December 02, 2002
Three major Indian Muslim organizations in the US, the Association of Indian Muslims (AIM,) the Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA)and the Indian Muslim Relief Committee (IMRC) are calling upon the Muslims in the U.S to observe December 6th as Babri Mosque day.
This call has been endorsed by the national Muslim organizations in the U.S including the American Muslim Alliance (AMA),the American Muslim Council(AMC), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Friends of Muslims in India (AFMI), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Joint Statement of AIM, AFMI, IMC-USA and IMRC:
On December 6th ten years ago, the world looked the other way as a democracy of millions allowed a few thousand to demolish its most prized possession: a pluralistic and tolerant ethos.
Defying the orders of the Supreme Court of India and their own promise to the nation, the Hindutva fascist forces demolished the historic Babri mosque that was built to honor the great enlightened emperor Babar. Many Indian stalwarts, including the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, consider the poet-warrior king to be one of the greatest Indian heroes.
Not a single unit of the country’s mighty military was called, no special commandos were rushed to the spot and no effective resistance offered by the police forces present, as a mob of vandals, egged on by their Hindutva-fascist demagogues (that included L.K. Advani, who has subsequently risen to become India’s current Deputy PM), pulled down the historic four hundred year old Mosque with axes and scythes in broad daylight.
Dome by dome and wall by wall, India’s secularism was hammered upon until it was nothing but rubble. Each brick was then assiduously removed – some taken home as souvenirs, as if the perpetrators feared that the centuries old pluralistic tradition might somehow arise out of the rubble and stake its claim again.
Hindutva-fascists celebrated this egregious event across India with glee, leading to further victimization of minorities, particularly Muslims. They killed more than 2000 Muslims in the aftermath of the mosque’s demolition. Since that watershed event, wounds of increasing brutality continue to be inflicted on India’s ethos.
The worst-ever violence was sparked off this year in Gujarat state when terrorists belonging to Hindutva-fascist groups such as the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal, all of whom are closely allied with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), were returning from the Babri Mosque site, where they had assembled to demand the construction of a temple without regard for the verdict of the courts, though the matter is sub judice.
Human Rights Watch and others have reported how Hindutva-fascist groups and the state administration joined hands in the violence against Muslims in Gujarat. Over 2000 were brutally killed, 1000 women and minor girls raped – many of them subsequently burnt alive, and over 200,000 made homeless refugees simply because they belong to a minority community.
While on one hand, Hindutva-fascists have shown total contempt for India’s legal system in this matter, on the other hand they have insidiously strengthened their presence in the administration from the lowest local to highest national levels as part of an overall plan. They have renewed their vows to demolish 3000 more mosques, many of which are considered as historic treasures.
The parallels with nazi and fascist movements of Hitler and Mussolini are striking. Indian Muslims, along with other minorities, find themselves in a totally helpless situation, as the world around them watches in silence. In remembrance of the Babri Mosque demolition, Muslims across India will be observing a subdued Eid-ul-fitr (Festival of charity, commomorating the end of Ramadan) this year. Muslims around the world, including the US will join them through special prayers on the most auspicious of the Islamic holidays.
The US based Indian Muslim organizations are calling upom the Indian government to honor the promise given by the former Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, a day after the mosque was demolished. In a nationally televised address he had promised to re-built the mosque on its original site and had vowed to bring the criminals involve to justice.
The rise of Hindutva-fascism in a volatile part of the world that has recently been on the brink of a nuclear exchange is cause of concern for all of us. On this 10th anniversary of the destruction of the historic Babri Mosque, we urge peoples and governments across the world to speak out against this evil phenomenon so that a gruesome chapter of human history does not repeat itself. Let us recall Pastor Martin Niemoller’s warning on a similar phenomenon over fifty years ago:
“Then they came for me- and there was no one left, to speak out for me”
For Additional Information, Please Contact:
Indian Muslim Council – USA