TEHRAN (Iran News) – A large group of student organizations of Iran, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals have penned a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, asking her to take decisive action to end the ongoing wave of violent attacks and brutality against Muslims in India.
Last month, in the worst communal violence in decades in New Delhi, nearly 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded as groups chanting Hindu nationalist slogans torched mosques and dozens of Muslim houses.
Anti-Muslim violence began in India amid widespread protests over a citizenship law, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government introduced in December 2019, offering a path to Indian citizenship for six religious groups from neighboring countries, specifically excluding Muslims.
Critics insist the law is discriminatory, coming in the wake of other severe government measures against the country’s Muslim population such as withdrawal of autonomy for Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir province that has intensified discord across India about the future of its 200 million Muslims.
In the letter to the UN commissioner, the Iranian signatories said, “We hope and request that through effective and serious actions by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the main purpose of this letter, which is to help achieve a peaceful life for the people of India with different religions and ethnicities, will be fulfilled and it also becomes a positive role model for others.”
“Unfortunately, however, in recent years there has been an increase in organized violence against Muslim minorities in India, particularly with the ratification of the CAA law in a discriminatory way in the Parliament of India and the support of the Indian government for this discriminatory legislation in December 2019”, the letter reads.
The Iranian signatories said the aforementioned law discriminates in granting citizenship to the people’s religions and seeks even more pressure on Muslims in this country.
This is while the constructing body of India’s society has for long been a diverse and multi-cultural one in which the factor of unity has been for being Indian not for having a specific religion. The CAA discriminatory law, however, has led some organized extremist groups to carry out destructive and anti-human dignity measures against Muslims and their sanctities.
Referring to the burning of a Mosque by some Hindu extremists, the signatories said that the move can be considered a disgrace to all Muslims in the world as in the past there have occurred similar cases various times such as mass beatings and injuring of defenseless Muslims.
Hence, we call for an end to these kinds of violence and extremism against Muslims in India as soon as possible and we also request the Human Rights Council to address this issue by forming a fact-finding committee.
The Islamic Associations of Iranian Students also in a statement on Monday condemned the deadly violence against Muslims in India.
The statement called on Iran’s Foreign Ministry and other related Iranian bodies to remind New Delhi of the need to ensure the safety of the South Asian country’s Muslim community.
The violence against Indian Muslims has prompted reactions from top Iranian officials.
Last Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urged India to “confront extremist Hindus” and “stop the massacre of Muslims”.
He said the current pogrom going on against Muslim people in the South Asian country will lead to the isolation of New Delhi in the Islamic world.
The Leader made the remarks in a statement tweeted in Urdu, English, and Persian in condemnation of the brutal killing of nearly 50 Muslims during a four-day span of violence that began in New Delhi on February 23.
“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
The Leader’s remarks were made after Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged “Indian authorities to ensure the well-being of ALL Indians & not let senseless thuggery prevail,” adding that the “path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.”
India summoned the Iranian ambassador to New Delhi afterward to protest the comments.
Press TV, IRNA, and Reuters contributed to this story.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews