High Court dismisses Muslims’ plea seeking to protect mosque - IAMC

High Court dismisses Muslims’ plea seeking to protect mosque from Hindu supremacist activity

In yet another blow to the Muslim community’s right to worship in peace and safety, the Uttar Pradesh High Court has dismissed a plea by Muslims challenging an earlier petition by Hindu supremacists, who are seeking legal permission to use the centuries-old Gyanvapi mosque for Hindu prayers. 

Last year, five Hindu supremacist women petitioned a district court, falsely claiming that Gyanvapi mosque contains Hindu temple imagery and demanding the right to conduct Hindu prayers in the mosque. 

The mosque’s management committee had argued that the Hindu supremacists’ plea is not maintainable as it violates the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which provides that the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947 cannot be changed.

However, the courts – which largely side with Hindu supremacists – have claimed that the women’s petition is still “maintainable,” despite the danger associated with allowing Hindu extremists to enter a vulnerable minority’s place of worship.   

RSS-backed group starts campaign to strip Christian, Muslim tribals of benefits

Over the weekend, a Hindu supremacist group backed by the violent paramilitary group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) launched a campaign in Gujarat state to strip Christian and Muslim from indigenous tribes of government benefits

With the support of the RSS, the Gujarat Janjati Suraksha Manch carried out a procession and a rally to demand that Muslim and Christian tribals be stripped of their government-ordained rights. 

Indigenous tribes, also known as Adivasis or tribals, receive government benefits under their label as Scheduled Tribes (STs), marking them as one of India’s historically marginalized groups alongside Dalits (formerly known as Untouchables). 

However, Hindu supremacist groups are notorious for claiming that Adivasis who have converted to Islam or Christianity should not receive benefits. 

Delhi University announces new Partition Studies center, drops iconic Muslim poet from syllabus

As the erasure of Muslim contributions to Indian culture continues throughout the country, Delhi University has announced that the renowned Muslim poet Muhammad Iqbal will be removed from its BA political science syllabus.

In the same announcement, the university also declared that it will set up a new center for Partition Studies, which some of the school’s Academic Council members protested as “divisive.”

“The proposal for the centre is meant to be divisive. Its objective states that the centre will study past invasions, suffering and slavery over 1300 years. It is offensive, communally divisive and intellectually coherent,” said a statement signed by five council members. “A discussion on 1300 years will only provide an opportunity for venomous communal speeches.”

Hindu supremacists commonly and falsely claim that the Partition of India and Pakistan, was the fault of Muslims and disproportionately affected Hindus. Historical evidence thoroughly debunks this claim, as Partition led to the death of 1 million on both sides. 

Iqbal, who lived his life in colonial India and died before Partition, is one of South Asia’s most renowned poets and devoted much of his poetry to celebrating Muslim heritage and identity. Iqbal is also celebrated in Pakistan and is considered the country’s national poet. 

The Delhi wing of the Hindu supremacist youth group released a statement welcoming the move, calling Iqbal a “fanatic theological scholar” and claiming that the poet is “as responsible for India’s Partition as [Pakistan’s first Prime Minister] Mohammad Ali Jinnah is.”

Erasing Iqbal from the syllabus is yet another way for Hindu supremacists to rewrite Indian history to further diminish the contributions of Muslims in shaping India’s past and present.