WASHINGTON, DC: More than 60 civil society organisations from 11 countries and nearly a dozen prominent personalities expressed solidarity with the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) vis-à-vis Indian government’s intemperate accusations against the US-based forum.
In a statement, they termed the baseless allegations levelled by the Modi government against the organisation Islamophobic.
Reacting to the former vice-president Hamid Ansari’s remark that there has been a rise of religious majoritarianism in India in recent years, the Modi Government had gone on the offensive with sitting ministers launching a tirade against him while some went on to even accuse him of treason. Taking a cue, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi took a dig at the participants and even the organisers of the event, Hindus for Human rights and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), accusing them of bias and political interests.
While Bagchi tried to find a political motive behind organising the event, Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi went a step further linking the IAMC with the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an outfit banned purported to have involved in terrorist activities.
“These disgusting accusations, which are primarily being peddled by a Hindutva-affiliated fake news outlet, have already been thoroughly refuted by IAMC, and do not deserve to be dignified by any further response,” they said.
Full text of the statement:
“On January 26, 2022 – India’s 73rd Republic Day – an interfaith coalition of 17 organisations organised a Special Congressional Briefing on “Protecting India’s Pluralist Constitution”. The event featured recorded remarks by members of the United States Congress, senior leaders from top human rights advocacy organisations, and the former vice-president of India Hamid Ansari, among others. Speakers at the event shared their well wishes for the Republic of India on its Republic Day, and discussed the rising threats to the secular, pluralist vision expressed in the Indian Constitution.
“The briefing was hosted by Hindus for Human Rights, Indian American Muslim Council, Amnesty International USA, Genocide Watch, 21Wilberforce, International Christian Concern, Jubilee Campaign, Dalit Solidarity Forum, New York State Council of Churches, Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America, India Civil Watch International, Students Against Hindutva Ideology, Center for Pluralism, American Muslim Institution, International Society for Peace and Justice, Association of Indian Muslims of America, and the Humanism Project (Australia).
“In the days since this Special Congressional Briefing, we have seen a barrage of attacks on the event and its organizers by Indian political and media figures alike, as well as the Indian government’s Ministry of External Affairs. These attacks have manifested almost exclusively in the form of a vile, Islamophobic smear campaign directed against the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), which has been baselessly accused of being sponsored by the Pakistani government and having links to terrorist organizations.