The director of the Hindu Council in the United Kingdom has sparked outrage after he posted a thread of Islamophobic tweets referring to Islam as a “violent religion” as well as slamming Muslims as “Shaitans” (devils).
Posting to Twitter, Anil Bhanot wrote: “…Islam is a violent religion, not Hinduism so [we] must deal with the imbalance.”
He continued: “Hinduism is the father of all religions. Islam is a bad copy and won’t let others live.”
He didn’t stop there either. He continued to talk about other aspects of the faith, such as namaz (prayer) and Dawah (invitation), saying Muslims use these ‘tools’ in a manner deemed “evil” to “destroy everything else.”
Anil Bhanot is a chartered accountant, who has previously received an OBE for his interfaith-related work, which is pretty ironic considering his current views on both Islam and Christianity – oh yes, he killed 2 birds with one stone via the tweet series, but doubled down on his comments against Islam in particular.
Immediately, the backlash started pouring in, with people from all faiths coming out to stand against Bhanot’s hateful comments.
Abdullah al Andalusi, a Muslim, international speaker and debater publicly reached out to the Hindu director and invited him to talk about the topic in more depth.
“I invite you @anilbhanot to debate. As you’re Director of UK Hindu Council and have expressed many opinions on Islam and Muslims, I’d like us to have an open, civil and no-topic-off-the-table debate on Islam, Hinduism, Hindutva & the situation of Muslims in India. Do you accept?” He asked.
Dilly Hussain of 5Pillers also screenshot and reposted the tweets to his account, writing: “Just leaving these hate-filled Islamophobic and anti-Muslim tweets of @anilbhanot — who received an OBE for interfaith, is a chartered accountant, and a director and trustee of registered UK charity @hindu_counciluk.”
Upon seeing all the backlash, Hindu Council UK spoke out on the matter, saying: “It has been brought to our notice objectionable views expressed by one of our Directors which we distance ourselves from and assure all these are not HCUK views.
“We wish to reassure all our commitments in working together with all faiths and communities and deal with any differences respectfully we are committed to our vision of VASUDEV KUTUBhKAM (The entire world is a family).”
It was reported that when Bhanot was confronted with his own tweets by a complainant, he said: “Thank you for your email and the attachments which have shocked me as you showed them. I think ever since the Bangladesh violence of killing Hindus I felt a gross injustice against them and here even the BBC did not report. As I followed some handles my vocal replies became like this, but I should’ve known better.
“I have deleted these and more, there is no point bringing the subcontinent politics here. So I shall be more careful about what I post from now on. My philosophy is to respect all religions as they all have spirituality in them and probably get annoyed and angry when one religion tries to convert another and any unnecessary violence against humanity. Anyway thanks for making me aware of my own limitations/failings as a faith person.”
But so far, no professional action has been taken against him and he currently remains a director and trustee of the foundation.
We are absolutely disgusted by the revelation of this blatant racism and Islamophobia and if you are too, please leave your thoughts with the Charity Commission.