US city passes resolution against CAA, calls Modi and BJP ‘Islamophobic’

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The resolution said that the CAA is the first instance of religion being used as a criterion for Indian citizenship. Photo: Shakeeb KPA/Maktoob

St. Paul City, an American city has passed a resolution against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), by denouncing India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ruling political party BJP for its “Islamophobic” and “exclusionary ideology” on Wednesday.

“The City Council opposes the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act in India which are discriminatory to Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous peoples known as Adivasi, and the LGBTQ community, and any other efforts that render vulnerable populations anywhere to become stateless, scapegoated, and targeted for discrimination, violence, and the abrogation of human rights that are universal to one and all,” the resolution reads.

“The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is dominated by the exclusionary ideology of the Rahstriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) (National Volunteers Association), which advocates creation of a militant Hindu state, and implicitly and explicitly promotes discrimination against Muslims,” it added.

The resolution was supported by 36 organizations, including Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Muslim Caucus of America, Hindus for Human Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace Twin Cities, The Advocates for Human Rights – and locally, SEIU Local 284, the Minnesota Nurses Association, Jewish Community Action and World Without Genocide. 

The resolution said that the CAA is the first instance of religion being used as a criterion for Indian citizenship.

“The condition of losing citizenship is known as statelessness, and people who are stateless have no access to the rights that a nation guarantees its citizens, which in India are stipulated in Part III of India’s constitution: the right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, and right to constitutional remedies,” it said.

The resolution also claimed that the protests in India against CAA and NRC in December 2019 were met by the fatal fire with live ammunition, arrests of thousands, and destruction by mobs and police of Muslim homes in Indian cities.

St. Paul City has become the fourth city in the United States to pass a resolution against India’s controversial citizenship law.

Earlier, Seattle, one of the most powerful city councils in the US and the Cambridge City Council which houses the world-renowned Harvard University and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology passed a similar resolution, urging India to repeal the CAA and stop the NRC.

“We welcome the city’s strong stand for human and religious rights in India,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -Minnesota. “Continued unrest in India has a serious impact on human rights and our state’s economy.”

“As an Indian Muslim, I know the adoption of the resolution in the Twin Cities has given Muslims and all minorities in India tremendous hope and faith that the world is watching and there are great people in St. Paul standing in solidarity with them.” Said by Sadia Tarannum CAIR-MN Board member. 

CAA claims to help refugees fleeing religious persecution from India’s neighboring countries, but which discriminates against Muslims by excluding millions of Muslims who have come to India to flee wars in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and other Muslim countries. 

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