Democratic presidential candidate was under pressure to remove Indian American Jani for supporting Modi.
Soon after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden appointed Indian American Amit Jani as his Muslim Outreach Coordinator, several progressive groups and civil rights organizations demanded his removal for supporting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Now media reports suggest that Biden may have taken note of the mounting pressure and replaced Jani as his Muslim outreach coordinator while retaining him as the campaign’s Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) national vote director.
“Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has appointed a former aide to Hillary Clinton as senior advisor on Muslim American engagement following revelations that his predecessor has close ties to India’s right-wing Hindu government,” Middle East Eye reported.
Farooq Mitha, a longtime Biden supporter and former Muslim advisor to the Clinton campaign in 2016, will be the new Muslim outreach coordinator while Jani would continue to be the campaign’s Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) national vote director, the Londion-based online news outlet reported.
Jani’s appointment was objected to by many for his close ties to the Modi government, which has been under fire lately for its divisive policies, including the passage of a controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The enactment of CAA that fast tracks citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from India’s three Islamic neighbors, led to a series of protests across India and sparked worst communal violence in decades in the capital city of Delhi.
The Indian government is also being questioned about its failure in controlling the violence with in some cases even the police allegedly joining the miscreants who looted and burnt Delhi during President Donald Trump’s India visit.
At least two campaigns were floated online that demanded Jani’s removal from his position.
A few academics, activists and community leaders had also penned an open letter condemning the appointment of “Jani, an avid supporter of the Modi regime, as his Asian American and Pacific Islanders Outreach (AAPI) Director and Muslim Outreach Coordinator.”
Signatories included Alliance for Justice and Accountability and Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA) among others.
“We call upon the Biden campaign to terminate Amit Jani’s employment from the campaign,” they wrote.
“Despite presenting himself as a liberal counterweight to this virulent wave of Islamophobia, Joe Biden’s appointment of Amit Jani as his AAPI Outreach Coordinator is horrific.”
“It is unacceptable for the AAPI Outreach Coordinator of a Presidential candidate to have ties with Hindu fascists, for it jeopardizes his relationships with the entire AAPI community.
“The AAPI community has been weathering attacks on our religious freedom, immigration rights, xenophobia, and increased hate crimes.
“Biden should be hiring an AAPI Coordinator that can speak to all of our needs, not someone in bed with a violent Hindu nationalist movement,” the groups said.
In response to online petitions demanding Jani’s removal from the post, his supporters also started a counter petition calling for retaining his appointment.