Indian American Muslim group calls on Indian Home Minister to clarify his remarks on Jihad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 24, 2009

Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA: http://www.imc-usa.org) an advocacy group dedicated towards safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, calls on Indian Home Minister Chidambaram to clarify his remarks on Jihad in his address to Intelligence Bureau on Wednesday the 23rd of December, 2009.

According to reports Mr. P. Chidambaram, the Home Minister of India at the 22nd Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture, equated Jihad with terrorism while referring to Crusades as a conventional war. He reportedly also stated that Jihad is war against unbelievers. He also stated that the tactics of Jihadis have been copied by other militant groups including Hindu militant groups.

This interpretation of Jihad from the Home Minister comes after his statements that the faith of Muslims cannot be viewed as an alien faith and that Muslims are honored citizens of India . At that time the Home Minister was addressing a gathering of 50,000 Muslims including 10,000 clerics at the annual conference of Deoband Seminary organized by Jamiat-Ulema- Hind on November 9, 2009.

“These conflicting messages to different audiences raises the concern that the Home Minister may not fully understand the faith of Islam, a faith adhered by 161 Million citizens of India and 1.57 Billion citizens of the world,” said Mr. Rasheed Ahmed, president of Indian Muslim Council-USA. He further stated that, “As the Home Minister of an emerging global power one hopes Mr. Chidambaram would be more cautious and informed while referring to religious terminology of the faith of 23% of the world population.”

Indian Muslim Council-USA is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.

CONTACT:

Dr. Hyder Khan
Phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email: media@imc-usa.org

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