US City of St Paul Passes Resolution Against Anti-Muslim Policies of Modi Govt

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Hundreds, mostly Indian Americans, gather in the State Capitol rotunda on Jan. 26, 2020 , in St Paul, to protest against policies in India they say target and discriminate against Muslims. — Photo credit: Sahan Journal

St Paul became the fourth city in the US after Seattle, WA, Cambridge, MA and Albany, NY to pass such a resolution

Clarion India

MINNESOTA — City of St. Paul, Minnesota, has passed the hotly contested resolution 20-712 , which criticised the anti-Muslim policies of the Modi government in India by 5-0 margin with 2 members abstaining.

The resolution reaffirms Saint Paul as a welcoming city, expressing solidarity with Saint Paul’s South Asian community regardless of religion and caste by rejecting the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Islamophobic ideology, and opposing India’s National Registry of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act.

St Paul became the fourth city in the US after Seattle, WA, Cambridge, MA and Albany, NY to pass such a resolution.

Calling the passage of resolution an Eid al Fitr gift to America, Dr Shaik Ubaid, President of the Indian Minorities Advocacy Network (ImanNet), congratulated the supporters of the resolution and the city council members who voted for it weathering abuse from the supporters of Hindutva fascism in the US.

He specifically congratulated Sadia Tarannum, the President of Northwest Islamic Community Center (NWICC) in Plymouth, and Akheel Mohammed of Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) who led the efforts for such a vote.

“Your work has just started. You now have to expose the supporters of this violent extremist ideology who are trying to infiltrate and corrupt the political system, organisations like the Hindu America Foundation who back the discriminatory policies of the governing BJP that adores Hitler and hates Gandhi,” said Dr Ubaid.

He appealed to the Hindu community to reject the attempts by the supporters of the extremist Hundutva movement to become the leaders of Hindu temples and spokespersons of the Hindu community in the US as it would tarnish the image of the community and thus endanger the future of their children.

Earlier Council members Nelsie Yang, Dai Thao and Rebecca Noecker spoke at length of their support for the measure during the debate at the city council meeting.

“We are choosing to not be quiet and to stay silent because I feel like doing that actually comes from a really big place of privilege,” Yang said.

Thao emphasized that the resolution was not an attack on the Indian community any more than criticisms of President Trump are an attack on him.

“This resolution is not a personal attack on any individual, but a way for us to move forward our values and protecting our religions and all folks,” he said.

Noecker added that the council members had probably received more emails on the resolution than most of the issues the council votes on, but said “just because something is controversial doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

“There are always people who can argue for discriminatory policies,” she said. “That’s why discriminatory policies are allowed to exist.”

Council Member Jane Prince, who sponsored the resolution, said the issue ultimately affects local residents.

“The things that are happening in India now are happening to family members of people living in St. Paul,” she said.

The resolution was supported by 36 organizations, including Amnesty International, Indian American Muslim Council, American Civil Liberties Union, Hindus for Human Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace, Advocates for Human Rights, SEIU Local 284, the Minnesota Nurses Association, Jewish Community Action and World Without Genocide.

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