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Muslims Ask AMEX To Withdraw Sponsorship Of FL Event

Convention will honor Indian official linked to Gujarat massacre (WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/16/05) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on American Express to withdraw its sponsorship of a Florida convention that will honor an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, is a keynote speaker at the annual convention of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) to be held later this month in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Following anti-Muslim riots in 2002 that left more than 1000 civilians dead, senior officials in Gujarat said they had been directed by Modi to allow the massacres to run their course. Modi allegedly called the riots “anticipated Hindu reaction” and “a natural outpouring.” Last Week, CAIR also revealed that Modi’s administration distributed a social studies textbook praising Adolf Hitler. Earlier this month, MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews cited a “scheduling conflict” in withdrawing from a speech to the AAHOA convention.

The Indian Muslim Council-USA and a newly-formed group, the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), asked both Matthews and American Express to withdraw from the Florida event. CAG is also planning protests at a planned Modi visit to New York on March 20th and plans a similar demonstration in Florida on March 24th. SEE: : and CAIR is urging the Bush administration to block Modi’s entry 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.


URGE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO DENY VISA FOR NARENDRA MODI“American Express needs to disassociate itself and its customers from an event honoring a man accused of complicity in mass murder,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor. 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:

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:


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