(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/18/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a decision by the United States to deny a visa to an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians.
CAIR said U.S. officials cited the role of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, in 2002 anti-Muslim riots that left more than 1000 dead. Modi was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the annual convention of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) to be held later this month in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
SEE: “U.S. Cancels Narendra Modi’s Visa” http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?storyID=7942917
In recent weeks, CAIR and other groups joined forces to block Modi’s entry to the United States. CAIR urged the Bush administration to deny Modi a visa based on a section (Sec. 604) of the International Religious Freedom Act that makes any foreign official who has engaged in “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” inadmissible to the United States. Media reports indicate that U.S. officials used that provision to revoke his visa.
Earlier this week, CAIR called on American Express to withdraw its sponsorship from the Florida convention. CAIR also lobbied Congress to urge a denial of Modi’s visa and CAIR offices in New York and Georgia hosted or planned events designed to heighten awareness of the issue.
SEE: “U.S. Muslims Seek to Block Entry of Gujarat Massacre Figure” http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1451&theType=NR
“Muslims Ask AmEx to Withdraw Sponsorship of FL Event” http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1492&theType=NR
“This case demonstrates what can be accomplished when Muslim, human rights and minority groups work together for a common purpose,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We would like to thank those groups and the thousands of people worldwide who took action by contacting the State Department, the White House, Congress, and the media in defense of the victims of Gujarat.”
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
Contact Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to thank her for denying a visa to Narendra Modi.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
2201 C St NW
Washington, DC 20520
Web Site: www.state.gov
Phone: (202) 647-4000
Fax: (202) 647-2283