Modi: Indian Muslims will live for India, die for India

Updated 20 September 2014
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Modi: Indian Muslims will live for India, die for India

NEW DELHI: India’s new prime minister has dismissed Al-Qaeda’s plan to set up a South Asia branch, saying it was “delusional” to think the country’s Muslim minority would follow orders to wage jihad in the region.
“They are doing injustice toward the Muslims of our country,” Narendra Modi said in an interview with CNN broadcast on Friday.
“If anyone thinks Indian Muslims will dance to their tune, they are delusional. Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India — they will not want anything bad for India.”
It was Modi’s first reaction to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s announcement this month that the group would set up a new operation to take the fight to India, which has a large but traditionally moderate Muslim population, as well as Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Millions of Muslims fled India for what is now Pakistan in 1947 when the British Empire partitioned the two countries at independence, and tensions persist between those who remain and the Hindu majority.
Indian Muslims have also been the victims of violence led by Hindu extremists. Hundreds died during the 2002 Gujarat riots, at a time when Modi was the state’s chief minister.
But there have been relatively few reports of young Indian men leaving to fight Islamist causes abroad, which experts say is because local grievances have kept them at home.
Modi said the threat from Islamist extremist groups was “a crisis against humanity, not a crisis against one country or one race.
“We have to frame this as a fight between humanity and inhumanity, nothing else,” he added.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was accused during the election campaign of trying to polarize votes along religious lines.
Party president Amit Shah faces charges of inflaming tensions in a speech during the campaign.
But in a widely-praised Independence Day speech in August, Modi said communal violence was “stalling the growth of the nation” and had gone on for “too long.”


Israel joins US, others in rejecting UN migration pact

The UN’s Global Compact for Migration is set to be adopted during a conference in Morocco on December 10-11. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)
Updated 7 min 50 sec ago
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Israel joins US, others in rejecting UN migration pact

  • The US quit talks on the pact last December
  • Its final text was agreed in July after 18 months of negotiations and lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday Israel would join the US and other countries in rejecting a UN migration pact set to be adopted in December.

“I have instructed the Foreign Ministry to announce that Israel will not accede to, and will not sign, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“We are committed to guarding our borders against illegal migrants. This is what we have done and this is what we will continue to do.”

The UN’s Global Compact for Migration, aimed at boosting cooperation to address the world’s growing number of migrants, is set to be adopted during a conference in Morocco on December 10-11.

Its final text was agreed in July after 18 months of negotiations and lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration and better manage migratory flows as the number of people on the move worldwide has increased to 250 million, or 3 percent of the world’s population.

The US quit talks on the pact last December, Hungary's anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban rejected it in July and Austria followed suit in October.

The Czech Republic said it will reject the pact and Bulgaria last week said it might follow suit.

Israel’s government has come under political pressure over the presence of some 42,000 African migrants, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, and has sought to expel many of them.

Most of the migrants arrived in Israel after 2007, mainly through Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Security along the once porous border has since been significantly tightened with the construction of a barrier fence.

Many of the migrants settled in poor neighborhoods in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, the country’s economic capital.