Ambassador Rashad Hussain Speaks Out Against Calls For Muslim Genocide in India
Rashad Hussain, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, expressed concerns over India’s dehumanizing and genocidal treatment of Muslims during a panel discussion at the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C.
“We have a situation now where the Holocaust Museum in the United States has an Early Warning Project. As part of their Early Warning Project, they designated India as the number two country in the world at risk of mass killings,” said Ambassador Hussain.
“India now has a citizenship law that’s on the books. We’ve had open calls for genocide in India. We’ve had a tax on churches. We’ve had demolitions of homes… We’ve got rhetoric that’s openly being used that’s dehumanizing towards people, to the extent that one minister referred to Muslims as termites. So when you have these ingredients, it’s important that we take note and we work to address the challenges that we face.”
He added that it is the “responsibility” of the United States to speak out on human rights and religious freedoms not just in India, but across the world.
“In order for any society to live up to its potential, we have to secure the rights of all people… Our job is to protect the religious freedom of all people everywhere in the world,” he said.
Former Supreme Court Justice Says Mohammad Zubair Is Being Targeted
Former Supreme Court Justice Deepak Gupta said in an interview that Muslim journalist Mohammad Zubair— arrested for a four year-old tweet that a throwaway Twitter account claimed to be offensive to Hindus—was “definitely” a victim of police prejucide.
“I feel he’s being targeted,” said Gupta during his interview with The Wire, an Indian news portal.
“I’m a bit worried and confused why he has been taken into custody at all. The incident happened in March 2018, four years have lapsed and there is no indication his tweet led to any dispute between two communities… I am more worried by the fact the Court refused to grant him bail.”
He added, “We are turning into an intolerant society. I have seen the tweet, and at best it can be said to be not proper, but it’s not offensive… If we have to survive as a democracy we must secure freedom of speech.”
Zubair has moved the Delhi High Court against his remand to 4 days in police custody. Police have claimed that Zubair used the tweet to “deliberately” outrage Hindus to “gain popularity.”
Hindu Extremists Break Into Elderly Christian Woman’s Home, Burn Bible
At least four members of the Bajrang Dal, a violent Hindu supremacist group, terrorized a 62-year-old Christian woman and her family in Karnataka state by barging into their home and burning their Bible.
The woman, Ekantamma, had asked members of her local church to come to her home to pray over her due to her feeling unwell. When the church members were leaving, they were confronted by the Hindu extremists, who demanded to know why prayers were being held in the house. The extremists then broke in and burned the Bible.
The extremists also accused the church members of carrying out forced conversions, which is often cited by Hindu extremists as an excuse for brutally attacking Christians in states that have strict anti-conversion laws. Such laws often provide impunity to Hindu attackers and allow for prosecution of their Christian victims.