US Religious Freedom Commission proposes sanctions against Shah if CAB is Passed

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Amit Shah

By Muslim Mirror Web

New Delhi : In a move that has embarrassed the central government, Federal US commission on international religious freedom has said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a “dangerous turn in wrong direction” and sought American sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah if the bill is passed by both houses of the Indian Parliament.

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According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

Amit Shah on Monday introduced the controversial bill in Lok Sabha, where it was passed with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it, will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha for its nod.

Recommendations of USCIRF are not enforceable. However, its recommendations are taken into consideration by the US government, in particular the state department, which is tasked with powers to take sanctionable actions against foreign entities and individuals for violation of religious freedom and human rights, a PTI report from Washington said.

The Trump administration in the US has not commented on the matter so far.

The statement comes amidst protests by citizens across India, even as Parliamentarians passed the discriminatory Bill in the Lok Sabha. Although the Opposition still has an edge in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has won over sufficient support in the Upper House to push through a Bill that has evoked strong reaction all across India and globally now.

The US House Committee for Foreign Affairs has also issued a strong statement against the Bill stating that any religious test for citizenship will “undermine the basic tenets of democratic values” of a country. It stated, “religious pluralism is central to the foundations of both India and the United States and is one of our core shared values. Any religious test for citizenship undermines this most basic democratic tenet.”

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