India: Islam

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 27th April 2022.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations she has made to her Indian counterpart regarding reports of increased (a) violence and (b) persecution against Muslims in India.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief for all and promoting respect and tolerance between different religious and non-religious communities. We condemn any instances of discrimination because of religion or belief, regardless of the country or faith involved. We engage with India on a range of human rights matters and where we have concerns, we raise them directly with the Government of India, including at Ministerial level. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, also regularly speaks to the High Commissioner of India, and human rights including freedom of religion or belief forms part of that dialogue.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions across India regularly meet religious representatives and have run projects supporting minority rights. For example, we project public support for diverse faith communities through hosting Iftars to celebrate the important contribution Indian Muslims and other communities have made to Indian society. At a virtual Iftar held in May 2021, the British High Commission were joined by over 100 Muslim and civil society contacts from across India. Moreover, for the second year, we are supporting a UK-India Interfaith Leadership Programme for a cohort of emerging Indian leaders of diverse faith backgrounds, creating an opportunity to exchange UK-India experiences on leading modern, inclusive communities.

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