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Visa hassles come home to roost

This is so awful--from an article on

An international spat involving a controversial politician in India and a convention of hotel owners in Florida is causing a major uproar in Silicon Valley, the heart of the nation's Indo-American community.

Indians of all creeds are in a tizzy about the U.S. refusal to allow Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, to come to Fort Lauderdale to speak at this week's conference organized by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, AAHOA, many of them Indo-Americans from Gujarat. Modi is expected to speak instead by video on Saturday.

Just what we need, more gasoline on the fiery relationship between Hindus and Muslims:

Modi is faulted for doing little to rein in the predominantly Hindu mobs that killed estimates of 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, in Gujarat in 2002. The riots started after Muslims allegedly set fire to a train full of Hindu activists, killing 58.

Hindu activists here say the visa denial was a slap in the face, some branding the move "Hinduphobic." Indian Muslims, some of whom campaigned against Modi's visit, applaud the denial, saying that allowing him to come here would be tacit approval of what they call "genocide" against the Muslim minority in India.

Show organizers need to be very careful about who they invite to speak, and if they are involved in controversy, especially religious controversy, be aware that their speaker, like Modi, might not be able to get into the U.S.

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