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Modi is not a victim

Washington DC, 23 March, 2005
Email from Arvin Shah

Some pro-RSS Hindus in USA, who are defending Modi, and are presenting him to the US public as a "victim", of US visa denial. Yes, it is outrageous that these well educated people who live and thrive in US, due to the large-heartedness of US population and the egalitarian pluralism practiced here, are demonisizing tyrant Modi's victims in Gujarat, and those who dare speak for the victims.

We 150,000 to 200,000 Indian Muslims who live in US must ask ourselves how such an outrageous thing can happen. Even though the Gujarat massacre of Muslims was a horrible event, Muslims in India have suffered from much organized large scale violence fort decades. Remember the Bombay violence of 2003 in the aftermath of the Babri mosque demolition. Remember the horrible anti-Muslim violence in Ahmedabad (1970s-1990s), Bhivandi (1982), Meerut (1987), Bhagalpur (1989), Nellie, Assam (1982), etc. etc. It is a long unbroken string.

Regrettably we Indian Muslims, who live outside India (North America, Europe, Gulf countries), have remained silent when all these massacres happened. For sure we felt very sad, but we accepted it as our fate and choose to take no action. Other than talking about it in dinner parties in our houses, where it was an emotional topic of discussion, we took no action. Even though we NRI Muslims are financially well off, we did not give any donation to support any group that tried to speak up and draw public attention to it.

We did not attend any public meetings for that purpose. We did not volunteer our time for such efforts. We prayed that Allah will solve the problem, but we ourselves did absolutely nothing.

Today when this RSS group in Tampa tries to whitewash the crimes of Modi and paints him as a "victim of US injustice", there is pressing need that we ourselves operate a similar information dissemination campaign, to inform the same US public. For instance we can publish an advertisement or OPED column in the major newspaper in Tampa, telling people what are the facts of the Modi and Gujarat situation. We can hold a seminar on a public service TV channel in Tampa for US public telling them about the

Gujarat situation and telling common people how US action against Modi was most justified. We can do the same thing in other major cities where RSS guys are organizing similar "support Modi" campaigns.

Now that will need funding by the Indian Muslim community in US. Are we ready to support those who are risking their careers, families, not to mention giving so much of their time? They too have careers, professional aspirations, children to educate, mortgages to pay, car loans to pay etc. Or are we just content by writing a few e-mails? No body is asking you to do anything radical or irrational. Just stand up and tell the truth.

Let us do it my dear friends. Now that the US public's attention is focused on this issue and the US govt. itself has made a judgment. Strike the iron when it is hot.

Sd/- Kaleem Kawaja
Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM)
P.O. Box 10654
Silver Spring, MD 20904

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