A Hindu priest in Queens, New York was beaten up and taken to a hospital last week after a man assaulted him while allegedly screaming “This is my neighborhood” to the Indian victim.
Swami Ji Harish Chander Puri is out of the hospital now, and 52-year-old Sergio Gouveia has been charged with the assault (and potential hate crime), but the witness testimonies suggest the attack was a consequence of Donald Trump baiting his mostly white, fully ignorant rally audience into thinking people of color who criticize him shouldn’t live in this country.
People who attend the house of worship say they believe he was targeted, adding his attacker screamed things like, “this is my neighborhood,” during the incident.
“He’s wearing his religious clothes just walking around the block,” said worshipper Sanjeev Jindal.
“The fact that was dressed religious wear def made him stick out,” said another worshipper Radha Bakshi.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) denounced the attack and made a similar statement about how hate crimes have increased as a direct result of Trump’s rhetoric (and, I would add, Republican cowardice when it comes to speaking out against it).
“We stand by our Hindu brethren during this hardship. No human being should suffer through an assault because of his color or faith,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “As hate crimes continue to break record numbers, our President revels in promoting a divisive, racist nation. The president can help our nation heal if he wanted to, but he shamefully chooses to stoke flames for his political gain.“
The characterization of Trump is spot-on.
In a country that supposedly welcomes religious freedom, it’s telling that people who don’t practice Christianity are subject to these kinds of attacks. It ought to be easy for politicians to condemn what happened, but that might mean linking the abuse to Trump’s words, and that’s a step too far for the GOP.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)