Chicago City Council: Vote "NO" to AntiIndia AntiHumanRights AntiCAA Resolution R2020-583

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The Indian community of the United States would like the Chicago City Council to vote “NO” to Council resolution R2020-583, Titled “Recognition of India's 74th anniversary of Independence Day and call for condemnation of violence against certain castes and faith groups” sponsored by Hadden, Maria E., Rodriguez Sanchez Rossana, Ramirez-Rosa CarlosMartin Matthew J. Osterman HarryReilly Brendan which is against protecting persecuted minority refugees living in India. 

Note: Please click the link on each of the council member and talk to their office and voice your concern and opposition to pass the bill.

The Sponsors have been severely misguided and misinformed, spreading divisive and dangerous lies about India and interfering in the internal matters of another country. Moreover, their mere proposal of this Resolution has attracted negative attention in India; diplomatic relations to America’s most important ally in the Indo-Pacific should not be disrupted by local politicians.

It is unfortunate that the sponsors have been misinformed about the history, the urgent need for, and the future humanitarian impacts of India’s recent Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was passed democratically and is one of the most generous human rights acts passed in the region.

CAA is same as HR 1085 introduced in the 116th Congress 2019-2020 on 08/14/2020, co-sponsored by 14 Democrats.

HR 1085: "Condemning targeted terrorist attacks against members of the Sikh, Hindu, and other religious minority communities in Afghanistan and supporting refugee protection for Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan in recognition of the systematic religious persecution, discrimination, and existential danger faced by the members of these communities."

CAA: It does almost same with just two additional countries Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Numerous organizations have launched misinformation campaigns against the CAA. Here is what the CAA is and what it is not:

Facts:

  • The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed in 2019, amends India’s Citizenship Act of 1955
  • CAA protects and rescues religiously persecuted minorities (Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs) in Muslim Majority countries of Pakistan Bangladesh Afghanistan
  • CAA is no different from the US’s Lautenberg Amendment which gives fast track asylum to only Jews and Christians from certain countries
  • The CAA is inclusive
  • The CAA upholds human rights

Addressing the misinformation bolstered by Chicago Resolution R2020-583:

  • CAA does not apply to Indian citizens of any religion, caste, sexual orientation, sex, or ethnicity. The CAA is a law exclusively aimed at rescuing persecuted religious minority citizens from the neighboring states of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and fast-tracking their citizenship. Moreover, the Resolution asserts that the LGBTQ community will be hurt. But if you are LGBTQ in these three countries, you are inherently non-Muslim and must flee to India before receiving the death penalty.
  • The numerous allegations by the Sponsors against the CAA, NRC, the Government of India, and India as a whole are not only false but extremely dangerous, especially in the rogue Version 1 of the Resolution
  • The allegations by the Sponsors of religious hate crimes and riot control are skewed to make the reader believe that the “victims” were unarmed, peaceful, citizens of India, and not supported by Pakistan

The disparity in the comparison above proves that the Sponsors have not even read the CAA law; let alone that the law was already implemented 4 months ago.

“India is a beacon of light in a troubled part of the world. The CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to refugees on the Indian Subcontinent persecuted for following their religions of Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Judaism - in short, any major religion other than Islam, in the Muslim-majority countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The CAA amendment reduces the time of residence in India for said groups if already residing within India since 2014, from 11 years to 5 years. The only reason Muslims are not mentioned in this CAA amendment is that only non-Muslims are persecuted for their religion in these three officially Muslim-majority countries.

Current atrocities against Non-Muslims in these three countries include, but are not limited to:

A) Denial Of Food during COVID-19 rescue operations to Non-Muslims. Various charity organizations including those within the USA have been helping such persecuted people with food, but continue to be intercepted.

B) Non-Muslim women, many times in their teens or younger, are regularly forcibly converted to Islam and forcibly married to Muslim men, only to be sold like cattle to other Muslim men after two or three months of “marriage”. The former vice-chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Amarnath Motumal, estimates that 20 or more Hindu girls are abducted and converted every month in Pakistan. This is perfectly acceptable in these countries because wives are legally-speaking, the property of their “husbands” as per Islamic law. In the few cases where this is not legal, the judiciary systems are in collusion with the majority-Muslim population and give final judgments that the girls “voluntarily married” the Muslim men, while the girls are never allowed to meet their parents after such forced conversion and wedding. In the West, we call this abduction and child rape. It’s also perfectly acceptable for Muslim men to beat their “wives” like rented mules, and sell them off after a few months to other Muslim men or terrorist networks. Many times the girls disappear. Parents of such unfortunate young girls go to the extreme of committing suicide after such instances.

D) Murders of non-Muslim families occur in these three countries routinely. Recently, three innocent Hindu children in Pakistan were burnt alive as they slept on a cot. In Afghanistan in March, an ISIS gunman murdered 25 Sikhs worshipping at their temple, and then at the funeral (pictured above), several bombs were detonated.

E) Seeds of such gruesome acts of Violence against non-Muslims, particularly Against Hindus, date back to the time of partition of British India. Present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh were a part of India. Upon the end of British rule in 1947, Muslims demanded the creation of a Muslim country. After a great deal of bloodshed at Muslim hands, Pakistan was created. Millions of non-Muslims settled in current Pakistan at that time made the journey into India while some were left behind - the border had crossed them. Tens of thousands more died while crossing the border. Eight years after the partition, the original Citizenship Act of 1955 was implemented on the premise that non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan (and current Bangladesh) who chose to stay back will continue there without any issues by majority Muslims in Pakistan. Believing in this, India accepted these Minorities of Pakistan (Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Christians) who came then to India as Citizens. The present CAA simply extended the date till 2014 to allow them to refuge in India so they can live a life of dignity and freedom, and not be forced to convert to Islam.

The CAA is based on a successful United States law. In 1989, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey introduced an amendment to the US policies for granting refugee status, and subsequently Citizenship, to persecuted religious minorities - Christians, Jews, and few others, from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and Southeast Asia. In Dec 2015, the Obama administration expanded this amendment to include religious minorities such as Jews, Christians, Baha’is, and select others from countries like Iran.

Those seeking asylum in the US under these provisions are required to prove that they are a bonafide member of one of the designated religious groups; i.e. only those belonging to a specific religion, as provided in the Lautenberg Amendment, can get refugee status to the US.

Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal suggests the Lautenberg Amendment as a solution to handle refugees from other countries. In a July 2, 2019 speech, Rep Jayapal stated, “So if you really want to fix the border crisis here’s what you have to do...have a program just like what’s called the Lautenberg Amendment for Soviet Jews continue, Ukrainians have come in through this as well, where you give a specific type of entry visa with permanent status to a particular region that is very troubled.”

Like laws in any country, the CAA is a law with limited scope to rehabilitate religious minorities who were left behind on the other side of the border during the 1947 India-Pakistan partition. Their population is shrinking and their persecution is on the rise. The percentage of the Hindu population in Pakistan in 1941 was nearly 14% and today is about 1.5%, similarly, in Bangladesh, it was 22% of Hindus in 1951,  now reduced to about 10%. While the numbers may seem small in percentages the actual numbers are in millions.

At the same time, the percentage of Muslims in India since 1950 has grown from approximately 9% to 15% ( as per the 2011 census). Several studies such as Pew Research show that by 2050 India will be home to the largest number of Muslims and Hindus in the world.

While millions of Hindu women in Pakistan and Bangladesh were being raped and families being killed and forcibly converted, some managed to escape and sought shelter in India for the last several decades. They have been living in India as refugees in camps without proper food, hygiene, sanitation, education, job opportunities, and any of those basic rights that were taken away from them and their ancestors during the partition through no fault of their own.

The sponsors are missing the fact that all the CAA does is rehabilitate these religious minorities and has nothing to do with turning away Muslims. Muslims, who are Indian citizens will continue to be an integral part of India, and Muslims and non-Muslims alike from all over the world, are always welcome in India through the usual legal immigration channels. In fact, India has granted citizenship to over 500 Pakistani nationals and continues to do so.

Furthermore, the sponsors claim that a law separate from the CAA, the NRC (National Registry of Citizens) will strip 200 million Indian Muslims of their citizenship.

First, the NRC is still being deliberated and has not been passed or implemented in India except in one state. Second, if implemented, the NRC has nothing to do with giving or taking away citizenship – it is simply a registry of legal citizens of India. All citizens will be given exhaustive options to prove their citizenship without causing any hardship.

Chicago behooves the City to support the rescue of Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, and Parsi Ethnicities suffering untold miseries in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

The CAA was implemented over 70 years too late, as persecution against the minorities of these countries has persisted since the day the borders were drawn. The current BJP led Government has since coming to Power in 2014 has taken major tasks one after the other to set right many wrongs and unfinished work since the time India gained Independence from the British in 1947.

In case the Council wants to persist in taking stances on foreign internal matters, we suggest that the Council members reach out to Ministry of External Affairs representatives of India in the USA, namely the Indian Consulate in Washington DC and the Office of the Ambassador of India to the US, to have expert analysis of CAA law and proposed NRC registry before wrongfully passing a highly insensitive and dispassionate Resolution against this highly compassionate Act.

Again, We request you kindly stop this Resolution against India. In other words, people with a conscience should vote “AGAINST” Resolution R2020-583 of the Council.

The only condemnation is ideally reserved for the three countries surrounding India that have perpetually persecuted their minority religions.

This trend of American local officials morally posturing themselves over foreign internal matters is embarrassing, pointless, neglects serious problems in their own cities, disrupts trade, and most importantly, endangers the lives of millions on the other side of the world. The Resolution should never have been discussed in the first place.

Anything other than this would cast grave and serious aspersions on the high ideals and respect for democracy of the esteemed City of Chicago, represented ably by its City Council.

"A Pakistani Refugee appeal to the US Govt and HUMAN RIGHTS Groups. Atrocities of religious minorities in Pakistan. Minorities under attack. Rejection of “non-Muslim” in Pakistan. CAA saves lives. India is the new abode for these persecuted people." - YouTube Video Link: Persecuted minorities of Pakistan

Handicapped Christian girl abducted in Pakistan

Yet Another Girl In Pakistan Abducted, Forcibly Converted And Forcibly ‘Married’ To Her Abductor

15 Y/O Christian Girl Abducted by Muslims in Pakistan, Forced to Convert to Islam and Marry Captor

Comment on the Resolution here

Official Press Note by India’s Ministry of External Affairs

Minister of HOME AFFAIRS: CAA is about giving citizenship, not taking it

Another minor Hindu girl kidnapped in Pakistan forcibly converted to Islam

More CAA myths debunked

Orphans of Afghanistan Sikh temple attack

Muslim activist condemns Pakistan's treatment of Hindus (Hindi language)

VIDEO: Pakistani Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar” Burn Down a Church

OPINION: There may be no Hindus left in Bangladesh in 30 years

Why Pakistani Hindus flee to India

Hindu girls' forced conversions legitimized by Muslim scholar

REPORT: Forced Conversions & Forced Marriages in Sindh, Pakistan



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