USCIRF Report : Exposing the hypocrisy

The USCIRF or United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has released its 2020 report. It has recommended to designate India as a CPC{country of Particular Concern}. Exectedly, there is a lot of noise in the media and much of it is baseless or motivated by ideology. It is important to separate the chaff from the wheat and this article will have in-depth analysis of problems with this report and how can it impact India

Members of the commission:-

There are nine members in the commission{called commissioners.}

  • Tony Perkins, Chairperson : He is also president of Family Research Council, a fundamentalist Protestant Christian activist group with stated mission “to advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview”
  • Gayle Manchin : A politician, she has been noted for her corruption. Her husband, senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia is famously homophobic and has opposed LGBT rights and abortion. There is a long list of corruption allegation against the family.
  • Nadine Maenza : She is a known lackey of Rick Santorum, a Roman Catholic Christian Fundamentalist who opposes abortion, contraceptives, right to privacy, LGBT rights and denies evolution and Climate Change.
  • Gary L. Bauer : He is a conservative Christian associated with Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. He is against abortion and LGBT rights. He is a supporter of Israel and critic of Islam. He is against illegal immigration in USA.
  • Anurima Bhargava : A second generation Indian American, she is a lawyer. She has previously testified against India at various forums. She is an associate of Nancy Pelosi.
  • James W. Carr : An educator, he has been associated with World Christian Broadcasting since decades. This radio station broadcasts Christian songs and teachings over shortwave.
  • Tenzin Dorjee : Is a Tibetan Writer and activist. He is the only member who has lived in India for any length of time. He spent 30 years as refugee in India. Also appointed by Nancy Pelosi.
  • Sharon Kleinbaum : She is an openly lesbian Jewish Rabbi.
  • Johnnie Moore : He is an  American evangelical leader and business person.

At least six out of the nine members of the commission are associated with Christian Missionary activities or actively support them. How can they be full impartial in matters of religion? They have been supporting aggressive expansion of Christianity all their lives which includes demonizing other religions.

What the USCIRF report recommends?

Designate following as CPCs {Countries of Particular Concern} the following countries:

  • Burma
  • China
  • Eritrea
  • Iran,
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia,
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan;
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Russia
  • Syria
  • Vietnam

In SWL{Special Watch List} the following countries:

  • Cuba
  • Nicaragua
  • Sudan
  • Uzbekistan;
  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Central African Republic
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Kazakhstan,
  • Malaysia
  • Turkey

Please note how they have created false equivalence between India and such repressive countries like China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. Also, it is laughable that Afghanistan, Iraq and Algeria etc. are ranked higher in religious freedom according to these ’eminent’ experts. On the basis of this point alone, this report should be consigned to the dustbin.

Here it is important to note that USCIRF is an advisory body for US Congress. The US govt State Dept maintains another list, which does not include India.

State Dept, not USCIRF
The official State Dept list.

Applicability to India

India is a sovereign nation and its recommendations do not apply to India in any way. The ministry of External affairs has also come out with a strongly worded denunciation against this report which overlooks and misrepresents facts. It should also be stressed that given their background and composition of the Commission, it cannot be impartial.

However, the report is good for sensational headlines and propaganda against India. Even those Islamists who support Pakistan, KSA and Turkey and the Communists who support China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam etc would conveniently overlook names of their favorite countries here.

Hypocrisy of the USCIRF

Israel has not been named in any of the lists. The reason is quite clear. Most of the evangelists and fundamentalist Christians blindly support it and the body is full of such characters. As an Indian and a Hindu, I do welcome its exclusion from the list. However, the situation of India and Israel are very similar. Our detractors are the same Islamists and Commuists. All the allegations against India mentioned in the report e.g. Art 370, alleged persecution of Muslims, alleged interference in access to religious places can be and are raised frequently against Israel. Therefore, this is again a damning evidence against impartiality of the Commission.

Dissenting Members

Three members of the commission wrote separate dissenting notes against inclusion of India into CPC. They objected to false equivalence between open democracy with press freedom like India and repressive regimes in China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan etc. It is to note that nobody objected in case of other countries being included in the list. In fact in case of China two members condemned it in more serious terms. These three were Gary Bauer, Tenzin Dorjee and Johnnie Moore.

This shows that India has a lot of goodwill in the world. Unfortunately, India and Hindu baiting press will never report these dissenting voices.

Conclusion

India need not take in lessons in secularism and religous freedom from a country whose official motto is “In God, We Trust”, which has never elected a non-Christian Head of State till now and where hate crimes are all too common.

In fact, India should also appoint a body similar to USCIRF and expose the US hypocrisy. Taiwan and UK have also started similar bodies and starting one is India would align nicely with our strategic objectives.

Pawan
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