US body calls for sanctions against Amit Shah

By Syed Qamar Hasan

New Delhi: The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has in its latest report 2020  marked the comments made by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah calling migrants ‘ termites”.The report has pointed out at the Home Minister’s failure to take sufficient action to stop the cases of mob lynching across the various states of the country.

Citizenship Amendment Act

Last year the commission took a very strong view of the situation in India vis a vis the minorities and had asked the Donald Trumps Government to consider imposing sanctions against  Shah and,” other principal leadership”  over the decision to pass the Citizen Amendment Act.

The Commission has also downgraded India to the lowest ranking. The 2020 report released in Washington  by the Federal Government Commission, that functions as an advisory body, has placed India along with China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, said media reports. This is the first time since 2004 that India has been placed in a category known as, “Tier -2 country”. The report has made specific remarks and serious concern about the  CAA and other related Acts and the situation in Kashmir accusing the Indian government  of using its majoritarianism in the national parliament  by formulating  policies that infringe on religious freedoms, especially of the Indian Muslims.

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However, the Government of India reacting sharply to the report has termed it biased and tendentious.’ Rejecting observation made in the report, a spokesperson for the government of India said such observations against India were not new. The USCIRF has previously also taken critical note of India’s treatment of minorities following the passage of the CAA and subsequent protests against the Act. 

International  Religious Freedom Act

Noting that,” India took a sharp downturn in 2019, the Commission also recommended that the UIS government take stringent action against India under the “International  Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) calling upon the administration for targeted sanctions on government agencies and official responsible and even barring their entry into the USA.

The USCIRF had in 2005 censured Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the  Chief Minister of Gujarat for the 2002 riots and the US administration had imposed travel ban of Modi and cancelled his visa.

However, three of the ten USCIRF commissioner dissented with the panel’s recommendations as being too harsh. One of the members was reported to have said,’ I am confident that  India will reject any authoritarian temptations and stand with the United States and other free nations in defence of liberty, including religious liberty. 

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Several Arab countries and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation OIC  had protested and condemned the growing Islamophobia in India and severe trolling by Right Wing Hindu elements and the targetting of Muslims as super-spreaders of the  CORONA Virus by TV Channels and press.

It may be noted since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the misplaced and unfortunate incident of members of Tableehi Jamat,  Apolitical body of Muslims involved in Dawah work getting stranded at its centre in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, due to the lockdown announced on March 24 by Prime Minister Modi in short notice. The Pandemic has been termed ” Corona Jihad” by right-wing Hindu organisations and TV Channels resulting in several cases of lynching and beating of Muslims and boycotting them socially and commercially holding them responsible for eh spread of the virus not maintaining social distance.

Syed Qamar Hasan

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