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Indian Americans in Houston Protest Human Rights Violations in India

Slogans like “We Stand with Afreen Fatima,” and “Stop Indian Muslim Genocide” rent the air when hundreds of joined a coalition a protest against the human rights violations against Muslims, Christians and Dalits in India.

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Hundreds of Indian Americans in Houston joined a coalition of Muslim organisations in a protest against the human rights violations against Muslims, Christians and Dalits and also the derogatory remarks made by two members of the ruling BJP against Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

The IAMC statement said the condition of Muslims in India is appalling. “The police and judiciary remained complicit in the Indian government’s brutal crackdown against its Muslim citizens. In the month of June alone, several Muslims in India have been arbitrarily detained, and had their houses illegally demolished on flimsy grounds.”

President of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Houston Chapter, Shakeib Mashood, said, “India is rapidly turning into a fascist state where minorities are facing humiliation and harassment on a regular basis. We call on the community to join our coalition protest and have your voices heard.”

In its annual report released in April of 2022, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), listed India among its Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for the systematic, ongoing, egregious violation of religious freedom for the third consecutive year.

The deteriorating conditions for minorities has drawn the attention of elected officials, including State Representative of Minnesota, Ilhan Omar.

On June 21, Ms Omar introduced a House Resolution 1196 which condemns India for egregious violation of human rights and religious freedom. The resolution that was co-sponsored by Congressman Jim McGovern (MA), Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Congressman Juan Vargas (CA), also urges the State Department to act on the recommendations of USCIRF and designate India as a CPC under the International Religious Freedom Act.

The Director of Operations of Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Houston, William White, said, “The authoritarian Islamophobia demonstrated by the government in these states and across India is the same across the globe: collective punishment of innocent civilians as a means of retribution on those that partake in public protest.” He urged everyone to call their Congresspersons to pass House Resolution 1196.

The Houston crowd chanted slogans of unity with Muslims in India, including, “We Stand with Afreen Fatima,” and “Stop Indian Muslim Genocide.”

Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) President Ayman Kabire asked people to speak out against the barbaric violence against Muslims and Christians in India.

“We stand for justice. We stand for human rights. The egregious acts perpetrated against Indian Muslims and minorities need to stop. People of all walks of life should be condemning and working to highlight the plight of Indian Muslims,” he said.

Protests in solidarity with religious minorities in India have already taken place in California and Dallas, with cities like Seattle and Indianapolis following suit with upcoming protests.

The protest was organised by Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH), Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society(MAS), and Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA).

Protest against the human rights violations against Muslims, Christians and Dalits by the Indian government, in Houston.
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