Press Statements

Indian Americans decry increasing hate crimes in the US; appreciate support from fellow Americans against bias and harassment

Multiple attacks on Indian Americans including shooting of Sikh man in Washington

Illinois (March 06, 2017): Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - a non-profit advocacy group dedicated to promoting the shared values of pluralism, tolerance, and respect for human rights, today condemned increasing hate crimes in the US, including those targeting Indian Americans.

On 22 February, Indian engineers Mr. Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were shot by suspected gunman Adam Purinton in Kansas, who yelled "get out of my country," when opening fire at them. Mr. Kuchibhotla died while Mr. Madasani was injured. Mr. Ian Grillot, who was shot while trying to intervene, has been rightly called a "hero" by Indians, including India's foreign minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj.

On March 03, a Sikh man was shot and injured in Kent, WA, near Seattle, with the gunman yelling a similar hateful sentiment asking the victim to "go back to your own country."  Police have confirmed the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

"We express our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Kuchibhotla, and wish a speedy recovery for Mr. Madasani, Mr. Grillot and the Sikh victim who has chosen to not be identified publicly," said Mr. Jawad Khan, President of IAMC. "We continue to work with our coalition partners in increasing interfaith and inter-community understanding in the US, with a particular focus on the Indian diaspora," added Mr. Khan.

In a separate incident, a businessman of Indian origin, Mr. Harnish Patel was shot dead in South Carolina, although its not clear at this point whether this was a hate crime.

"IAMC expresses its utmost gratitude to countless fellow Americans who have openly expressed their rejection of anti-immigrant and Islamophobic sentiments emerging from the highest echelons of power. In this context, the outpouring of support for Indian Americans and Muslims is deeply heartening as they underscore diversity and religious freedom as core American values," said Ms. Seema Sufia Salim, Vice-President of IAMC. "Thanks are especially due to a number of public-spirited non-governmental organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, and the International Refugee Assistance Project, besides others, for their active and enthusiastic support for refugees, immigrants and Muslims," added Ms. Salim.

Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation.