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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/24/20

San Francisco becomes sixth US city to denounce Indian Citizen Amendment Act

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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San Francisco Wednesday became the sixth US city to pass a resolution against India's anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The resolution, reaffirming San Francisco as a "welcoming city," comes in the wake of five other cities (Seattle WA, Albany NY, St. Paul MN, Hamtramck MI, Cambridge MA) having passed similar resolutions denouncing the CAA and NRC and the exclusionary and bigoted worldview they represent.

The resolution, passed by a unanimous vote at the Board's meeting Wednesday, categorically opposes the CAA, NRC and NPR as "discriminatory to Muslims, caste oppressed, women, indigenous peoples, and the LGBTQ community."

President Trump's bigoted policies within the U.S. including discriminating on religious grounds, targeting vulnerable communities, stripping citizenship, fabricating crises, and stoking hatred, have been mirrored by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, and their alarming ideology that Hindus are racially and culturally superior to others, the resolution said adding:

"The San Francisco Board of Supervisors believes it is the duty of ordinary people to oppose the dangerous rise of the far right everywhere in the world and believes that the human rights record of the BJP government in India is of concern, not only to the millions of Muslims, caste oppressed, women, indigenous, and LBGTQ people in India, but also to San Francisco's South Asian immigrant community."

The San Francisco City Council urged other municipalities and the United States Congress to join them in the call for the Parliament of India to uphold the Indian Constitution by repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act, stop the National Register of Citizens and close all detention facilities detaining de-naturalized citizens.

South Asians welcomed the international community's growing expressions of solidarity with India's persecuted minorities and oppressed groups.

The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA) constituent partners joined hands with local San Francisco organizations such as the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture, San Francisco Interfaith Council, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the San Francisco Muslim Community Center to work on this resolution.

"We are proud of the City and County of San Francisco for standing on the right side of history today. San Francisco is leading the moral consensus in the global outcry against the CAA," said Hala Hijazi, a Commissioner on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

"India is creating a refugee crisis of biblical proportions. It will impact civil society in many parts of the world including the United States," said Mr. Nazeer Ahmed of the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture.

The Seattle City Council on February 3, 2020 became the first legislative body in the United States to pass a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens in India.

Saying that the "far-right" politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party had been recognized as discriminatory, the resolution says, "Most Indians lack documentation such as birth certificates to prove citizenship, and a nationwide expansion of the NRC could strip hundreds of millions of people (disproportionately Muslim, oppressed castes, women, indigenous and LGBT communities) left out of the CAA of their citizenship rights with no option to be re-naturalised."

Cambridge in Massachusetts State has become the second city in the United States after Seattle to pass a resolution against a controversial citizenship law pushed by India's Hindu nationalist government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Cambridge City Council on February 11 passed a unanimous resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), calling upon the Indian Parliament to "uphold" the country's secular constitution by repealing the law and stopping a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

"It has come to the attention of the city council that on December 11, 2019, the Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which for the first time uses religion as a criterion for Indian citizenship," the resolution said.

The Cambridge resolution declared that "Modi government's racist and repressive policies" were inconsistent with the values of the city, "which welcomes South Asian communities of all castes and religions".

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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