Justice For Vijay Kumar
Justice for Vijay Kumar
A Public Petition To The U.S. Government
On Behalf Of
Friends of Vijay Kumar
We the undersigned hereby petition the U.S. Government / Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release Mr. Vijay Kumar who has been languishing in jail, to the best of our knowledge based on media reports and testimonies from his friends both in India and the U.S., for no reason whatsoever that he could be held for by the U.S. authorities.
As per the information and testimonials provided by the friends, associates and business partners of Mr. Vijay Kumar, he is an entrepreneur, filmmaker, social worker, and a human rights activist. Kumar is working towards a holistic approach to tackle terrorism through championing gender equality and justice, by modernization and empowerment of Muslim women. Mr. Vijay Kumar sincerely believes that the problem of terrorism cannot be rooted out by bullet-for-bullet approach. Instead, a holistic approach is needed where Muslim women are made the primary agents of change and reform in the orthodox Islamic societies. Mr. Kumar works closely with several Muslim feminist-reformist activists and leaders.
Mr. Kumar was visiting Houston to attend a conference, and to network with local businesspersons, professionals and activists. Mr. Kumar was keen on sharing his holistic approach to tackle terrorism via gender justice with the community activists and leaders. He is of the firm opinion that non-Muslims are equal stakeholders in the campaign for upliftment of Muslim women, as terrorism impacts one and all in equal measure.
On Friday, August 20th, Mr. Kumar was leaving the U.S. for Canada, when he was apprehended by TSA at the George Bush International Airport, apparently on suspicion triggered by finding literature on “Islam” and “Jihad” in his luggage. One of the books that “raised” TSA’s suspicion was “The New Voices of Islam: Rethinking Politics and Modernity-A Reader” (available at amazon.com). A cursory look at this book reveals that this book contains essays from eminent Islamic leaders who urge for reform in Islam. It is indeed ironic that the efforts of the nascent school of Islamic Reforms are being “rewarded” with such harassment and persecution. Kumar was illogically detained by ICE. ICE revoked his visa and then claimed he was here without a valid visa! Quite a circular logic. With this, this activist filmmaker from Mumbai has been languishing in Jail. We sincerely urge the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reinstate his Visa and release him promptly.