Document Sample
letter-to-president-barak-obama Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                      Manzoor Ghori
                                                                                      3354 Vernon Terrace
                                                                                      Palo Alto, CA 94303

                                                                                       October 25, 2011

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Honorable President Obama,

        Thank you so much for your interest in the U.S.-India relationship and your support for the
growing Indian Diaspora community living in the United States. As a community, we are strong
supporters of your presidency and look forward to your continued leadership, support and initiatives in
the future.

        As a leading non-profit charity organization dedicated toward providing affordable education &
health care, economic assistance and thus alleviating poverty in India, I would like to highlight some of
the work the Indian Muslim Relief and Charities (IMRC) is doing to support marginalized and minority
communities in rural India. The donations we raise throughout the United States fund our charitable
projects in India. We provide educational and financial support to thousands of children, destitute and
needy orphans & families by supporting medical clinics, women’s training centers and other social
welfare institutions. IMRC also provides immediate relief for communal violence and natural disaster
victims of any faith and disseminates information about Muslims and other minority groups in India.

         As the United States develops its growing relationship with India, we must continue to press the
Indian Government and the administration on their human rights violations, including extrajudicial
killings of persons in police custody, torture and rape by police officers and other security personnel.

        A lack of accountability and delays in obtaining legal redress for past attacks against minorities
due to weak law enforcement and corruption has created an atmosphere of impunity. For few, India has
been consistently included in the list of countries of concern for its Human rights and religious freedom
violations. There are numerous incidents of Muslim youths being arrested under anti-terror legislation
such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) during incidents of terror despite the lack of solid
evidence against them. In fact, there have been many recent examples of Hindutva extremists’ roles in
connection with these terrorist activities including the blasts on Samjhauta Express on February 18, 2007,
at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007 and on the shrine of the Sufi saint Mainuddin Chisti in
Ajmer on October 11, 2007.

         The staggering rate of poverty and the growing gap between the rich and the poor in India is
serious and an area that needs to be addressed. 828 million people, or 76% of India’s population, still live
on less than $2 per day. This population does not have the proper education, workforce skills, social
capital, nor access to health care and basic infrastructure to participate in and benefit from India’s
enormous growth and success. In the 2008 International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Global
Hunger Index which ranks countries on prevalence of child malnutrition, rates of child mortality, and the
proportion of people who are calorie deficient, India’s status has been categorized as “extremely

        In 2005, the Department of State made a policy decision to deny the Chief Minister of Gujarat,
Narendra Modi, a visa under the International Religious Freedom Act for his complicity and allowing the
2002 Gujarat riots that resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 Indian Muslims and non-Hindus and the rape,
gang rape, and molestation of hundreds of Muslim women. Chief Minister Narendra Modi has continued
to violate the religious freedom of not only Indian Muslims, but also Christians. Mr. Modi has used sate
police forces to routinely beat Christian pastors and priests and to conduct extra-judicial killings of
Muslim youth. In addition, Mr. Modi has interfered with the safe return of more than 100,000 people
displaced from the 2002 riots. Mr. Modi and his administration closed the files on over 2,000 police cases
where the victims filed reports of rapes, killings, and destruction of their property.

         There have also been recent reports that increasing misuse of the law to harass those on the side
of truth has reached crisis proportions in India. Over the last decade the number of whistleblowers who
have been put under extreme duress through the misuse of the law against them is a matter of much
concern. Police officers who speak out against Modi and are willing to come forth regarding his
complicity in the 2002 communal riots are being targeted and harassed by the state government. We urge
you to maintain a ban on Modi’s visa to the United States, as it will continue to send a strong signal to the
human rights and religious minority community in India that the United States is seriously committed to
raising human rights concerns even with our closest allies.

        Developing an open and vibrant diplomatic, economic, and military relationship between the
U.S. and India must be a continued foreign policy priority for the U.S. Congress and the Executive
Branch. As we maintain our relationship with our close friend and ally, we can raise these issues in a
concrete and productive way.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Manzoor Ghori
Executive Director
Indian Muslim Relief & Charities

Shared By: