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Concerned at 'calls for genocide' of Muslims, US begins to directly deal with Indian officials

By Our Representative 

The US is concerned at open calls being made for a genocide of Indian Muslims, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain has said. Dehumanizing rhetoric was escalating the persecution of India’s minorities, creating a challenge for the United States, he added. 
He was speaking at a three-day International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit in Washington DC during the panel discussion on Religious Freedom in India: Challenges for the US.
The discussion was organized by the Indian Working Group of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, claiming to be the world’s largest civil society collective on the issue.
“We've had open calls for [a] genocide [of Muslims] in India. We've had demolitions of [Muslim] homes,” Hussain noted, recalling, the Early Warning Project of the US Holocaust Museum had “designated India as the number two country in the world at risk of mass killings."
Hussain said the “rhetoric” openly being used in India was “dehumanizing towards people, to the extent that one minister referred to Muslims as termites. When you have these ingredients, it's important that we take note and we work to address the challenges that we face.”
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), a Washington DC-based group, claimed, though Hussain did not name the Indian minister he cited, "his reference clearly was to Home Minister Amit Shah... At a rally three years ago, Shah had said 'illegal immigrants' – a Hindu nationalist code for Muslims – were 'termites' and had vowed to drown them in the ocean."
Referring to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), a law passed by Parliament in 2019, Hussain warned, it will likely be abused to disenfranchize India’s 200 millions and potentially turn many of them into stateless non-citizens.
Hussain warned, CAA will likely disenfranchize India’s 200 millions and potentially turn many of them into stateless non-citizens
Saying that he had met with Indian Christians, Sikhs, Dalits and the indigenous people, Hussain asserted, the US was “concerned about a number of religious communities in India,” and was “dealing directly” with Indian officials to “address the challenges… In order for any society to live up to its potential, we have to secure the rights of all people.”
Referring to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks, “about [the] attacks on places and people of worship… in India,” made while releasing the US Department of State’s 2021 International Religious Freedom Report on June 2, he rejected the view that the US had no locus standi in assessing global religious freedoms.
“Some people ask… 'Who are you as an ambassador for international religious freedom', or 'who are you as the United States to make these assessments about other countries in the world?'," he said, adding, the “fairly persuasive” answer to this was that the US was “founded on religious freedom: many of our founders were fleeing religious persecution themselves. The first amendment in our Constitution protects the freedom of religion.”



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