|Statement of support from Interfaith Freedom Foundation|
March 9, 2005
The Interfaith Freedom Foundation, as a civil rights organization
dedicated to defending religious liberty, is appalled that Mr. Narendra
Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, a state in western India, will be
allowed to visit the US in March 2005 and will reportedly be speaking at
several venues. Most notoriously, he is scheduled to speak to the Asian
American Hotel Owners' Association (AAHOA) on March 24-26, 2005.
Every international human rights organization of any consequence has
identified Mr. Modi as being deeply involved in the genocide against
Muslims in the state of Gujarat during the period between February
28-March 02, 2002. These organizations include Amnesty International,
Human Rights Watch, and the Commission on International Religious
Freedom of our own US State Department.
The 2002 genocide in which Mr. Modi was involved resulted in the
death of some 2,000 Muslims and the estimated displacement of 200,000
more. The violence also included mass rapes of Muslim women and public
torture of children from Muslim families.
The Interfaith Freedom Foundation supports Coalition Against Genocide
in its campaign. The Interfaith Freedom Foundation is also considering a
call for a boycott of businesses affiliated with the AAHOA, especially
since the timing of the invitation to Mr. Modi suggests that his
appearance is actually a commemoration of the horrible events of March
2002. Such a public "celebration" of one of the most heartless pogroms
in recent history is nothing less than a deliberate provocation to the
people of the US.
All those who cherish religious liberty, and all people of goodwill
generally, should contact their elected representatives and demand that
Mr. Modi be prevented from entering our country. This is a transparent
attempt by Mr. Modi and other religious extremists to sow division and
hatred in our communities, and to pour salt in the wounds of those who
mourn the dead in the Gujarat massacre.
The US says it supports liberty for all religions. Will it be willing
to act on its rhetoric in this case, and keep this hate-driven extremist
from poisoning our country with his appeal to religious bigotry?
Interfaith Freedom Foundation
Post Office Box 133
Fremont CA 94537