‘It is a matter of grave concern that some volunteers of Emgage appear to be supporting Kulkarni, a known supporter of BJP/RSS who are carrying out much violence and human rights violations of 200 million Muslims in India’
WASHINGTON, DC – As the United States gears up for its 59th quadrennial presidential elections in November, the Washington DC-based Association of Indian Muslims (AIM) of America, an organisation of Indian-American expatriate Muslims living in the US, has opposed the candidature of Preston Kulkarni, the Democratic candidate in TX-22 district (Suburbs of Houston), Texas.
In a letter to the Muslim advocacy group Emgage, an influential advocacy group of the American Muslim community in greater Houston (Texas), AMI, a non-profit, non-political non-governmental organisation of Muslims from India who live in North America, has pointed out that Kulkarni is an Islamophobe and known supporter of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), and hence should not be supported in the elections.
The letter addressed to Emgage’s Farooq Mithwa, Board Member (Virginia), and Wa’el Alzayat, Chief Executive Officer, AMI executive director Kaleem Kawaja says, “Our Association is a supporter of Emgage. We appeal to you to discuss this subject with the cognizant Emgage folks in Texas and ask them to at least not support Preston Kulkarni, a well-known Islamophobe. And if possible, oppose him. Our Association greatly appreciates your help.”
According to Kawaja, since 2014, when the anti-Muslim BJP acquired power in the Central Indian government with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, 200 million Muslims in India have suffered horrible discrimination, injustice, organised brutalities and violations of human rights at the hands of BJP, police and other agencies of the government. The parent body of BJP is a fascist organisation by the name RSS.
“For the last five years, RSS is actively propagating Islamophobia in US politics. In the 2020 election, they have put up about a dozen candidates for the US House of Representatives from both the Republican and Democratic parties, in US, with huge infusion of funds that are brought from their anti-Muslim Hindu supporters in India and in US”, says the letter.
The AMI told Emgage, known for its Million-Muslim-Votes campaign, that Kulkarni was one such fascist Hindu candidate who managed to win the 2020 Democratic party primary election and was the candidate in TX-22 district in Texas (a suburb of Houston).
“Kulkarni had contested the same seat with the fascist Hindu RSS group support in 2018 but did not win the seat. In 2018, for some strange reason, the Emgage Texas chapter had endorsed him, even though he is well known as supportive of the anti-Muslim fascist groups in India and was supported by big funds from RSS. This year again he is working closely with the Emgage volunteers in greater Houston to sway he Muslim votes in that district in his favour,” says Kawaja.
“In this constituency there are about 24,000 Muslim voters. Thus, Muslim votes in this district carry a lot of value. More than anything, it is a matter of grave concern that some volunteers of Emgage appear to be supporting Kulkarni, a known supporter of BJP/RSS who are carrying out much violence and human rights violations of 200 million Muslims in India,” the concluded.
Emgage is a family of institutions that seeks to empower Muslim Americans through political literacy and civic engagement. Through efforts such as political education initiatives, engaging with elected officials, etc, Emgage works to maximise the impact of Muslim American communities, and demonstrate their inherency within American politics.