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Giving Compass' Take:
• Sigal Samuel reports that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is building upon India’s National Register of Citizens' efforts to exclude Muslims from the country.
• How can funders work to protect human rights around the world? How can religious liberty be better protected?
• Learn about the history of Muslim persecution in China.
India is home to 200 million Muslims. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they have faced mounting threats to their status in the majority-Hindu country. And on Wednesday, they were walloped by a new worrisome development: The upper house of India’s Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The legislation turns religion into a means of deciding whom to treat as an illegal immigrant — and whom to fast-track for citizenship. The bill is being sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his approval (he will almost certainly sign it), and then it will become law.
At first glance, the bill may seem like a laudable effort to protect persecuted minorities. It says Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who came to India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan won’t be treated as illegal. They’ll have a clear path to citizenship.
But one major group has been left out: Muslims.
That’s no coincidence.
The CAB is closely linked with another contentious document: India’s National Register of Citizens (NRC). That citizenship list is part of the government’s effort to identify and weed out people it claims are illegal immigrants in the northeastern state of Assam. India says many Muslims whose families originally came from neighboring Bangladesh are not rightful citizens, even though they’ve lived in Assam for decades.
When the NRC was published in August, around 2 million people — many of them Muslims, some of them Hindus — found that their names were not on it. They were told they had a limited time in which to prove that they are, in fact, citizens. Otherwise, they can be rounded up into massive new detention camps and, ultimately, deported.
Read the full article about India's new citizenship criteria by Sigal Samuel at Vox.