July 24, 2001
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The Rediff US Special/Aseem Chhabra

United in Hatred

When the Bajrang Dal's official site in the US -- -- was shut down by its service provider, the group approached a most unlikely ally --, a radical Jewish group that is banned in Israel and is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. The common goal that brought the two groups and the sites together -- their dislike and mistrust of Muslims and Islam.

As Michael Guzofsky, the director of and the Brooklyn-based Hatikva Jewish Identity Center, said: "If someone is coming to kill me and that same person wants to kill somebody else and together we can defend ourselves, you have to be insane not to band together against the common enemy that wants us all dead."

The Hindu Unity site first went on a server hosted by, of Greenwood Village, Colorado in February 2000. The Hindu Unity group -- led by its elusive leader in New York, Rohit Vyasman, 30 -- was responsible for the design and the content of the site, while would load the site on the Internet. The fee to host the site was a mere $ 9.95 per month.

The Hindu Unity site would regularly post messages and editorial content against Muslims in India and in Pakistan. Against the backdrop of dripping blood each page contained interpretations of Indian history, verses from the Koran and other anti-Muslim statements, presented from the Hindutva point of view. Little wonder received complaints about the site. does not keep record of the number of complaints it receives.

Matt Johnson, an representative, said even if the company had received one complaint, it would have investigated the site. "If you take a look at the Hindu Unity site now, there are several features such as the hit list and the radical quotes that can be offensive to some people, so we can't host a site like that," he said.

The hit list that Johnson mentions identifies 32 individuals as enemies of Hindutva. Among them are Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (the top name on the list), Pope John Paul II, Osama Bin Laden, evangelist Pat Robertson, Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, painter M F Husain, actress Shabana Azmi and director Deepa Mehta. There are a few Indian journalists on the list -- Asian Age editor in chief M J Akbar, Kuldip Nayar (who is referred to as a resident of Pakistan) and columnist Dilip D'Souza. A surprise name on the list is Kanwal Rekhi, since the group he founded -- The Indus Entrepreneurs -- has decided to invest in Pakistan.

The list also includes two 'anti-Hindutva pseudo-scholars' -- Amitava Kumar, associate professor of English at Pennsylvania State University and Vijay Prashad, assistant professor of international studies at Trinity College at Hartford, CT. Prashad is referred to as a 'pretend to be Hindu bastard' and the site warns him to beware since the Soldiers of Hindutva are watching him.

Johnson said tried to negotiate with Vyasman and his group.

"Eventually we realized they were not going to change the content or the approach of the site," he said.

Vyasman, who initially agreed to be interviewed for this article, later changed his position. In emails to this reporter he said he was too busy. An interview was arranged with another Hindu Unity member, but this individual is based in Mumbai and does not have first hand knowledge about the relationship between the and the sites.

When dropped as one of its clients, Vyasman called Guzofsky's office in Brooklyn.

Guzofsky is a follower of Rabbi Meir David Kahane, a Brooklyn-born, former member of the Israeli Knesset, who called for the expulsion of Arabs from Israel. Kahane was assassinated in Manhattan in 1990, by an Islamic militant. Late last year Kahane's 34-year-old son and political heir, Binyamin, was killed in an ambush in the West Bank. Binyamin's wife, Talia, 31, was also killed in the same ambush.

Guzofsky was in Israel when he received the call from Vyasman, but called back in a couple of hours. Soon an alternative arrangement was made. Guzofsky connected Vyasman to Gary Wardell, a businessman in Annandale, VA. Wardell's web service business now hosts both the and sites. The two sites also have a mutual link.

"We heard the site was taken down because of Muslim pressure and that is something we have ourselves experienced," Guzofsky said. "The Hindu group was taken down for its views in America and especially on the Internet which is the ultimate vehicle for free speech. Regardless of their views they have the right to preach them. It is clear that certain Muslim groups in America will do everything in their power to silence Jews or Hindus or anyone."

Guzofsky said the practiced the principle of free speech and allowed people to post anti-Muslim or anti-Jewish messages. "Sometimes there is nasty language and we do not approve of it, but we are not there to censor it," he said. also maintains a message board, but with a very different approach to free speech. The top section of the message board clearly states: 'All anti-Hindu posts and propaganda will be deleted. All messages that contain threats, promote harm/violence will be deleted.'

Since the strengthening of the relationship between the two sites earlier this summer, the two groups have joined in supporting each other's causes. Guzofsky and some of his supporters recently attended a rally outside the United Nations protesting the Taleban's edict that all Hindus in Afghanistan must wear a symbol which would distinguish them from the rest of the Afghan population. The rally was called by several Hindu groups in the New York area, and Hindu Unity and Vyasman were among the sponsors. The Hindu Unity groups have marched in a couple of anti-Palestinian and pro-Israel rallies.

Guzofsky said in the past the two groups had not met as often as he would have liked to. "I think this is the beginning of what will hopefully be a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship for both Hindus and Jews," he added.

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