City Officials Paint Mosque In Hindu Color Of Saffron Without Permission Of Muslim Community
A mosque was painted “saffron” by the district administration in the city of Varanasi ahead of a visit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents the city in India’s parliament, local Muslims have said.
The mosque is a short distance from the Kashi Vishwanath Hindu temple. Temple officials claimed all buildings along the road were being painted uniformly in “light pink.” But the Muslim community said the mosque was painted over without their permission.
”The mosque was first white in color. It was painted saffron. The masjid committee was not consulted,” said Mohammad Ejaz Islahi of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee.
Following complaints from the Muslim community, the mosque will be repainted white again.
Saffron is the color of Hindu religion. In recent years, it has been adopted by Hindu extremists and used in public assertions of Hindu supremacy. Saffron has also been weaponized against the Muslim community.
In 2018, a Muslim “hajj house” in BJP-controlled Uttar Pradesh state was painted saffron. In anti-Muslim violence in Delhi in February 2020 in which 35 Muslims were killed, a mob attempted to plant a saffron flag atop the minaret of a mosque before setting it ablaze. In 2017, hundreds of Hindu extremists attacked a city courthouse in the historical Udaipur city and placed a saffron flag on top of it.
Civilian Killings In Kashmir Have Risen Sharply Since Modi Ordered Brutal Crackdown On Muslim-Majority Region
Killings of civilians in India’s only Muslim-majority province of Kashmir have been rising since the federal government ordered a brutal crackdown there over two years ago, according to the government’s own data.
The region has seen 3.2 civilian casualties a month since the end of 2019, with a total of 87 civilians killed in attacks between 2019 and 2021, according to the federal data. More than 40 were killed this year alone. By contrast, 177 people were killed in Kashmir in the five years between 2014 and 2019.
The United Nations, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, several U.S. Members of Congress including U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, who is the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have criticized and condemned the Modi government’s escalation of the violations of human rights and religious freedom in Kashmir since he revoked the region’s special constitutional status in August in 2019, stripping its autonomy, and ordered the military crackdown.
Kashmir has been in a virtual military occupation for over 30 years.
The data shows the Indian military’s failure to “prevent attacks and assassinations,” as an MHA official claimed. While the revocation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomy was celebrated by Hindu nationalists, Kashmiri civilians have been subjected to an increase in violence and surveillance at the hands of the Indian military and police forces.
Karnataka’s Top Christian Leader Condemns Proposed Anti-Conversion Bill As Dangerous
The Archbishop of Bangalore, Peter Machado, has condemned the Karnataka state government’s proposed anti-conversion law that will be discussed at the state legislature on December 13.
“If passed, [the law] will trouble all of us and leave us helpless. This bill was passed in Odisha in 1967. After 30 years, the state was burning. Over 300 churches were burnt, 3,000 houses were set on fire and 67 people died. It will cause a similar situation here too,” the archbishop told the Times of India.
Karnataka is ruled by the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is the party of Prime Minister Modi. Bangalore is its capital and largest city.
Weeks ago Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, under pressure from Hindu extremist groups, announced his government would bring an anti-conversion law to criminalize forced conversions.
That this is nothing but persecution is clear from the fact that there is absolutely no evidence of forced conversions by Muslims or Christians. In fact, the Hindu extremists allied to the BJP as well as the police have long used the false bogey of forced conversions to attack Christians and Muslims.
The latest move got wind after BJP assemblyman Goolihatti Shekhar claimed in September that religious conversions “by force or through inducement” were “rampant” across the state, “with 15,000 to 20,000 people, including his own mother, converting to Christianity in his constituency.” He provided no evidence to support his outrageous and false allegation.
Anti-Christian attacks have increased in Karnataka since the state government proposed the anti-conversion law earlier this year. A fact-finding report ranked Karnataka as the 3rd most anti-Christian Indian state, with 32 documented attacks between January and September.