A United States court on Tuesday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by the Hindu American Foundation against four activists and academic Audrey Truschke for two articles published in news website Al Jazeera.
The court noted that it “cannot plausibly infer that any of their [Truschke and others] statements were made with actual malice”.
The US-based Hindutva advocacy group had filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on May 7 last year. Besides Truschke, it had sued Hindus for Human Rights co-founders Sunita Viswanath and Raju Rajagopal, Indian American Muslim Council Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed, Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America chairman John Prabhudoss.
The Al Jazeera articles, published in April 2021, said that federal Covid-19 relief funding amounting to $833,000 (nearly Rs 6.9 crore) had been given to the Hindu American Foundation and four other US foundations, which the reports said, had “ties to Hindu supremacist and religious groups”.
The author of one Al Jazeera article, Raqib Hameed Naik, named as a co-conspirator in the lawsuit, described the Hindu American Foundation as a group that “lobbies to deflect any criticism of [Narendra] Modi government’s policies”.
Viswanath, Ahmed and Prabhudoss had been quoted in the Al Jazeera articles, while Truschke was named in the suit for tweeting about the story and the Hindu American Foundation.
One of the Al Jazeera articles quoted a statement by a group called the Coalition to Stop Genocide in India alleging that the Hindu American Foundation, Vishwa Hindu Parishad America, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, Infinity Foundation, and Sewa International have “existential links” with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the “fountainhead of Hindu supremacist ideology”.
This story was originally published in scroll.in . Read the full story here