Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus in India share Mahathir’s opinion on Modi’s ‘anti-Muslim’ law

Mahathir is not alone. The law has triggered widespread protests all across India from non-Muslims who view the bill to be anti-Muslim. Source (pic): TTF

Malaysian premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was on the dot regarding India’s new citizenship law which the Prime Minister claims is discriminative against Muslims.

Speaking on the side-lines of the just concluded 2019 Kuala Lumpur Summit, Mahathir said such laws were never implemented in multi-racial Malaysia, adding that if they were, many would suffer.

More than 20 people have died in ten days since the bill was passed, with bloody clashes between protesters and riot police still ongoing at the time of writing. 

Like Mahathir, critics fear the new law – known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – undermines India’s secular constitution.

Many Muslim citizens fear that they could be made stateless if they don’t have the necessary documents, while critics also say the law is exclusionary and violates the secular principles enshrined in India’s constitution. 


SUBANG JAYA: Malaysian premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was on the dot regarding India’s new citizenship law which the Prime Minister claims is discriminative against Muslims.

Speaking on the side-lines of the just concluded 2019 Kuala Lumpur Summit, Mahathir said such laws were never implemented in multi-racial Malaysia, adding that if they were, many would suffer.




Mahathir is not alone. The law has triggered widespread protests all across India from non-Muslims and Muslims alike who view the bill to be anti-Muslim.

More than 20 people have died in ten days since the bill was passed with bloody clashes between protesters and riot police reported and still ongoing at the time of writing.

BBC reports that protesters have continued to take to the streets in spite of police bans with several thousand people having been detained thus far and internet services suspended as authorities battle to restore order.

Amid the protests, Indian premier Narendra Modi defended the legislation at a rally in the capital at the start of his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign for state elections there.

The prime minister has:

1. accused political parties of “telling lies and spreading misinformation” about the bill

2. condemned attacks on the police as well as on public transport, shops and government property

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3. maintained that the government had “never asked for anyone’s religion” when implementing major policies

4. insisted that India’s Muslims – one in seven of India’s 1.35bn population – “don’t need to worry” about the bill

Like Mahathir, critics fear the new law – known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – undermines India’s secular constitution.

Passed earlier this month, it offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The federal government says the law will protect religious minorities fleeing persecution – but the move has drawn criticism from opposition parties and international rights groups.

It is also controversial because it follows a government plan to publish a nationwide register of citizens that it says will identify illegal immigrants – namely, anyone who doesn’t have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India.

Many Muslim citizens fear that they could be made stateless if they don’t have the necessary documents, while critics also say the law is exclusionary and violates the secular principles enshrined in India’s constitution.

But Mr Modi said the law would have “no effect on citizens of India, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Christians and Buddhists”.

He also blamed the opposition for the protests, accusing them of “spreading lies and rumours” and “instigating violence” and “creating an atmosphere of illusion and falsehood”.

RJ RITHAUDEEN



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