Reply to literary review published in Hindu Daily on 30/04/23 Sunday given by Ziya Us Islam on book Politics of Hate authored by Farahnaz Isphania.
The article started by highlighting the fact of judicial activism of apex court of Pakistan which ordered to register FIR over 90 person responsible for the attack on Hindu temple aftermath release of Hindu minor boy accused of blasphemy. Further highlighted, that on order of SC the Hindu temple was constructed and handed over the Hindu minority in Pakistan. (Well it is certainly an exception under international pressure of wiping the fundamentalist approach of the country).
I would like to unearth certain facts which may be a paradox to the above declarations and totally rebut these sorts of literary works which place a half baked reality to the readers. In 1971 religious minorities constituted 10% of total population, 27 years hence in 1998 it declined to 4% of which 1.6% were Hindus rest population was divided among Christians, Ahmadis etc. In census of 2017 released in 2021, Pakistan Muslim majority further rose to 96.47% of which Hindu population remained constant to 1.6% , 1.6% of Christians and others in rest of population percentage. The 2021 report on International Religious Freedom published on June 2nd, 2022 states that out of 1830 temples and gurudwaras across the only 31 were operating. (And construction of one temple, that too, due to international pressure makes Pakistan pat their back). Recently, the then PM Imran Khan had launched nationwide Single National Curriculum that standardised the primary school instruction across the country. It was criticised by the minority group including Hindu. While law requires to teach Islamic studies to Muslim students, sources continued to report many non Muslims had participated on these courses because their schools did not offer parallel course.
Many religious minorities like particularly lower caste Hindu & Christians report cases of forceful eviction from their homes and villages by government officials assisting individuals desiring their land. Minority religious group continue to face discrimination in government hiring. Endorsing the statement, in 73 years of independence of Pakistan only one Hindu Women will become a part of Pakistan Administrative Services.*
A report says 1000 Hindu and Christian girls are abducted and converted to Islam forcefully. Some Islamic seminaries teach that forcibly converting Hindu girls is equivalent to Haj e akbari or greatest religious duty for Muslims targeted persecution of Hindus among other religions has led to continuous fleeing to India. In July 2020 the partially built wall of proposed Hindu temple was demolished by Islamists. The government took initiative to allow construction but succumbed to pressure from Islamists. Similarly mob vandalised and burned sacred Hindu scriptures at Mata Rani temple and it was seen that the connivance of Pakistan government. The Islamists extremists imbibe hatred towards the Hindus even among children of young age and this statement can be corroborated with many video clips circulated on social media.
She further contrasted the incident of Vadodra shobayatra riots with action of Pakistan apex court on protection of minority rights in Pakistan. But she is unable to explain or write about the initiation of this clash. The stones were pelted hurled on shobayatra from the roofs of Muslim household. Does the rain God shower these stones and petrol bombs only on Muslim household and not on other houses of locality? As it happened in Delhi riots in 2020 in wake of protest against CAA and the date was chosen possibly on arrival of American president in India. The perpetrators carried out their actions with a significant amount of impunity and continue to enjoy the same in every part of India playing the victim card despite being assailant most of the times. There are gruesome accounts of many people being shot by firearms, stabbed with knives & swords, body cut into pieces and dumped in a drain and people being burnt alive in the fire. Media reports have carried chilling confessions of self proclaimed ‘rioters’. In contrast, not a single incident of clash can be cited on Moharram julus in any part of India. Over the top, clashes do happen among shia and sunni julus. Vadodra incident was planned conspiracy and so was Bengal shobayatra riots. Why don’t Muslim essayist, columnist preach their fellow Muslim to refrain from violence. Why don’t they write upon forced conversion by Islam, why don’t they preach peace in violence ridden Middle East Islamic countries like Syria, African Islamists countries and go in the den of ISIS and tell them adopt the policy of democracy and let the rule of law prevail? The answer is clear and blatant- the fear of Islamic fundamentalist. The stone pelting and targeted violence against Hindus or other religion by Islamic perpetrators are well thought of conspiracies to instill fear in minds of other religions.
Ispahani further blames that CAA of 2019 which granted citizenship to non Muslims of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan is anti minority. First of all, I would like to quote as the Act says it talks about “persecuted” non Muslims of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The persecution is the act of harassing or oppressing a person or a group of people, especially because of their identity or religion. And if even Muslims of these Islamic countries are persecuted then what else to say and write. She further takes a stand on Ahmadiyas creed, which Pakistan government itself do not count them into Muslims, so it’s become the liability of India under CAA to accept them as ‘persecuted non Muslims’. One of the Muslim sects facing identity crisis among Islamists countries does not become a reason to be accepted in the secular country like India which already has more than 2,00,000 refugees (these are registered entries) as per 2014 report of UNHCR. In accordance with national interest and resource availability, India has welcomed refugees from a variety of neighboring nations. India’s attitude towards refugees has always been accommodating. But no refugee intake can be at the cost of indigenous population. Half truth is more dangerous than lie as lie can be detected at some stage but half truth will surely mislead you for long. And these type of misleading information shared on print media need to be admonished.
In respect of cow vigilantes clash out this is certainly not the first time that religious thoughts and practices have influenced society as well as science either directly or indirectly. Cow is as much holy for Hindus as the boar or pig is haram for Muslims. Has there any need arisen for Muslims to be pig vigilant in such diversified society for trade of pig meat based food products .The pork is forbidden for Muslims because it says in the Holy Quran that some food is allowed, while others are explicitly declared haram, which means forbidden. And pork is one of those forbidden foods. The food industry is paying increasing attention to various Muslim requirements as well as religious sentiments and modern forms of halal production, trade and consumption are proliferating on a global scale. The beef trade is not banned in India neither are slaughter houses. According to FSSAI all meat shop and slaughter houses need to apply for FSSAI license to run their business. How many of these cow porters have this license? They are smuggling the bovines and on top of it playing the victim card again!
Faizur Rehman’s chapter of ‘Muslimphobia in India’ is wrongly titled and it should ‘Global Issue of Muslimphobia’. This concerned issues can be corroborated by my article published as Secularism and Islamic Fundamentalism: A Comparative Truth Untold https://myvoice.opindia.com/2022/10/secularism-and-islamic-fundamentalism-a-comparative-truth-untold/ . Until and unless Muslims themselves will not come against Islamist barbarism and religious fundamentalism, every part of the world will face Muslimphobia. China and Japan both disallow mosques and any efforts to convert are outlawed. China actively campaigns against Islam. No voices are raised in China or any part of the world. In many parts of the world like Hungary, Islam is often depicted as a violent religion, and Islam and Islamic fundamentalism are often equated and used interchangeably. Ruling FIDSZ KDNP party of Hungary , officials and far-right actors have linked immigrants and Islam to crimes and terrorism, and often depict Muslim refugees and migrants as invaders, who want to force their culture on the peoples of Europe and establish an Islamic caliphate on the continent. Islam has not yet been officially recognised by the state of Angola.
To conclude I would I like to end with a quote of Thomas Hobbes ‘Man is a wolf to himself’
Dr. Abhishek Singh is Founder Director of Lokbandhu Rajnarayan Law College, Varanasi established in 2004. Email firstname.lastname@example.org web:lbrlawcollege.org. He did his Ll.B Hons (Five year course) from Lucknow University and LL.M (HRDE) from BHU. Completed his Ph.D on topic of Jurisprudential Aspect of Human Rights And Duties: A Conceptual Study from Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University Lucknow Dewa road. More than 19 years of experience of leading the administration. Published many articles in different law journals and presented paper in national seminars and webinars including periodic writer of online news portal www.opindia.com. He is an amateur blogger with blogger name as azaadhindustaan.blogspot.in. Area of acquaintance includes Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Human Rights and Social Justice