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
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
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
Sd/- Kaleem Kawaja
THE ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN MUSLIMS OF AMERICA
Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM)
P.O. Box 10654
Silver Spring, MD 20904