Huffington Post: As Rohingyas Flee Myanmar, India Needs To Drop Religious Criteria in Its Refugee Law

Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees are fleeing violence in Myanmar and heading to Bangladesh, with 30,000 people trapped near the border, reports Nafees Ahmad for the Huffington Post. Meanwhile, India’s prime minister has announced plans to deport 40,000 Rohingya refugees, and India’s Supreme Court is reviewing a plea by two asylum seekers to reverse the decision. Conservatives who support the move argue that the presence of Rohingya Muslim refugees “encourage[s] Islamic fanaticism,” and news outlets in India claim that events in Myanmar pose a “terror concern.” India’s refugee policy, according to statistics from the UN, has allowed for the intake of up to 200,000 people a year and some Hindu far-right leaders have made this a target for scrutiny. In 2016, the Indian government proposed amending the Citizenship Act of 1955 to smooth naturalization processes with an exception for “displaced persons of Muslim faith.” The proposed bill would aid Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and other minority religions in home nations like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, “but not Muslims persecuted in their countries of origin, such as the Burmese Rohingyas.” Islam is India’s second largest religion with about 15 percent of the population reported to be adherents. Ahmad urges India to pursue policies that would make the country a role model in treatment of displaced people. – YaleGlobal

Huffington Post: As Rohingyas Flee Myanmar, India Needs To Drop Religious Criteria in Its Refugee Law

India accepts up to 200,000 refugees per year, but proposes new changes that would limit Muslims, including Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar
Nafees Ahmad
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Read the article.

Nafees Ahmad is assistant professor, International Refugee Law & Human Rights, with South Asian University.

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