From the category archives:

Press release

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has called on Indians across the world, to mark the occasion of India’s 68th Independence Day by finding ways to strengthen pluralism, and to renew communal harmony, in order to defeat the designs of divisive and destructive ideologies.

The fact that Indians professing different faiths, belonging to varied ethnic groups and speaking many different languages, have continued to live together as one nation, is emblematic of the core strength of the idea of India. It is the vast majority of Indians, whose commitment to our cherished tradition of tolerance and whose unflinching loyalty to the nation’s founding principles holds the country together, who should be proud on the occasion of the Independence Day. It is their tenacity in safeguarding India’s secular Constitution that must be saluted on this day.

Yet, the occasion of the Independence Day is also a grim reminder of the profound challenges faced by the nation. Sectarianism, and an insidious, destructive ideology that masquerades as nationalism, have brought the country to a juncture where its very future as a secular nation is at risk. Violence against women, minorities and lower castes and the subversion of secular institutions of the state, threaten to take away from us what we gained through blood and toil over the centuries.

Secular Indians of all faiths and ideological persuasions are particularly anguished by the fact that large sections of India’s population are still struggling to safeguard their civil liberties and religious freedom. The recent spate of inflammatory and hurtful statements, such as those made by RSS Supremo, Mr. Mohan Bhagwat, brings to the fore a deliberate attempt to foster sectarian hate. “The cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and the present inhabitants of the country are descendants of this great culture,” Mr. Bhagwat is reported to have said, while speaking at the Golden Jubilee function of an Odia weekly in Cuttack. Such a mis-characterization of Indian culture is no less than a threat to the right of self-identification by the religious minorities.

“India is the product of many faiths, and a crucible of many cultural influences. This is what makes us unique as a nation. This Independence Day, we call on all Indians to renew their commitment to protecting the fruits of the freedom struggle,” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. “The spirit that brought us freedom from colonialism, can once again defeat the designs of hate ideologies that prey upon our fears and differences, ” added Mr. Khan.

It is alarming that dozens of Muslim youth have been arrested on trumped-up terror charges and continue to languish in prisons, for crimes they had not committed. In some cases, like the infamous Akshardham case and the Surat 1993 blasts case, justice was served after more than a decade, when their innocence was upheld by the Supreme Court.

IAMC takes this opportunity to commemorate the countless freedom fighters, including countless Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsis who were killed in the freedom struggle. They offered the ultimate sacrifice, but died believing that their collective identity as Indians was something they wanted to defend with their own lives.

Indian-American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 13 chapters across the nation.

For more information please visit our new website at: http://www.iamc.com/

CONTACT:

Ishaq Syed
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com
address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES
India’s Shrinking Religious Freedom
http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/rfp/blog/modi-s-victory-and-the-future-of-religious-freedom-in-india/responses/india-s-shrinking-religious-freedom

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat under attack
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/40068439.cms
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Case is indicative of corruption in lower courts, logjam in judiciary

July 20, 2014

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has lauded the landmark Supreme Court judgment acquitting the 11 innocent people accused of having carried out the bomb blasts in Surat (Gujarat) in 1993, while decrying the miscarriage of justice that led to their convictions by the lower courts in Gujarat.

The 11 people, including former Congress minister Mohammed Surti had been convicted in Gujarat under the draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act, and sentenced to jail terms ranging from 10 to 20 years. The real masterminds behind the two Surat blasts, that led to the death of a school girl and injury of several others, continue to remain at large.

The unravelling of the Surat case comes on the heels of the judgement in the Akshardham case, in which the Supreme Court acquitted all six accused, including three that had been sentenced to death by the Gujarat High Court. In the case of the Akshardham accused, justice was served after they had spent 10 years of their lives in prison, for a crime they had not committed.

“The Surat and the Akshardham acquittals are indicative of the misery that befalls Muslims that fall prey to a repressive law enforcement and corrupt state courts. Often they have to spend 10 to 20 years in prison, while the case winds its way through the maze of the Indian judiciary, before having their innocence finally upheld by the apex court,” said Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. “In the case of Khalid Mujahid and Mohammed Qateel, even the Supreme Court was unable to save them. Their lives were cruelly snuffed out, while in police custody or serving time in prison,” added Mr. Khan.

At the recent Congressional hearing on “The Plight of Religious Minorities in India,” held on April 4th 2014, organizations with international credibility, such as Human Rights Watch, The Advocates for Human Rights and the USCIRF testified to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the worsening situation of minorities in regards to human rights and religious freedom.

A major reason why perpetrators of violence against religious minorities enjoy impunity from prosecution is due to the logjam in the Indian judicial system. According to the statement made by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Indian Parliament, India has the largest backlog of cases in the world. There are 30 million cases pending in Indian courts, 4 million of which are pending in high courts and 65,000 in the Federal Supreme Court itself. It takes an average of 10 years to adjudicate a case in a court. Once a verdict is given in the lower court, the appeal process to the Supreme Court can take several decades. This makes any remedies to human rights violations such as judicial redress impractical. After 30 years, cases against perpetrators of the 1984 mass killings are still getting adjudicated. With some exceptions, most cases stemming from the 2002 anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat have met the same fate. In both cases, the masterminds of the pogroms continue to roam free.

IAMC has called on the civil society institutions to join hands and struggle for reform in both the police and judiciary, in order to uphold Constitutional guarantees of human rights and justice for all, regardless of caste, creed, gender, or ethnic origin.

Indian-American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 13 chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our new website at: http://www.iamc.com/

 

CONTACT:
Ishaq Syed
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com
address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES

1. Supreme Court Rescues Innocents Jailed For 1993 Surat Blasts Case, Acquits All 11
http://www.thecitizen.in/supreme-court-rescues-innocents-jailed-for-1993-surat-blasts-case-acquits-all-11/

2. Setback for Gujarat govt, SC acquits all accused in 1993 Surat blast cases
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/setback-for-gujarat-govt-sc-acquits-all-accused-in-1993-surat-blast-cases/

3. India has world’s largest backlog of court cases: PM
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-has-world-s-largest-backlog-of-court-cases-pm-7137

4. INDIA: Remedies to human rights violations a mirage, Asia Human Rights Commission, Feb 27, 2014
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/alrc-news/human-rights-council/hrc25/ALRC-CWS-25-14-2014

5. The Plight of Religious Minorities in India, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing, FRIDAY, APRIL 04, 2014, 10:30 AM
http://tlhrc.house.gov/hearing_notice.asp?id=1259

6. ANHAD Report – What It Means to be a Muslim in India Today
http://www.anhadin.net/article122.html

7. Khalid Muhahid – From Abduction to Custodial Killing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cegWbjkCi0

8. Framed, Damned, Acquitted – Dossiers of a Very Special Cell
http://www.jamiajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/JTSA-Report-Framed-Damned-and-Acquitted-Dossiers-of-a-Very-Special-Cell.pdf

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Bigoted accusations against Fr. Cedric Prakash condemned by Indian Americans

June 2, 2014

Goa Chief Minister in a smear campaign against the stalwart of secular voices in India June 02, 2014 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has strongly condemned Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s recent accusations on Fr. Cedric Prakash. Speaking at a press briefing [...]

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All Indians need to be vigilant in safeguarding secularism say Indian Americans

May 26, 2014

Muslim community urged to work towards development and pursuit of justice May 26, 2014 Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has called on all Indians to be vigilant in safeguarding the secular institutions under the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) administration. It has also [...]

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Mukul Sinha’s demise a loss for justice and accountability say Indian Americans

May 14, 2014

Renowned activist will always be remembered for his tireless struggle to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Gujarat pogroms and fake encounter killings. May 14, 2014 Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed grief and a profound sense of loss over the [...]

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Atrocities against Assamese Muslims must cease now, demand Indian Americans

May 8, 2014

Grief and outrage over merciless killing of women and children in Assam in the din of elections May 08, 2014 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has condemned the gruesome massacre in Assam that has claimed the lives of 43 people, most of [...]

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IAMC Calls on TIME Magazine to disqualify Indian politicians from TIME 100 online poll

April 23, 2014

Automated bogus voting attempts to create fake popularity for Indian politicians in the midst of elections April 22, 2014 Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC, http://iamc.com), a group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has called on TIME magazine to disqualify Indian politicians from the 2014 TIME 100 online poll. Millions of fake online votes [...]

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US Congressional Hearing highlights plight of minorities in India

April 7, 2014

Broad range of experts call for inclusion of human rights and religious freedom in the US-India Strategic Dialogue. April 4th 2014: Coalition Against Genocide (CAG – http://coalitionagainstgenocide.org/), a broad alliance dedicated to justice and accountability for the Gujarat pogroms of 2002, today welcomed the congressional hearing on the subject of minorities and religious freedom in [...]

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Death threats to Advocate Pracha and intimidation of online media are unacceptable, say Indian Americans

March 21, 2014

Attempt to force news portal to withdraw interview critical of Police chief undermines freedom of press Friday, March 21, 2014 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, condemned the threats to senior lawyer Mr. Mehmood Paracha by vested interests operating through underworld goons. IAMC [...]

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Gujarat pogrom commemorated by Indian Americans

February 28, 2014

Justice for Gujarat victims is pivotal in the struggle to save India’s secular tradition Friday, February 28, 2014 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, joined human rights activists, survivors and people of conscience across the world in commemorating the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 [...]

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