Indian Americans commend Senator Tammy Baldwin for introducing resolution to end persecution of minorities in India - IAMC

Indian Americans commend Senator Tammy Baldwin for introducing resolution to end persecution of minorities in India

Washington, D.C. (October 26, 2023) – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), the largest advocacy organization representing diaspora Indian Muslims in the United States, applauds Senator Tammy Baldwin for her unwavering commitment to the values of religious freedom and human rights.

Senator Baldwin’s introduction of a Senate resolution calling for an end to religious and political persecution in India is a commendable step toward defending the principles of democracy and justice. The resolution underscores the centrality of religious freedom as a fundamental human right and emphasizes the responsibility of the United States to speak out against its violation wherever it may occur.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure, India has witnessed a troubling trend of anti-Muslim riots, beef-related lynchings, attacks on mosques and Muslim neighborhoods, summary demolition of Muslim properties with bulldozers, restrictions on public prayers, hate speech events, calls for social and economic boycott of Muslims, arrests under bogus charges and the implementation of discriminatory laws.

In her statement, Senator Baldwin stated, “Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, and when any country infringes on it, the United States must stand up and speak out. I am calling on the United States to continue pushing the government of India to reverse the systematic religious and political persecution that endangers and disenfranchises innocent civilians.”

Senator Baldwin’s resolution urges the U.S. government to engage with India and take measures to halt the persecution and violence against religious minorities and human rights advocates. Furthermore, it calls for an end to government policies that discriminate against Muslims and Christians based on their faith, aligning with the ideals of equality and secularism enshrined in India’s Constitution.

It also calls on the Government of India to amend/repeal discriminatory laws and executive orders, including the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, anti-conversion laws, anti-blasphemy laws, and sedition laws. It advocates for an end to the discriminatory National Register for Citizens and the restoration of citizenship to the 1.9 million residents in the state of Assam, as well as the release of individuals from detention centers. Furthermore, it demands the immediate release of unjustly detained human rights defenders, journalists, and other critics, and the establishment of accountability for the violent treatment of anti-CAA protesters. The resolution also calls for an end to the demolition of homes, businesses, and places of worship belonging to Muslims and Christians.

Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of IAMC, praised Senator Baldwin’s courageous initiative, stating, “India is a key partner of the United States, and that makes it doubly important that the Indian government observes, practices, and implements civil and political liberties as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Rising social conflict and democratic backslide in India will weaken and not strengthen India’s relevance as a global bulwark against anti-democratic forces. We applaud Senator Baldwin for introducing this significant resolution and encourage the US Senate to pass it to send a clear and unequivocal message to both the Biden Administration and the Indian government.”

Masood Akhtar, a Wisconsin entrepreneur, and activist, added, “As a proud Indian-born American, I strongly believe in India’s Constitution as written, and if faithfully followed, it would ensure that India remains the world’s largest secular democracy and a role model for other countries.”

“We commend Senator Tammy Baldwin for her leadership and dedication to upholding the principles of religious freedom, democracy, and human rights,” said IAMC President Mohammed Jawad.