An alliance of supporters of the Indian and Israeli governments have found common ground with an Armenian group looking to push Islamophobic policies in the West.
The day after the global financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), added Turkey to its revised list of “jurisdictions under increased monitoring,” joining Pakistan and 21 other countries on what it calls its “grey list,” the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) posted an eyebrow raising tweet.
“Retweet if you’re Indian, Armenian, Greek, Kurdish or Hindu, Chinese, Jewish or Muslim, or if you’re pleased to see Pakistan and Turkey held accountable for fostering hatred and financing terrorism,” tweeted ANCA on October 22.
More curious still were the inclusions of banners belonging to the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), a Hindu nationalist organisation with ties to Hindu supremacist paramilitary outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS); and Middle East Forum (MEF), a pro-Israel group described by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) as an “anti-Muslim think tank.”
While commentators have pointed to the formation of an “Islamophobic Alliance” between supporters of the Israeli and Indian governments – which have become united in their respective subjugation of Muslim populations – with the latter taking a leaf out of the former’s international lobbying strategies, as observed by TRT World earlier this year, the inclusion of a pro-Armenian activist organisation makes this alliance a triumvirate.
These groups have been feverishly working together to oppose Turkey and Pakistan, wherever and whenever it can, and with help from whomever. A recent press release issued by HAF in support of a US congressional investigation into Turkey’s drone program and sale of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to Pakistan and several other countries.
“Turkey’s increasingly destabiliing role, from North Africa to the Middle East, to the South Caucasus, and to South Asia, poses a clear and direct threat to the US, our interests, and to our allies and strategic partners like India, the largest democracy in the world,” stated HAF.
“Turkish-Pakistani-Russian joint production of combat UAVs should alarm democracies around the world, and with the recent drone strikes in Kashmir the last two weeks, the addition of Turkish combat UAVs combined with Pakistan’s existing jihadi ground forces poses a real threat and would be a toxic mix for America’s ally India.”
HAF said its remarks are shared and supported by MEF and ANCA, along with the Hellenic American Leadership Association (HALC), In Defence of Christians (IDC) and American Friends of Kurdistan.
Turkey has become a target for Hindu nationalist groups because of its close ties to Pakistan and China, and the willingness of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to call out India’s human rights abuses against Muslims in India and Kashmir, including his recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, where he restated his commitment to “solving the ongoing problem in Kashmir…within the framework of relevant UN resolutions.”
What really struck Hindu nationalist sensibilities hard, however, was Erdogan’s scathing indictment of the Indian government for its role in inciting the 2020 Delhi Riots, which left more than 50 Muslims dead.
“India right now has become a country where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims. By who? Hindus,” said the Turkish president during a speech in Ankara last year.
Essentially, this Hindutva-Armenian-Zionist triumvirate aims to fulfill several objectives, including: pressuring the US and European Union into sanctioning Turkey and Pakistan; normalising India’s revocation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status; weaponising “Hinduphobia” against anti-Indian government opponents the same way pro-Israel groups have used bogus charges of anti-Semitism against their critics; providing diplomatic cover for Israel’s human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
This nexus hit the ground running last year, when the pro-Israel and anti-Muslim hate group MEF launched a “smear campaign” against the secular and pluralist US-based advocacy group Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) by baselessly accusing it of having ties to “violent and extremist” groups and peddling “Hinduphobia,” a smokescreen used by Hindu nationalists.
“The term [Hinduphobia], and the violent rhetoric employed by Hindutva supporters, is built on misinformation and fear, which are classic tools of fascism everywhere,” says Shreena Gandhi, an assistant professor of religious studies at Michigan State University.
IAMC responded to these baseless and transparent allegations by pointing to the fact that not only has MEF been identified by SPLC and the Centre for American Progress as an “anti-Muslim hate group,” but also it and its founder Daniel Pipes were cited 16 times in the manifesto of Anders Breivik, the far-right extremist who murdered 77 Norwegian students and teachers in 2012.
“The pathetic attacks published in a barely known online publication are laughable for their sheer absurdity. However, they also demonstrate the desperation of Hindu nationalist front organizations in the US to besmirch IAMC, even at the expense of collaborating with racist and xenophobic organizations like MEF that have zero credibility,” said Mr. Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of IAMC.
More recently, MEF, HAF and ANCA have been working together to block the sale of F-16 fighter jets and drone technology to Turkey, and arms to Ankara-backed Azerbaijani Armed Forces, while also calling for sanctions against Turkish Airlines and Pakistan.
“Under President Erdogan, Turkey has increasingly become an ally-in-name-only, using their NATO membership as a shield to blunt criticism, more than acting like a true ally,” said MEF Washington Project Director Cliff Smith, accusing Ankara of fostering closer relations with Russia at the expense of Israel.
This gathering of pro-Indian government, pro-Israel and pro-Armenian groups is not only an alarming revelation but also damning, showing how nefarious anti-Muslim forces are coalescing to advance policies that negatively affect Muslim communities and Muslim majority country in order to advance Hindutva, Zionist and Armenian interests.
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