Highlights of IAMC Work in 2022 – IAMC wishes everyone a warm, safe, restful, and joyful end of the year
Assalaamu Alaikum and greetings of peace,
As the year 2022 comes to a close, all of us at the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) would like to take a moment to thank you for your support and wish you a warm, safe, restful and joyful end of the year.
As we look back on 2022, we are filled with gratitude. Gratitude to our chapter executives, staff and volunteers who are leading the fight against Hindu Nationalist hate and bigotry in our own backyards. May Allah SWT bless and reward them for their dedication and hard work. Gratitude to our supporters who have helped us grow and scale our work.
The situation of religious minorities in India continues to be grim: a massive spike in hate crimes, genocidal speeches, bulldozing of Muslim homes, introduction of discriminatory legislations, and the near complete Hindutva takeover of democratic institutions.
This far-right extremist ideology of Hindutva poses a global problem — a threat to the democratic values of the west and to peace, harmony, and social cohesion in our communities. From Leicester (England), Edison (New Jersey), Anaheim (California) to Frisco (Texas), the Hindu supremacists’ hate and bigotry was at full glare in 2022.
Alhamdulillah, IAMC has not let these issues go unchallenged. Our fight for human rights, religious freedom, peace, and pluralism was equally relentless, including a historic win in a D.C. court against Hindu Nationalist efforts to stifle our voices.
This year, we have also made significant strides to ensure that the international community — the US government, media, academia, civil society, and member countries at the United Nations — pay attention to the ever-increasing Hindutva threat and the persecution of religious and social minorities in India. IAMC-led efforts helped mainstream the discourse of impending Muslim genocide in India.
As we look forward to 2023, we are filled with hope. We hope that justice will prevail and we can push back against the xenophobic ideology of Hindu Nationalism that is a threat to justice, peace and rule of law.
IAMC remains deeply committed to peace, pluralism and social justice through strategic advocacy. We take this opportunity to share with you some of the major IAMC activities and achievements in 2022 in our pursuit to strengthen human rights and protect democracy, both in India and the US.
Major Highlights from 2022
- Big victory! Lawsuit filed by the Hindu supremacist group Hindu American Foundation against IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed and four other civil rights activists dismissed by the Washington DC federal court.
- IAMC and its coalition partners forced the Indian Business Association (IBA), the organization responsible for the New Jersey bulldozer parade, to apologize publicly to the Muslim community.
- Brought Texas-based Hindu supremacist group Global Hindu Heritage Foundation under government, civil society and media scanner for raising funds to demolish churches in India.
- IAMC & its partners forced the cancellation of events in NJ featuring Hindu supremacist leader Sadhvi Ritambhara.
- Joined a delegation to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland ahead of India’s Universal Periodic Review. Over 20 countries echoed IAMC’s concerns and criticized violations of human rights and religious freedoms in India.
- Hosted a panel event at the International Religious Freedom (IRF) summit in Washington, D.C. featuring US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain as the keynote speaker.
- Hosted Briefing on Capitol Hill featuring former USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza and USCIRF Commissioner David Curry as speakers.
- Launched the first-ever Human Rights and Religious Freedom Journalism (HRRFJ) Awards program. A panel of 14 international judges shortlisted 8 Indian journalists for the awards.
- Launched first-ever Human Rights and Religious Freedom Journalism Grant Program and gave 15 grants. The award ceremony received positive press coverage on print and social media.
- Established IAMC India Genocide Monitoring Desk to produce in-depth research-based monthly reports on the state of religious minorities and other marginalized communities in India.
- Hosted 4-hour event during India’s Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations with expert commentary from experts in the US and IAMC staffer in Geneva.
- Co-hosted a three-day Global Summit, titled India On The Brink: Preventing Genocide held virtually where over 50 speakers spoke on 17 panels.
Our staff has flown across the globe to meet with top representatives of governments, agencies, and nonprofits to educate them about the hateful Hindutva ideology, the persecution of religious minorities in India, impending genocide of Muslims and the infiltration of Hindutva hate groups in the US. This year, IAMC held meetings with:
- 150+ US elected officials at the federal, state, county, and city levels, including Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Mark Veasey (D-TX), Keith Self (R-TX), and many other staffers throughout the country.
- Seven representatives of countries at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic.
- 9 United Nations experts and staffers from the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
IAMC Media Presence
IAMC’s media presence, through the publishing of both original content as well as press mentions, has grown exponentially this year. As of December 20, 2022, IAMC has released:
- 246 daily India Genocide News (IGN) roundups covering India’s anti-minority policies, hate crimes, new data, and more.
- 115 press releases detailing major milestones, events, meetings, and condemnations of human rights violations.
- 44 weekly broadcast-style IGN videos posted to social media.
- 21 letters calling on elected officials to take action and raise awareness, including US Senators and top officials of the Biden administration.
- 9 full-length research reports from IAMC’s Genocide Desk.
- 900+ mentions in the press, including The New York Time, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Vice News, Huffington Post, The Diplomat, USA Today
- 30+ OPEDs published, including in Al Jazeera, Byline times, TRT World
IAMC Social Media Presence
IAMC Events, Protests & Campaigns
IAMC has been featured in major events across the United States and has held some groundbreaking events on human rights and religious freedoms.
This year, IAMC hosted the following:
- 24 Congressional Briefings on hot-button issues in India, featuring Congresspersons, prominent activists, and experts as speakers. IAMC continues to expand its coalition outreach activity through the briefings to create awareness on growing fascism in India. It hosted prominent activists/whistleblowers, journalists, academicians, and government officials in its briefings. Some prominent names include Francis Haugan, Sophie Zhang, Yashwant Shinde, former vice president Hamid Ansari, Yvonne Ridley, Gregory Stanton, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain, etc.
- 15 in-person and online events, including panels at ISNA, ICNA, and the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C.
- 14+ protests campaigns across the United States against Karnataka’s hijab ban, Muslim home demolitions, and anti-Christian hatred.
- 9 online petitions with 21,000 signatures calling on local and federal officials to take action against Hindutva.
In 2023, we look forward to your continued support to defend the rights of religious and social minorities in India and expose Hindutva hate groups in the US.