(New York, NY. 08/07/2019) – This past Monday, India’s right-wing Hindu nationalist governing party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), revoked their constitutional provision known as Article 370. Renouncing this amendment dissolves the unique autonomy previously granted to the occupied province of Kashmir and permits Indian citizens to resettle in Kashmir at the expense of Kashmiri inhabitants. After decades of military occupation, the Indian government has gone the extra step to further strip the few autonomous provisions held by Kashmir, further exacerbating human rights abuses and denying Kashmir’s freedom. This remains to be one of many of the BJP’s policies in further ostracizing and marginalizing Muslim communities in the region.
As of now, Kashmiri local forces have been stripped of their power, an additional 35,000 Indian troops have been deployed in the already-ongoing military occupation, and a media blackout has been instituted in Kashmir preventing residents from contacting family members abroad or from reporting on their current conditions. As this horrific situation unfolds, we stand with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters along with the oppressed communities of the world under occupation. We firmly believe that “occupation is a crime, militarization is injustice, and self-determination is a right.”
We are deeply concerned about the well-being and safety of Kashmiris as Islamophobic sentiments rise in India. Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York, an umbrella organization and representative of over 90 mosques and Muslim-led organizations, calls on allies and the New York Muslim community to stand with the people of Kashmir during these difficult times.