The Indian American Muslim Council hosted its annual convention on Saturday, October 14, 2023, anchored on the theme of “Upholding Democracy and Human Rights: A Global Call to Action.” The event was convened at the Plano Events Center in Plano, Texas, and saw over 1,000 attendees.
In addition to a full day of panel discussions on human rights in India and the US, the event featured a wide-ranging bazaar with local vendors selling South Asian apparel, as well as Islamic art, books, children’s toys, and even solar panel installation services. Also included in the bazaar were book displays on the global persecution of Muslims, the increasing presence of Hindu far- right nationalist groups in the United States, and young adult fiction. Anchoring rows of tables was a candle-light memorial kept burning all day with the names of victims of anti-minority attacks in India superimposed on the famous India Gate in Delhi.
Panels convened throughout the day to offer convention participants the opportunity to learn about conditions that Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and other persecuted minorities are facing in
India, the rise of Hindu nationalist groups in India and the United States, and the need to organize across faiths in order to present a united front against India’s ruling Hindutva (or Hindu
nationalist) party, the Bharatiya Janata Party. According to The Guardian, Hindutva is rooted in Hindu supremacism, an ideology that aims to transform India into the Hindu Rashtra (nation)
where Muslims and Christians are reduced to second-class citizens and Hindus enjoy higher status.
After a rousing prayer led by Plano’s own Dr. Zafar Anjum, Imam at Colony Masjid, Shaikh Omar Suleiman delivered the convention’s keynote address.