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Muslim, Sikh, Christian groups applaud USCIRF for its religious freedom report on India

Lalit K Jha
·2-min read

Washington, Apr 23 (PTI) Several Indian-American Muslim, Sikh and Christian groups have applauded the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for its latest report wherein it has recommended India be designated as a 'country of particular concern (CPC)' for the alleged deterioration of religious freedom in the country.

In separate statements, these groups urged the US State Department to accept the recommendations of the USCIRF, a Congress-constituted quasi-judicial body. Its annual report on international religious freedom and recommendations are non-binding on the US government.

“Designating India as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedoms, while unfortunate, is expected and justified,” said Rasheed Ahmed, executive director of Indian-American Muslim Council.

“We hope the US Department of State will accept the USCIRF’s recommendations and designate India as a CPC this year,” he said.

The USCIRF, in its report, has said, “Designate India as a 'country of particular concern,' or CPC, for engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).” India has in the past said the US body on international religious freedom has chosen to be guided only by its biases on a matter on which it has no locus standi.

The Federation of Indian-American Christian Organizations applauded the designation of India as a CPC by the USCIRF.

“FIACONA whole-heartedly agrees with USCIRF in their decision to continue the designation of India as a CPC for the year 2021,” a statement said.

In a joint statement, three US-based Sikh organisations thanked the USCIRF for analysis of status of religious minorities in India.

“India, which claims to be the world’s largest democracy with a tradition of secular pluralism, is fast slipping into a majoritarian autocracy”, said Dr Pritpal Singh, coordinator, American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC). PTI LKJ AQS