|Washington, DC (March 19, 2022) – Leading activists and academics raised awareness about the threat of mass violence faced by Indian Muslims during an event titled “The Impending Indian Muslim Genocide and Global Islamophobia,” hosted in San Diego, California. The event was hosted by the San Diego Coalition For Human Rights, comprising of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) -San Diego Chapter, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Jewish Voice for Peace, Pillars of the Community San Diego, Muslim American Society–PACE, and the Muslim Leadership Council of San Diego.|
“India is subsumed in a momentous political crisis, the most daunting since 1950,” said Dr. Angana Chatterji, co-founder of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir. “The practice of illiberal democracy today is accompanied by the call to fascism and the extermination of Muslims…. The BJP manifests caste oppression in the violent relationship of dominant caste privileged Hindus to Adivasis and Dalits, supports forcible conversions of Christians to Hinduism… and prohibits Muslim women’s right to wear the hijab.”
“The amplification of the reach of state power over minority lives has propelled an unabating emergency wherein the Indian government has exceeded its authority, extreme xenophobia in India today organizes Islamophobia as ostracization and racialism denigrates Indian Muslims as the enemy of Hindus,” Dr. Chatterji added.
|“Many of us need to understand the replacement theory, which has been developed in France, but the Hindu nationalists are using the same type of argument,” said Dr. Hatem Bazian, Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College. “[They say] that the minorities who are coming to Europe, or the Mexicans who are coming to the United States, are attempting to replace the white race. In a similar way, Hindu nationalists [say] that the Muslims are attempting to replace Hinduism.”|
“I [have written] about American political candidates and elected officials and their links or ties, their interactions with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), especially with their RSS and BJP affiliates here in the US,” said Pieter Friedrich, a freelance journalist specializing in analysis of affairs in South Asia. “Thanks to my relentless efforts to expose the RSS-BJP agenda in India and abroad, I was named in a press conference by Delhi police a year ago, and I am now presumably and sadly banned from India.”
“Hindus everywhere need to stand up and speak up against this really poisonous variant of Hindu nationalism that threatens to destroy not just the wonderful civilization and ethos that is India, but really a lot of communities everywhere in the world,” said Prof. Rohit Chopra, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Santa Clara University.
|“How can I represent an India where Muslim girls and Muslim women are stripped of their head covering, which is part of their clothing, in the middle of the streets before they step into their schools and colleges? How can I represent an India where Muslim women are sold on an app on other online platforms?” said Dr. Samina Salim, Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Houston. “I do not represent this India where Muslim women are raped, killed, and burned alive. I am not proud of that India. This is an India I did not grow up in; this is an India that I do not identify with.”|
The organizers of the event also stressed the importance of international solidarity with Indian Muslims.
“Muslims in India, who have contributed so immensely to India’s civilization, are being threatened and assaulted by Hindu extremists,” said Malcolme Morgan, Public Relations Director of Muslim Leadership Council of San Diego. “We must unite together, whether we are Muslim or not, to hold the oppressive Indian government accountable for spreading Islamophobia and inciting violence against Muslims minorities. Our rich heritage as Muslims can be seen from West Africa to East Asia. Unfortunately Muslims in India, who have contributed so immensely to India’s civilization, are being threatened and assaulted by Hindu extremists. We must unite together, whether we are Muslim or not, to hold the oppressive Indian government accountable for spreading Islamophobia and inciting violence against Muslims minorities. This is not merely a case of religious rights being violated. This is an egregious human rights violation that must not be ignored,” added Mr. Morgan.
“Our event… was an important reminder that we must all be vocal and insistent on the need to bring attention to the dire situation of Muslims in India,” said Khalid Alexandre, President of Pillars Of The Community, San Diego.
The San Diego Coalition For Human Rights has reaffirmed its commitment to upholding India’s constitutional values of tolerance, pluralism, and secularism, where the human rights of all communities are upheld.