentration camps for them. The archive of the tweet can be accessed here.

In 2017, Rowaida Abdelaziz tried to whitewash concepts of ‘Jihad‘ or ‘Taqiyya‘.

“Basic searches for words like “Muslim” and “Islam” return reasonable results with links to reputable sites. But more specific terms, like “sharia,” “jihad” or “taqiyya” ― often co-opted by white supremacists ― return links to Islamophobic sites filled with misinformation,” she came out in defence.

Screengrab of the propaganda piece in HuffPost by Rowaida Abdelaziz

In another article in 2020, Rowaida Abdelaziz tried to cover up the mess of ‘Coronavirus superspreader‘ Tablighi Jamaat.

“After Indian authorities linked nearly a thousand cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, to a fringe Muslim missionary group that refused calls to stay home and held its annual conference, politicians were quick to blame the Muslim population at large for the virus’s spread,” she claimed.

The HuffPost reporter also selectively used articles from dubious fact-checking site, Alt News, to give a clean chit to Jamaat members who spat on frontline workers.

Screengrab of the propaganda piece in HuffPost by Rowaida Abdelaziz

Following backlash over her recent propaganda piece against the Hindu community, Rowaida Abdelaziz cried foul and blamed her critics as ‘Islamophobes’ and ‘misogynists.’ she alleged, “My mentions is currently a black hole of Islamophobia and misogyny.”

After all, it’s an age-old attempt by closet Islamists to silence critics by calling them ‘Muslim and women haters.’


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