Persecution of Muslims
The new law allows for the granting of Indian citizenship to irregular immigrants of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, provided they are not Muslims, and that they face persecution because of their religion in their Muslim-majority countries.
Opponents of the law see it as part of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s program to reshape India as a Hindu nation, which Modi‘s party has vehemently denied, arguing that the law will provide a haven for those fleeing religious persecution.
Statement of the World Federation of Muslim Scholars
In a statement, the World Federation of Muslim Scholars warned today that the citizenship law “will result in crimes of forced expulsion and hatred,” strongly condemning the killing of peaceful protesters who demanded their legitimate rights, praising “the standing of non-Muslims with their Muslim brothers to assert a common destiny.”
The Union also called on the United Nations, human rights institutions and the Muslim world to “stand legally and economically against this dangerous trend until the Indian government reverses this law.”
Accusations against the opposition.
On the other hand, the Indian prime minister blamed his country’s opposition for the violence that erupted in protest against the citizenship law.
“The main opposition is trying to spread lies and fear regarding the citizenship law,” Modi said at a rally today in the capital, New Delhi.
Modi said all kinds of tactics were tried to remove him from power, denying that the new law was anti-Muslim.
“The law has no effect on 1.3 billion Indians. I assure Muslim citizens in India that this law will not change anything for them. My government is putting forward reforms without any religious bias.”
Protests calling for the law to be repealed continued in several Indian cities today, and the number of victims of demonstrations since its inception has risen to 24 dead and dozens injured, in addition to thousands of detainees.
Several demonstrations took place in the capital, New Delhi, and clashes broke out between demonstrators and police in 15 districts of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Indian authorities imposed a state of emergency, blocked the Internet and closed restaurants and shops in several cities across the country.
Police also fired gunfire and tear gas canisters, chased protesters with batons and arrested hundreds of people across the country amid increased violence, without deterring them from continuing protests against the law.