In a controversial move, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has announced her decision to skip Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the US Congress during his ongoing state visit to the United States.
Omar, who has been accused of hinduphobia by various Hindu groups in the US, cited concerns over the Indian government's treatment of religious minorities and alleged support for Hindu nationalist groups.
Taking to Twitter, Congresswoman Omar expressed her strong reservations, stating, "Prime Minister Modi’s government has repressed religious minorities, emboldened violent Hindu nationalist groups, and targeted journalists/human rights advocates with impunity. I will NOT be attending Modi’s speech."
This follows her co-sponsorship of a resolution in 2022 urging the US State Department to designate India as a "Country of Particular Concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act, based on recommendations from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Omar's decision not to attend PM Modi's speech has attracted criticism from various quarters, particularly due to her past actions and statements related to India and the Kashmir issue.
Last year, she visited Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, drawing attention for her pro-Islamist stance and alleged anti-India sentiments.
During a Congressional hearing, she sparked controversy by attacking Aarti Tikoo Singh, a Kashmiri Hindu whose family experienced the ethnic cleansing of 1990 in the Kashmir Valley. Critics argue that Omar has consistently downplayed the plight of Kashmiri Pandits and human rights violations committed by Pakistan-sponsored Islamists.
Congresswoman Omar, who has faced accusations of anti-Semitism in the past, remains a polarizing figure in US politics.
Some critics argue that her actions and statements align with the interests of violent Islamists around the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New York on June 21 and is scheduled to address the US Congress for the second time during his state visit. His speech is expected to touch upon various topics of mutual interest between the United States and India, including trade, defense cooperation, and regional security issues.
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