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New US State Department report 'concerned' over anti-Muslim and anti-Christian violence in India

By Our Representative 

In an important development, the US State Department’s 2023 International Religious Freedom (IRF) report has sought to accuse the authorities in India for what it calls "the ongoing persecution of religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians in India."
In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, summarizes the report’s India section, saying, “In India, we see a concerning increase in anti-conversion laws, hate speech, [and] demolitions of homes and places of worship for members of minority faith communities.”
The report covers a swath of issues faced by religious minorities under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule, including anti-Muslim and anti-Christian violence, hate speech and disinformation targeting Muslims, cow vigilantism, punitive home and mosque demolitions, discriminatory policies and laws such as the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and anti-conversion laws, mob violence during Hindu festivals, and attacks on minority homes, shops, and places of worship.
It also looks at ongoing ethnic and religious violence in Manipur state, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) promotion of anti-Muslim disinformation and propaganda movies, repeat attempts by Hindu supremacist groups to take over historic mosques, and widespread hate speech events during which speakers regularly encourage violence and discrimination against Muslims and Christians. 
The report also cites specific cases of human rights abuses against Muslims, including the gruesome mob lynching of two Muslim men, Mohammad Junaid and Mohammad Nasir, by cow vigilantes; the killing of 6 people, including an imam, in Haryana’s Nuh amid Hindu supremacist mob violence; the acquittal of 69 Hindu extremists charged with the killing of 11 Muslims during the 2002 Gujarat pogrom; and the shooting of three Muslim train passengers by railway officer Chetan Singh, who “warned Muslims to vote only for Prime Minister Modi” immediately after the murders. 
"The 2023 IRF report echoes findings presented in the annual report released by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, which calls on the State Department to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for ongoing and severe violations of religious freedoms for minorities", comments Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), claiming to be the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States.
IAMC urges the Indian government to take immediate steps to address these concerns and protect the rights of all of its citizens, regardless of their religion.
“Once again, it is clear from the State Department’s own reporting that India more than qualifies as a CPC,” says Rasheed Ahmed, IAMC Executive Director. “Now it is time for Secretary Blinken to act on these facts, as well as the facts that have been presented by USCIRF for years, and designate India as a CPC.” 



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