India is currently experiencing protests and riots over a pair of laws.

The state of Assam, in Northeast India, has a national register of citizens. It was recently updated, and 1.9 million residents weren’t on it. Most of those are Bengali Muslims, many likely from Muslim majority in Bangladesh. India is building camps in Assam for those 1.9 million residents, and will attempt to send the Muslim ones to other countries.

The government has announced it will extend the register through India: Everyone will have to prove their citizenship.

The second law is is the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019. It allows a path to citizenship for refugees of,

 Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan

Now, if you’re familiar with India at all, you know that the bureaucracy is not the best at record keeping. When the registry is extended through the country a lot of people won’t be able to prove citizenship. But those who aren’t Muslim will be able to regain citizenship under this amendment.

Those who are Muslim will presumably be put in camps and sent to other countries. In many cases, countries they’ve never lived in–as with many recent cases in the US in which people who were born in the US, but who INS claims don’t have –or aren’t qualified for–American citizenship.

This is ethnic cleansing based on religion.

The people I know who support this say that the Muslims are violent and keep opposing Hindu majoritarian rule–things like rebuilding temples torn down by Muslims and banning the killing of cows. The Muslims, to them, are the remains of an invading army, still trying to impose their values and religion on a country where the majority of citizens don’t accept those values or that religion. Since they won’t stop their opposition, they must be gotten rid of.

In particular, there is much animus towards recent Bangladesh immigrants, who are, apparently, aggressively Muslim (this is a result of Saudi money, as an aside; I lived in Bangladesh in the 80s and it was relatively tolerant.)

But I want to focus on the longer game: Where does this leads?

Bangladesh as a country is Muslim and exists on the Ganges flood plain. Leaving aside island nations, it is one the lowest countries in the world, and will be one of the very first to flood. It is surrounded by two countries: India and Myanmar (which has been ethnic cleansing its Muslims.)

When Bangladesh starts going underwater, and it will, over 160 million people, mostly Mulim, are going to try to flee to India and Myanmar.

What are the Indians going to do? Build a huge wall with machine guns and machine gun them down? If they want no new Muslims, how is this going to play out? Ships won’t be sufficient to handle the volume of refugees, they have to leave by land.

Either they wind up in camps, almost 200 million of them by then, or they get killed. Or both. Most of them are going to run to India.

This is the sort of scenario that the end of secularism and the rise of majoritarian rule throughout the world makes more and more likely.

Before sneering too hard at the Indians, however, remember the response of the Europeans to a much smaller influx of mostly Muslim refugees: a lot of European countries closed their border entirely, and virtually none of the remainder have been welcoming.

This is the future. Climate change is going to cause a lot of refugees. In the hundreds of millions. Countries are not going to accept most of them. And it’s going to get violent and leave the number of people in camps as, in aggregate, one of the largest populations in the world.

Fun future we’re creating.

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