New York: An association of Muslim groups in the United States America had announced that NASDAQ— a top advertising company Branded Cities which runs the digital advertisement board in Times Square have “refused to run digital advertisements” for right-wing Hindu groups who planned display images of lord Ram on billboards in Times Square.
Meanwhile, Several Muslim groups have come together in the US as a coalition to promote the cause of Babri Masjid. The coalition comprises of Indian Minorities Advocacy Network- ImanNet, Justice for All, Coalition of Americans for Pluralism in India CAPI, North American Indian Muslim Association NAIMA, Islamic Circle of North America -Social Justice ICNASJ and The International Society for Peace and Justice.
The right-wing sections of the Indian diaspora have hired the advertising space in Times Square to display images of Lord Ram and 3D pictures of the upcoming Ram temple in Ayodhya to mark the occasion of ground-breaking that will take place in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to a statement put out by the coalition, Dennis Levine of Branded Cities confirmed the decision to not run the advertisements. The company “also reassured that Branded Cities and Nasdaq oppose the demolition of Babari Masjid and will never allow any supremacist groups to run their advertisements”.
In 1992, a Hindutva mob led by leaders of political parties descended on Ayodhya and demolished a grand Mughal-era mosque in broad daylight as the government was accused of being complicit in providing security to the mosque. The right-wing forces resorted to mob justice despite the mosque-temple dispute being fought in the legal court. The demolition of the mosque triggered a wave of anti-Muslim violence across towns and cities of India.
After nearly three decades, in November 2019, the Supreme Court of India passed a landmark verdict in the long-standing Babri Masjid title suit, clearing the way for the construction of a temple at the site.
Dr Shaik Ubaid, the President of ImanNet called this “a great victory for pluralism, human rights and rule of law”.
The statement claimed that ImanNet has been urging putting pressure on the mayor of New York, the City Council of New York, the governor, senators and members of House of Representatives to stop the right-wing Hindu groups from advertising on Times Square billboards.
Dr Ubaid talked about the consequences of the rise of right-wing Hindu ideology in the US. He said that the advertisement controversy gives them an opportunity to educate influential Americans about India’s RSS and it’s fronts like the VHP and BajrangDal.
The statement posted the contact information of the city officials urging the people to reach to them for action against the advertisement.
Apart from this coalition, Indian American Muslim Council announced that they will be holding a press Meet to protestTimes Square celebration of Ram Temple event to be held in Ayodhya India on August 5.
Earlier South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI), a New York-based political collective of volunteers, announced that it will hold a disruption protest against the showcasing of Hindu deity, Lord Ram images on Times Square billboards.