Students call on Zarif not to be indifferent toward Indian Muslims 

March 3, 2020 - 22:57

TEHRAN – The Islamic society of students at Shahid Beheshti University, in a letter issued on Tuesday, called on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to take more serious actions towards the violence against the Muslim community in India.

"Defending rights of the entire Muslims is a part of Article 152 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran," the students said in the letter, urging Zarif to provide diplomatic support for the Indian Muslims. 

Writing on his official Twitter account on Monday night, Zarif condemned the recent wave of “organized violence” against Indian Muslims, calling on the New Delhi government to “ensure the wellbeing of all Indians”.

“Iran condemns the wave of organized violence against Indian Muslims. For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of ALL Indians and not let senseless thuggery prevail,” Zarif said.

The foreign minister added, “The path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.” 

Protests swept India since the Indian Parliament passed the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) on December 11, entitling religious minority migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to Indian citizenship if they entered the country before the end of December 2014, but excluding Muslims.

The act has come under criticism for discriminating against undocumented Muslim migrants.

More than 40 Muslims were killed by Hindu extremists last week in New Delhi. They put houses, shops, mosques, schools, and vehicles on fire.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been publicly silent on the violence.

His powerful home minister, Amit Shah, has accused opposition parties of inciting the riots by spreading misinformation about the citizenship law, which fast-tracks naturalization for religious minorities from several neighboring countries but not Muslims, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, India’s top court agreed to hear cases filed by riot victims accusing leaders of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party of hate speech. Some of the victims accuse Kapil Mishra, a local leader of Modi’s party who lost his Delhi state assembly seat in recent elections, of stoking the violence.

With around 201 million Muslims (2018 estimate), India's Muslim population is about the world's second-largest and the world's largest Muslim-minority population.

MJ/PA

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