Citizenship Bill Threatens Muslim in India

Indian Muslim (photo: special)

Kuala Lumpur, MINA – The Malaysian Consultative Council Of Islamic Organization (MAPIM) condemned the Citizenship Draft Law recently issued by the Government of India. The bill will give citizenship status to migrants from all major religions in South Asia, except Islam.

As quoted by the New York Times on Wednesday, the bill was passed in the lower house of parliament (Lok Sabha) on Tuesday morning local time after several hours of debate. Furthermore, the bill will require approval in the upper house of parliament (Rajya Sabha) to become a law.

The Indian government argues it aims to provide protection to minorities who have fled religious persecution in their origin countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

By not mentioning Islam in the bill, it will make Muslims in India very nervous because it is considered to marginalize Muslims.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill is seen as the first step of the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India which will make 200 million Indian Muslims as second class citizens and make many of them without citizenship, even though Indian Muslims are one of the largest Muslim populations in the world.

Critics of the bill said it was part of a campaign to identify and deport Muslims who had lived in India for years.

They laid out the pathway to Indian citizenship for migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they could prove they had been in India for at least five years.

The bill goes hand in hand with a debated program that has begun in the northeastern Indian state of Assam this year. Around 33 million residents in the state must prove, with documentary evidence, that they or their ancestors were Indians.

In fact, around two million people or many of the residents there are Muslims. Many of them are lifelong residents of India. However, they threatened to be left off the list of citizenship in the state of Assam after passing the citizenship test.

Furthermore, the BJP hopes to expand such citizenship tests to other states. This new law will become a guiding principle for anyone who can hope to call themselves Indian.

Therefore, MAPIM calls on the OIC, the United Nations and all Muslims in the world to unite against the discriminatory bill in order to prevent human rights violations of Muslims in India. (T/Sj/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)