Hindu Americans Welcome Obama's Speech to Muslims, Wonder Why Hindus Ignored

June 5, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Hindu American Foundation


The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) welcomed President Obama's much heralded speech in Cairo, Egypt, that was billed by the White House as an address to the global Muslim community. In a nearly hour long speech, President Obama condemned Islamic extremism while also calling for increased tolerance and pluralism in many officially Muslim countries where human rights issues predominate. But the Foundation expressed surprise and concern that an address filled with allusions to interfaith understanding--the President specifically quoting from the Koran, Bible and Talmud--ignored Hindus, the third largest religious presence globally.

"President Obama is very aware that overwhelmingly Hindus--from India to Malaysia and the Middle East--are victims of the very extremist Islamic terrorism he critically described in his speech," said Ishani Chowdhury, HAF's Director of Public Policy. "And he is equally aware of Hinduism's teachings and history of religious pluralism and tolerance so necessary in the world today. Just as President Obama recognized Hindus in his Inaugural Address, so too should he have recognized the absolute necessity and value of Hindus in any meaningful engagement of the 'Muslim world'."