October 24, 2005
Indian Muslim Council-USA, an advocacy group dedicated to the promotion of pluralism in India and the US called upon President Bush to attend the White House celebrations of the Hindu festival of Diwali. IMC-USA is also urging its supporters to call the White House to request the President’s attendance at the Diwali festivities.
Responding to the media reports that India League’s executive director, Don Feder, while asking President Bush to attend the Diwali celebrations, had put the Muslims down by implying they are anti-American where as Hindus are pro-American, Dr. Shaik Ubaid, the President of IMC-USA called the statement “Unfortunate, divisive, ill-informed and unpatriotic.”
Dr. Ubaid went on to explain, “Hinduism is a major world religion and the President must respect it as he respects Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In fact the President must respect all religions and I am sure he does. This should have been the premise of India League. Why did Mr. Feder have to put Muslims down and imply that Muslims do not like America and Hindus do? India is not a Hindu country. The world’s second largest Muslim community of over 150 million Muslims lives in India and when Mr. Bush celebrated Ramadan he was honoring Indian Muslims as well as India. Nor are all Indians robots who follow a single political philosophy. Any one who reads the Indian media knows that some Hindus, as well as the majority of Hindutva-fascists, are anti-American. The Hindutva supporters burnt the effigy of Mr. Bush and attacked American businesses in Gujarat when the US revoked the visa of their leader Narendra Modi because of his involvement in the anti-Muslim pogroms and persecution of Christians.”
IMC-USA had supported the campaign to get a Hindu commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). “We supported Preeta Bansal as the Hindu commissioner and opposed the extremist Hindutva-fascist candidates as they did not represent Hinduism but represented an exclusivist, violent and fascist-inspired ideology called Hindutva that has been the motivating factor in anti-minorities pogroms in India. India League must stand up for all Indians and join broad-based coalitions of Indians living in the US such as Coalition to Build a Better India, Promise of India and Coalition Against Genocide,” Dr. Ubaid said.
Both India and the US consider the Muslim world to be vital for their economic and geo-strategic interests and urge their respective Muslim citizens to help build stronger relations with the Muslim countries. The US- Muslim relations date back to the American war of Independence when Tippu Sultan of India and the King of Morocco were the first non-European rulers to recognize the US as an independent nation.
Bush requested to attend Diwali celebrations at the White House
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