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03 February 2020

CAA discussion in Turkey: Researchers deliberate on Indian legal discrimination against Muslims in Istanbul

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IMO News Service

Researchers and academics recently gathered in Istanbul for discussing a new citizenship law in India, which has been criticized for discriminating against Muslims and strengthening Islamophobia, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported. 

South Asia Strategic Research Center (GASAM), a think tank founded by Turkish Islamist Ali Şahin, a Turkish Islamist and deputy minister for European Affairs on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s cabinet, organized by the roundtable discussion was organised on Wednesday, January 29.

Mehmet Özay, an academic at Istanbul’s Ibn Haldun University and one of the speakers at the discussion, said that India’s new law violated the country’s constitution. 
"Perhaps today we are witnessing a process in which India is turning from a multicultural, multi-ethnic, secular structure based on its 1947 constitution … to an Islamophobia-dominant country,” Özay said.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, which was approved on December 12 by the Indian Parliament, fast-tracks Indian citizenship for non-Muslim minorities from three neighboring countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Protesters across India have taken to the streets since December to oppose the controversial law, which they say discriminates against Muslims.
Nedim Çavdari, a researcher and Istanbul-based medical doctor who is originally from Kashmir, said the law had been introduced to clean up Muslim culture from India.

“You can stay as a Muslim there, but you have to live Hindu culture socially,” he said.

Tensions between Hindu and Muslim populations have been close to the surface since India was partitioned in 1947. Rights group accuse the Indian government of pursuing a Hindu-nationalist agenda aimed at marginalizing the country’s 200 million Muslims.

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