Uttar Pradesh police charge 26 Muslims for praying together at home
In yet another act of blatant Islamophobia and discrimination, police in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh state booked 26 Muslims for praying together at a house. Police claimed the Muslims should have sought their permission.
This is discriminatory as other communities, especially Hindus who are the majority in the state, routinely organize at-home prayers without such permission.
The police said they had warned the Muslims in the past “not to indulge in such a practice at home, following objections from neighbors belonging to another community.”
Sixteen Muslims were booked for “public mischief in an assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship.”
Earlier, pictures of the Muslims praying inside the house at one village went viral on social media. This triggered protests by Hindu extremists demanding police action.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, has emerged as one of the most Islamophobic administrations in India since its hardcore Hindu rightwing chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, came to power in 2017.
Jamia Millia University cancels Muslim student leader Safoora Zargar’s MPhil
Clearly, under pressure from India’s ruling Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) government, the Jamia Millia Islamia university of New Delhi has cancelled the MPhil admission of Muslim student activist Safoora Zargar.
“The usually snail-paced Jamia admin moving at light speed to cancel my admission, foregoing all due process,” Zargar tweeted after the cancellation on Monday. “It breaks my heart but not my spirit.”
Targeted since 2020 for leading protests against an anti-Muslim citizenship law, for which she was also imprisoned, Zargar, 29, had last week disclosed that the university’s Department of Sociology had threatened to cancel her Mphil admission.
“They have told me that because of students like me, the Department of Sociology is blacklisted,” Zargar said.
For eight months, the university put her application for MPhil extension on hold. She started her MPhil in 2019 on the subject of “socio-spatial segregation among Muslims in Delhi: A case study of Ghaffar Manzil Colony.”
In May, the University Grants Commission (UGC), an autonomous federal body that oversees the work of higher educational institutions, had allowed universities to extend MPhil and PhD terms on a case-to-case basis after reviewing a student’s work.
It was the fifth extension during the pandemic granted to research scholars. But Jamia Millia denied Zargar an extension saying she had already had one extension.
Supreme Court to hear plea against permission for Hindu festival on Muslim land
The Supreme Court will hear a plea challenging a lower court’s egregious decision to allow a Hindu festival in Karnataka state to be held on land owned by a Muslim body and has historically been reserved for Muslim prayers and festivals.
Earlier, the state High Court had allowed celebrations for the Hindu god Ganesh at ‘Idgah Maidan’ in the state capital Bangalore.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal told the newly appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice U. U. Lalit on Monday that the government and the court order had created an unnecessary religious tension in the city.
The Supreme Court will hear the petition on Tuesday.
Hindu extremist groups in Karnataka have been threatening to overrun the Muslim-owned Idgah maidan. Ruled by the Hindu supremacist BJP, Karnataka, like Uttar Pradesh, has also emerged as Islamophobic.
Supreme Court to hear hijab ban case on Sep 5, 2022
The Supreme Court will hear the hijab ban case on September 5. On Monday, it issued a notice to the Karnataka government on a plea seeking stay on the Karnataka High Court’s order in February that upheld the state’s ban on the wearing of the Hijab in educational institutions.
In January, the Karnataka government had banned the hijab from most government schools and colleges, prompting state-wide protests and a global outcry. US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain had also criticized the decision
Karnataka’s Muslim students have said the Islamophobic hijab ban violates their religious freedom guaranteed under India’s constitution.