OIC calls for ensuring safety of Indian Muslims, protection of their holy places

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 23 (APP): The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has voiced its concern over India’s controversial citizenship law affecting the country’s Muslims, and called for ensuring their safety as the Indian security forces use strong-arm methods to quell protests.

“It (OIC) expresses its concern over the recent developments pertaining to both the issue of citizenship rights and the Babri Masjid case.

It reiterates its call to ensure the safety of the Muslim minority and the protection of Islamic holy places in India,” the Jeddah-based OIC said in a written statement.

India’s Supreme Court in November handed over the site of the 16th century Babri Mosque to Hindus for the construction of a temple.

Stating that it is closely following recent developments, the General Secretariat of OIC said in a statement that it “reaffirms the crucial importance of upholding the principles and obligations enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and relevant international covenants that guarantee the rights of minorities without any discrimination”.

The 57-member body, which has an observer status at the UN, also warned that any action contrary to these principles and obligations may lead to “further tensions”, as well as may have “serious implications” on peace and security across the region.

India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, passed last week, grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh but blocks nationalization for Muslims.

Muslims leaders fear that the new law was the first step by the ruling BJP party to make second-class citizens of India’s 200 million Muslims.

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