Thursday January 20, 2011
Indian American Muslim Council http://www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguard India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has expressed shock and dismay at the reported statement of Maulana Vastanvi, the newly appointed rector of Darul-Uloom Deoband, stating there is “no discrimination against the minorities” in Gujarat.
While the leading Indian and International Human Rights groups as well as the US State Department report continued discrimination in Gujarat, it is ironic that an Islamic scholar from Gujarat purporting to speak on behalf of the community believes in glossing over the harsh reality of the community’s continued victimization.
“With riot victims still living in squalid refugee camps, the former Gujarat Home Minister in judicial custody for fake encounters that target Muslim youth, and the prime culprits of the 2002 pogroms still at large, the Maulana’s statement is beyond comprehension,” said Shaheen Khateeb, president of IAMC. “If the Maulana was directly connected to the grassroots, the continued suffering of the minorities in Gujarat, particularly the Muslims, would not be lost on him,” added Mr. Khateeb.
IAMC has called upon Maulana Vastanvi to retract his statements and tender an apology to the community. While it is important for Muslims to avail of economic opportunities in the market, progress need not come at the cost of justice and basic empathy for those that are still suffering from the machinations of one of the most prejudiced state administrations in recent history.
Several scholars and community leaders from Gujarat and other parts of India have condemned Maulana Vastanvi’s statements asking for a retraction. Many point to the squalid living conditions in Muslim localities like Shah Alam and Juhapura in Western Ahmedabad where many of the victims of the 2002 Gujarat pogroms have resettled.
Indian American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our website at www.iamc.com.
1. Muslim activists in Gujarat condemn Vastanavi’s praise of Modi
TwoCircles.net, Jan 20, 2011
2. Muslim leaders aghast at Deoband chief’s remarks on Modi
The Times of India, Jan 20, 2011
3. New Deoband chief lauds Modi’s Gujarat
The Times of India, Jan 19, 2011
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