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Press Release
American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI)

March 1, 2002

American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) condemns groups and individuals who are adding fuel to the fire of the ongoing violence in India that originated in Godhra when an unruly mob burnt a compartment of a train carrying Hindu Kar sevaks. Regardless of the provocation caused by the Kar Sevak, or subsequent action the wave of retaliatory acts is unjustifiable. AFMI extends its condolences to the victims of violence regardless of their religion and caste.

Based on the investigation conducted by independent sources, AFMI holds the Vishva Hindu Parishad leaders and the government of Gujrat responsible for the violent situation. The Vishva Hindu Parishad leadership sponsored terrorism against innocent civilians while the Gujrat government failed to provide security to its own citizens.

The involvement of the Gujrat government in the rioting is a matter of serious concern to all those who believe in a civil and law-and order based society. The violent anarchy that prevails under the present Gujrat government is a serious challenge to the civilized world. 

The continued presence of individuals in the central government who were identified as main culprits in the destruction and demolition of the Babari Masjid in Indian in 1992 is also a matter of grave concern for Indians who believe in pluralistic and secular values. 

The Babri Masjid issue cannot be resolved through violence, threats, or forcibly constructing the temple. On the contrary such acts will damage India abroad and weaken it internally. AFMI has altogether maintained the position that the issue can be resolved through negotiations and court judgment. 

AFMI urges Muslims to maintain calm in these moments of great trial and cooperate with law enforcement agencies although many a times, they have neglected their duties to protect all the citizens.

AFMI also urges Muslims of India living abroad to organize teach in and educational seminars about Muslims of India in countries of their residence. 
AFMI is also urging the Vishva Hindu Parishad Leadership to stop the dangerous path of confrontation. Human life must be protected at all cost and the Vishva Hindu Parishad leadership should not provoke its followers to action that go against the democratic norms of the country.

AFMI is also urging its members to write to their congressional representatives about the situation urging them to ask the government of India to give the law and order its top priority.

<AFMI11@aol.com>
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