Hundreds to join protest march in Durban against India’s anti-Muslim law

The solidarity march is intended to garner support from all religious groups against India’s discriminatory Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) writes an Al Qalam Reporter.

Hundreds are expected to descend on Durban’s beach promenade next Sunday for a protest march against India’s discriminatory Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) which grants citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries – but excludes Muslims.

This move has triggered mass protests by millions not only in India but across the world. The Durban protest march has been organized by a group of civic-minded individuals from across the religious and cultural divides who oppose Narendra Modi’s divisive law that targets primarily Muslims.

Permission for the march has been obtained from the authorities.

The protest march starts at the “Amphitheatre” at 8.45am and will proceed to the Paddle Pool area after which the marchers will return to the starting point where they will be addressed by leading community figures and activists from all denominations. Imams of all local mosques have been urged to remind musalees, before Jumah Khubah, about the march and its objectives. Dr Faisal Suleman, chairperson of the South African Muslim Network – one of the organizers of the march, told Al Qalam: “This act targets and discriminates against religious minorities hence many people believe its main aim is to target Muslims given that the BJP Government subscribes to the rightwing RSS Hindutva policies which are un-ambiguously Islamphobic. South Africans know better than any other nation the power of international protests and civil society actions as was used against the Nationalist apartheid Government, and its effectiveness in helping to end the apartheid regime. “People from all backgrounds who are conscious about equality and justice should be concerned of what is happening in India because it has implications, for not just the Indian sub-continent, but also for stability and peace all over the world especially where Indians are living in large numbers, whether as migrant workers like in the Middle East or in places like the UK and of course South Africa who trace their lineage back to India.

“Already the presence and growth of RSS ideology in South Africa is causing divisions and distrust and sowing discord between various sections of the Indian community here. Should this law be enacted, it will only embolden the RSS and BJP and this will be transmitted to Indians all over the world including the large number of Indians in South Africa. This will further sow discord and destabilize the harmonious relationships that have existed between South African Indian Muslim and South African Indian Hindus for the past 150 years. This is a human rights issue – it is about right and wrong – and therefore it is important for everyone to familarise themselves with what is happening in India and to speak out against its CAA law, and also to speak out against those who are sowing seeds of disharmony between Hindus and Muslim communities here.” he said.

Suleman emphasized that leading academics and activists in India from across the religious spectrum have spoken out against Modi’s outrageous CAA law. “So this is not a Hindu-Muslim issue, this is not an India-Pakistan issue.

This is ABOUT right and right. This is about targeting minorities. This is about discrimination. “We must ensure that we are not drawn into conversations by people like the RSS that want to frame the narrative in different ways, not dissimilar to how the Zionists want to frame any criticism of Israel’s discriminatory policies as anti-Semitic,” he said.

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