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Monday, 24 February 2020

Egypt's Al-Azhar 'concerned' over exclusion of Muslims from Indian citizenship law

The law grants citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who moved to India before 2015

Cherine Abdel Azim , Thursday 19 Dec 2019
India
A protester shouts to a policeman at the Town Hall during a demonstration held against India's new citizenship law in spite of a curfew in Bangalore on December 19, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
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Egypt's Al-Azhar has expressed concern over a new Indian law granting citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The law, which was approved by India’s parliament on 11 December and has stirred protests nationwide, grants Indian citizenship to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who moved to India from any the three countries before 2015.

Al-Azhar, Egypt's top Islamic institution, called on Indian authorities to "reconsider" the law, which excludes Muslims, adding that this kind of religious discrimination is strange for the state of India, which has historically stood as an example of religious pluralism and acceptance.

Muslims are estimated to be around 14 percent of India's population of 1.3 billion.

Al-Azhar stressed that this kind of law "explicitly promotes Islamophobia, violates the principle of citizenship, and stands against coexistence."

The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the legislation is designed to address the persecution of non-Muslim minorities in their home countries.

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