(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/19/2008) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking that an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians in that nation again be denied a visa to travel to the U.S.
Recent news reports indicate that supporters of Narendra Modi, chief minister of India’s state of Gujarat, hope to have him attend the upcoming second World Gujarati Conference in Edison, N.J., on August 29-31, 2008.
SEE: Will Narendra Modi Get a Visa This Time?
SEE ALSO: Supporters Want Visa for Modi, US Non-Committal
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.” Modi’s administration has in the past distributed a social studies textbook praising Adolf Hitler.
The Washington Post has reported: “Human rights investigators found that the anti-Muslim violence had been encouraged and in some cases assisted by [Modi’s] government.” (4/19/04) A citizens panel, which included retired Indian Supreme Court judges, said the anti-Muslim rioters had acted “with the deliberate connivance and support” of the Gujarat state government. (Washington Post, 12/16/02)
In 2005, CAIR partnered with the Indian Muslim Council-USA and the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) to oppose Modi’s visa request to travel to the U.S. to speak at a convention in Florida. His request for a visa was denied.
In a letter to Secretary Rice, CAIR National Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed wrote in part:
“If a visa application is made for Chief Minister Modi, we request that it be denied on grounds similar to the Department of State’s visa denial in early 2005. Specifically, we request that if Modi requests a visa he be ruled inadmissible to the United States based on Section 604 of the International Religious Freedom Act, which bars entry to any foreign official who has engaged in ‘particularly severe violations of religious freedom.'”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 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
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey P. Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org