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Human Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Indian American Muslim Council ( http://www.iamc.com) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has called on people of all faiths to come together on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, to renew their commitment to the UN Declaration of Human Rights [1] and to work towards a world where our common humanity is the basis for mutual coexistence and co-operation.

Coming few days after the demise of legendary anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and the 21st anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in India, it would be most apt to remember Mandela’s words:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”  

As Indian Americans, the International Human Rights Day is also an occasion for profound introspection on some of the articles of the UN Declaration which are also enshrined in the Constitution of India.  Article 3 of the Declaration upholds the right of every human being to life, liberty and security of person.  The same rights are echoed in the preamble to the Constitution of India, which seeks to secure for all citizens, justice, liberty and equality. Article 21 of India’s Constitution declares that no deprivation of life and liberty is permitted except according to procedures established by law.

 

Unfortunately, increasing sectarian violence in India, marked by targeted killings of religious minorities and disadvantaged groups and accompanied by brutal forms of sexual violence against women are a stark reminder that the struggle to secure the life and liberty for all of India’s citizens is as relevant and urgent as ever. The horrific violence in Muzaffarnagar earlier this year, that led to the killing of over 60 people and the mass displacement of over 50,000 from their homes and ancestral lands shows that the horrors of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat pogrom,  can and will be repeated, unless we struggle against the hate ideologies that engender such violence. On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, IAMC has released a video titled “ Muzaffarnagar Bleeds: A Reenactment of Gujarat Riots of 2002, [2]” that exposes how the mass violence in Muzaffarnagar was engineered, and the human suffering it has wrought. The victims of Muzaffarnagar continue to suffer, due to the political chicanery and the apathy of those in positions of power. The International Human Rights Day is also a time to commemorate the struggle of the Dalit community and other disadvantaged groups in India, that have endured discrimination and bias for centuries.

“In this backdrop, the virulent opposition to House Resolution H.Res. 417 is a demonstration of the powerful forces arrayed against a change in the status quo, ” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. “The resolution praises India’s ‘rich religious diversity and commitment to tolerance and equality,’ while raising concerns over the erosion of religious freedom. It is inspiring to see that the mere introduction of a resolution seeking to safeguard human rights and religious freedom has raised the hackles of those who wish to impose their narrow, sectarian vision over India,” added Mr. Khan [3] [4].

 

Terror attacks, such as the ones in Malegaon (2006 and 2008) and on Samjhauta Express (2007) and random bomb blasts continue to claim the lives of innocent people while also resulting in continued suffering for countless families whose loved ones are detained on flimsy grounds. Article 9 of the UN Declaration pronounces that none shall be “subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile,” a right that continues to be violated in India through the illegal detention of youth from the minorities [5], often on trumped-up charges of terror. The abduction and custodial death of Khalid Mujahid exemplifies the suffering of hundreds of such youth [6] [7].

 

Over six decades after India gained Independence, millions continue to struggle for the right guaranteed by Article 26 of the UN Declaration which says: “Everyone has the right to education,” and “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality…” and shall ” promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups.” In this context the manipulation of text books to indoctrinate young minds with an inaccurate and distorted version of India’s history is deeply alarming [8] [9].

 

IAMC has called on all those struggling to uphold human rights and justice for all, regardless of caste, creed, gender, or ethnic origin,  to join hands in the struggle to save the soul of India, and to renew their commitment to uphold secularism in our society.

 

Indian American Muslim Council 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 www.iamc.com

Contact:
Indian American Muslim Council
Ishaq Syed

Phone: (800) 839-7270
Email: info@iamc.com

Address:    
6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295
Morton Grove, IL 60053
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270

References:
Text of the UN Declaration of Human Rights
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
Muzaffarnagar Bleeds: A Reenactment of Gujarat Riots of 2002
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUNdgd3We98
Hindu American Foundation reveals its supremacist ideology through smear campaign
http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/cag.pr.06dec2013.php
ANHAD Report – What It Means to be a Muslim in India Today
http://www.anhadin.net/article122.html
Khalid Muhahid – From Abduction to Custodial Killing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cegWbjkCi0
In the Name of History – Examples from Hindutva inspired school textbooks in India
http://www.sacw.net/HateEducation/Teesta.html
Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India job

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Indian American Muslim Council (http://iamc.com/) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today denounced and strongly condemned the custodial death of Khalid Mujahid, at the hands of the Uttar Pradesh state police. IAMC also condemned the brutal attack on Mr. Mujahid’s counsel, Advocate Mohammed Salim, and the ransacking of the chambers of other advocates related to the case [1].
Mr. Mujahid had been arrested on dubious grounds in a terror case in 2007. The case against him was falling apart and he was expected to testify against the police personnel that had conspired to frame him as well as Mr. Tariq Qasmi on trumped up charges. His killing is widely seen as an attempt by the police to silence a witness whose exposé of police subterfuge was imminent [2].
Mr. Mujahid’s custodial killing comes on the heels of the killing of Qateel Siddiqui in police custody as well as several other fake encounters and hundreds of cases of Muslim youth subject to illegal detentions [3].
In a letter to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, IAMC President Ahsan Khan called Khalid Mujahid’s death a “case of custodial murder that has pushed atrocities by law enforcement against minorities beyond a dangerous threshold.”

Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid
The letter urged the Home Minister to fulfill the UP government’s request for a CBI enquiry while expanding its scope to cover the entire case including Khalid’s original arrest on terror charges. This would establish the motive behind his custodial killing.
In a separate letter to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, IAMC urged the state government to take the following steps:
1) In addition to the nine policemen already suspended, order the immediate suspension of all the police personnel, implicated in Khalid’s arrest, detention and subsequent death until the CBI investigation is completed.
2) Table the full report of the Nimesh Commission that was instituted to investigate the arrest of Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid by a Special Task Force of the UP Police [4]. According to media reports, leaked portions of the Nimesh Commission Report had clearly recommended legal action against the officers that had conspired to arrest the duo on dubious charges [5].
3) Provide adequate compensation for the family and next of kin of the victim
4) Suspend the lawyers that engaged in brutal violence against Advocate Mohammed Salim and others, merely for providing legal services to Khalid Mujahid, which is the constitutional right of every citizen.
The letter also pointed out to the Chief Minister that the security of Mr. Tariq Qasmi, the surviving member of the duo that was arrested in this case is paramount. The state government needs to protect Mr. Qasmi from vested interests in the police force.
The case of Khalid Mujahid has galvanized human rights activists, organizations and people of conscience across India as well as the Indian diaspora, to speak out against the repressive tactics of law enforcement authorities against minorities.

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

CONTACT:
Indian American Muslim Council
Ishaq Syed
Phone: (800) 839-7270
Email: info@iamc.com
Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295 Morton Grove, IL 60053 phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270 email: info@iamc.com

 

REFERENCES:

1.Attack on Khalid Muhajid’s advocate
2.Dubious role of police exposed in custodial death of terror accused in Uttar Pradesh
tehelka.com/dubious-role-of-police-exposed-in-custodial-death-of-terror-accused-in-uttar-pradesh
3. What it Means To Be a Muslim in India Today
http://www.anhadin.net/article122.html
4. Tariq-Mujahid arrest: Nimesh Commission Report leaked, uploaded on Internet
5. Picture of Khalid Mujahid’s tortured body
http://www.flickr.com/photos/94592664@N00/8756769427/in/photostream/
6. APCR condemns suspicious custodial killing of Khalid Mujahid
http://twocircles.net/2013may20/apcr_condemns_suspicious_custodial_killing_khalid_mujahid.html
9. After Khalid’s death, Muslim leaders want govt to make Nimesh panel report public
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/after-khalids-death-muslim-leaders-want-govt-to-make-nimesh-panel-report-public/1117925/

 

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Dr. Angana Chatterji’s testimony at the Congressional Hearing organized by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

March 22, 2012

Re.: Hearing on Religious Minorities in India March 21, 2012 The following is the testimony given by Dr. Angana Chatterji at the US Congressional Hearing organized by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on March 21, 2012. Representative Pitts, I thank you and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for honoring me with an invitation [...]

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Brunch Meeting With Manisha Sethi

September 13, 2011

Extra-judicial Encounters! Instant Justice by Police and Sensational Trial by Media.   When: Saturday, Sep 17th, 2011 Time: 10:00 am- 12:30 pm Where: Islamic Society of Baltimore 6631 Johnnycake Rd Baltimore, MD 21244 RSVP info@iamc.com Dr. Manisha Sethi is the President of Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA) and an Asst. Professor at the Centre for [...]

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IAMC Welcomes Honor Bestowed on Human Rights Activist from India by Harvey City, Illinois

July 23, 2011

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – http://www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has welcomed the honor bestowed on Indian Human Rights Activist Shafeeq Rehman Mahajir by the City of Harvey, Illinois. Currently in the United States on IAMC’s invitation, Shafeeq Mahajir was felicitated with an award for his [...]

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IAMC Deplores Dr Binayak Sen’s conviction

December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010 Indian American Muslim Council deplores the verdict of life imprisonment handed to Dr. Binayak Sen, and expresses alarm at the judicial process which resulted in his conviction. Dr. Sen, considered as one of the most prominent Human Rights activist in India, was falsely implicated on the basis of evidence allegedly planted by [...]

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IMC Chicago coordinates lecture with Muslim Bar Assocition of Chicago

May 20, 2010

Indian human rights lawyer Mr. Shafeeq Rehman Mahajir spoke to members of the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago at a lunch meeting on Monday, April 19, 2010. Mr. Mahajir spoke to the American Muslim legal community about the rule of law in India and the struggle to safeguard a secular democratic society in a multi-religious [...]

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Leading Human Rights Activist Cautions Capitol Hill Policy Briefing: ‘Idea of India Is Being Attacked’

May 16, 2003

May 17, 2003. Washington D.C. At a policy briefing this morning on Capitol Hill, Mr. Harsh Mander spoke about setbacks and challenges facing India, the world’s largest democracy.

Mr. Mander is the Country Director for Action Aid India, a New Delhi based nonprofit organization. His book Unheard Voices was widely praised for its account of neglected groups in India. He is on a short speaking tour of the US.

The event was organized by the Indian Muslim Council-USA, a Washington based advocacy group working towards safeguarding India’s pluralistic ethos, and was attended by policy makers, Congressional staff members, and leading community activists. Karen Finkler, staff member for Congressman Joe Pitts, welcomed the guests and spoke about the importance of engaging US elected officials on human rights concerns in India.

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