Press Releases

Action Alert: Urge Congress to Support Resolution Condemning India’s Human Rights, Religious Freedom Violations  

Congressional Resolution Urges State Department to Designate India as ‘Country of Particular Concern’  

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/22/22) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on all Americans to urge their U.S. Representative in Congress to co-sponsor and support Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) House Resolution 1196, “Condemning human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities.”  

TAKE ACTION – URGE CONGRESS TO CONDMEN HUMAN RIGHTS & RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VIOLATIONS IN INDIA  

The resolution condemns “human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India,” expresses “grave concern about the worsening treatment of religious minorities in India,” and urges Secretary of State Antony Blinken to “designate India as a country of particular concern.”  

A Country of Particular Concern (CPC) are countries designated by the U.S. government where those listed governments engage in or tolerates “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom.  

CLICK HERE: READ HOUSE RESOLUTION 1196  

Championed by Congresswoman Omar and introduced on June 21, the resolution’s original co-sponsors include Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), James McGovern (D-MA), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).   

On June 13, CAIR called on the international community to act against the demolition of Muslim homes by the Indian government.   

On May 19, CAIR called on Secretary Blinken to pressure the Indian government to prevent the possible demolitions of mosques in that nation and designate India as a Country of Particular Concern.  

COPIED BELOW IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE RESOLUTION:  

RESOLUTION  

Condemning human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities.  

Whereas the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for designating India as a country of particular concern for 3 consecutive years;  

Whereas USCIRF’s 2022 annual report states that in 2021, “the Indian government escalated its promotion and enforcement of policies—including those promoting a Hindu-nationalist agenda—that negatively affect Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and other religious minorities”;  

Whereas the USCIRF report further states, “The government continued to systemize its ideological vision of a Hindu state at both the national and state levels through the use of both existing and new laws and structural changes hostile to the country’s religious minorities”;  

Whereas the USCIRF report describes the use of laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Sedition Law “to create an increasing climate of intimidation and fear in an effort to silence anyone speaking out against the government”;  

Whereas the USCIRF report outlines emblematic cases of the Indian Government’s repression of religious minority leaders and voices for religious pluralism in India, including the Jesuit human rights defender Father Stan Swamy and the Muslim human rights advocate Khurram Parvez;  

Whereas the USCIRF report lists numerous examples of the Indian Government criminalizing, harassing, and repressing interfaith couples and converts from Hinduism to Christianity or Islam;  

Whereas the USCIRF report highlights the severe risks of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Registry of Citizens for Indian Muslims, including the possibility of rendering millions stateless or subject to indefinite detention;  

Whereas the USCIRF report states, “In 2021, numerous attacks were made on religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, and their neighborhoods, businesses, homes, and houses of worship. Many of these incidents were violent, unprovoked, and/or encouraged or incited by government officials.”;  

Whereas the USCIRF report cites a 2021 Oxfam India study which found that a third of Indian Muslims reported discriminatory treatment at hospitals during the surge of COVID–19 in India;  

Whereas the USCIRF report further states, “In 2021, mass protests continued against farm laws enacted in September 2020. Despite the widespread and diverse nature of the protests, efforts—including by government officials—were still made to discredit the protesters, especially Sikh protesters, as terrorists and religiously motivated separatists.”;  

Whereas, as of June 2022, USCIRF lists 45 Indian nationals on its Freedom of Religion or Belief Victims list, all of whom were listed for their detention;  

Whereas, as of June 2022, 35 of those 45 prisoners of conscience remain detained;  

Whereas the Department of State’s 2021 annual Report on International Religious Freedom, published on June 2, 2022, outlines numerous examples of violence and threats of violence against religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, in India throughout 2021;  

Whereas, in the press conference launching the 2021 Department of State Report on International Religious Freedom, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “In India, the world’s largest democracy and home to a great diversity of faiths, we’ve seen rising attacks on people and places of worship.”; and  

Whereas, at the same press conference, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain said, “We are concerned with targeting of a number of religious communities in India, including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindu Dalits, and indigenous communities as well.”: Now, therefore, be it  

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—  

(1) condemns human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities;  

(2) expresses grave concern about the worsening treatment of religious minorities in India; and  

(3) calls on the Secretary of State to designate India as a country of particular concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) and the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016 (Public Law 114–281).  

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.                 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.                

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END        

CONTACT: CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530, e-Mitchell@cair.com; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280, iallison@cair.com    

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