OIC Concerns Over Indian Citizenship Law

Indian Citizens (photo: special)

Jeddah, MINA – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed concern over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which affects Muslim minorities in India. The OIC also highlighted the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to grant the Babri Mosque land to Hindus recently.

“The OIC has expressed concern over the recent developments relating to the issue of citizenship rights and the Babri Mosque case. The OIC reiterates its call to ensure the safety of Muslim minorities and protection of Islamic holy sites in India,” the OIC said as quoted by the Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday.

The OIC reiterates the importance of India upholding the principles and obligations enshrined in the UN Charter and relevant international treaties. In this case relating to guaranteeing the rights of minorities without any discrimination.

The OIC warns that any action that conflicts with these principles and obligations can cause further tension. It might even have serious implications on peace and security throughout the region.

Since last week, India has been hit by demonstrations due to the passage of the Citizenship Act or CAA. With this law, Indian authorities can grant citizenship status to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsis refugees from Muslim-majority countries, namely Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Citizenship status is granted if they have lived in India before 2015. However, the Act does not mention or regulate the granting of citizenship to Muslim refugees from related countries. On that basis, CAA is seen as an anti-Muslim law.

Last Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mobilized supporters and sympathizers to attend a rally in New Delhi. The activity was seen as a counter-action by BJP against the wave of CAA rejection.

During a speech, Modi said the CAA had no impact on 1.3 billion Indians, including Muslims. “I must convince Indian Muslims that this law will not change anything for them,” Modi said adding that his government introduced reforms without religious bias.

Modi believes that since the CAA was passed, a number of political parties there have been spreading rumors, including calling the law anti-Islamic. “People mislead the public, they incite the public,” he said.

He also challenged those who spread lies and fear to see the results of his government work. “If you see traces of division in my work, show the world,” Modi said.

Modi accused the opposition party of being involved in the process and efforts to inflame the public. “They tried every tactic to push me out of power,” he said.

Until now, the death toll from the wave of demonstrations rejecting the CAA is estimated to reach at least 23 people.

According to officials, more than 1,500 protesters scattered in a number of regions in India that have been arrested in the past 10 days. Around 4,000 people have been arrested and later released. (T/Sj/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)