Hindu Supremacist RSS Leader Says Hijab Protestors Are Part Of Anti-India Plot; Outrage Over Court Ban On Religious Dress Continues
The interim order of the Karnataka state High Court banning all religious dress, including hijab, has resulted in outrage on Twitter as politicians, journalists, activists, and civilians slammed the court for its unconstitutional and repressive order.
“In its interim order, Karnataka High court has suspended the fundamental rights of Hijabi Muslim students till Monday,” tweeted Indian journalist Aslihan Jafri.
“‘Karnataka High Court succumbs to saffron terrorism’ should be the headline to report this order. Because this is what the saffron terrorists were demanding. Whereas Muslim girls only wanted to wear Hijab like they always wore,” said popular film reviewer Pramit Chatterjee.
The Supreme Court of India denied hearing a plea against the state interim order despite its clear unconstitutionality. The unwillingness of the Indian judicial system to uphold basic rights has only emboldened extremists nationwide, as a growing number of Muslim hijabi students have reported being insulted by their teachers, denied entry into classrooms, or told to take off their hijabs, including in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan states.
Indresh Kumar, a leader of the dangerous paramilitary Hindu supremacist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, also fueled further hatred by insinuating that the pro-hijab protesters were part of a “conspiracy.” He blamed Muslims for creating disunity rather that the Hindu extremist groups who have begun routinely harassing Muslim students, and implied that Muslim girls are being forced to wear the hijab.
“The emergence of this hijab controversy is a conspiracy. In the name of the hijab, there is a conspiracy to divide the country… they are playing anti-democratic, anti-Constitution and anti-India roles… [they] made it a business to shame India,” he said during a TV interview.
Protesting Muslim students have declared that they will not take their hijabs off.
“This is our constitutional right. People are trying to make it a Hindu-Muslim issue, but we just want outright to choose what to wear,” said one student.
Hindu Extremist, 24, Arrested For Making Death, Rape Threats Against Journalist Rana Ayyub
Police have arrested 24-year-old Siddharth Shrivastav, a clothing salesman from Madhya Pradesh state, for making death threats over social media to acclaimed journalist and Washington Post contributor Rana Ayyub. In early February, Ayyub reported that she had received over 26,000 rape and death threats through social media, mainly through her Twitter account.
Police reported that Shrivastav had used a burner Instagram account with a false name to send death threats to Ayyub, and also used vulgar and offensive language against her. However, he is being held in judicial custody rather than police custody, and it is unclear whether he will be punished accordingly for threatening the life of a Muslim woman.
Ayyub’s investigative reporting on the role of BJP leader Amit Shah, who is now India’s home minister, in a series of extrajudicial killings of Muslims garnered her international acclaim, and she is a vocal critic of Modi across several platforms.
“26.4 thousand tweets, most are abusive, rape and death threats, calling me a terror sympathiser,” she posted regarding the abuse she has been receiving for years. “Most tweets are by the Indian right wing & Saudi nationalists who are attacking me after I posted a tweet in solidarity with Yemen and calling out the Saudis. Hello @TwitterIndia.”
UK Member of Parliament Demands India Return Of Bodies Of Three British Muslims Murdered In Gujarat 2002
Kim Leadbeater, a member of the United Kingdom Parliament, has demanded that India return the bodies of three British Muslims who were murdered during the horrific Gujarat pogroms of 2002, during which Hindu extremist mobs violently massacred at least 790 Muslims women, children, and men. Shakeel Dawood, Saeed Dawood, Mohammad Aswat, and Imran Dawood were British citizens passing through Gujarat while on holiday when they were murdered by a Hindu extremist mob.
“Not long after they crossed the state border into Gujarat, their Jeep was stopped at a roadblock. A mob encircled the vehicle, demanding to know their religion. They replied that they were Muslim and that they were British citizens on holiday. In the violence that followed, Shakeel, Saeed, Mohammad, and their driver were all killed. Miraculously, although Imran Dawood was left for dead, he survived, and he is with us today. It is only through his testimony that we know the circumstances of what happened. He remembers Saeed and Shakeel pleading for their lives to be spared,” said Leadbeater, who then called on the Indian government to provide closure to the victims’ families by returning their bodies back to the UK.
She further described the brutality of the Gujarat pogroms, adding, “All we can say with certainty is that at the very least 1,000 people lost their lives and that the majority of them were Muslims.”
The Muslim community suffered brutal violence at the hands of Hindu extremists during the 2002 pogroms. Eyewitnesses report that children were force fed petrol and then set on fire, pregnant women had their babies cut out of their wombs and thrown into flames, families were electrocuted in their homes, and groups of women were stripped, violated with objects, and beaten to death.
The Hindu extremist mobs were led by members of Hindu supremacist organizations Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political party.
Though the Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time was Narendra Modi, he was never held accountable by the Indian judiciary for actively encouraging the violence against innocent Muslims. To date, the victims of the Gujarat violence are seeking justice.