WASHINGTON, D.C. (TIP): In a rare occurrence, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, June 2, called out India for rising instances of attacks on religious freedom. Minorities in India, said Blinken, were “under threat due to rising attacks on places of worship” while delivering remarks on the 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom in Washington.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said minorities in India were under threat due to rising attacks on places of worship”
He was delivering remarks on the 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom in Washington.
Blinken began by naming a clutch of countries — Morocco, Taiwan, Iraq and Timor Leste — that have made improvements in allowing religious freedom. Besides India, he said religious freedom was under stress in Vietnam and Nigeria also.
After Blinken’s remarks, US Ambassador for State International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussein also named India. He said in India, some officials were ignoring or supporting threats to religious freedom. Hussein had earned the ire of the Ministry of External Affairs in February when he had tweeted on the hijab controversy in Karnataka by stating that hijab ban in schools violated religious freedom and stigmatize and marginalized women.
Stating the Biden administration had done the right thing by naming India, Advocacy Director of Indian American Muslim Congress Ajit Sahi said, “We applaud Blinken for naming India, as violations there have gone beyond what is acceptable. We hope more and more members of US Congress and officials of US Government will speak up and call out escalating religious persecution of Muslims and Christians in India.”