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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/25/20

"Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates policies of both India and US" Says Amnesty International as Trump visits India

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As US President Donald Trump arrived Monday in Ahmedabad to begin a two-day visit to India, Amnesty International said "anti-Muslim sentiment permeates" the policies of both United States and Indian leaders and alleged that the values that the two governments now share are bigotry and hostility.

A joint statement was released by Amnesty International USA and Amnesty International India ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to India.

Trump, along with First Lady Melania Trump, arrived in Ahmedabad for a two-day trip.

"Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates the policies of both U.S. and Indian leaders. For decades, the U.S.-India relationship was anchored by claims of shared values of human rights and human dignity. Now, those shared values are discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers," said Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA's executive director.

Huang was referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act approved by Parliament on December 11 and Trump's travel ban that targets prospective immigrants from countries that have Muslim-majority populations.

"The internet and political lockdown in Kashmir has lasted for months and the enactment of CAA and the crackdown on protests has shown a leadership that is lacking empathy and a willingness to engage. We call on President Trump and Prime Minister Modi to work with the international community and address our concerns in their bilateral conversations," said Avinash Kumar, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.

The Amnesty International also referred to National Register of Citizens and National Population Register, saying it could particularly push Muslims "towards the limbo of detention and statelessness". The National Population Register is the first step towards creating an all-India National Register of Citizens. As critics have noted, the NRC, in tandem with the Citizenship Amendment Act, could be used to render many Indian Muslims stateless since the citizenship law excludes Muslims.

Amnesty also criticized the police action to protests against the Citizenship Act and detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir under the Public Safety Act.

"With rampant and unchecked internet shutdowns during the protests, India has also become the country with the highest number of shutdowns," the statement added. "Furthermore, statements such as 'identify them [the protestors] by their clothes' or 'shoot the traitors' by Prime Minister Modi and his party workers peddled the narrative of fear and division that has fueled further violence."

Five killed in Delhi protest before Trump's visit

Five people have been killed in Delhi in protests over India's controversial new citizenship law, hours before a visit by US President Donald Trump, the BBC reported.

A policeman and four civilians died in the capital's deadliest day since the new law was passed last year.

Vehicles were set alight in the clashes, between supporters and opponents of the law, which critics say targets India's 200 million Muslims.

The violence in Muslim-majority areas in north-east Delhi began on Sunday and continued into Monday. It is the first time a member of the security forces has been killed in the unrest around India since it erupted late last year.

Several areas in Northeast Delhi resembled a battlefield, with frenzied protesters setting ablaze houses, shops, vehicles and a petrol pump, and hurling stones, according Indian TV News18.

Parts of the city remain tense as Trump prepares for talks with Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday.

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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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