Biden urged to raise ‘persecution of Indian Muslims, Christians’ with Modi  

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US President Joe Biden Biden

By Muslim Mirror Network

Washington, DC:Leading American civil rights organisations have urged US President Joe Biden to bring up the subject of “increased persecution of religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, as well as human rights advocates, during his April 12 meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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In a statement  issued to the media, they stated that “The Biden Administration has disappointingly failed to address the issue of human rights violations in India and this is the opportunity to right that wrong,” Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director, Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), said.

Nikhil Mandalaparthy, Advocacy Director, Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), said ,“By not speaking up explicitly on India’s increasing attacks on minorities and human rights defenders, President Biden is virtually emboldening the Modi Administration to escalate such persecution,” On Monday, Biden and Modi will hold a virtual meeting prior to the “2+2” Foreign and Defense ministerial meeting in Washington to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. White House announced Sunday.

Roja Singh, President, Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA, said the horrific attacks on Dalits in India had sharply increased during Modi’s eight-year rule, and yet the US had kept silent on the worsening situation. “The US has a duty to raise the issues of attacks on Dalits and the failure of the Indian criminal justice system to bring them relief,” she said.

The Indian American civil rights organizations underlines that “Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), as well as other Hindu extremist affiliates like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, have carried out a vicious campaign of attacks on Muslims, Christians, and Dalits in India with impunity”.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an autonomous federal panel, has for two years recommended that the US Department of State designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC), the US government’s nomenclature for the worst offenders of religious freedom in the world, and sanction guilty officials and government agencies.

In December, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken declined to accept that recommendation.

The Biden Administration’s failure to hold the Indian government accountable for widespread religious persecution in India has been criticised by Indian American civil rights organisations.

Last week, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar attacked the Biden Administration for failing to condemn Modi’s government on human rights, stating, “Why has the Biden administration been so hesitant to criticise Modi’s government on human rights?” What would it take for us to publicly condemn the Modi administration’s treatment of India’s Muslim minorities?”

Genocide Watch, a prominent US-based watchdog, has said that a genocide of Muslims is underway in India. Earlier this year, Washington, D.C.-based US Holocaust Memorial Museum said India was the second likeliest place in the world after Pakistan.

Senators Bernie Sanders, Chris Van Hollen, and Bob Menendez, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have all blasted Modi’s regime for violence against minorities and requested that the US take action against India.

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