Hindu Extremist Mob Lynches Muslim Youth, Leaves Second Muslim In Critical Condition
A Hindu extremist mob brutally beat and lynched Zafar Alam, an 18-year-old Muslim, after he visited Bhirpur village in Uttar Pradesh state to meet a girl. His brother Noor, 26, who had tried to protect Zafar from the mob, is currently in critical condition after he was also attacked and beaten.
Hindu extremists from the village had intercepted Zafar during his visit, and a scuffle broke out. In an attempt to escape, Zafar reportedly shot at the extremists with a pistol. However, the mob overpowered him and proceeded to lynch him. The mob then attacked Noor, leaving him with critical injuries.
Police have stated that an investigation is underway. However, none of the extremists responsible for Zafar’s death have been identified to the media. In Uttar Pradesh particularly, senior members of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and powerful Hindu extremist groups routinely encourage violence against Muslims and protect the perpetrators.
Delhi Police Stop Muslim Prayers In 16 Mosques On Muslim Holiday
Police in Delhi stopped 16 mosques from holding Friday prayers on the Muslim holiday Shab-e-Barat, which had also coincided with the Hindu festival Holi. Imams have expressed their shock and disbelief over this incident, which they say was unwarranted and unprecedented.
“Something like this has never happened before,” said Imam Niyaz Ahmad of Lal Gumbad mosque. “I thought that prayers were stalled because it was Holi (Hindu festival). I told them that the situation here is peaceful and that there is nothing to be worried about. Every five years or so, Holi and Juma (Friday prayers) fall on the same day, but never before were prayers stopped.”
“Police came to us and said that today prayers won’t happen in the mosque. When asked why, they said that the Archeological department has ordered to stop prayers at 16 in mosques in Delhi… The administration is trying to repeat the Friday prayers boycott which took place at Gurgaon,” Imam Mohammad Khalid said, referencing the ongoing harassment and protests organized by Hindu extremists against Muslims holding Friday prayers in Gurgaon city.
Indian Journalists Demand Government Take Action Against Anti-Muslim Hatred
A group of 28 senior journalists and media persons issued a statement appealing to the Indian government to curb the spread of anti-Muslim hatred “in the wake of open calls from various quarters for attacks on India’s religious minorities.” Signatories included prominent journalists from several Indian new publications, including R. Rajagopal, Editor at The Telegraph; Siddharth Vardarajan, Founder Editor at The Wire; and Teesta Setalvad, Co-Editor at Sabrangindia.
“The concerted amplification of hatred has been growing over the past years and months, as has the attendant advocacy of violence… These calls for violence – which have been widely reported in the media – have been met with a cold and calculated silence from the country’s top leaders,” said the statement.
“Calls for violence or the socio-economic boycott of a community clearly do not enjoy the constitutional protection of free speech. And yet, the political executive – both at the level of the Union and in several States – appears unwilling to discharge its constitutional obligation to act.”
Adding that it was the responsibility of the government to take a stance against such hatred, the statement continued, “It is clear that a dangerous hysteria is being built up countrywide to push the idea that ‘Hinduism is in danger’ and to portray Muslim Indians as a threat to Hindu Indians and to India itself.”
Hijabi Principal Resigns After Facing Harassment From College Faculty
Dr. Battull Hammid, who served as principal of VIVA College of Law in Maharashtra state, resigned due to an “unharmonious” and “suffocating” atmosphere, which was created in the institution after the Karnataka state High Court’s unconstitutional ban on hijabs in schools. Dr. Hammid reported that she had been harassed by the college administration for wearing the hijab as Karnataka’s bigotry became international news.
“They celebrate Haldi Kumkum and [organize recitation of] Saraswati Vandana on the campus. Are these not religious activities? Just a few people came to meet me, gave respect to me and it became an issue for them,” said Dr. Hammid, pointing out the hypocrisy of celebrating Hindu religious practices while cracking down on Islam. “I resigned to save my dignity and culture.”