Newsletter (Oct 2023): IAMC at United Nations, on Palestine & more
As salamu alaykum!
We’re pleased to bring you this newsletter covering all of IAMC National and chapter activity in October 2023.
BULLET POINT SUMMARY:
- IAMC Advocacy Director Ajit Sahi spoke on the floor of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
- IAMC hosted a special event unveiling an exposé of Chicago-based Hindutva influences in US political processes
- Raised the issue of the Naperville Quran burning to the Department of Justice
- Co-sponsored several widely attended protests for Palestine
- Held a Congressional Briefing on the incarceration of Umar Khalid on Capitol Hill
- Hosted several events at the chapter level across the nation
- Held a highly successful National Convention in Dallas (which you can read more about here)
- Organized events on Bollywood and Islamophobia at the University of Texas, Dallas, and Austin with Bollywood celebrities.
Keep scrolling to learn more about each of these activities and achievements in detail.
IAMC STANDS WITH PALESTINE
As Israel continues its onslaught of war crimes against civilians in Gaza, we at IAMC stand with Palestine, and we are grateful to our chapters for co-sponsoring and showing up in droves to Free Palestine marches, protests, and events throughout the country.
IAMC’s Boston chapter was a proud co-sponsor of massive pro-Palestine protests, which saw over 10,000 attendees. In Georgia, our Atlanta chapter also co-sponsored a heavily attended protest near the CNN Center.
Members of our Dallas chapter attended, supported, and spoke at five different pro-Palestine events, including protests held in front of the Dallas city hall and the Dallas Morning News Building. Our Michigan chapter co-sponsored and participated in a “JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE” rally in the capital city of Lansing, and our New Jersey chapter members marched in protests in both NJ and DC.
IAMC ON THE FLOOR OF THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
IAMC has consistently raised the India issue at the UN, and we’re making sure it gets heard. Last month, our Advocacy Director, Ajit Sahi spoke about India’s human rights violations on the floor of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. He also raised these critical issues in meetings at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and various UN Special Mandates.
SPECIAL BRIEFING: EXPOSÉ OF HINDU RIGHTWING INFLUENCE IN US POLITICAL PROCESS
In a special live-streamed briefing, IAMC unveiled a groundbreaking report that shed light on the underhanded tactics employed by US-based Hindu far-right organizations in blocking a proposed resolution by the Chicago City Council that criticized the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Speakers at the briefing included scholar and activist Hatem Bazian, CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, Muslim Public Affairs Council president and co-founder Salam Al-Marayati, and more.
Read a full summary of the report here.
CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING & FREE UMAR KHALID CAMPAIGN
On October 19, IAMC hosted a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill on the prolonged incarceration of prominent Muslim activist Umar Khalid under India’s draconian anti-terror law.
As part of this event, IAMC launched our “Free Umar Khalid” campaign and have been reaching out to Members of Congress about his case.
The event was hugely successful, attended by a grand total of 29 staffers from a variety of Congressional offices, as well as several civil society members. Speakers included Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, the father of Umar Khalid; Eric Ueland, Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF); Nausicaa Renner, Deputy Editor of The Intercept, and more.
You can read our full press release on the event here.
OUR CONGRESSIONAL OUTREACH
IAMC is always engaged in Congressional outreach on both sides of the aisle, and we meet regularly with government officials across different divisions to ensure they’re up to date on the India issue.
Here’s a list of all the Congressional offices and department officials we met with and provided IAMC’s quarterly report:
- Officials from the White House National Security Council
- US Department of State
- US Senate Foreign Relations Committee officials
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
- Office of Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY)
- Rep. Robin Kelly (IL)
- Rep. Tom Kean (NJ)
- Senator Jon Ossof (GA)
- Rep. Joseph Morelle (NY)
- Rep. Susan Wild (PA)
- Rep. Dina Titus (NV)
- Rep. Jim Costa (CA)
- Rep. Darrell Issa (CA)
- Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY)
IAMC MEDIA TEAM
IAMC’s media team is working around the clock to mainstream the issues that matter to us in both Indian and American media.
This past month, we were mentioned/quoted in 22 articles across a range of publications, including:
- The Washington Post: “Lawmaker’s ‘Dharma Caucus’ stirs suspicion from Hindu and Sikh groups”
- Al Jazeera: “Hindu nationalist surge in India creating fissures in diaspora”
- Middle East Eye: “US Quran burning by student sparks concerns over rising Hindu nationalism”
- The Wire: “’Will Not Be Silenced’ Says Hindus For Human Rights After X Account Withheld in India”
- The Scroll: “X accounts of Indian American Muslim Council, Hindus for Human Rights withheld in India”
You can keep up with all of our press mentions here.
We also publish press releases on IAMC’s events, as well as our statements regarding important issues and events. Check out and share all of our October press releases:
- IAMC condemns PM Modi’s latest crackdown on free press, detention of journalists
- IAMC condemns Quran burning incident by high school student in Chicago suburbs
- Exposé: Interference by far-right Hindu American groups in US Political Processes
- IAMC expresses disappointment over Governor Newsom’s decision to veto bill on caste discrimination in California
- Indian Americans condemn ongoing Israeli war crimes against Palestinians
- Censorship alert: IAMC Urgently Demands Restoration of X Account Access in India
- IAMC Convenes Widely Attended National Convention in Texas
- Congressional Briefing: Umar Khalid’s Incarceration
- Indian Americans commend Senator Tammy Baldwin for introducing resolution to end the persecution of minorities in India
- American Bar Association report highlights India’s contravention of FATF guidelines in targeting civil society
IAMC is only as strong as its grassroots efforts, and we are proud to say that our chapters were on fire last month. Read more about their achievements below:
- Co-sponsored Free Palestine protest near CNN Center in Atlanta
- Co-sponsored CAIR GA Fundraising Gala dinner
- Hosted event featuring Anuradha Bhasin, Journalist and Executive Director of the Kashmir Times
- Attended and supported a general awareness meeting organized by The March 15th Forum, a nonprofit organization based on the UN designation of March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia
- Co-sponsored and participated in the massive Palestine Solidarity protests in Boston, attended by 10,000 people
- Made strides in Congressional outreach by meeting with Representative Jake Auchincloss, introducing him to IAMC, and briefing him on human rights abuses in India
- Continued with ongoing community outreach
- Played key role in planning, organizing, and hosting the IAMC Annual Convention in Plano, featuring a day-long Youth Leadership Empowerment Summit” with 82 high school students
- Participated in, spoke at, and supported five protests for Palestine
- Hosted an event with journalist Pieter Friedrich as part of his book tour
- Hosted coalition lunch meeting with over 60 – 70 attendees
- IAMC-DFW execs held a Tennis Match & Convention Marketing Social
- Attended North Texas Islamic Council Leadership Luncheon to “Facilitate Synergy & Cultivate Seamless Coordination Between Community” at MAS Islamic Center
- Co-sponsored and participated in a “JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE” rally at the Michigan State Capitol
- Co-organized panel discussion on Hindutva at MUC, Bloomfield Hills, along with Ambedkar Association of North America, Buddhist Council of North America, and India Catholic Association
- Participated in the 67th Dhammachakra Pravartan Din organized by the Ambedkar Association of North America
- Participated in protest with Jewish Voices of Peace (JVP) for ceasefire in Gaza at Washington DC and New York
- Joined with coalition partners (including CAIR, JVC, and AMP) in protesting for a ceasefire in Paterson, NJ
- Attended CAIR Gala fundraiser and other leadership summits in New Jersey
- Secured Congresswoman Ilhan Omar as keynote speaker for NJ annual fundraiser
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