The Hindu community in USA is calling on a Muslim Dairy Queen franchise (a fast food and ice cream chain) owner to take down signs from his Houston-area business that compare Hindus to monkeys.
Mohammad Dar, a 65-year-old Muslim and U.S. citizen from Pakistan, claims he is not prejudiced for installing the signs — instead saying Hindus are the “racists,” mySA.com reported.
The Dairy Queen is located at 1107 Highway 146 Dairy Queen in Kemah, about 25 miles north of Galveston. Company officials called the placement of the signs in a statement to mySA.com Thursday an “unfortunate action” and said they are “not representative of our iconic family brand. We do not condone this behavior.”
Dar told the website that he decided to post the displays at his business after “researching” Hindu Dharma for 14 years. He said the signs at his Kemah, Texas, Dairy Queen seek to showcase the wrongs of certain religions, specifically Hindu Dharma, acccording to the website.
“Hindus don’t follow any limit or law, they follow desires like an animal – that is the foundation of Hinduism,” Dar told mySA.com. “Monkeys don’t plan anything, they just do what they desire, but humans follow the limit and law.”
“It’s nothing personal, it’s educational,” he reportedly added. “I’m really making people mad, but what I’m doing is communicating and inviting them to communicate […] they think I am attacking their religion, but I am not.”
In a statement to mySA.com, Dairy Queen’s corporate office called the installment of the signs an “unfortunate action” and said they are “not representative of our iconic family brand.” “We do not condone this behavior,” company officials told the website.”
Such anti-Hindu bigotry in Pakistani Muslims is not surprising
Anti-Bharat sentiments, coupled with anti-Hindu prejudices have existed in Pakistan since its formation. According to Tufts University professor Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, Indophobia in Pakistan increased with the ascendancy of the militant Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami under Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. Indophobia, together with Anti-Hinduism and racist ideologies, such as the Martial Race theory, were the driving factors behind the re-writing of school textbooks in Pakistan (in both “secular” schools and Islamic madrassahs) in order to promote a biased and revisionist historiography of the Indian subcontinent that promulgated Indophobic and anti-Hindu prejudices.
According to the historian Professor Mubarak Ali, textbook “reform” in Pakistan began with the introduction of Pakistan Studies and Islamic studies by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971 into the national curriculum as a compulsory subject. Former military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, under a general drive towards Islamization, started the process of historical revisionism in earnest and exploited this initiative. “The Pakistani establishment taught their children right from the beginning that this state was built on the basis of religion – that’s why they don’t have tolerance for other religions and want to wipe-out all of them.”
According to Pakistani professor Tariq Rahman, Pakistani textbooks cannot mention Hindus without calling them cunning, scheming, deceptive or something equally insulting. The textbooks ignore the pre-Islamic history of Pakistan except to put the Hindu predecessors in negative light. A report ‘The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan‘ brought out by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, throws light on some of the curriculum –
- A deeper examination of the present Pakistan Studies, Social Studies, History, Civics and Urdu textbooks reveals that the Hindus are uniformly portrayed in them as backward and superstitious. It is told that they burnt their widows and wives and that Brahmins were inherently cruel, and if given a chance, would assert their power over the weak, especially Muslims and Shuddras, depriving them of education. In their Social Studies classes, students are taught that since Islam brought peace, equality, and justice to the subcontinent therefore only through Islam could the sinister ways of the Hindus be held in check. In Pakistani textbooks the word “Hindu” rarely appears in a sentence without the use of adjectives ‘conniving’ or ‘manipulative’.
- Some of the hate material in English Class VIII, Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore, March 2002 is:
- Hindu has always been an enemy of Islam.
- The religion of the Hindus did not teach them good things – Hindus did not respect women.
- Hindus worship in temples which are very narrow and dark places, where they worship idols. Only one person can enter the temple at a time. In our mosques, on the other hand, all Muslims can say their prayers together.
- This division of men [among Aryans] into different castes is the worst example of tyranny in the history of the world. In course of time the Aryans began to be called the Hindus.
- ‘the social evils of the Hindus’
- “The Hindus lived in small and dark houses. Child marriage was common in those days. Women were assigned a low position in society. In case the husband of a woman died, she was burnt alive with his dead body. This was called ‘sati’. … The killing of shudras was not punished, but the murder of a Brahman was a serious crime. … However, the people of low caste were not allowed to learn this language. The caste system had made their life miserable.”
Anti-Hindu bigotry in mainstream Pakistan
With such a bigoted education system, it is no wonder that anti-Hindu sentiment is rampant in mainstream Pakistani society as well. This bigotry might not be apparent during short visits to cities like Karachi or Lahore, which the ‘Aman ki Asha’ brigade tries to pass off as evidence of Pakistan-Bharat bonhomie. But it is always lurking under the surface, even in elite sections of Pakistani society. For eg. Pakistani cricket team captain Shahid Afridi who recently tried to improve his image in Bharat (perhaps aiming for the lucrative TV commentary gig which has immensely benefited ex-Pakistani cricketers like Rameez Raja, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar) by claiming that ‘we got more love in India than Pakistan’ is the same man who once said on a Pakistani TV show that “They (Hindus of Bharat) can never have large or pure hearts like what Allah has given to us Muslims”.
Afridi’s colleague, Sohail Tanvir, also lashed out at Hindus when Pakistani cricketers were not allowed to participate in the IPL 2010 auction due to Pakistani inaction on 26/11 terror accused. He said, “Hinduon ki zahaniyat hi aisi hai,” meaning, the Hindu’s are of such nature, while explaining why he was not selected in IPL. The Muslim TV host on the show responded by saying that Hindus are ready to plunge a knife behind your back though they will keep saying Ram Ram.
Pakistan Apologists in Bharat
Sadly, citizens of Bharat like Shahrukh Khan overlook such bigotry towards their Hindu brethren, and even the real threat Pakistani sponsored terror poses for Bharat; instead they express solidarity with Pakistan and its cricketers like Sohail Tanvir. This is what Shahrukh Khan had to say after the 2010 IPL auctions –
“Khan said it was humiliating to him as a KKR owner that no one bid for the Pakistani players despite them being put up for auction. Everyday we blame Pakistan, everyday Pakistan blames us. It is an issue,” Khan, who had five players from Pakistan playing for KKR in IPL’s first edition, said.
Khan felt that the youth should circumvent all that is said about India and Pakistan by the politicians and say, “It (Pakistan) is a great neighbour to have. We are great neighbours, They are good neighbours. Let us love each other.”
“Let me be honest. My family is from Pakistan, my father was born there and his family is from there,” he said.
Honestly, Shahrukh Khan should not feign surprise if people question his trans-national affection for his Muslim brothers of Pakistan over and above his own nation & fellow Hindu citizens, who have given him the fame and name that he today enjoys.
But more worrying is the willful Hindu ignorance about this cancer of anti-Hindu bigotry in Pakistan – our society and politicians are yet to come to terms with it & prefer to ignore it. Do think on what the Muslim Dairy Queen owner in USA is telling us about how Pakistani Muslims view Hindus, the next time you are cheering for a Pakistani cricketer, film actor, or ghazal singer – chances are high that they just view Bharat as a profitable market to sell their wares; they might spout the politically correct views of brotherhood & peace to please their hosts in Bharat, but their real views can only be known once they are back home in Pakistan addressing a home audience.