NEW DELHI: The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a US federal government commission, has been colluding with Pakistan and well-known radical Islamist groups to stigmatise India.
As per an investigation conducted by The New Indian, the USCIRF is working closely with Pakistani groups to label India as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ (CPC) in their annual reports on religious freedom.
Information available in the public domain reveals that the USCIRF chair Nadine Maenza has deep ties with Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and its founder Shaik Ubaid, who have had links with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the US offshoot of radical Jamaat-e-Islami (Pakistan). She also has close ties with Burma Task Force (BTF) which operates under Justice For All founded by Pakistani origin Abdul Malik Mujahid.
The JFA is powered by Sound Vision Foundation whose current executive director is Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi, the founder of the banned terrorist organisation SIMI in India.
IAMC has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for instigating communal violence in Tripura in 2021.
The organisation was instrumental in the appointment of Nadine at USCIRF and since her appointment in 2018 as Commissioner she has been at the forefront of anti-India vitriol in its annual reports. Nadine is a regular speaker in the events organised by IAMC.
But IAMC’s relationship with Nadine goes back further, as per our investigation. In their effort to get India enlisted as a CPC in USCIRF’s annual reports, IAMC had hired a lobbying firm ‘Fidelis Government Relations’ represented by its President and political and legislative strategist, Terry Allen.
Nadine has been associated with Allen through an organisation called ‘Patriot Voices’ where she is the President. Both Nadine and Allen were also part of key staff and advisory committee of the Republican candidate Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign in 2016.
IAMC paid Fidelis Government Relations and Allen a sum of US $55K between 2013 and 2014 to lobby and influence the USCIRF against India. Their efforts showed results as USCIRF started using the distorted map of India, by removing J&K, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh from it, in its reports since 2014.
Both Ubaid and Mujahid had lobbied for listing India as CPC in USCIRF’s reports through their organisation BTF between 2018-20. Not surprisingly, both Ubaid and Mujahid hired the same lobbying firm Fidelis Government Relations and Allen and paid him US $267K between 2018 and 2020 for lobbying against India.
Apart from IAMC, Nadine has been regularly associated with BTF, through webinars organised by these organisations where she regularly calls for designating India as CPC on the grounds of religious freedom.
But Nadine’s network is not limited to anti-India Jamaat fronts and their off-shoots. As per our investigation, she shared an organisation ‘Hardwired Global’ with Angana Chatterji between 2017-18. Chatterjee has been a close aide of the ISI mole Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was jailed in 2011 for concealing the transfer of US $3.5 million from the US to Pakistan, and has been lobbying for pro-Pakistan Kashmiri Muslim separatists. Chatterji also partakes in pursuing the agenda of Kashmir separatism on the platforms of IAMC.
Our investigations also show that ICNA has close ties with 1971 Bangladesh war criminals. One of the convicts in the genocide of Bengali intellectuals in 1971, Ashrafuz Zaman Khan was associated with ICNA Queen’s Chapter in New York, who hailed from the Islami-Chhatra-Sangh, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami. He was also one of the co-founders of Burma Task Force.
With such deep ties with radical Islamist organisations backed by Pakistan, it is unlikely that USCIRF, which was formed to make policy recommendations to the US President, Secretary of State and Congress, will have an impartial report on violations of religious freedoms across the world.