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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Are minorities safe in America, Canada and UK?

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International politicians, think-tanks and media have been crying hoarse about the poor policies and efforts of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government in protecting the socio-religious rights of the minorities in India.

The often-parroted line internationally to criticise India is ‘Minorities in Danger in India’. Minorities are insecure in India is the narrative that media has been reporting on vehemently.

Intriguingly, international media has been portraying India’s Prime Minister as a political leader in-charge of a fascist government. TIME magazine ran a story with a cover page titled ‘India’s Divider in Chief’ to target Modi alleging that minorities live under fear in India.

According the data published by the US government in 2020, the population of Jews in America is reportedly 7.6 million. The population of Muslims in 3.45 million. The population of Hindus in the US is 2.3 million.

In 2021, Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents (ADL) recorded 2,717 anti-Semitic incidents throughout the United States. This is a 34 percent increase from the 2,026 incidents tabulated in 2020 and the highest number on record since ADL began tracking anti-Semitic incidents in 1979.

Of the 2,717 incidents recorded in 2021, 1,776 were cases of harassment, a 43 percent increase from 1,242 in 2020, and 853 incidents were cases of vandalism, a 14 percent increase from 751 in 2020. The 88 incidents of anti-Semitic assault (a 167 percent increase from 33 in 2020), involved 131 victims; none of the assaults were deadly.

The surge of incidents in May 2021 coincided with the military conflict between Israel and Hamas. For the entire month, 387 anti-Semitic incidents were tabulated by ADL, 297 of which occurred between May 10 – the official start of military action – and the end of the month, an increase of 141 percent over the same period in 2020.  Of the 297 incidents, there were 211 cases of harassment, 71 cases of vandalism and 15 assaults.

In 2021, 345 anti-Semitic incidents involved references to Israel or Zionism, compared to 178 in 2020. Of 2021’s 345 anti-Zionist/anti-Israel- related incidents, 68 took the form of propaganda efforts by white supremacist groups to foment anti-Israel and anti-Semitic beliefs. Most of the remaining incidents were expressions of anti-Israel animus that incorporated anti-Semitic imagery or harassment and demonization of Jews for their connection – real or assumed – to Israel.

Incidents in K-12 schools, colleges and universities increased in 2021 but were flat compared to the five-year average. In 2021, ADL logged 331 incidents at non-Jewish K-12 schools (up 106 percent from 161 in 2020), and 155 incidents at colleges and universities (up 21 percent from 128 in 2020).

In 2021, there were 525 logged incidents at Jewish institutions such as synagogues, Jewish community centers, and Jewish schools, an increase of 61 percent from 327 in 2020. 413 were incidents of harassment, 101 were incidents of vandalism and 11 were incidents of assault. Of the 413 incidents of harassment, 111 were anti-Zionism/anti-Israel-related, 42 were Zoombombings and 24 were extremist-related. Of the 101 incidents of vandalism, 33 involved a swastika and 10 were related to anti-Zionism/Anti-Israel sentiment.

In the US, according to FBI data, 236 hate crimes were reported against Muslims in 2019. In 2020, the hate crimes reported against Muslims reduced to 227 cases. The religious hate crimes reported against Hindus and Sikhs was 12 and 60 in 2019 respectively and 7 and 49 in 2020 respectively.

According the data reported by the Canadian government, the country is home to 1 million Muslims, 435,200 Jews and 497000 Hindus.

The Canada government in its ‘Religious Hate Crime’ reports have revealed that crime against the Jewish community is on the rise. In 2019, 306 hate crimes against Jews were reported but in 2020 it increased by 34 percent. 321 cases of religious hate crimes were reported against the Jewish people.

In Canada, according to Canadian government published data, 182 cases of hate-crimes targeting Muslims were reported in 2019, while in 2020 the cases dropped down to 82 cases only.

The Ministry of External Affairs, on Friday, advised Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to that country for travel/education to exercise due caution and remain vigilant. The ministry issued this advisory because of a “sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities” in Canada.

The ministry, in a statement, said, “In view of the increasing incidents of crimes as described above, Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to Canada for travel or education are advised to exercise due caution and remain vigilant.”

The Jewish population, according to UK government data is reportedly 410,000. The Muslim population is 25,16,000 and 816, 633 Hindus that live in the country.

Of the total 5637 religious hate crimes in the United Kingdom, 1288 hate crimes were against the Jews living in UK. 2703 religious crimes were record against Muslims. The hate crime against Hindus in 2020 was 166 cases and against Sikhs 112 cases.

The moot question that international politicians and media targeting India must answer is whether minorities are safe in their countries.

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