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Protest infront of Indian Consulate in Vancouver against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act


Local activists of lower mainland opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act passed earlier this month by Indian Government, under which illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are eligible for citizenship in India if they are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian and are fleeing persecution in those countries. Muslims, however, are not eligible.


On Friday, December 20, 2019 at 3:00 PM, The British Columbia based Global Peace Society and other BC human rights activist organizations will be gathered in front of the India’s Consulate General office in Vancouver.


Mahwish Yousaf, founder of the Global Peace Society who was the organizer for Friday’s Rally said, “This law is officially sanctioned discrimination against Muslim minorities who might be seeking refuge in India from neighboring countries.  But it seems that only non-Muslims are protected under this law.  Criminals in India seem to have more rights than Muslims do under Narendra Modi’s Hindu supremacist government.”


“We are calling on the government of India to withdraw the CAB and abide by international refugee covenants which do not place the welfare of one persecuted minority over another.  In addition, we are urging India to halt the National Register for Citizens (NRC) initiative, which also largely impacts the Muslim minority in India and has the potential to strip citizenship from tens of millions of marginalized Muslims whose families have lived in India for generations, but who may not be able to produce the required identification documents to prove citizenship,” Yousaf added.


The Global Peace Society and other groups demonstrating in front of India’s consulate are also calling on the Canadian government to speak out and take action to defend international human rights.  Yousaf pointed out that “In the Throne Speech Justin Trudeau said that his government would ‘increase Canadian support abroad for democracy, human rights, international law’ and ‘promote respect for diversity and inclusion.’  Now is the moment when he can put actions behind those words by defending the human rights of India’s Muslim minority which has been under attack since Modi first came to power.”


The CAB and NRC are the most recent efforts by the Modi government to target India’s Muslim minority, who feel like they are under siege in their own homes.  Paradoxically, the CAB law was passed on International Human Rights Day, a United Nations designated day when those whose rights are being violated are being remembered.  The NRC initiative has already resulted in hundreds of thousands of Indo-Muslims being imprisoned in detention centers due to their inability to provide documents that prove their citizenship.


These laws, as well as the frequent political attacks on Indo-Muslims, are part of a campaign by Modi to promote a hardline Hindu nationalism bordering on fascism, the goal of which is to remake India into a “Hindu first” nation as opposed to a pluralistic one.  UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet recently expressed serious concerns over “increasing harassment and targeting of minorities — in particular, Muslims.”


“Muslims comprise the largest religious minority in India and reports by Indian and International human rights organizations, as well as the United Nations, have highlighted the officially sanctioned discrimination, violence and marginalization faced by Indo-Muslims.  The CAB and NRC laws will only worsen their precarious situation,” says Yousaf.


The Global Peace Society is a Vancouver based activist organization dedicated to promoting peace, tolerance, justice, and unity as universal values.  It opposes human rights violations across the globe, calls for respect for diversity, promotes integration of different cultural communities, and condemns all forms of discrimination.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Mahwish Yousaf

Footnotes: Footnotes: Pictures Annie Ohana: