US Voices Concerns Over Alleged Discrimination Against Minorities in India
US Voices Concerns Over Alleged Discrimination Against Minorities in India

US Voices Concerns Over Alleged Discrimination Against Minorities in India

The findings come shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his third term, coinciding with discussions between India and the United States to enhance cooperation in high technology sectors.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an organization previously criticized by India, has once again expressed concerns over religious freedoms, citing alleged increases in hate speech, demolitions of places of worship, and anti-conversion laws.

The annual report aims to provide a view of religious freedom globally across nearly 200 countries and territories.

The findings come shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his third term, coinciding with discussions between India and the United States to enhance cooperation in high technology sectors.

"In India, we see a concerning increase in anti-conversion laws, hate speech, demolitions of homes and places of worship for members of minority faith communities," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Rashad Hussain, US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, voiced further concerns.

He said, “In India, Christian communities reported that local police aided mobs that disrupted worship services over accusations of conversion activities, or stood by while mobs attacked them and then arrested the victims on conversion charges," he said.

Earlier rebuttals from India dismissed similar reports from USCIRF, accusing the ruling BJP of bias and pursuing a political agenda.

"The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is known as a biased organization with a political agenda. They continue to publish their propaganda on India masquerading as part of an annual report," MEA official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said at a press briefing.

"We really have no expectation that USCIRF will even seek to understand India's diverse, pluralistic and democratic ethos. Their efforts to interfere in the largest electoral exercise of the world will never succeed," he added.

The USCIRF report also criticized other nations, including China, Russia, and Iran, for religious freedom violations targeting specific faith communities.

The USCIRF had then alleged that the Indian government "failed to address" communal violence disproportionately affecting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Jews, and Adivasis (indigenous peoples) in 2023.

Among its key findings, the report calls out several countries including India, China, Russia, and Iran for violations of explicitly targeting members from certain faith communities.

A detailed section of the report also mentioned the alleged "targeted attacks against religious minorities in India." The report expresses several concerns over India's religious freedom. It claims religious conversion is "legally prohibited" in multiple states, religious minorities are "attacked on a regular basis", and alleges that Muslims face systemic discrimination.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also noted that in the United States, hate crimes against both Muslims and Jews "have gone up dramatically."
The US also raised concerns about Pakistan, where Blinken condemned blasphemy laws that "help foster a climate of intolerance and hatred that can lead to vigilantism and mob violence."

Secretary Blinken also addressed human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in China and repression faced by Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners.

US Voices Concerns Over Alleged Discrimination Against Minorities in India
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