IMC-USA applauds Congressional
condemning persecution by Modi
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2005. New York, N.Y. The Indian Muslim Council-USA today
applauded the introduction of resolution in the US Congress
condemning persecution of Muslims and Christians by Narendra Modi
the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. The resolution
was introduced yesterday by Congressmen John Conyers (D, MI-14) and
Joseph Pitts (R, PA-16).
In a joint Press Release Cong. Conyers and Cong. Pitts urged the
United States to condemn violations of religious freedom, and to
assist the Indian government in promotion of fundamental right to
freedom of religion in India.
Congressman Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary
Committee and the Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, said, "Mr.
Modi has attacked Muslims and Christians with vile venom, and
according to both India's highest court and many international human
rights groups, has condoned terrible, violent religious hate crimes,
all the while, shielding those said to have committed them. Such
actions by high-ranking government officials of any religion are
unacceptable and must not be tolerated. The United States has a duty
to set an example for other new democracies by condemning religious
intolerance and promoting religious freedom, so that others may see
what our great democracy stands for."
"The evidence is clear. Mr. Modi persecutes religious minorities in
Gujarat. Our government should speak with one voice in condemning
these policies and the actions of the Modi administration that has
led to the death, torture, and imprisonment of thousands in
Gujarat," said Congressman Pitts, a member of the India Caucus and
the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
The resolution is a major boost to the multi-pronged efforts by the
Coalition Against Genocide, of which IMC-USA is a founding member,
to educate the public, media and policy makers in the United States
about the spread of religious hatred in India. The Coalition which
includes community-based ethnic and religious groups, developmental
groups, women's groups, human rights groups and academic experts in
the United States and Canada is protesting the visit of Narendra
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is under
tremendous pressure to cancel its invitation to Modi as the chief
guest at its 2005 Convention in Fort Lauderdale, FL next week. Modi
is also invited by Association of Indian Americans of North America
(IANA) to speak at another event in Madison Square Garden, New York
on the 20th of March.
Earlier, Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's "Hardball" program made
a conscientious decision by withdrawing as a keynote speaker at the
convention. He was educated about Modi by the coalition and received
hundreds of calls and e-mails from concerned individuals asking him
to cancel his speech.
Currently American Express Corporation is under pressure to withdraw
as a key sponsor of the AAHOA convention. Responding to a call by
the Coalition Against Genocide concerned individuals have been
calling, sending e-mails and faxes to officials at American Express
requesting them to cancel their sponsorship of the event.
Secretary General, IMC-USA
265 Sunrise Highway, suite 1-355
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
(516) 567- 0783