IAMC Newsletter July 2022 – IAMC National Retreat and Update on our Work
Justice is a tool to maintain balance
“…and establish weight in justice and do not make the balance deficient.” [Quran, 55:7-9]”
As you are aware, the situation of Muslims in India is dire and thousands are sacrificing their lives in the pursuit of justice and their constitutional rights. They are relying on the good sense of good people around the world to affect change. If Indian American Muslims do not lead this effort, no one else will.
Allah SWT says in the Quran (5:32), “..and whoever saves a life, it will be as if they saved all of humanity”.
Our work has also increased tremendously to confront the hateful ideology of Hindutva in India and in the U.S. We need all the help we can get to make our work more effective. I take this opportunity and it is my honor and privilege to invite you exclusively to IAMC’s national retreat in IL this September. Spots are limited, and I urge you to RSVP on the link below:
WHAT: IAMC 2022 NATIONAL RETREAT
RSVP and Details: https://iamc.com/retreat
WHEN: Thu, Sep 22, 2022 – Sun, Sep 25, 2022
Please ensure that at least four leaders/volunteers from your chapter attend this retreat. Let’s prioritize spending a few days from our busy lives to come together to break bread, brainstorm, strategize and rejuvenate ourselves for the work we all are so passionate about. This work is not only our moral obligation, but we are responsible within our ability to stand up for justice and equality.
IAMC’s Relentless Pursuit of Justice
The last two months have been challenging for our Muslim brothers and sisters in India. The Hindu right-wing government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has escalated its crackdown on minorities and critics to an all-new level by illegally and arbitrarily bulldozing Muslim homes, destroying livelihoods, jailing activists under trumped-up charges while allowing it’s Hindu rightwing affiliates to carry on with the genocidal chorus against the country’s 200 million Muslims.
We’ve scaled up on all fronts to address these challenges. We are vigorously working to promote and defend the human rights and religious freedoms of Indian minorities through congressional advocacy, media advocacy, academic, and civil society outreach.
Just this week, Facebook whistleblowers Frances Haugen and Sophie Zhang testified in our bi-weekly congressional briefing over Facebook’s role in platforming anti-Muslim hate speech in India.
Last month, at the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., the IAMC-led India Working Group organized an event where Senator Ed Markey, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain, former USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza, and Genocide Watch Founder Dr. Gregory Stanton unanimously called on the Modi government to immediately put an end to the persecution of Muslims. We also launched the ‘India Genocide Newspaper’ that will be sent regularly to stakeholders in the US Govt. and to the US Congress.
I am also pleased to share with you that following our sustained and extensive advocacy efforts, four Members of the US House of Representatives have introduced a resolution (H. Res 1196), a first of its kind on India, urging the US Secretary of State to act on the recommendations of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its persecution of religious minorities. If you have not already, I urge you to click here to take action on this issue.
This year, the US State Department report on International Religious Freedom referenced one of the Congressional briefings hosted by IAMC and its allies to elaborate on the weaponization of funding laws by the Indian government to crush NGOs working to uphold religious freedom.
Through our media advocacy efforts, we are working vigorously to provide counter-narratives to the hateful Hindutva ideology, including in the mainstream media, academia, social media, and other Indian American and American spaces. We are producing and disseminating original content on our social media and other platforms to critical stakeholders on a daily basis. If you are not already following us on Twitter, please follow us at @iamcouncil.
Last month, IAMC successfully organized India’s first-ever Human Rights and Religious Freedom (HRRF) Journalism awards that honored groundbreaking reporting on minority and marginalized communities. Journalists from The Wire, Scroll, Caravan Magazine, Article 14, News Laundry, New Issue Magazine UK, The News Minute, and Mooknayak won awards in different categories. Globally renowned US journalist Amy Goodman was the keynote speaker at our award ceremony.
A glimpse of our Journalism awards ceremony
On the legal front, we are working to address the challenges facing Muslims in India, including religious persecution, illegal incarceration, threats to their civil liberties, and other gross violations of human rights (GVHR), including lynchings and murders.
We are petitioning leaders, governments, and human rights organizations not just in the U.S. but worldwide including UNHRC, to bring to the forefront the descent of India, once the world’s largest democracy, into a Hindu fascist entity that is hellbent on decimating India’s minorities and destroying the global peace.
On the grassroots mobilization and civic engagement front, IAMC has scaled up its efforts to educate the American clergy and other civic leaders about the threats of Hindu nationalism to minorities in India and in our own backyard. A few months ago, IAMC organized a luncheon in Orlando, FL that was attended by over 60 clergy members. Just this week, IAMC’s NJ chapter organized an educational event with the Tri-State Imam Council with close to 20 Imams in attendance. Similar efforts are ongoing in various chapters nationwide.
IAMC also organized nationwide protests in Texas, Indianapolis, and California against the illegal detention of Muslims and the demolition of their homes. Imam Omar Suleiman led the Dallas protest.
IAMC is also working on several other key initiatives, including documentation and research on Hindutva and its affiliates for academia and media outreach and documenting hate crimes against India’s religious minorities.
We couldn’t have done this without your support. I am thankful to Allah SWT and all of you for your continuous support.
From IAMC Genocide Watch Desk
- IAMC Report: State of Religious Minorities in India »
- Daily #IndiaGenocideNews Updates »
- Weekly #IndiaGenocideNews Videos
IAMC Congressional Briefings & Events
- Hate Speech on Facebook in India (Frances Haugen & Sophie Zhang) »
- Next Steps After US Lawmakers, officials Slam Islamophobia in India »
- Persecution of religious minorities and their defenders in India »
- Attacks on Religious Minorities Worsen in India »
- Illegal Arrests of Muslims, Demolition of Muslim Homes in India »
IAMC Media Updates
- US must ask India to stop discrimination against Muslims, demolition of their homes »
- Noam Chomsky, Rajmohan Gandhi Condemn Umar Khalid’s Incarceration»
- IAMC commends Ilhan Omar for House Resolution »
- IAMC condemns arrests of prominent voices in India »
- IAMC applauds US Official’s criticism of India’s anti-minority persecution »
Media Coverage of HRRF Awards
- The Wire: Ismat Ara Wins HRRF ‘Young Journalist of the Year’ Award for Articles Published in The Wire »
- Scroll.in: Scroll.in’s Aishwarya Iyer wins Human Rights and Religious Freedom Young Journalist Award 2022 »
- The Kashmir Walla: Two Kashmiri journalists win HRRFJ award »
- Eurasia Review: Celebrating Freedom Journalism: Human Rights And Religious Freedom Journalism Awards – OpEd »
IAMC Action Center
Take a few minutes to reach out to your lawmakers to seek the immediate release of Indian American civil rights attorney Asim Ghafoor, who has been arrested and sentenced to three years in prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Read our press release here »
Last but not the least, do spare 20 minutes this weekend to listen to this powerful speech delivered by IAMC’s Advocacy Director Ajit Sahi at the ICNA-MAS Convention – 2022