The U.S. Must Oppose India’s Rising Islamophobia

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Letter to the Editor about its Editorial –

Is Biden Admin corrupted to overlook India’s human rights and religious freedom abuses? Human rights organizations and concerned citizens are making efforts to appeal to the administration to take action.

If you remember Ambassador Richard Holbrook, who begged and pushed Senior Bush and then Clinton to take action before a significant Genocide in Bosnia in the proportions of the Holocaust happened, finally they listened. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar asked the Biden administration how many Muslims had to be killed by Modi Government before they woke up?

The Washington Post Editorial is one of the most potent calls to the Biden Admin. It is the most advisement one can give President Biden, “India could be a pluralistic democracy or a country defined by a dark, intolerant nationalism. The United States should work actively in favor of the former.” Indeed, we, the people of the United States, owe the People of India that we are serious about protecting their freedoms, and we will make every effort to bring the deviant leaders of India back on track.

 We urge Blinken and Biden to declare India a Country of Particular Concern. We want to assure the majority of Indians that it is not a punishment but a recommendation to restore the religious freedom and human rights of Indians that will benefit every Indian. If Modi does not care, there is a possibility that American corporations may pull out of India and hurt its economy. It is in the interest of every Indian to urge the Modi government to get their act together and not hurt India. 

Modi had the right words, sab ka Saath, sab ka Vikas aur sab ka Vishwas. None of which he meant.

As far as Americans are concerned, we want India to be our reliable ally. To be reliable, it has to function cohesively, and every Indian must feel secure about who they are. That is when India will become a reliable ally.

Mike Ghouse offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and is president of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC.



  The U.S. must oppose India’s rising Islamophobia
By the Editorial Board
June 14, 2022 at 11:35 a.m. EDT
India’s relations with majority-Muslim countries have been strained this month after two officials in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made demeaning comments about the prophet Muhammad. Stores in countries such as Kuwait pulled Indian products off their shelves, and protesters continue to call for boycotts of Indian-made goods; more than a dozen governments in majority-Muslim countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned the comments. Good. Religious intolerance under Mr. Modi has gone unchallenged long enough.

The backlash produced some modest results. In response, the BJP suspended spokeswoman Nupur Sharma and expelled spokesman Naveen Jindal. The ruling party also issued a statement June 5 denouncing the “insult of any religious personalities of any religion,” stating that the BJP opposes “any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion,” as the party “respects all religions.”

This is not how Mr. Modi or the BJP has governed. India, founded as a secular nation despite its 79 percent Hindu majority and 15 percent Muslim minority, has slid toward Hindu nationalism under BJP rule. Bulldozers have razed houses in majority-Muslim neighborhoods under dubious pretenses, with local officials even boasting of the demolitions. The BJP-run state government of Karnataka banned hijabs in schools, a motion the state court upheld in March. Hate crimes against Indian Muslims and other religious minorities number in the hundreds each year, as local and state BJP officials engage in hate speech themselves. Amid all this, Mr. Modi and the national BJP have been quiet — until now.

Given this history, it seems unlikely the BJP’s nice-sounding statements reflect a sudden concern for religious tolerance. Indeed, two people were killed and dozens more injured as police charged a crowd of protesters last Friday.

That India’s ruling party did anything to condemn religious intolerance probably reflects concern about alienating Middle Eastern states, on which India depends heavily for natural gas, economic cooperation, infrastructure projects, counterterrorism and intelligence. Millions of Indians work and live in the Persian Gulf region, sending home remittances. Mr. Modi wants to make India a leader on the global stage; the recent backlash shows that he and his party might respond when other countries object to rife anti-Muslim sentiment in India, tolerated or encouraged by his party.

The United States should increase the pressure. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in April that the Biden administration is monitoring human rights abuses in India; this month, he named India as a country with deteriorating religious freedoms. But the White House has been silent as this most recent controversy has unfolded. India could be a pluralistic democracy or a country defined by a dark, intolerant nationalism. The United States should work actively in favor of the former.

The Post’s View | About the Editorial Board
Editorials represent the views of The Washington Post as an institution, as determined through debate among members of the Editorial Board, based in the Opinions section and separate from the newsroom.
Members of the Editorial Board and areas of focus: Deputy Editorial Page Editor Karen Tumulty; Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus; Associate Editorial Page Editor Jo-Ann Armao (education, D.C. affairs); Jonathan Capehart (national politics); Lee Hockstader (immigration; issues affecting Virginia and Maryland); David E. Hoffman (global public health); Charles Lane (foreign affairs, national security, international economics); Heather Long (economics); Molly Roberts (technology and society); and Stephen Stromberg (elections, the White House, Congress, legal affairs, energy, the environment, health care).

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