- Muskaan Arshad’s fanciful article “Unmasking Hinduphobia in the US” in Harvard Political Review is little more than an anti-Hindu hack job devoid of facts, scholarship, and insights.
- The article is built on clichéd narratives based on debunked tropes and citations from questionable organizations with alleged terrorist links.
- It brings into question the already-dented reputation of Harvard as a paragon of liberal values and freedom of thought.
- Indian donors should carefully reconsider their financial support to Harvard in light of its persistent anti-Hindu activities.
Stereotypes exist because there’s always some truth to stereotypes. Not always, but often – American comedian Maz Jobrani
Typecasting a group of people based on their common characteristics is not always a good idea, but somehow, one cannot escape a formulaic, cliche-ridden label on a bunch of trolls, spammers, phishers, or delinquents in the online space who might typically go as a ‘Steve from Wichita,’ ‘Neha from Bangalore’ or ‘Muskaan from Harvard,’ right?
Wait a minute… ‘Muskaan from Harvard,’ really?
As it turns out, last year, we did have a spate of Muskaans from Harvard in the Indian social media and the mainstream media space, where one of the Muskaans tried pulling a fast one on unsuspecting netizens by selling them a sob story of a dream to go to Harvard to study Psychology, and wanted netizens to crowdfund her, except that the sob story had a lot of holes in it. On one crowdfunding site, there’s a Muskaan from Dharamshala, while on another, she is from Chandigarh. And this ‘Muskaan from Harvard’ crowdfunding drama continued beyond the statutory admission cutoff date, as she went on to enlist a shady online photoblog ‘Humans of Bombay’ to generate more tears, more Kodak moments, and hence more collections from the gullible.
‘Muskaan from Harvard’ is indeed a corny stereotype for malevolent miscreants – probably worthy of a case study, though the Muskaan we will be talking about in this article – Muskaan Arshad, happens to be another stereotypical, meme-worthy hack masquerading as an Associate Managing Editor of ‘The Harvard Political Review,’ who recently put out a fanciful piece about ‘Unmasking Hinduphobia in the US.’ Banking on hackneyed tropes that have been debunked many times over and citing organizations with overt jihadi terrorist connections, her report is completely devoid of any scholarship or insights. No wonder political satirist Bill Maher saw no hesitation in declaring: “If ignorance is a disease, Harvard Yard is the Wuhan wet market.”
Gujarat Riots: Does our Muskan-from-Harvard tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Not even close!
A cursory look at Muskaan Arshad’s article reveals her clear intention to tarnish the term ‘Hinduphobia’ and defend the damaged reputation of the Leftist cabal, which suffered a significant setback after the SB403 incident. This incident discredited the entire Left-liberal cabal in the eyes of their supporters.
On such occasions, the go-to strategy for most Leftist hacks is to bring up the 2002 Gujarat riots, particularly when referring to the current Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who was the Chief Minister of the state at that time. Even the template of their attacks on Hindus and their leaders has not changed since 2002, despite the expectation that a publication associated with Harvard would provide a more well-informed perspective, complete with facts, figures, Supreme Court rulings, and the current status of all relevant parties involved. Did the ‘Harvard Political Review’ (HPR) follow the due journalistic processes and best practices that it advocates?
Actually, it did exactly the opposite.
Well, not many are aware that the court proceedings of the 2002 Gujarat riots were pursued for 16 long years, where several attempts were made by the Left ecosystem and the government in power then, to discredit Narendra Modi and Hindus at large, hoping to brand them as aggressors. Unfortunately for them, their every attempt failed to come up with any evidence of Modi’s alleged connivance with the rioters. The Court eventually dismissed all the allegations, deeming that several applications against Narendra Modi were filed to “keep the pot boiling, for ulterior design.” Giving a clean chit to the Gujarat administration, the bench noted that there was “no material worth the name to even create a suspicion” of criminal conspiracy. The Court also noted how “the structure of a larger criminal conspiracy at the highest level has been erected” on false claims and “the same stands collapsed like a house of cards” in the aftermath of a thorough investigation. Indeed, none of the organizations mentioned in this Harvardian Muskan’s report – be it the Bhartiya Janata Party, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – were found guilty of any criminal activity at the organizational level.
Was Muskaan from Harvard honest enough to quote the Supreme Court on the 2002 riots? Not at all. Instead, she went on to quote discredited NGOs and human rights organizations, who had actually played a big role in keeping the pot boiling. However, the Supreme Court had a thing or two to say about such people – “As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process need to be in the dock.” As it happens, many of these so-called human rights activists, including Teesta Setalvad and ex-cop RB Sreekumar, have been doing jail time for conspiring to “abuse the process of law by fabricating false evidence and instituting false and malicious criminal proceedings against innocent people.”
Clearly, truth is inconsequential for rag-sheets like HPR, who probably first wrote the conclusion of their op-ed that blamed the Hindus and then went cherry-picking for quotes and figures to justify the ending. Then again, the Hindu haters like our Muskaan from Harvard have trivialized and over-exploited the 2002 riots to such an extent that today, even the local Muslims of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, treat these activists with a contempt typically reserved for bloodsucking leeches, blaming them for living off their tragedies. And while the 2002 riots always find a mention in almost all the Hinduphobic op-eds in the Leftist media, as a sometime resident of Ahmedabad, I can attest to the fact that the 2002 issue has zero traction on the ground there, with practically zero Hindu-Muslim riots happening post-2002. Also, a curious point is that none of the opposition political parties have attempted to make the riots a local electoral issue since 2002.
Muskaan from Harvard does not even mention the horrific Godhra carnage that preceded it, where 59 Hindu pilgrims were burnt to death in a train compartment in a premeditated assault by a gang of Islamists. Why? Because it contextualizes the whole 2002 Gujarat flare-up as a hot-headed reaction to the Godhra incident.
However, what I find fascinating is the tendency of 2002 exploiters to bandy around riot extremities without ever referring to the origins and cause of such a tumultuous event. “In 2002, riots that largely targeted Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat led to hundreds of deaths, with some estimates even reaching up to 2,000 casualties,” postures Muskaan from Harvard. Does she even mention the horrific Godhra carnage that preceded it, where 59 Hindu pilgrims were burnt to death in a train compartment in a premeditated assault by a gang of Islamists? Somehow, this trigger point to the entire 2002 flareup always goes missing in such coverage. Why? Because it contextualizes the entire 2002 riots as a natural reaction to the Godhra massacre while making Muskaan from Harvard’s coreligionists and fellow Islamists look like senseless instigators and provocateurs with jihadist antecedents. The carefully choreographed Hindus-as-bad-guys mendacity crashes under the weight of its own fabrication with the very mention of Godhra, and that’s exactly why propaganda publications like HPR rely on half-truths rather than the harsh truth.
Reliance on IAMC, HfHR, and other odious syndicates
The choice of organizations that Muskaan from Harvard decides to quote in her piece also shows her propensity to resort to fanciful stories. To validate her ‘alternate facts,’ she chooses to bring in the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) – a set of intertwined organizations with deep umbilical connections to global terror networks. No wonder their Twitter / X accounts have been banned in Bharat. 
According to the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), the IAMC has links with the banned Islamic terror outfit, Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). This is besides their ties with US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization – Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) through its founder Shaik Ubaid. Yes, the IAMC is a Jamaat-e-Islami-backed lobbyist organization play-acting to be a rights advocacy group. In the past, it had reportedly collaborated with and even paid money to various groups in the USA to get India blacklisted by the USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom). Besides, IAMC has been caught spreading fake news and misinformation to further the Islamist cause in India and has also been slapped with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) since 2021.
IAMC is a Jamaat-e-Islami-backed lobbyist organization play-acting to be a rights advocacy group.
As for Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), it is the same organization that was last seen endorsing the ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ conference. Sunita Vishwanath – the co-founder of ‘Hindus for Human Rights’ and a known pawn of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation – had also tried to create hysteria and panic among Indian Muslims about the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019. Unsurprisingly, Muskaan from Harvard makes similar insinuations against CAA and NRC in her piece without quoting a word of fact from the Act that supposedly discriminates against Muslim citizens of Bharat. There’s more; in her piece, she actually whitewashes the large-scale anti-Hindu riots, which marked the culmination of the hostility, hatred, and anger spread by the anti-CAA protests by the Islamists in Shaheen Bagh and other areas in Delhi in February 2020. 
As for Amnesty International, the less said, the better. Apparently, supporting terrorists has been a recurring theme with this organization. In 2015, one of its senior employees was found to have undeclared private links to men alleged to be key players in a network of global Islamists. Later, an Amnesty-sponsored speaker was seen openly gloating over the 9/11 attacks, declaring them as “sweet revenge.” No wonder Gita Sahgal, the head of Amnesty’s gender unit, had a public spat with their management over Amnesty’s linkages to a “pro-jihadi group.” Her parting comments on Amnesty speak a lot about the group’s credibility, where she describes them as suffering from “ideological bankruptcy” and “misogyny.” Ditto for Human Rights Watch, whose baseless propaganda and lies against Bharat have never stood the test of law and factual evidence. Yes, this is the same Human Rights Watch who had gotten the flak globally for advising governments to not move their trade from China to India, alleging fabricated human rights violations.
Given this backdrop, this sham of an op-ed by Muskaan from Harvard makes you wonder: is there a method to their madness here? How else do you explain the overtly morbid fascination for the ‘Dismantling XXX’-porn by these Harvardian way wards? Why does an already-discredited ‘Dismantling Hindutva’ conference get a quick supplemental follow-up epilogue with a phony ‘Dismantling Hinduphobia’ HPR op-ed that glorifies the same usual suspects? And that brings us to an important question: is there a dismantling toolkit in the works here?
Anti-Jews today, Anti-Hindus tomorrow
To understand why the likes of Muskaan from Harvard are pressed into generating apocryphal tall tales like this ‘Dismantling Hinduphobia’ piece, one must cast the gaze wider and study the very DNA of the hallowed portals like Harvard. Cited as America’s oldest learning institution, founded in 1636, the purpose of establishing the university was mainly to educate the clergy. Despite the scope of the university growing in leaps and bounds, one wonders if the original purpose has somehow metamorphosed into peddling hate for other docile denominations.
In 1922, Harvard’s president, A. Lawrence Lowell, proposed a quota on the number of Jews gaining admission to the university. Lowell was convinced that Harvard could only survive if the majority of its students came from old American stock. Moreover, Lowell argued that cutting the number of Jews at Harvard to a maximum of 15% would be good for the Jews because limits would prevent further anti-Semitism. Lowell reasoned, “The anti-Semitic feeling among the students is increasing, and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews. If their number should become 40% of the student body, the race feeling would become intense.”
In 1934, Harvard University’s administration, alumni, and the student newspaper, the ‘Crimson,’ warmly welcomed Ernst Hanfstaengl, Nazi party foreign press chief.
In June 1934, Harvard University’s administration, alumni, and the student newspaper, the ‘Crimson,’ warmly welcomed Ernst Hanfstaengl, Nazi party foreign press chief and one of Adolf Hitler’s earliest backers. Shortly before Hanfstaengl arrived at Harvard, the ‘Crimson’ urged the university administration to award him an honorary degree. Hanfstaengl deserved a mark “of honor,” the ‘Crimson’ editorialized, “appropriate to his high position in the government of a friendly country.” While Hanfstaengl basked in the adulation, Harvard police ripped down anti-Nazi signs that the protestors had posted on campus. Mocking the Crimson’s desire to honor him, they proposed that the administration bestow on him a “Doctor of Pogroms” degree. 
Note the similarities between these incidents and the recent happenings on Harvard campuses in the post-Hamas attack of October 7 on unsuspecting innocent Israelis. Firstly, this ‘Crimson’ is the same paper that now gives ample ink to the hateful bile dished out by the likes of Muskaan of Harvard.  Secondly, the decades of continual mainstreaming of anti-Semitism have now dehumanized Jewish students in Harvard, as their colleagues go around tearing down the posters of missing Israeli children, with the full connivance of the authorities. And, as far as their selection criteria for the scribes go, we also saw how Ibrahim Bharmal – Harvard Law Review’s editor, verbally and physically assaulted a Jewish student on camera. 
But what does Harvard’s anti-Semitism have to do with anti-Hinduism? The answer is simple: what they did to the Jews over the past century is precisely what they have been attempting to do with Hindus ever since they became a financially well-off and influential minority group in the West. And, just as there was an unspoken quota against giving admissions to Jews, allegations are afoot about racial quotas for Asian Americans now. 
The likes of ‘Crimson’ and ‘Harvard Political Review’ glorified Nazis and peddled anti-Semitism back then. Today, they are heavily into tarnishing Hinduism, raising specters of the legitimate Hindu organizations working to protect the Hindu American interests, and proactively ‘dismantling’ the very concept of Hinduphobia, making Hindu victims look like aggressors instead. One can also see the parallels in their news coverage. Just as Muskaan from Harvard raked up Gujarat 2002 riots without the slightest mention of the Godhra butchery that sparked it, the Israeli retaliation on Gaza, too, is now spoken of as if Hamas’ barbaric terror attack on October 7th didn’t happen at all.
With Harvard as the mothership, the sustained anti-Semitic narrative has been exported to all the sundry educational institutions within North America and Europe over the past few decades. The result is right in front of our eyes, as Nellie Bowles writes in ‘The Free Press’ of this moral inversion, that even Playboy showed a “stronger moral compass” than Ivy League institutions. 
This is the exact technique that Hitler employed: a systematic and lethal build-up of demonizing an entire community—the Jews—which, over time, enabled him to legitimize and then justify their genocide. The same time-tested format of dismantling Judaism is now being steadily applied to Hinduism. We saw what happened what they did to the Jews. The same menu is being readied to be served to Hindus once their dehumanization is complete.
Asra Q Nomani, author of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam,” designates people like our Muskaan from Harvard as a part of the “ghairat brigade” – an honor corps that tries to silence the debate on extremist ideology in order to protect the image of Islam. This honor brigade includes politicians, diplomats, writers, academics, bloggers, and activists – partly funded and supported by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – a mini-United Nations comprising the world’s 56 countries with large Muslim populations, plus the Palestinian Authority, They are on a mission to combat Islamophobia and project the “true values of Islam,” as if “they own the Muslim community and all interpretations of Islam.” It’s through this narrow, bigoted lens that we have to understand the mentality of the Muskaans and Bharmals of Harvard.
Joe Navarro, a former supervisory special agent in the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, characterizes the likes of Muskaan from Harvard as “wound collectors” and “couch jihadis.” “They sit around and collect the wounds and injustices inflicted against them to justify what they are doing. Tragedy unites for the moment, but hatred unites for longer.” Indeed, hatred towards a non-Abrahamic peaceful philosophy is what drives Muskaan from Harvard and HPR – so much so that despite the support cushion of 56 theocratic Muslim countries, they want to demonize and take cudgels with that one proud Hindu Rashtra in Bharat, whose Sanatani civilization has stood the test of time and has carved its own niche, while assimilating all the Abrahamic religions in its mainstream narrative.
So much for Harvard’s diversity initiative.
Dismantling the Dismantlers
Obviously, the question to be asked here is: Can we stop Harvard’s nefarious agenda in its tracks? Can we prevent Harvard from extending its anti-Semitic narrative to Hinduism? The answer to this question was provided by the Jewish community itself. Once it was evident that Harvard was not going to rein in the wanton anti-Semites within its students, the Jewish donors started closing their checkbooks. Various foundations started cutting out their sponsorship ties to all the universities that have let the haters run amok. To top it all, prestigious law firms started canceling job offers to students associated with organizations that had shown explicit support for Hamas, knocking the wind out of the haters. 
Can Bharat, too, play hardball with the Hindu haters at Harvard? After all, Indian industrialists like the Mahindras, Tatas, Mittals, etc., are a significant part of the donor network at Harvard. Can the Indian donors slam their checkbooks shut and bring the anti-Hinduism brigade down to their knees? 
Furthermore, the government of Bharat has a program to send bureaucrats to Harvard for long and short-term management courses at the tax-payer’s expense.  Are these courses any good? Not according to an IPS officer, who felt that anti-India rhetoric was rewarded better at Harvard. The current anti-India toolkit in operation happens to be that of the Caste in Hindu society. “This is the gradual progression: first talk in Universities, take it to think tanks, take it to Congress/Senate, and later get it accepted to the government level. Maybe 20 years from now, the US government will ask about caste issues from the Indian government,” he said. 
In the rankings released by The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Harvard University is officially 2023’s worst-rated school for free speech, scoring “zero” out of a possible 100 points!
What about Harvard’s reputation as a paragon of freedom of thought and liberal values? Well, it turns out that that, too, is a façade. In fact, Harvard University is officially 2023’s worst-rated school for free speech. In the rankings released by The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), the state of free speech at Harvard is “abysmal.” “I’m not totally surprised,” Sean Stevens, director of polling and analytics at FIRE, said, “We’ve done these rankings for years now, and Harvard is consistently near the bottom.” Imagine scoring zero out of a possible 100 points! 
Given this backdrop, it is exactly in this context that you should be judging this Muskaan from Harvard and her yarn of dismantling Hinduphobia. Her fact-free piece might appear insignificant in the overall scheme of things, but let’s not forget that Harvard is an old hand at these dismantling games. While the HPR piece might seem like a tiny pinprick, be aware that it could be masking a killer iceberg. Or a zit masking a cancerous tumor of tomorrow…
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