US, UN Express Concern About India’s Anti-Muslim Citizenship Law

Wed Mar 13 2024
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WASHINGTON: The United Nations and United States government on Tuesday expressed serious concerns about an anti-Muslim citizenship law in India.

The UN termed the legislation fundamentally discriminatory in nature.

Rights activists have criticized the 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)- which the Indian government has recently initiated. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say the legislation is highly discriminatory against Muslims.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has been trying to implement the law before Indian elections. Under the law it is easier to get Indian citizenship for non-Muslims from three South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Rights groups say the law excludes neighboring states where Muslims are a minority, like the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

A spokesperson of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the global body believes that India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA) is fundamentally discriminatory in nature.

Meanwhile, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said the US government is concerned about the notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act on March 11 and is closely monitoring how this law will be implemented.

He said that respect for religious freedom for all communities is a fundamental democratic right.

Activists and rights advocates fear that the law would discriminate India’s 200 million Muslims.

Modi’s government did not implement the ant-Muslim citizenship law after protests and sectarian violence started in New Delhi and elsewhere in 2019.

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