Indian American Muslim Council Raises Funds to Support Projects

Chicago: Members of theIndian American Muslim Council (Chicago Chapter) held their Annual Fundraising Dinner last Saturday at the Albanian American Islamic Center. Speaking on the occasion Safeer Hashmi, President of IAMC- Chicago said that IAMC is an advocacy organization establlished in 2002 after the Gujrat carnage. He informed there are at present 10 chapters of IAMC in the US. He gave a detailed overview of the projects run by IAMC independently as well as in partnership with other advocacy groups.

He said the organization addresses the issues of social inequality, civil liberty and religious and racial discrimination in India. He added that IAMC fills the vacuum in advocacy work for Muslims and other ethnic minorities in India without duplicating the work of other advocacy groups. He informed the gathering that the IAMC in association with other organizations in India had tried to bring the people responsible for the Gujrat riot to justice. Besides the organization has created awareness to prevent any future incidents like that and to provide legal aid and support to the innocent young Muslims who are being put behind bars without any criminal involvement. He said IAMC is working to produce documentaries based on fake encounters which the Indian Police has been doing since the Gujrat riots, Ajmer and Samjhota Express killings in which young Muslims were picked up and killed during fake encounters. He informed IAMC has teamed up with Human Rights Legal Network (HRLN), largest legal network in India with 28 offices across the country assisted by 300 lawyers who are experts in human rights issues. IAMC has identified 50 cases for class action law suit. He said IAMC is also publishing guidebooks in different languages to educate people of their rights. He said the cost of a case is $ 2000 over a period of three years.

Professor Tanveer Fazal from Jamia Millia Islamia spoke on the theme of “Violence, Justice and Reconciliation.” He gave statistical analysis of human rights violations in India with a demographic and ethnic perspective. He mentioned the various political and religious factions that are responsible for social and racial inequities and their effect on the Indian society at large.

Keynote speaker Dr. Manisha Sethi, Assistant Professor at the Centre for the Study of Comparative Religions and Civilizations at Jamia Millia Islamia, spoke on “The blatant subversion of due processes in the course of investigations and the impact such bias has on the lives of young people so targeted.” Sethi is the President of Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association, a civil rights group of teachers formed in the aftermath of the Batla House ‘encounter’. JTSA has been closely involved in a campaign against extra-judicial killings and communal witch-hunt by investigating agencies. JTSA conducts investigations, produces fact- finding reports and provides legal aid. She gave a detailed insight into the Batla House encounter and the efforts of JTSA to create awareness and confront biased behavior of some media groups in India.

Farooq Ansari from IAMC Boston effectively raised funds to support the projects of IAMC.

Adnan Khan, national treasurer of IAMC, masterly emceed the event and talked about the issues faced by Indian Muslims and other minorities in India.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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