July 1, 2022

After the re-election of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May 2019, the religious freedoms of ethnic and religious minorities in India, which includes Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and Adivasis, have been subject to increasing forms of violence and discrimination.   

The Indian government has been silencing prominent voices of religious minorities and their supporters through:  

  • “bulldozer politics,” which involves violent, destructive attacks on protestor’s homes, neighborhoods, and places of worship; 
  • destroying copies of religious texts such as the Quran; 
  • enactment of a hijab ban resulting in attacks on those who are visibly Muslim;  
  • statelessness and prolonged detention of migrants; and 
  • imprisonment. 

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reports that “in 2021, numerous attacks were made on religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, and their neighborhoods, businesses, homes, and houses of worship. Many of these incidents were violent, unprovoked, and/or encouraged or incited by government officials.” 

Despite increasing violations of religious freedom in India and recommendations from the USCRIF, the U.S. has yet to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC). In response, Congresswoman Omar (D-MN) with co-sponsors Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), James McGovern (D-MA), and Juan Vargas (D-CA), introduced H.R. 1196 on June 21, 2022, condemning the egregious human rights and international religious freedom violations in India specifically targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. The resolution outlines USCIRF reports calling for the designation of India as a country of particular concern for three consecutive years.  

H.R. 1196 asks the U.S. House of Representatives to:  

  • Condemn human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, 
  • Express grave concern about the worsening treatment of religious minorities in India, and 
  • Call on the Secretary of State to designate India as a country of particular concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016.  

CAIR-CA is asking you to urge your representatives to condemn human rights violations in India and designate India as a Country of Particular Concern.