Let’s first shed light on what this law means to Indian Muslims: this legislation is pushing Muslims out of their country leaving them stateless. Although Muslims make up 14% of India’s population, they are still being pushed out of the country in the favor of a Hindu predominant country. According to the New York Times, the new legislation, called the Citizenship Amendment Act, accelerates Indian citizenship for migrants from some of India’s countries if they are Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Parsee or Jain. Seems great,right? However, one major religion is forgotten: Islam. The article further explains that this isn’t the first time the Prime Minister, Mr. Modi, has dealt with violence caused by religious discrimination. The worst bloodshed that India has seen in recent years exploded on his watch, in 2002, in Gujarat, when he was the top official in the state and clashes between Hindus and Muslims killed more than 1,000 people – most of them Muslims. The Los Angles Times mentions that many Indians worry the new law will be used in unification with a National Register of Citizens that could require all Indians to produce documents proving their origins, a challenge in a country where many people lack official proof of birth, land titles and other paperwork.
Now that everyone is caught up on the basics of what’s happening, let’s discuss the victims of this law and the protests, from protesters to students to passers-by all Muslims. In a BBC article, the investigative journalist starts their story by interviewing Mohammed Shareef who lost his son during the protests although he was not protesting and just happened to be at the protest site. His son was shot. The article goes on to discuss that men and young boys from affected cities are fleeing their homes in fear of getting arrested or worse. Another example brought to light by the Los Angles Times is the case of 20-year-old Mohammed Suleman, who was shot dead by police after he went to a mosque to attend weekly prayers. Police alleges that Suleman fired first, but his family vigorously disputed this allegation, stating that he merely got caught up in a protest. To add insult to injury, Suleman was left to bleed to death and his families wasn’t given a chance to save him. Furthermore, police prevented the family from taking the body home to perform last rites, claiming that the postmortem and burial needed to be conducted in another town. Lastly, in an interview done by the Outlook, Sadaf Jafar, an actor-activist, discusses her harrowing experience in police custody, Uttar Pradesh police and students protests against CAA. To sum it up, she mentions the physical and mental abuse she had to go through from being slapped by officers and being in fear of asking for water in case they come back to hit her.
It hurts to see what’s going on in our current world. No matter what your religion is, seeing this happen to fellow human beings can’t be something anybody is comfortable with witnessing. After doing some research there are some organizations that we could donate to help Muslims in India like Islamic Relief Worldwide-India, Indian Muslim Relief & Charities, Kafalat education program and Muslim Charity India.