TEHRAN (IQNA) – Head of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) Massoud Shajareh deplored international organizations’ muted response to oppression and discriminations against Muslim minorities in different countries.
In an interview with IQNA, Shajareh highlighted the plights of Muslims in Kashmir, Myanmar, and China.
He said Kashmir’s Muslims have been seeking freedom and autonomy for decades, slamming India for its move last to revoke the very little autonomy the Muslim-majority region had.
People in the Indian-controlled Kashmir are living in difficult conditions due to the military lockdown in the region, Shajareh noted.
In August 2019, the Indian government stripped the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of its special status.
After the decision to scrap Kashmir’s autonomy, Indian authorities imposed security restrictions on Kashmir, fearing massive protests.
The New Delhi government also dispatched thousands of additional troops to the Himalayan region, declared a strict curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet services, and arrested political leaders and pro-independence campaigners.
Shajareh further said that Indian Muslims’ problems are not limited to the issue of Kashmir, referring to the new citizenship law that clearly discriminates against Muslims in the country as another example.
The Indian government that is dominated by Hindu nationalists seeks to turn India into a Hindu-only country and deprive Muslims of their rights, he said.
The new citizenship law, backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), allows granting citizenship to the millions of migrants who legally or illegally came into India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan before December 2014 — but not if they are Muslims.
Critics say the law will be used in conjunction with a citizenship list that could require all Indians to produce documents proving their origins, a challenge in a country where many people lack official records, including birth certificates.
Muslims fear the new law may be misused to strip them of their citizenship.
Shajareh said the IHRC has launched a campaign against India’s new citizenship law to stress the need for all Indians to face no discrimination.
He also urged Muslim countries to encourage India to resolve the issue peacefully for the sake of its own security and peace.
Elsewhere in the online interview, Shajareh referred to the systematic oppression of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, saying the Muslim minority group has been in a very disturbing situation.
The oppression of Rohingya Muslims is known to the world and the UN has declared the group the most persecuted minority, he noted.
Nowhere else in the world has there been such a grave injustice done against a minority, he said.
He also noted that the IHRC has launched two campaigns, one to raise funds to help the oppressed minority and the other to force the Myanmar government to accept the citizenship and rights of Rohingya Muslims.
Shajareh described it as a cause for shame that international organizations are so indifferent to the violations of human rights, including those of Rohingya Muslims.
He further referred to the plight of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, China, saying they have been under severe pressure from the Chinese government for a long time.
Shajareh said Uighur Muslims are peaceful and moderate people but have been oppressed for years under the pretext of fighting extremism.
In recent months China’s treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang has sparked international criticism.