Somali-born US lawmaker Ilhan Omar questions the Biden Administration’s silence on ill-treatment of the minority community and asks, “How are we promoting a free and open region by supporting Modi”.
NEW DELHI – Somali-born United States lawmaker Ilhan Omar has urged the Biden Administration to speak up on the alleged ill treatment meted out to India’s Muslim minority under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Omar, a Muslim Congresswoman who represents Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, asked Wendy Sherman, deputy secretary of state to explain “how are we promoting a free and open region by supporting Modi”.
— Clarion India (@TheClarionIndia) April 7, 2022
She asked what it will take the US to speak up on the Modi government’s treatment of Muslims as she accused the Biden administration of showing reluctance in criticising Modi’s government on human rights. “How much Modi government has to criminalise the act of being a Muslim in India for us to say something? What will it take for us to outwardly criticise the action that the Modi administration is taking against its Muslim minorities?” Omar asked.
On the consequence of remaining silence in the face of growing abuse, Omar cited example of Rohingya issue which evoked global concern after the genocide was committed against the Burmese Muslims. “Because when we remain silent and situation gets out of control in the way it did we all of a sudden show interest in whatever genocide is taking place but we have an opportunity to lead and make sure that there is a deterrence in the actions they are taking.”
In response, Sherman said she agrees that the US government must stand up “for every religion, every ethnicity, every race, and every quality of diversity in this world.”
Omar then asked, “I do hope we make a practice of standing up not just to our adversaries, but to our allies as well.”
“Absolutely,” said Sherman, informing that the US officials have raised concerns about India’s human rights record directly with New Delhi.