Amnesty said the shared values of human rights and dignity in the India-US relationship have now been replaced by discrimination, bigotry and hostility.

Anti-Muslim sentiment now permeates India-US policies Amnesty on Trump visit
news Namaste Trump Monday, February 24, 2020 - 15:28

The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump highlights the anti-Muslim sentiment in the policies of both governments, Amnesty International India and USA said in a statement on Monday.

President Trump is on a two-day visit to India, along with First Lady Melania, Senior Advisor to the President and his daughter Ivanka Trump, and fellow advisor and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner.

“Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates the policies of both U.S. and Indian leaders. For decades, the US-India relationship was anchored by claims of shared values of human rights and human dignity. Now, those shared values are discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers,” said Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s executive director.

This comes amid the lockdown in Kashmir, which has been in place since Article 370 was abrogated in August 2019. Internet services are only partially available in the former state and political leaders remain detained under the repressive Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA).

In light of this, Amnesty said that Trump and Modi must work with the international community to address concerns.

“The internet and political lockdown in Kashmir has lasted for months and the enactment of CAA and the crackdown on protests has shown a leadership that is lacking empathy and a willingness to engage. We call on President Trump and Prime Minister Modi to work with the international community and address our concerns in their bilateral conversations,” said Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India.

Both Modi and Trump have been widely criticised for policies which persecute Muslims.

In India, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists and Jains from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan legitimises discrimination based on religious grounds, Amnesty said. The protests against the CAA are in the backdrop of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR). This, Amnesty said, pushes minorities and Muslims in particular “towards the limbo of detention and statelessness”.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom and some US senators have also raised serious concerns about this law.

Similarly, the US has been slammed for a Muslim ban by President Trump affecting Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania, which came into effect on February 21.  

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