UP Minister Demands Muslims Hand Centuries’ Old Mosque To Hindus
A legislator from India’s Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded that the Muslim community should hand over their religious structures to Hindus as these Muslim places of worship “hurt Hindus.”
“A time will come when the white structure in Mathura that hurts every Hindu will be removed with the help of the court,” said BJP legislator Anand Swarup Shukla said referring to Muslim places of worship in Mathura city of Uttar Pradesh state. “Do not associate yourself with any building built by them.”
Shukla’s bigoted remarks add to the growing tensions in Mathura, where Hindu extremists have already made several threats to desecrate the Shahi Idgah Masjid, a historical centuries’ old structure. Shukla also claimed that Muslims need to accept that Hinduism is the “basic culture” of India, and stated that “we would like all of them to return to Hinduism,” further pushing the dangerous narrative of Muslims as a foriegn “other.”
The BJP rules Uttar Pradesh. It is also India’s ruling party to which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs.
More Than Half In National Survey Say Anti-Muslim Discrimination Has Increased
A snap poll conducted by an Indian polling agency has found that over 56% of people believe anti-Muslim discrimination has increased in India during Prime Minister Modi’s seven-and-a-half-year regime. The poll surveyed a group of 1,942 people nationwide, out of which 35% said anti-Muslim discrimination increased a lot, and 21.6% said discrimination increased somewhat.
This poll reflects the dangerous climate for Muslims throughout India, who have faced an onslaught of Islamophobic harrassment, wanton imprisonment, restricted freedom of speech, discriminatory policies, and increased mob violence since Modi’s election in 2014.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has twice since last year recommended to the U.S. Department of State that it designate India as a Country of Particular Concern, a label given to the world’s worst offenders of religious freedom.
Hindu Man Convicted For Setting Fire To A Muslim Woman’s Home In Delhi 2020
In the first conviction out of several cases regarding the 2020 Delhi pogroms, a Hindu man has been convicted for his role in setting fire to a 73-year-old Muslim woman’s home.
The man, Dinesh Yadav, was part of an extremist mob that looted and destroyed the Muslim woman’s home when she and her family were not present. Yadav was convicted on December 6 of being a member of an unlawful assembly, rioting, arson, house trespassing, and robbery.
Out of 758 riots cases relating to the deadly 2020 Delhi pogroms, charges have been filed for 361 of them. According to The Wire, “More than 50 people, a majority of them Muslims, were killed in the Delhi riots in late February 2020, [and] more than 700 people were injured.” violent Hindu extremist mobs killed nearly three dozen Muslims during the days’ long violence.BJP leaders encouraged the anti-Muslim violence with slogans such as “shoot the traitors to the nation.”
Hindu Extremist Groups Vandalize Christian Missionary School
Attacks against Christians continue to escalate in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh state. On December 6, members of Hindu extremist groups vandalized a Christian missionary school, pelting the walls with stones and chanting “Jair Sri Ram,” a Hindu religious slogan, while the students were inside taking their exams.
The traumatic incident occurred after a video of a school prayer surfaced on social media, which Hindu extremists falsely claimed showed evidence of forced conversions. A mob of over 50 extremists then barged into the school and vandalized it.
“We had demanded protection from the police and the district administration over the looming threat of an attack by right-wing men but they paid no heed to it,” a school employee said.
This is the latest in a series of anti-Christian incidents in Madhya Pradesh, where a strict anti-conversion law has paved the way for Hindu extremists to attack Christans with impunity. In Jhabua district, authorities refused to renew the licenses of seven missionary schools where more than 10,000 students are enrolled. In Satna, police complaints were lodged against a group of Christians after allegations of forced conversions. In Datia, police arrested 8 Christians for distributing religious books outside of a missionary school.