Statement on Ending Government-Sanctioned Oppression and Violence Against Muslims in India

As a grassroots organization of Muslim and Jewish women committed to ending acts of hatred and marginalization of Jews and Muslims, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS) condemns in the strongest terms the violence and oppression being committed against Muslims across India by the current government, controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and many of its followers. 

Leading watchdog groups, including Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, agree that since being elected to office, India’s government has passed fundamentally discriminatory laws and requirements, including the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019 and the National Registry of Citizenship, which single-out Muslims, potentially leading to a status of statelessness within their own country. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Early Warning Project has ranked India as 13th out of their top 30 highest-risk countries for new mass killings.

Most recently, in the tragic aftermath of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, India’s government says it will prioritize taking in Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan, as refugees, over Muslim Afghans, who constitute the vast majority of Afghans fleeing the region. 

India’s discriminatory policies have stoked anti-Muslim hate speech and violence including:

  • Senior state officials calling Muslims “termites” as well as “traitors” who “will enter your house, will abduct your sisters, rape them, kill them”. 
  • Public murders, assaults, and arson against Muslim homes and businesses, and unchecked mass violence at Muslim academic institutions.  The international press has referred to these attacks on Muslims as “pogroms”, an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group similar to the Jewish community in eastern Europe.  
  • Scapegoating Muslims for the spread of COVID resulting in further discrimination and violence.

As Jewish and Muslim women, we understand the deep and long-lasting effects of discrimination and oppression against religious minorities and the pain  of silence when such hatred occurs, especially when it escalates into state-sanctioned violence.

Therefore, we call upon our membership to: 

  1. Learn more about India’s discriminatory practices by visiting the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) website.
  2. Raise awareness by telling others within your communities about the atrocities facing religious minorities in India. Tell businesses and elected officials that India must address these human rights abuses as a condition to any business and political partnerships with India.
  3. Act now by calling your elected official to tell them our sister democracy India should stop all discriminatory practices towards Muslims, including unequal treatment towards Afghan Muslims seeking refuge in India.

Additional resources are forthcoming. If you have specific questions or would like to offer resources to this effort, please email the Uyghur and India Action Group co-chairs at [email protected] .

September 15, 2021
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