US NGOs Hindus for Human Rights, Indian American Muslim Council and Amnesty International USA Call a Press Conference on International Human Rights Day to #FreeFaisalKhan
On Thursday December 10th, INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, members of the press are invited by Hindus for Human Rights, Indian American Muslim Council, and Amnesty International USA, to a press conference on the unjust arrest of Gandhian peace activist Faisal Khan in Mathura, Uttar Pradhesh, India.
Thursday Dec 10, 20207 am PST/ 10 am EST /8:30 pm ISTLink to register: tinyurl.com/FaisalKhanPresser
PRESS CONTACTS:Sunita Viswanath, Hindus for Human Rights, 001-917-518-2441, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minhaj Khan, Indian American Muslim Council, 001-732-713-1515, email@example.com
Govind Acharya, Amnesty International USA, 001-607-227-3477, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPEAKER LIST (more may be added)
- Faisal Khan’s Legal Counsel
- Rajmohan Gandhi, Biographer, Scholar and grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi
- Anand Patwardhan, Indian documentary member and human rights defender
- Medha Patkar, Veteran Indian social activist
- Shaffaq Mohammed, Member of the European Parliament since 2019
- Dr. Anantanand Rambachan, Vedantic Scholar and Professor of Religion
- Rev Chloe Breyer, Executive Director, Interfaith Center of New York; Associate Minister, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
- Rabbi Alissa Wise, Deputy Director, Jewish Voice for Peace and JVP-Action
- Ani Zonneveld, Founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV)
Faisal Khan was arrested on November 3rd for doing namaz (Muslim prayers) in a Hindu temple in Mathura. Faisal Khan is the National Convener of Khudai Kidmatgar. He had revived this movement for peace and communal harmony, started by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Frontier Gandhi) in 1929, and revived by Faisal Khan in 2011. Faisal and three other members of Khudai Kidmatgar were on a yatra (journey) through the area in Uttar Pradesh known as Brij, an area of pilgrimage for Krishna devotees, to promote the message of communal harmony. They visited many houses of worship over the 5-day yatra. On the last day, October 30, they arrived at Nand Baba Temple and spent several pleasant hours in discussions about theology and social harmony with the priest and others in the temple. When it was time for the midday namaz (Muslim Prayer) Faisal said he would go outside to pray. The priest invited him to pray right there in the temple compound.
Four days later, the photos of Faisal and his colleague Chand Mohammed praying in the Hindu temple had gone viral, and an FIR (police complaint) was filed by the same priest who had invited him to pray. The charges against Faisal Khan were two-fold: 1) that he did namaz in a Hindu temple without permission, and with an intent to create disharmony; and 2) that he had revived Khudai Kidmatgar to raise funds from national and foreign sources for nefarious activities.
Our press conference calls for the release of Faisal Khan, who has been unjustly arrested, and the dropping of all changes against him.
- #FreeFaisalKhan petition
- Web page on Faisal Khan arrest: https://www.hindusforhumanrights.org/freefaisalkhan
- Short video by Anand Patwardhan (English): https://youtu.be/3pTlAd92ibY
- Short video by Anand Patwardhan (Hindi): https://youtu.be/7pUZovebdOQ
- Hindustan Times, In memory of Frontier Gandhi, a plea for justice for Faisal Khan, Oped by Rajmohan Gandhi, Nov 29. 2020
- Indian Express, Why is Faisal Khan, a human rights activist, in prison for an act of peace?, Oped by Anand Patwardhan, Dec 5, 2020
- Scroll.In, The Heroism of Khudai Khidmatgars in today’s India, Oped by Anand Patwardhan, Dec 5, 2020
- The Wire, Why I Think All Hindus Should Fight Against Faisal Khan’s Arrest, Oped by Sunita Viswanath, Dec 8, 2020
- Solidarity statement signed by Hindu clergy and community members: https://www.hindusforhumanrights.org/freefaisalkhan
Indian American Muslim Council
Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: www.iamc.com