Indian Americans welcome Congressman Joe Walsh’s election defeat as a victory for pluralism

Indian Americans welcome Congressman Joe Walsh’s election defeat as a victory for pluralism

Modi supporter ousted out of office in Indian American concentrated district, despite huge SuperPAC funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday November 8th, 2012
Indian American Muslim Council (http://www.iamc.com) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has congratulated the citizens of the 8th Congressional District of Illinois, for electing the inclusive vision of Tammy Duckworth, over the divisive agenda of incumbent Congressman Joe Walsh.

Mr. Walsh was the first elected official to openly campaign for granting a visa to Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, whose entry into the US was banned under the International Religious Freedom Act. This law makes any foreign government official who “was responsible for severe violations of religious freedom” ineligible for a US visa. The law was invoked for Mr. Modi for his complicity in the horrific Gujarat pogrom of 2002 that claimed the lives of over 2,000 people and displaced over 150,000.

Ms. Duckworth, known for her unwavering commitment to human rights and inclusive politics, handily defeated freshman Walsh, whose unquestioning support for Mr. Modi displayed a level of insensitivity to human rights violations not seen among elected public officials.

Joe Walsh’s defeat is also a tribute to the tenacity of the district, with a high concentration of South Asians who rejected fear tactics and hate-mongering by Super PACs and special interest groups. SuperPACs like “Indian Americans for Freedom” poured large sums of money into the campaign with ads proclaiming “If you love Modi, send Joe Walsh to Congress.” The fact that such an affinity for Modi and the divisiveness he represents backfired at the ballot box is a reassuring sign about the future of pluralism.

“In a nation that cherishes tolerance, Mr. Walsh’s defeat demonstrates the futility of divisive agendas and the promotion of human rights violators,” said Mr. Shaheen Khateeb, President of IAMC. “It is clear that Walsh’s attack on Duckworth, for being ‘on the wrong side of history,’ was woefully misguided and rather ironic,” added Mr. Khateeb.

IAMC is hopeful that Ms. Duckworth’s tenure in the House of Representatives will be marked by a fearless defense of our common values and contribute to the advancement of justice and human rights abroad.

Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 13 chapters across the nation.

RELATED LINKS:
Duckworth defeats Walsh in congressional contest
Walsh Rewarded by Another Super PAC for Extreme Views
Congressman Walsh ‘won’t smile’ till Modi is invited to US
Indian American Group welcomes Congressional Resolution on Gujarat Violence on its 10th anniversary
India: A Decade on, Gujarat Justice Incomplete – Human RIghts Watch, Feb 24, 2012
Muslims are Gujarat’s new outcastes: Survey – DNA, March 2, 2012
2008: US State Department confirms Modi will not be given visa
27 US Lawmakers want Modi’s visa ban extended; Coalition Against Genocide gets support from more congresspersons
US Congressman Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania writes to State Department
http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/cag.pr.06aug2008.php
2008: Letter from Representative Betty McCollum to the US Department of State
http://coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/mccollum.letter.08jul2008.pdf
2008: USCIRF Urges Denial of U.S. Visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
http://coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/uscirf.letter.08jul2008.php
India: Gujarat Chief Minister Endorses Unlawful Killings, Human Rights Watch, December 7, 2007
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/12/07/india17510_txt.htm
NO ENTRY FOR MODI – By Vijay Prashad, Outlook Magazine, March 12-25, 2005
http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2207/stories/20050408003313100.htm
2005 House Resolution H.RES 160 – ‘Condemning the conduct of Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his actions to incite religious persecution and urging the United States to condemn all violations of religious freedom in India.’
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.RES.160:
‘Did this letter stop Modi?’ – Rediff.com, March 18, 2005
http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/mar/18pitts.htm
‘Understanding Gujarat Violence’ By Ashutosh Varshney, Contemporary Conflicts, Mar 26, 2004
http://conconflicts.ssrc.org/archives/gujarat/varshney/

CONTACT:

Indian American Muslim Council
Zafar Haq
Phone: (800) 839-7270
Email: info@iamc.com
Address:
6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295
Morton Grove, IL 60053
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com
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