CAIR-NJ Acknowledges IBA Apology for Bulldozer at India Day Parade
(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 8/31/2022) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today acknowledged the apology issued by the Indian Business Association (IBA), organizers of the parade, for using divisive symbols at their annual India Independence Day parade.
Earlier this month, the IBA organized an India Independence Day parade in Edison and Woodbridge. The parade featured a bulldozer, which has become a symbol of anti-Muslim animus in the context of India. Today, the group issued an apology.
The apology states, in part:
“We are writing to offer our sincere apologies for certain aspects of our 2022 Indian Independence Day parade that reflected poorly on our organization and offended the Indian American minority groups, especially Muslims, from the local area and across the State and Country.”
“Unfortunately there was a bulldozer among the floats in the parade which is a divisive image that did not reflect our mission…Our parade should never be about politics and should never include these blatant divisive symbols.
“We hereby make the commitment that we will not allow these symbols in the future and that we will work with all different groups of South Asian heritage to make sure that our parade remains the best in the State of New Jersey.”
SEE: IBA Apology
In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:
“We recognize IBA’S apology acknowledges its own wrongdoing, which is a necessary step toward making future parades representative of the Indian diaspora, including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and Tribals.
“We agree that future parades cannot include blatantly divisive symbols and guest speakers and should never be about politics. Such hatred cannot be tolerated. Instead, the parade should celebrate India’s independence and rich culture and diversity.
“We applaud Mayor McCormac for taking our community’s concerns seriously and for calling on the IBA to issue this public apology. The bulldozer is a symbol of intimidation and support for the oppression of minorities in India. Such hateful symbols have no place on our streets.
“Mayor McCormac expressed desire to establish an advisory committee with the objective to ensure that the IBA’s stated commitment is maintained. This effort meets the need for accountability, going beyond acknowledgment.”
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.