New York: The amended Citizenship Act is not anti-Muslim, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh assured the Indian community here and said "our culture does not teach us to hate". According to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. Singh, who arrived in the US on Monday for the 2019 US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington on September 18, addressed members of the Indian community here during an event organised by the Consulate General of India at the educational organisation, Asia Society. He spoke on various decisions taken by the Narendra Modi government, including the abrogation of Article 370, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Triple Talaq bill and India's response to terrorism emanating from Pakistan. "The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is now law, is not anti-Muslim," Singh said. Singh said Muslims are not included in the CAA as these three countries are "theocratic" and "Islamic" states and "in an Islamic state, at least those who follow the religion of Islam do not face religious persecution. May be they face some other persecution but not religious persecution because the religion of that state is Islam". "That is why, we didn't give it to Muslims. Otherwise we are not the ones to discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or religion. Our culture does not teach us to hate," he said amid an applause from the audience. "I consider every Muslim living in India as my brother, as my family member," he said, adding that it is India which has given the message of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' to the world. Singh stressed that one cannot win over the people by bringing in a "sense of alienation with our behaviour. If we have to make someone ours, we can do that only by instilling a sense of confidence in them". In response to a question about protests and disruptions in Assam and Bengal over the CAA, he said, "The situation is under control. Any confusion will be removed." "I want to make it clear that the CAB is not anti-Muslim. If anyone can tell me that the CAB is anti-Muslim, then we will rethink about CAB" but not if someone tries to just create an air over the issue. "This will not do."
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