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ALERT: Support Saint Paul City Council Resolution Condemning Human Rights Violations in India
ACTION ALERT: CAIR-Minnesota and Indian American Muslim Council Call on Community Members to support Saint Paul City Council Resolution Condemning Human Rights Violations in India

CAIR-MN and Indian American Muslim Council is asking you to join them in supporting City of St. Paul’s resolution 20-712 which will be voted on tomorrow on May 6th. The resolution focus on City’s of St Paul’s expressing solidarity with Saint Paul’s South Asian community and standing up against dangerous exclusionary laws targeting religious minorities in India that have created instability, which threatens St Paul’s business and residents.  There are over 200 million Muslims in India that are at risk of losing their citizenship because of the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Registry Count.

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[Note: This click-and-send-alert only works for St. Paul residents, if you are not a resident of St. Paul but would like to take action email the city council at: Contact-Council@ci.stpaul.mn.us]

Resolution:

Reaffirming Saint Paul as a welcoming city, expressing solidarity with Saint Paul’s South Asian community regardless of religion and caste by rejecting the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Islamophobic ideology, and opposing India’s National Registry of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act  

WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council supports democratic rights for all peoples, and opposes discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity, race, and religion; and
 
WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul has adopted a number of resolutions expressing solidarity with all members of our community, including most recently Resolution 20-621, “Condemning xenophobia and racism against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the City of Saint Paul”; which was unanimously approved on 4/8/2020; and

WHEREAS, the nation of India was founded as a secular republic in which members of all nationalities, ethnicities, races, and religious faiths are welcome; and

WHEREAS, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is dominated by the exclusionary ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) (National Volunteers Association), which advocates creation of a militant Hindu state, and implicitly and explicitly promotes discrimination against Muslims; and

WHEREAS, on December 11, 2019, the Indian parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which the BJP government claims will help refugees fleeing religious persecution from neighboring countries, but which in fact is designed to discriminate against Muslims, favoring Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian immigrants, while excluding millions of Muslims who have come to India to flee wars in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and other Muslim countries; and

WHEREAS, the CAA is the first instance of religion being used as a criterion for Indian citizenship; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, Modi’s BJP government conducted a census of Assam state, that required registration of all persons in Assam in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), requiring over two million Bengali Muslims to produce documents proving they were Indian citizens before 1971 or face detention in “foreigner” detention prisons that the Indian government has begun to build and fill; and

WHEREAS, many Indians lack documentation such as birth certificates to prove citizenship, and a nationwide expansion of the NRC could strip hundreds of millions of people (especially Muslims, oppressed castes, poor women, indigenous groups known collectively as Adivasi, and LGBT communities) of their Indian citizenship; and

WHEREAS, the New York Times reported on December 22, 2019 that “The Indian home minister, Amit Shah, has vowed in speeches to expand the checks used in Assam to other states and then use the citizenship law to purge India of ‘infiltrators’ and ‘termites’”; and

WHEREAS, protests in India against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in December 2019 were met by fatal fire with live ammunition, arrests of thousands, and destruction by Hindu mobs and police of Muslim homes in cities such as Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Sambhal, Firozabad, and Rampur; and

WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council intends to convey dissent against Trump’s blanket support of Prime Minister Modi; and

WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council believes it is the duty of ordinary people to oppose the dangerous rise of racist, nationalist, and authoritarian leaders around the world, and believes that the Islamophobic authoritarianism of the Modi government in nuclear-armed India is of grave concern, not only to the 200 million Muslims in India, and to oppressed castes, women, indigenous, and LGBT people in India, but also to Saint Paul’s South Asian immigrant community and to democratic government in the United States and around the world; and

WHEREAS, the Indian American Muslim Council and The Council on American-Islamic Relations and hundreds of activists and organizers have spoken out against the CAA and NRC; and

WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council believes that India’s Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens are inconsistent with the democratic values of the City of Saint Paul, and these Indian laws are threats to Saint Paul’s South Asian communities of all castes and religions; and

WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus is galvanizing the bigotry and violence against India’s Muslim population and Saint Paul’s South Asian community; and

WHEREAS, the Coronavirus crisis and scapegoating of India’s Muslim community has highlighted the BJP’s inherently Islamophobic philosophy especially through the implementation of the CAA and the NRC; and

WHEREAS, according to the US Department of State, bilateral trade between the US and India exceeded $142 billion in 2018, and according to the Star Tribune, exports from Minnesota to India were $203.8 million in 2011; and

WHEREAS, the economic relationship including trade, manufacturing, and technical support between the US and India is threatened by the instability of civil unrest due to the BJP’s exclusionary ideology;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Saint Paul City Council reaffirms Saint Paul as a welcoming city and expresses solidarity with Saint Paul’s South Asian community regardless of religion and caste; and be it further

RESOLVED, the City Council opposes the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act in India and finds the policies of these laws to be discriminatory to Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous peoples know as Adivasi, and the LGBT community; and be it further

RESOLVED, the integrity of the trade relationship between the Twin Cities and India must be founded upon the democratic rights of people, the rule of law, and freedom of religion.
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