IAMC condemns Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh’s sponsored march in New Jersey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EDISON, New Jersey (November 3, 2022) — The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy organization dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, today strongly condemned the “March For Unity” organized on behalf of the Indian diaspora in Edison (New Jersey), but without participation from any mainstream Indian Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Dalit groups.
Led by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) on Sunday, October 30, the march was co-sponsored by Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh USA (HSS), the international wing of Nazi-inspired paramilitary group Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the Indian Business Association, the organizer of bulldozer hate parade in Edison in August this year.
HSS leads the RSS’s global operations to promote Hindu supremacist ideology among the Indian diaspora.
According to the organizers, the march was meant to “heal” the divisions and celebrate “unity in diversity.” However, including HSS ended up exacerbating the pain of Indian-American Muslims, who are still reeling from the shock caused by the use of the anti-Muslim symbol of a bulldozer in the Indian Independence Parade on August 14.
“The hateful ideology of Hindutva or Hindu Supremacism promoted by HSS serves as the prime motivation behind the blatant display of the anti-Muslim symbol of the bulldozer in Edison. Having HSS lead the so-called “March for Unity” on the very same streets where the bulldozer was paraded a few weeks ago amounts to rubbing salt on our wounds. It’s beyond shameful,” said IAMC New Jersey chapter President Mohammad Jawad.
Shaheen Khateeb, the former IAMC president and New Jersey resident, said: “Our community in New Jersey needs healing, but it’s ironic and baffling to see a group that follows the dangerous, divisive, and exclusionary ideology of Hindutva as one of the march organizers. It’s literally the mockery of the march that is supposed to unify people.”
Last week, a coalition of six American civil rights organizations, including IAMC, American Muslims for Democracy, CAIR New Jersey, Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA), Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), and World Without Genocide wrote a joint letter to Edison Mayor Samip Joshi & Edison Council Members condemning the grant of march permit to the organizers.
“We have repeatedly asked Edison’s leadership to do their due diligence in learning about Hindu nationalism in the United States and its manifestations in our city,” the letter read.
“It is deeply disappointing that despite our many attempts to inform Edison’s leadership about the way Hindutva Organizations are threatening the unity and wellbeing of the diaspora community, your office has issued a permit for this march,” the letter added.
Click here to read the full letter send to Edison Mayor Samip Joshi & Edison Council Members.