U.S. Students Protest Violence Against India's Muslims

  • COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Concern over Hindu violence against Muslims in India has spurred Indian students in the United States to launch nationwide protests Thursday in solidarity with protesters in India.

    The group Students Against Hindutva will demonstrate on about 21 college campuses, including Yale, Harvard, UCLA, and the University of Maryland, according to Maryland student Arsalan Siddiqui.

    Siddiqui says Americans need to be aware that India's government is revoking Muslims' citizenship, which has led to abuses.

    "When Donald Trump visited India, we had a massive amount of protest from the Hindu mobs killing Muslims," he states. "I think 30 Muslims died in those mobs."

    The protest at the University of Maryland at College Park starts at 3 p.m. on the McKeldin Mall.

    Participants are asked to wear black. For more information, go to the Students Against Hindutva Facebook page.

    India's Hindu majority has a long history of discrimination against the Muslim minority, according to Siddiqui, whose parents were born in India.

    He says India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, has followed President Donald Trump's lead with the new citizenship rule by maintaining it's designed to get rid of illegal immigrants and terrorists in India.

    Siddiqui says the protests are aimed at getting the U.S. to pressure Modi's government.

    "I think the United States should definitely take a front and center role in this to make sure that India, and especially Modi and his BJP party, are responsible for this and making sure that they end this as soon as possible," he states.

    The protests are being held a week before the Hindu Holi Festival of Colors, to contrast India's harsh treatment of minorities with the holiday's celebration of new beginnings.