IAMC Weekly News Digest, 21st May 2021
US State Department’s scathing report on persecution of religious minorities in India a step in the right direction, say Indian Americans
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has welcomed the US State Department’s report that represents a scathing and comprehensive account of religious persecution and violence faced by India’s 280 million religious minorities. Released on Wednesday, May 12, the 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, provided in-depth coverage of massive rights violations faced by religious minorities, especially Muslims, Christians and Dalits or the “lower-caste” formerly known as untouchables. The Department of State report highlighted the state-sponsored massacre of Muslims in India’s capital city, New Delhi, last year in which 53 people died and hundreds were injured, mostly Muslims…. The report also urged the US government to impose sanctions on the officials and agencies responsible for violations of religious freedoms.
Human Rights Groups Condemn Defamation Suit Filed by Hindu American Foundation Against Six Individuals
Several human rights organizations from the U.S., U.K. and Europe have issued a letter condemning the defamation suit filed by Hindu American Foundation (HAF) against professor Audrey Truschke, journalist Raqib Naik and four executives from U.S.-based civil and human rights groups. The defendants claim the HAF lawsuit is Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit…. “This aggressive lawsuit, filed against these individuals, is an attempt to curtail free speech and free expression exercised by a reputed media house and its readers,” read the letter. “….We, the undersigned organizations, will continue our unstinting support of the individuals and organizations being subjected to this harassment.”… Rasheed Ahmed, executive director of the Indian American Muslim Council told American Kahani that he was “surprised” his comments and “those by his coalition partners about hate groups were taken so personally by HAF.” He added that his attorneys say “this is a frivolous lawsuit, appears to be Bajrang Dal type bullying tactics.”…
A mob in Mewat area of Gurgaon killed 25-year-old Asif Khan and thrashed two of his cousins while they were out to buy medicines and were travelling from Nuh to Sohna. The incident took place in Nuh of Mewat when Asif Khan, who was a gym trainer, was returning home with his cousin brothers. The three were attacked by a mob and Asif was beaten to death while the two others were left with grievous injuries…. Asif Khan’s family has alleged that the 25-year-old was lynched by the mob that attacked him with sticks, rods and stones and lynched him. After killing Asif, the mob dumped his body in a village in Sohna….