Interfaith, Human Rights Groups Express Concern About Rep. Brad Sherman’s Participation in ‘Pep Rally’ for Indian PM Modi

Coalition calls for Rep. Sherman to not attend ‘Howdy, Modi’ rally and instead meet with local constituent groups.

(LOS ANGELES, CA - 9/12/2019) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today joined with an interfaith coalition to express concern about California Congressman Brad Sherman’s (D-30) plans to attend a rally for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sept. 22 in Houston because of that official’s history of human rights abuses.

Additionally, Rep. Sherman is encouraging other members of Congress to attend the event, entitled “Howdy, Modi.” The event is being held at NRG Stadium, with an estimated 50,000 expected to attend.

READ: Dem Congressman Invites Colleagues to ‘Pep Rally’ for Narendra Modi

In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

“We are calling on Rep. Sherman to reconsider attending an event honoring a brutal and continual violator of human rights. By associating with despots like Prime Minister Modi, Rep. Sherman and other members of Congress who attend this rally would legitimize his atrocities against Muslims and Kashmiris in India and disenfranchise local Kashmiri families.”

The interfaith coalition includes: CAIR-LA, Stand With Kashmir, the American Sikh Public Affairs Association, the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim American Society of Greater Los Angeles, the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative,  the Muslim Ummah of North America and the North American Indian Muslim Association.

In a letter to Rep. Sherman, the interfaith coalition pointed to the Indian government’s well-documented human rights abuses targeting minority Muslim, Dalit and Christian communities, as well as the recent crackdown on Kashmir.

In the letter, the coalition wrote:

India’s military has maintained a continued communications and internet blackout of Kashmir, forcibly detained 4,000 elected Kashmiri political leaders, business leaders, civil society members and rights activists in secret jails, and levied a near-constant curfew on the region’s 8 million residents. There are widespread reports of torture of detainees.” 

SEE: Letter to Congressman Brad Sherman re: India Prime Minister Modi

In addition to canceling his plans to attend the rally, the interfaith coalition is requesting that Rep. Sherman with coalition representatives and members of the local Kashmiri American community to address concerns.

“In the past, Rep. Sherman has rightfully supported immigrants, civil and human rights, both in the United States and abroad,” Ayloush said. “We are hoping for his support and assurances he stands against the human rights abuses in India as well.”

CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims. 


CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-851-4851 or

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