FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2019
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, condemns the institutional murder of Fathima Latheef, at IIT-Madras, pushed by Islamophobic, casteist prejudices. IAMC National President, Mr. Ahsan Khan, expressed solace and solidarity with the family of Fathima Latheef and has called for the criminal investigation of the faculty members named by Fathima.
In a statement, Mr.Ahsan Khan said: “Islamophobia, casteism and intolerance have no place in institutions of higher learning, and no place in India. We express our condolences to the family of Fathima Latheef and stand in solidarity with targeted communities and against the acts of hatemongers that violate Indian constitutional articles of respect and inclusion”.
“The persisting direction of normalizing hatred has roused bigots in their rhetoric and their actions, as evidenced by the institutional murders of bright young students like Rohit Vemula, Dr Payal Tadvi, Fathima Latheef and many others”, Mr. Khan said.
Fathima Latheef named three faculty members in her suicide note, which her family believe harassed her to the point of taking her own life. Her father blames faculty members at IIT-Madras for the death of his daughter. He has come forward to make statements saying that Fathima had been complaining about harassment due to her faith
This is neither the first, nor what appears to be the last, suicide by a student or academic in the last year and evidently stands as a larger systemic pattern of discrimination and harassment faced by minority students and students from marginalized communities- particularly Muslims and Dalits.
This unfortunate death serves as a reminder of bigoted, hateful mindsets continue to plague the Indian education system. Legal protections and safeguards need to be created; however, without greater processes of accountability and justice.
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: https://iamc.com/
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