Journalist Rana Ayyub Stopped From Boarding Flight, Harassed At Mumbai Airport
Internationally acclaimed Washington Post columnist Rana Ayyub, who is a vocal critic of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, was stopped at Indian immigration and stopped from boarding her flight to London due to a sudden summons issued against her by a federal probe agency.
Ayyub was scheduled to give a speech on the intimidation of journalists at an event organised by the International Center for Journalists (ICJ).
“All these events… have been planned and publicized all over my social media for weeks. Yet, curiously the Enforcement directorate summon arrived in my mail much after I was stopped at the immigration,” Ayyub reported on Twitter.
As a result of the blatant attempt by the Modi government to intimidate Ayyub, many international media watchdogs including the Mumbai Press Club issued a statement condemning the incident and labeling it harassment and blatant assault on freedom of press.
“We unequivocally condemn the ham-handed way in which Rana Ayyub was prevented from flying to London to speak on the intimidation of journalists in India by a last-minute summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate. This amounts to harassment of journalists,” the organization tweeted.
BJP Leader Demands Ban On Sale Of Halal Meat, Terms It “Economic Jihad”
A senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader C.T. Ravi demanded a ban on the sale of halal meat, ludicrously calling it “economic jihad.”
“When Muslims refuse to buy meat from Hindus, why should you insist Hindus to buy from them? If Muslims agree to eat non-Halal meat, then Hindus will also use Halal meat,” he stated in a push to create hatred against private aspects of Muslim life.
This push to put Muslim business people in a choke hold comes after the BJP banned Muslims from setting up shop around Hindu institutions, and aditionally barred Muslims from selling wares at non-religious cultural festivals. Videos have surfaced of Hindu extremist members of the Bajrang Dal forcefully enforcing these policies by harassing Muslims and driving them away from so-called Hindu areas.
Hindu extremist groups and politicians pushing for an economic boycott against Muslims have been emboldened by the Karnataka High Court’s ban on hijabs in schools and the government push to include Hindu religious texts as a mandatory part of school curriculums.
9 School Staff Suspended For Allowing Hijabi Muslim Students To Take Their Exams
Seven teachers and two school officials were punished by suspension after allowing Muslim students to take exams while wearing the hijab in Karnataka state.
“These teachers had allowed girl students to wear the hijab while writing the exam on Monday. As it was a violation of court order, we have suspended them,” claimed Basavalingappa GM, local deputy director of public instruction.
The teachers had allegedly welcomed all students, including those wearing the hijab, to the school with roses. However, the High Court’s discriminatory and unconstituional ban on hijab has resulted in hundreds of Muslim girls being unable to go to school and take exams.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board Moves Supreme Court Over Hijab Ban
Amid rising anti-Muslim hatred in Karnataka state, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has moved the Supreme Court seeking overturning of the Karnataka High Court’s discriminatory and unconstitutional verdict against the hijab.
“The high court has laid too much emphasis on propositions which results into discrimination, exclusion and overall deprivation of a class from the mainstream public education system apart from the fact it seriously encroaches upon an individual’s sacrosanct religious belief,” said the plea, filed through advocate M. R. Shamshad.
“Over a period of time, it appears that the courts have completely taken upon themselves the task to determine what are the essentials… of any and every religion practiced in our country for the purpose of regulatory control over them by the State authorities,” the plea added.
“It is submitted that the impugned judgment will lead to grave encroachment on the children of Muslim community and shall lead to a situation where a large section of Muslim girls will be deprived from stream of general education leading them to remain in vulnerability.”