Headlines for December 23, 2019

In India, widespread protests are continuing against the controversial new citizenship law, which many say is a major step toward the official marginalization of India’s 200 million Muslims. The law provides a path to citizenship for immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan — unless they are Muslim. On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to quell the protests by claiming the law is not aimed at marginalizing Muslims already living in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “The Muslims who were born on Indian soil or whose ancestors are children of Mother India, brothers and sisters, they have nothing to do with the citizenship law or the National Register of Citizens. The Muslims are not being sent to any detention centers, nor are there any detention centers.”

India has launched a crackdown against the protests. At least 25 people have been killed so far, and over 1,500 people have been arrested. Many of the demonstrators say the law goes against India’s secular Constitution.

Protester: “They have changed the Constitution. Tomorrow they are going to change something else. So this is basically a fight for democracy. This is not a fight for AMU. This is not a fight for JMU or Jamia, or this is not a fight, individual fight, for anybody. This is a fight for India. This is a fight for democracy, basically. We are fighting for democracy.”

India’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the law in late January.

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