US religious freedom commission calls for sanctions against Amit Shah


New York, Dec 10 (IANS): A US religious freedom commission has called for sanctions against Indian Home Minister Amit Shah if the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) is passed, claiming that the proposed legislation introduces a religious test for citizenship.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in a statement here on Monday that it was "deeply troubled" by the draft legislation which passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday midnight after division of votes with 311 in its favour and 80 against it.

The Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

"If the CAB passes in both Houses of Parliament, the US government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership," the USCIRF said.

The government body does not have the power to sanction anyone or any government but can make recommendations that can be followed up.

The USCIRF said: "The CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion. The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India's rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith.

"In conjunction with the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam and nationwide NRC that the Home Minister seeks to propose, the USCIRF fears that the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip citizenship from millions of Muslims."

Shah has stated categorically that "the Bill does not affect the Muslims residing in this country. The Muslims residing here will not face any problem. They live with dignity and will live with the same dignity."

The intent of the CAB, though, is to help victims of religious persecution.

Shah said that the Muslim community was not persecuted in those three Islamic countries, and the Bill specifically seeks to provide citizenship to six the religious persecuted minorities.

He said in the Lok Sabha: "The people of the six minority communities who migrated to India following religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given Indian citizenship as per this Bill," adding that it does not violate the Indian Constitution.

The Minister added that the "Rohingya will never be accepted as citizens of India. They infiltrated India through Bangldesh".

Last month, the USCIRF released a report criticising the NRC, which it said leaves out 1.9 million Muslims living in Assam.

USCIRS Chair Chair Tony Perkins said: "The updated NRC list and subsequent actions of the Indian government are essentially creating a religious test for citizenship to target Assam's vulnerable Muslim community."

  

Comment on this article

  • John Tauro, M'lore

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Where was this so-called USCIRF when minorities are targeted and falsely implicated under brutal blasphemy laws in Pakistan? Why don't they advise Pakistan to abrogate such barbaric laws? What do they expect India to do when minorities suffering religious persecution have fled their countries? Why has their own country US imposed restrictions on visas for a particular religious community? And what kind of secularism are they practicing?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • anthony, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Sanctions not only against Amit Shah but also the other Principal Indian Leadership. This only proves that the world is a Global Village and such laws made to discriminate is not acceptable to the world.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Moshu, Mangaluru

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    This man has all the quality to deserve it.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdullah, calicut, Kerala

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Amit Shah is considering as if he is present Hitler but he forgot what happend to Hitler. Ami shah should know that he is not God and he will have to die one day sooner or later. He should not be loaded with curse of hundreds of thousands of people. He will cry for death one day.

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • madanson, mangalore

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    when rohingyas issue arise then seculars shouted in favour of rohingyas & protest, candle march arranged to support them & urged the govt to provide shelter for. but when other religious people come into India then the same seculars protested against giving shelter to them. what a double standard?

    DisAgree [9] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Radhakrishna, Udupi

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    But our greatest leader of India, Modiji will speak to Trump and remove the sanctions....hahaha

    DisAgree [8] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Friends pls. do not make it a controversy.
    No body wants to fall in Trumps trap.
    Mostly he acts under mood swings.
    Now, we have to wait for Mr. Trumps comments on NRC bill. (India being a secular democratic country)

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Because they are (not all) well known for troublemakers all over the world and American has gone through all such terrorist acts perpetrated by some terrorists. In the meantime why Arab countries do not accept any Muslim refugees from war torn Muslim countries.
    This controversial NRC bill will push India towards lots of controversies internationally especially from Muslim countries. What next ? wait and watch.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis Lewis, Sastan

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    we may not get crude oil

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangaluru

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Why not sanctions against Trump who barred Muslims from entering US?

    DisAgree [20] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • I wish I was There, Bahrain

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Shankar, Mangaluru
    If Trump reads your comments don't be surprise he will puts sanction on you also.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • D'Souza, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Any chances that Trump will put sanctions against sex terrorists of Uttar Pradesh?

    DisAgree [8] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mangalorean, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Shankar, please go ahead and put sanctions on Trump.
    Let's see who is going to stop you!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Chandu, Karla

    Tue, Dec 10 2019

    Shankaranna,
    Please try it out and let's see the results. All the bhakts with you.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse


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