Home India US-based Hindu Group to ‘Educate’ American Lawmakers about CAA

US-based Hindu Group to ‘Educate’ American Lawmakers about CAA

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US-based Hindu Group to ‘Educate’ American Lawmakers about CAA

The group compares CAA with the US Lautenberg Amendment and focuses on the persecution of minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Days after the US government raised concerns over the implementation of the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), the Coalition of Hindus of North America (COHNA), a United States-based group, has launched a campaign to “educate” American lawmakers claiming “misinformation” about the contentious citizenship law.

“CAA has already resulted in unwarranted public posturing on the issue from some US-based lawmakers. In 2019-20, a similar flood of misinformation on the topic had resulted in anti-CAA proclamations from 8 US cities,” reads a message being circulated by the COHNA).

The message was flagged as an “action alert of US residents” while urging their supporters to email the prepared draft to show positive aspects of CAA to American lawmakers.

“We urge you to take action to prevent a repeat of those Hinduphobic actions,” added the message.

Reacting to the Central government’s notification about the implementation of the CAA, the US State Department said: “We are concerned about the notification of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on March 11”.

“We are closely monitoring how this act will be implemented. Respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law for all communities are fundamental democratic principles,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at his daily briefing on 15 March.

However, COHNA called upon its supporters to “reach out to your federal, state and local lawmakers, to educate them on this issue, by reading and sending the one-click letter below”.

It asked people to “Follow up with your lawmakers after a few days via phone to ensure your voice gets heard and ask for a meeting with them and sign and get five more friends, family or neighbours to share it as well”.

The email draft, which was put out by the COHNA, compares CAA with the US Lautenberg Amendment and focuses on the persecution of minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

It’s not just US government but also Senator Ben Cardin and the United States International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) criticised the CAA implementation.

“The problematic CAA establishes a religious requirement for asylum seekers in India fleeing neighbouring countries. While it provides a fast track to citizenship for Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians, the law explicitly excludes Muslims. If the law were truly aimed at protecting persecuted religious minorities, it would include Rohingya Muslims from Burma, Ahmadiyya Muslims from Pakistan, or Hazara Shi’a from Afghanistan, among others. No one should be denied citizenship based on religion or belief,” said USCIRF Commissioner Stephen Schneck. “USCIRF urges members of Congress to continue to publicly call out religious freedom issues in India, and to include religious freedom in discussions with government counterparts and importantly, during congressional delegations.”

USCIRF Commissioner David Curry said, “As the State Department recently noted, respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law for all communities are fundamental democratic principles”.

He further said “More than four years after the CAA’s introduction, student activists like Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider, and many others still languish in jail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for peacefully protesting. USCIRF urges the US government to work with Indian authorities to release the human rights activists arbitrarily detained that advocated for religious minorities.”  

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