Among the groups eager to get their message across to the millions of
spectators who came to watch President Barack Obama sworn into office on
January 20, was a new coalition formed to promote awareness of the need
to defeat radical Islamism. Made up primarily of representatives of two
communities that have been directly hurt by militant Islam, Hindus and
Jews, the Coalition for Peace, which included likeminded Christians and
Sikhs, held banners urging Mr. Obama "to protect the Free World from
Spearheaded by Arish K Sahani and Narain Kataria of the
American-Indian Intellectuals Forum and Satya Dosapati of Hindu Human
Rights Watch, the Coalition for Peace now includes Americans for a Safe
Israel, the Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign, Christians and
Jews United for Israel, the Jewish Action Alliance, Jews United for
Israel, the Maccabean Resistance Movement, and the Zionist Organization
It has also received support from The Jewish Voice and Opinion,
which suggested that the formation of the coalition "could be the legacy
left by Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka."
"Their deaths along with so many others in Mumbai may have been the
catalyst for the realization that Jews and Hindus must work together,
just as Jews and like-minded Christians have been doing for sometime.
Joining the Coalition for Peace is one of the Jewish community’s best
options for making a difference in the struggle to overcome Islamist
terrorism," read the statement.
Part of a Pattern
The Hindu leaders pointed out that the terrorism in Mumbai last
November that resulted in the deaths of some 200 people, was just one of
60,000 terrorist incidents perpetrated by Pakistani-Muslim extremists
that have struck India in the past ten years. Some 18,000 Indians have
been murdered in these attacks.
"Pakistan, in coordination with Bangladeshi security agencies, is in
the process of carving out the northern portion of India to create
Mughalstan, which will serve as a contiguous area joining Pakistan and
Bangladesh," said Mr. Dosapati, who resides in Marlboro, NJ.
As part of this process, he said, 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus have been
driven from their homes by Kashmiri Muslim separatists who are supported
Like Pakistan, Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country.
According to Mr. Dosapati, in 1947, almost 25 percent of Pakistan’s
population was non-Muslim, mostly Hindus and Sikhs. Today, he said, that
number has dropped to one percent. Bangladesh used to be 30 percent
non-Muslim. Today, it is only seven percent.
"There has been ethnic cleansing in Pakistan and Bangladesh. In both
countries, minorities were terrorized, raped, and mutilated. Their
children and property were taken from them," said Mr. Sahani.
The Hindu leaders blamed Saudi Arabia for funding Islamist activities
in Pakistan and Bangladesh, including the development of the Pakistani
"There is growing concern that nuclear Pakistan will inevitably
assist other radical Islamist countries and groups, including those that
have targeted Israel, to develop their own nuclear weapons. Pakistan has
already declared that its first nuclear strike will be against India,
especially if India decides it must respond militarily to continued
Pakistani-supported terrorism," said Mr. Dosapati.
In Manhattan in December and in Fort Lauderdale in early January,
Hindus, some of them members of the Coalition, protested against radical
Islamist terror at rallies that attracted hundreds of demonstrators.
Across the street from the UN in New York, Hindus, mostly from New
York and New Jersey, held signs such as "Jihadi Terror in Mumbai Can
Happen in Chicago," "Pakistan is a Rogue State," and "How Many More
Mumbais Will It Take for the Indian Government to Act?"
Several of the demonstrators carried a poignant poster with a picture
of the slain Jewish couple, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, with the
caption "They were inhumanely tortured. Is it a crime to be a Jew?"
"It is important for countries such as the US, Britain, Israel, and
India to come together to evolve a strategy to root out terrorism," said
Gaurang Vaishnav, one of the speakers.
Another speaker, Dr. Radharaman Upadhyay, agreed. "The world will be
devoured by the python of Islamic terrorism unless it takes effective
steps now to counter it," he said, adding that he regretted that, "so
far the world has seen only the radical and violent face of Islam."
"It is up to the practitioners of Islam to prove otherwise," he said.
On Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Jewish, Hindu, Christian,
Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh representatives of 18 organizations marched
towards the beach chanting slogans against Jihadists.
Several of the Hindu demonstrators had lost family members in the
terrorist attack on Mumbai.
"It is an ideology of hatred and violence, a method of committing the
most heinous acts known to man, all in the name of a religion, Islam,"
said Joe Kaufman, chairman of Americans against Hate, who spoke at the
The windy afternoon did not deter the show of unity and solidarity
among the demonstrators, who lit candles and cast flowers into the ocean
in memory of the Mumbai victims and others who were murdered by Islamist
Leaders of the participating groups signed a resolution, urging the
US government to intensity its campaign against global terrorism,
"particularly those acts of terror perpetrated by so-called allies in
the Indian sub-continent, which should be declared rogue nations," a
clear reference to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
"Yes, We Can"
In Washington, the goal of the Coalition for Peace was to tell the
new President that, "in the name of world peace," he must "reform
radical Islamist madrassas so that these schools stop teaching hate;"
seize Saudi assets "in order to pay for the Islamists’ crimes against
humanity;" force Iran to halt its nuclear-weapons program that "directly
threatens Israel;" and recognize that "Pakistan has played a double-game
with the US, presenting itself as a friendly ally of America, while, at
the same time, hosting terrorists who are plotting to murder all
non-Muslims and especially targeting their next-door neighbors in
In addition to carrying banners demanding an end to "Saudis’ radical
ideology in American Institutions" and protection for Israel, India, and
the US from terrorist attacks, the coalition presented one dramatization
depicting the need to end American dependence on Saudi oil and another
showing that while Pakistani leaders happily take American funds, they
also give weapons to terrorists.
"Yes, we can stop Pakistani double-games with the US," said a
character in the dramatization who wore an Obama mask.
Less than ten days before the inaugural, some of those participating
in the Coalition received an email that began "Greetings, Shalom, and
Namaste," and invited them to participate in a planning session, held at
a private home in Highland Park, NJ.
The political and religious commonalities between the Hindu and
Jewish representatives were striking.
"Our goal is to work towards embracing tolerance and celebrating
diversity, not crushing it," said Mr. Dosapati, who resides in Marlboro.
He said he was pleased that pro-Israel Jewish and Christian groups
had decided to join the Coalition, because, he said, the pro-Israel
community and Hindus are "natural allies against terrorism."
"The same ideology that led to the terrorism in Mumbai has plagued
Israel for decades," said Mr. Dosapati.
One of the banners prepared by the Coalition for the demonstration in
Washington showed an Israeli soldier trying to protect children, while
Palestinian terrorists hide behind a baby, using the infant as a human
Facing the Future
Mr. Dosapati noted that Israel and India, "two of the world’s oldest
civilizations," are free and democratic countries "surrounded by radical
Islamists, whose ambition is to Islamize the whole world."
"What Israel and India face is the best example of the future that
awaits the rest of the Free World. Unless the countries of the Free
World come together to fight this terrible ideology, we face a very
dangerous situation," said Mr. Dosapati.
The coalition’s mission, he said, is to raise awareness of this
danger, which, he said, "is lost on politically correct media and
multicultural apologists, who are perhaps as dangerous as terrorists, if
not more so."
Millions of Victims
The Hindu leaders maintain that, in the past 1400 years, radical
Islamists have murdered 270 million people, including Jews, Christians,
Hindus, Buddhists, and African animists.
They said they hoped Buddhists would join the Coalition and would
welcome the inclusion of moderate Muslims in the struggle against
"Islamist terrorism is a problem not just for Israel and India, but
for the entire Free World. It is also a problem for Muslims who yearn
for freedom of thought, as opposed to the tyranny imposed on them by
Islamist theology," said Mr. Kataria, who resides in Queens.
Stand against Madrassas
At the meeting, Mr. Dosapati pointed out that the lessons taught to
Muslim children in countless Saudi-funded madrassas are designed to
"spread hatred for everything and everybody that is not Muslim."
"Calling Jews and other ‘infidels’ apes and pigs is chillingly
reminiscent of Nazi incitement," he said.
The only solution, said Mr. Kataria, is to convince the US to
continue to stand with the victims of terrorism and not the
"It is absolutely essential for the US, the world’s only Super Power,
to take the lead in exterminating terrorism from the face of the earth.
Mr. Obama, yes, you can," he said.
The Hindu leaders’ insistence on involving Mr. Obama in the effort
seemed to rankle at least one of the Jewish representatives at the
"It seems too aggressive to greet Obama with this on his inauguration
day," said the individual who was representing the Jewish Community
The others, however, pointed out that the demonstration was not
against Mr. Obama, but, rather, against terrorism.
Most members of the Coalition who participated in the Washington
demonstration traveled to the capital the day before the inauguration.
Coalition leaders had prepared accommodations in the empty house of one
of their supporters in nearby suburban Maryland.
Demonstrators came from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland,
Virginia, Florida, and, of course, Washington, DC, itself.
Although the Coalition offered vegetarian Indian meals to all
participants, Jews who wanted kosher food were able to obtain it through
the offices of the Chabad House in Washington.
Commonality of Cultures
Matt Abelson, 28, of Manhattan, said it was important not to join a
Coalition like this simply because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
He said he joined with Hindus and Christians "because we have a
commonality of cultures."
"We are peace-seeking people who wish to live in a world with mutual
respect for one another, and the forces of radical Islam represent the
complete antithesis of this concept," he said.
The next day, the spirits of the demonstrators who gathered in
Lafayette Park across from the White House were as high as the mercury
was low. Braving the biting sub-freezing temperature, they carried their
signs and cheered when one of the speakers demanded an end to
"multiculturalist relativism that gives free license to forces of evil
as manifested in radical Islam."
Linda Rivera, a Christian member of the Coalition, said she was
determined not to forget the "3.5 million Christians slaughtered by the
Jihad in the Sudan" or the Coptic priests and other Christian clergy
"who were murdered by Islamic fanatics."
"It is imperative to remain cognizant of the fact that Jihadists
would love nothing more than to force every non-Muslim to live under the
draconian Sharia law, where basic human rights will be expunged," she
Richard Hellman, head of the Christians’ Israel Public Action
Campaign (C-PAC), a pro-Israel lobby, said that because his group
supports peace and freedom in the Middle East, "we work assiduously in
Congress to lobby against a two-state solution and the fallacious
concept of ‘land for peace’ as the panacea for Israeli-Palestinian
"And we work to abrogate any ‘road map’ that will see Israel engaging
in any more territorial compromises," he said.
Sandra and Ed Warmoth, representing the Maccabean Resistance
Movement, said they traveled from Orlando, Florida, to attend the
Coalition’s demonstration because "the world must understand that the
Islamist hegemony is an obdurate and implacable enemy of freedom."
"Jerusalem and the entire Promised Land is under attack by
Arab-Muslim forces fighting an Islamist war by proxy under the guise of
‘Palestinian self-determination," said Mr. Warmoth.
His wife said she feared that Israel could be "eradicated through
propaganda because the Arab-Muslim bloc has failed to accomplish their
collective goal militarily."
They said they feared support for the Islamists was growing "at the
highest levels of the US government."
More Jews Wanted
Some of the Jewish participants lamented the fact that more Jews had
not come. A woman who asked for anonymity said she was "outraged" that
none of the mainstream Jewish organizations had sent representatives.
"The Christians and Hindus are here pleading the case for Israel,
speaking truth in the face of slander directed against Israel, and where
are we?" she said.
Those who would like to join the Coalition were invited by Messrs
Dosapati, Kataria, and Sahani to check out their website, http://coalitionforpeace.org/,
and call 732-939-2060 or 718-478-5735. The email address is President@CoalitionForPeace.org.
In the late afternoon, some of the demonstrators left Lafayette Park
and took their banners and signs to the streets to confront scores of
jubilant Obama supporters. Most of the onlookers seemed unaware of the
issues discussed on the signs; others thought the Coalition
demonstrators were part of the inaugural celebration and asked to have
pictures taken with them.
One man, however, was furious. "Can anyone blame the Palestinians in
Gaza for launching ‘firecrackers’ into Israel?" said Jim Melton,
suggesting that Israel "be charged in an international court with war
Another member of the crowd, hearing Mr. Melton’s diatribe against
the Jewish state, blamed "the Saudi-owned US media" for encouraging
"calumnies" against Israel.
"The result is that someone like him, who is obviously abysmally
ignorant of the truth, is prompted to make such statements," she said.
Looking at the Coalition demonstrators, she said, "That is why they
are here, I guess. To set the record straight, and I applaud their
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