Kashmir, Palestine and Rohingya were discussed during I|SNA Convention

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Chicago: “Kashmir has had its checkered history of strife, foreign invasion and occupations just like all other nations of the world. That was up to 1947 when the British Empire let South Asia (India and Pakistan) go free after nearly 200 years of colonial slavery. That is when the newly un-enslaved India chose to turn on its smaller neighbor to its north—the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. Just to be sure the Indians had their eyes on Kashmir ever since they started dreaming of freedom from the British at the beginning of 1925- The birth Hindu nationalism of Savarkar’s Hindutva and its political manifestations in the form of RSS and Hindu Mahasaba,” this was stated by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Mir, President World Kashmir Awareness Forum and Chairman, Kashmir Global Coalition during 60th Annual Convention of Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) that took place in Chicago on September 2, 2023.

 Dr. Mir added, “Fast forward to 2014, when the worst that could happen did happen not only to Kashmir but to India itself. The butcher of Gujarat, Narender Modi, the mastermind of the 2004 Gujarat Muslim Massacre, rose to power in New Delhi. It was as if Hitler was born again, this time in India. The writing was on the wall for those who could see, including the US president, Barack Obama, who lifted the 10-year travel ban to the US on Modi. The Times Magazine’s May 2019 cover page rightly called him “divider in chief” of India for using Hundutvadi ideologies to divide India on religious sentiments. In August 2019, Modi revoked Kashmir’s semiautonomous status and imposed a media and internet blackout on the state. Also, India built up a massive military in the area, coupled with a shutdown and curfew in the valley to cut it off virtually and physically from the whole world. Thousands of additional Indian troops were deployed, a major Hindu pilgrimage was canceled, schools and colleges were shut, tourists were ordered to leave, telephone and internet services were suspended, and thousands of youth and resistance leaders and activists were detained. The BJP wants to change the demographic character of the Muslim-majority region by allowing non-Kashmiris to buy land there.”

“Currently, Kashmir is now a full-fledged settler-colonial project. A genocidal and ethnic cleansing plan is in place. Under the new Domicile Law, 4.2 million Indian Hindus have been issued domicile certificates. Floodgates have been opened to demographically flood Kashmir with non-Kashmiri Indian settlers to dilute the Muslim population,” Dr. Mir warned.

 Mir continued, “India also resorts to harsh techniques, including attacks on Muslim spaces, such as repression of educational and religious institutions, and endowments and places of worship. Thousands of innocent Kashmiri civilians of all ages have been incarcerated for variable periods in Indian prisons over the last seven decades, starting in 1947.  Some of the political prisoners have been languishing in the jails for decades, like Shabir Ahmad Shah and some for years, like Yasin Malik, Masarat Aalam, Aasia Andrabi and internationally known human rights activist Khurram Parvez.”  

 “There is a deep conspiracy to erase the most treasured tradition of Kashmiri Muslim creed, culture, and legacy. This atrocity is starting to run deeper and deeper under the Modi regime. It is what amounts to crimes against humanity. Even in the academic space, our history books, or any reference to Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination are being removed,” Dr. Mir alerted.

Other speakers were Dr. Miko Peled and Dr. Mohammad Karim.  

 Dr. Miko Peled is a writer and human rights activist, born and raised in Jerusalem. He is considered by many to be one of the clearest voices calling for justice in Palestine, and creation of a single democracy with equal rights on all of historic Palestine. Driven by a personal family tragedy to explore Palestine, its people and their narrative, he has written a book about his journey, ‘The General’s Son: The Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.’ He travels regularly to Palestine, and he has been arrested several times by the Israeli authorities for his activities.  

 Dr. Mohammad Karim is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the university of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He served as Provost, Executive Vice Chancellor, and Chief Operating Officer of the University. He served on the Board of Regents of the North American Bangladeshi Islamic Community (NABIC) as well as on the Bords of multiple universities in Bangladesh. He is an author of 20 engineering books and over 300 scientific publications.  

 Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum was the Emcee of the event. Dr. Fai said that Kashmir, Palestine and Rohingya genocide are the three important international conflicts. We do not need to tell the Palestinians and Kashmiris what they want. They should be provided the full opportunity to decide whatever they want without any external pressure or compulsion. That choice was given to Palestinians under UN Security Council resolution # 43, 46 and 48 which were adopted in April 1948; and to Kashmiris under UN Security Council resolution # 47, adopted on April 21, 1948. The denial of the right to self-determination to the people of Palestine and Kashmir is a clear danger to the international peace and security.  

 Dr. Fai added that Rohingya genocide cannot and should not go unnoticed. More than 1 million Rohingya Muslims have fled and are living in refugee camps in different parts of the world. The pain and suffering of Rohingya Muslims are a challenge to the world conscience. Time has come that the United Nations need to intervene in all these three situations to bring peace to the region of South Asia and Middle East.  

 

Dr. Fai is the Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice. He can be reached at: WhatsApp: 1-202-607-6435.  Or.  gnfai2003@yahoo.com   www.kashmirawareness.org  

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