IMC-USA campaign to mark Victory for Pluralism, Press Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Press Release

March 23, 2005

The Indian Muslim Council-USA, an advocacy group working towards protecting and promoting minority rights in India and a founding member of the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), has announced it will hold a Press Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Saturday 26th March at 11:00 AM.

Narendra Modi the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat was barred from entering USA by the State Department under the International Religious Freedom Act citing severe violations of religious freedom by Modi. During the 2002 pogroms in Gujarat presided over by Modi more than 2000 Muslims were killed and thousands were made homeless. Three years after the violence, no one has been brought to justice.

Modi was invited as a guest of honor by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) at its annual convention in Fort Lauderdale, FL on March 24-26. Even after Modi was denied entry by US government the AAHOA stood by its decision to invite Modi and is making arrangements to broadcast Modi’s speech via satellite video conference at the Broward County Convention Center.

Coalition Against Genocide started a multi-pronged campaign protesting Modi’s visit and campaigned with the State Department to deny him an entry. The denial of visa to Modi is a landmark victory for the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG). The 38 organizations in U.S. and Canada that constitute CAG represent a spectrum that include women’s organizations, youth collectives, secular groups as well as Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Muslim organizations.

The “Victory for Pluralism” campaign being held by IMC-USA and CAG included a weekend Teach-In, a Documentary Screening and will conclude with a Press Conference. The Press Conference will highlight the continuing human rights violations in the Indian state of Gujarat and push further for the speedy delivery of justice to the victims of the 2002 pogrom. The conference will also focus on the contribution of Modi’s US based supporters to the rise in anti-American violence in India and challenge the role of the US supporters of the hate politics espoused by Narendra Modi and his political party.

What: Press Conference

When: 11:00 AM March 26, 2005

Where: Near Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL
17th Street and Eisenhower Blvd (Walgreen’s intersection)

Contact:

Syed Rahman
IMC-USA, Florida Chapter
Tel: 954-205-1048
media@imc-usa.org

More News Links:

Indian politician denied US visa
Date: 18 Mar 2005
Source: BBC
URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4360259

US Commission Deeply Concerned About Visit of Gujarat State Minister
Date: 17 Mar 2005
Source: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
URL: http://www.uscirf.gov/prPages/pr0270.php3

Modi’s address to US via satellite
Date: March 21, 2005
Source: Indian Express
URL: http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=43578

Matthews of ‘Hardball’ Retreats from Speech After Muslim Protest
Date: 10 Mar 2005
Source: New York Sun
Author: Josh Gerstein
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/10338

Pressure on U.K. to revoke Modi’s visa
Date: 24 Mar 2005
Source: The Hindu
Author: Hasan Suroor
URL: http://www.hindu.com/2005/03/24/stories/2005032409281100.htm

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