By Shashi Holla
No government after independence was so bold, decisive and out of the box in their approach when the Indian government cleared a bill on revolutionary CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) with a majority vote in December 2019. An amendment to the citizenship Act of 1955 was sailed through in the parliament by providing a pathway to Indian citizenship to illegal immigrants of Indic religions (Hindus Sikhs, Buddhists, & Jains) from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The Christians and Parsis are also included in the persecuted list though they are imported religion to Indian land. Historically from 1000 years and even after independence, people professing Indic religions are systematically persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The once land of Hindus and Buddhists, Indics, have become hopeless and minuscule minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The Muslims are not persecuted in the Islamic neighbourhood of India as they are Islamic states. The Muslims are excluded from the CAA list as Islam is the state religion in the countries mentioned above, and they are opposed to secularism. The sharia law, Islamic culture, and customs have given exclusive and official status in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, and hence the inclusion of Muslims is not required in the persecuted list.
In a democratic and secular India where the constitution guarantees equality to everyone irrespective of the religious identity, Muslims are grown numerically in every corner of the country. The rise in the Muslim population after the partition is evident from the census each year after independence. The democracy and pluralism of India have benefited minorities in general, and Muslims in particular as Muslims have occupied key constitutional positions, like judges Election Commissioners and President. However, persecuted Indics from the Islamic neighborhoods are the victims of forced conversion, rape, murder, and kidnapping. The non-Muslims like Hindus are treated as unequal citizens in the form of religious apartheid. The Hindu minorities are forced to pay ransom to local leaders to protect themselves and their families. The Hindus need a silent Muslim partner to run their small businesses. The plight of Hindus is such that retaining a clerical post is the highest achievement for many Hindus in Pakistan. However, Hindu phobic secularism of India created and nurtured by Indian establishments pampered minorities, especially Muslims with reservation, special schemes, and benefits at the cost of their own Indic religions.
What is USCIRF? (US Commission on International Religious Freedom)
The USCIRF was created by the US government in 1998 to elevate the fundamental human rights of religious freedom as a central component of US Foreign policy. The USCIRF is funded by US taxpayers and was set up by Bill Clinton Administration under the influence of powerful Christian evangelical lobby. The US Senate (21 years back) passed the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) with a vote of 98 -0 to create USCIRF. It monitors religious freedom abroad but not in USA.
Why is USCIRF dangerous?
The USCIRF is a powerful Christian right-wing organization in a real sense. It is capable of influencing US foreign Policy and hegemonic Western media. It claims to be neutral and impartial, but it is a front for global Christian evangelism. It uses Religious Freedom as a convenient and politically correct vocabulary to encourage Christian proselytization around the non-Christian world. If any organization/individuals resist proselytization, they are regressive and accused as a violator of religious freedom. All the Hindu organizations like RSS, VHP and political party like BJP is on its radar. It has got no regards to any custom, culture, and traditions of the local population and wants to have a free walk on conversion in India.
The USCIRF is historically highly biased against India and Hindus. It releases its religious freedom Index every year. In 2019, India was placed under Tier 2 countries along with Afghanistan and Iraq, in the religious freedom index. Ironically Bangladesh, where Hindus are undergoing ethnic cleansing, was not in either Tier 1 or Tier 2 but under “Other countries and regions monitored”.
The USCIRF has the power to influence American legislatures while framing foreign policy. In the current scenario where every country is competing with each other for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), USCIRF can falsely create negative image and perception about India. The business investment decision also counts on opinions and viewpoints.
If one goes through the website of USCIRF, its Hindu phobic content and biases are very much evident.
USCIRF and CAA
According to India FACTS, (Indology platform), the CAA is a civilizational, historical, and demographic necessity for India. The Indic religions have existed even before the advent of Abrahamic faith in the Indian subcontinent. Indic religions suffered due to the last 1000 years of invasion and sacrificed a lot to preserve their culture and prevent it from being a museum heritage. Naturally, Indic religions have a higher claim on Indian culture and Indian civilization. India being a Hindu majority secular state, is surrounded by hostile Islamic countries and their official state religion and constitution is Islamic. The CAA is a welcome step for minorities who are persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and does not affect the citizenship of any Indian Muslims.
But the USCIRF has a digressive agenda. It spearheaded fear-mongering and falsified propaganda on CAA relentlessly.
“USCIRF fears that the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip citizenship from millions of Muslims.”
- USCIRF, Dec 9 ,2019 Press release.
The USCIRF being a Christian organization, had an extreme and biased view against CAA in the past. The media houses widely publicize the press release of USCIRF against the CAA in the West. The USCIRF reacted sharply on India’s internal matter and recommended sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership. To be precise, they were targeting Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Modi.
CAA and Lautenberg Amendment & Hypocrisy of USCIRF
According to section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of the US, any refugee seeking entry in the US is required to demonstrate fear of persecution in his/her home country.
The late Frank Lautenberg, who was a son of poor Jewish Immigrant, spearheaded an amendment to immigration act in 1989 which is valid even now in the USA what is popularly called as Lautenberg Amendment. The Lautenberg amendment of the US is in analogy with CAA of India. The Lautenberg felt some historically persecuted groups need not demonstrate persecution but can enter the US and get permanent status. So, the Lautenberg Amendment was ratified by the US government to give citizenship status to persecuted religious minorities like Christians, Jews, and Bahai from specified countries with no queue to do so. The CAA has excluded Muslims only whereas the Lautenberg Amendment has many other religions. However, neither the opposition party nor the American media accused the government of violating secular and democratic principles unlike of Indian counterparts concerning CAA.
The Lautenberg Amendment is required to be amended annually as it is not a permanent law. When Senator Lautenberg passed away in 2013, USCIRF deeply mourned his loss, stating that more than two decades he championed a measure to provide a vital lifeline to freedom for persecuted minorities. It went on to urge the US government to make the law permanent.
In 2018 Trump administration denied asylum to more than 100 refugees from Iran (most of them Christians), USCIRF urged the government to provided asylum status. The USCIRF posed a grandstanding saying “few policies embody this commitment) of protecting religious freedom) more than the Lautenberg Amendment. The Trump administration, which is perceived to be antagonistic to refugees, has renewed the Lautenberg amendment from the last five years continuously.
Why Muslims Protests against CAA?
It is a known fact that not even a single Muslim citizen is going to be affected by the CAA. India has witnessed nationwide protests by Muslims and supported liberal Hindus which is a cohort of leftists, deracinated Hindus and Church organizations against CAA.
Then the question arises, Why Muslims, including students, children, and leaders, are protesting against CAA?
The Muslim protesters are motivated by Islamic doctrine, which once again will be brushed off by the anglicized Hindus, Liberal media, and the opportunistic political opponents within India. The Muslims are angered because the CAA is the first Indian law that challenges the doctrine of Islam.
“The CAA is a pretext and anti CAA protests are essentially due to the abrogation of article 370 and Supreme court verdict in favor of Ram Temple construction “
Dr.David Frawley , Indologist and Vedic scholar
“Shaheen Bagh is a symbol of Islamic fanatism in the garb of constitutional secularism.”
- Tejaswi Surya, Member of Parliament, Bengaluru.
Hijrah is a conscious process in which Muslims migrate to non-Muslim land with a purpose. The Hijrah is a part of the Islamist doctrine of worldwide conquest. This concept is taught in a mosque as a religious duty. The illegal Muslim migrants from Bangladesh are Muslim brothers for Indian Muslims, and the legitimizing influx of illegal Muslims strengthen Muslim brotherhood within India. Indian Muslims do not see them as illegals.
Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest Muslim countries in the world. The birth of Islam took place in Saudi Arabia. Despite this, Saudi Arabia never takes Muslim refugees from anywhere in the world. Nevertheless, the same time it provides funding for building mosques for the same Muslim refugees. India was insulted and pressurized to take Rohingya Muslims as refugees as if it has taken an oath to uphold secularism of the planet were as out of more than 50 Muslim countries either one or two Islamic countries embraced secularism with a limited degree of freedom to practice other faith.
There are Muslims who demand, India a secular state should have included persecuted Muslims in CAA. For the argument sake, Ahmadiyya’s and Shias are persecuted Muslims in Pakistan. However, this as an inherently flawed argument as it is a sectarian issue within Islam and not a matter of religious persecution.
According to UPWORD , an emerging platform on Indology , Ahmadiyya’s themselves played a crucial role in creating Pakistan. Ahmadis leaders drafted the resolution for Pakistan and gave a call for Jehad against Hindus in their madrassas. India should have the right to reject such communities as they fail to integrate with democratic and pluralistic principles of India. Providing shelter to Anti- Hindu people will be a death knell for India.
In a broader context, one needs to understand the definition of the following terminologies to follow the above explanation.
Gajwa-e-Hind: The war against Hindus to make India Islamic.
Dar -Ul-Islam: Ask for Islamic state once Muslims become numerically stable. When laws are Islamic, and Muslims maintain their security, then it is called Dar-Ul-Islam.
Dar-Il-Harb: It is the house of war. In a territory where Islam does not prevail, there is a struggle against the will of God. Hence Jehad is also justified.