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US Congressman highlights law enforcement inaction in attacks on Hindu temples




By Reena BhardwajWashington, DC [US], April 16 (ANI): Indian-American Congressman Shri Thanedar interacted with members of the Hindu community on Monday and spoke about the issue of rising attacks on Hindu temples across America and the fear among the community, saying that “local law enforcement hasn’t taken enough action” to investigate the recent attacks.

This comes as he introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning Hinduphobia, anti-Hindu bigotry, hate, and intolerance on April 10. The resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

“We’ve seen a lot of attacks happening on Hindu temples across the United States and we’ve seen a lot more in more recent times. And it’s time for us to seek support. There’s a fear. Many Hindu communities are under fear. And what we’ve seen is that local law enforcement hasn’t taken enough action. We have not seen any suspects, any arrests, or any resolution to these issues,” he said while citing it as a reason for introducing the resolution in US Congress.

“That (attack incident) has created a lot of fear among the Indian American community, among the Hindu community, and a lot of misinformation has been spread. And so the purpose of this resolution is to bring that to the attention of Congress and to the Biden administration,” he added.

Congressman Thanedar also said that he expects bipartisan support in Congress as it reflects American values, adding that he will continue to fight against racism.

“Well, I expect bipartisan support because American values–freedom, equality, and racial justice–are all American values. And I expect my congressional colleagues from across the aisle to co-sponsor this resolution and be part of it,” he said.

“I’ll continue to stand and fight for justice, just like I fight for justice for my community in Detroit, Michigan, and fighting against racism, fighting against systemic racism that my community in Detroit has experienced for decades,” he added.

Another Indian-American, Vijay Sadhawal, who was present at the event, expressed his concern over the ‘bias of the American media’ towards American Hindus and said that the resolution is just the starting point to raising the voice of the Hindu community.

“We have enough Hindu Americans in the country that can actually be a steering rod, so to speak, for protecting our minority rights in this country. And yet we see that the instruments of democracy, like the media, civil society, and NGOs, seem to be biased against the Hindu population of the United States,” he said.

“The proposal that Congressman Thanedar has introduced. I think it’s a starting point. It’s a starting point for saying that, hey, we are people. We are also people, as Americans, as anybody else. We have as many rights as everybody else has,” he added.

He also drew parallels to the attacks on Kashmiri Pandits after the 1990s and said that he “sees a tremendous similarity that serves the institutions.””The striking similarity is that if I take you back to Kashmir, which is a Hindu minority region in another democracy, and I look back at the events that took place in late last century, especially after the 1980s and beyond, I see a tremendous similarity that serves the institutions that in the democracy are intended to protect you,” he said.

“So I’m concerned in that light that Hindu Americans are at the crossroads. And if we don’t act up now, if we don’t realise what we have and our rights, both civil rights and otherwise, we will be in the same situation that Kashmiri Hindus were, who basically, a few years ago, came out of a movie called Kashmir Files. And the Indian population, by and large, said, We never heard that a genocide had been committed in Kashmir,” he added.

The resolution that Congressman Shri Thanedar introduced earlier last week reads that Hindu Americans face stereotypes and disinformation about their heritage and symbols, and have been the targets of bullying in schools and on college campuses, as well as discrimination and hate speech.

“…the House of Representatives– (1) celebrates the contributions of Hindus and Hinduism to the United States of America; (2) declares the United States as a place that welcomes the diversity brought by Hindu Americans; (3) condemns Hinduphobia, anti-Hindu bigotry and hate, and intolerance; and (4) makes appropriate copies of this resolution available for distribution to the public and the press,” the resolution read.

In the past few years, attacks on Hindu temples and communities have surged, with cases being registered to investigate the attacks.

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) shared information about the vandalisation of California’s Sherawali Temple in a social media post on Friday. A photo of the defacement was also shared by the HAF.

On December 23, last year, a Hindu temple was defaced with pro-Khalistani slogans in California’s Newark city. The pictures were shared on the social media platform ‘X’ by the Hindu American Foundation, showing slogans scribbled on the walls of the Swaminarayan Mandir Vasana Sanstha.

Images showed hateful slogans against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the wall of the temple.

At the time, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had taken note of the incident and reiterated that extremists and separatists should not be given space. (ANI)



UFC Fight Night set for August 3 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi



UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, returns to Abu Dhabi for an action-packed fight as No. 2 ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen faces No. 9 ranked Umar Nurmagomedov on August 3.

Tickets for the event, to be held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), go on sale on Tuesday via and

Sandhagen (17-4, fighting out of Aurora, Colorado) returns to the UAE capital to cement his status as top contender in the bantamweight division. The Colorado native boasts wins over Rob Font, Chito Vera, and soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer Frankie Edgar. He now hopes for a convincing win over rising star Nurmagomedov to make his case for a title shot.

Nurmagomedov (17-0, fighting out of Chelyabinsk, Russia) looks to put the division on notice by taking out a top-ranked opponent and making his first Octagon appearance in Abu Dhabi.

Nurmagomedov made his mark in the division after delivering dominant performances over Raoni Barcelos, Brian Kelleher and Sergey Morozov. Now, he sets his sights on securing the biggest win of his career by getting his hand raised against Sandhagen.

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Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya to build ‘Aquarabia’, region’s largest water theme park



Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) has unveiled plans for Aquarabia, Saudi Arabia’s groundbreaking water theme park, set to open in 2025 alongside Six Flags Qiddiya City, marking a significant milestone in entertainment and tourism development.

Aquarabia, designed to embody the essence of Saudi hospitality and adventure, will feature an array of thrilling attractions, including four world-record-breaking rides and immersive experiences tailored for families. Complementing this, Six Flags Qiddiya City promises an adrenaline-fueled experience with its twenty-eight rides and attractions, including five record-breaking coasters.

Both parks, situated within Qiddiya City, will offer visitors a seamless and exhilarating entertainment experience, supported by innovative design and sustainability initiatives. With an expected creation of 10,000 jobs and a focus on environmental conservation, these developments align with Saudi Vision 2030’s goals, contributing to economic diversification and fostering local tourism.

Aquarabia and Six Flags Qiddiya City exemplify Qiddiya City’s commitment to sustainability by incorporating state-of-the-art technology for water use and waste management. These initiatives underscore Qiddiya City’s role as a master-planned destination dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences while prioritizing environmental stewardship.

The launch of Aquarabia signifies yet another milestone in Qiddiya City’s journey to becoming a global entertainment hub, offering diverse attractions that cater to the evolving needs of visitors and residents alike.

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Sushi-making with a ME twist at SCRF inspires young chefs



 An interesting and kid-friendly version of the famous Japanese sushi has been a highlight of the cookery workshops at the 15th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), whose 15th annual edition is running until May 12 in Expo Centre Sharjah.

Armed with rolling pins, over a dozen young chefs set about flattening bread slices after chopping off their crust; then they squirted blobs of cream cheese on each slice and spread it to make the perfect bed for a thin slice of cucumber, sprinkled zaatar to spice up the rendition before rolling and securing it with a toothpick. 

Some even cut each rolled slice into smaller pieces to make it a tidy snack.

Aptly named “Divine Sushi Sandwich”, the preparation was truly divine for its nutritious quotient, ease of making and presentation. According to its creator Lamia Msallam, the sandwich made in sushi style is a safe and healthy option for young children. 

After four days of sandwich making, a “Mini Sushi Cake” workshop will engage children for the next four days, followed by another new dish with the same focus on healthy eating. The Palestinian chef added that she will use the nori paper used in sushi making for the ‘cake’ but without rolling it like in traditional sushi preparations.

The 15th edition, which runs from May 1-12, has the theme “Once Upon a Hero”. The 12-day action-packed festival for young readers, artists and creatives as well as their families showcases millions of books including latest releases in children’s and Young Adult (YA) literature from across the globe. 

SCRF 2024 is also offering the region’s largest platform for cultural and artistic appreciation with theatrical performances, culinary demonstrations, workshops in STEM, social media, music, and several exciting competitions, activities, animation events.

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