New Delhi -
New Delhi -
The statements of the ruling Indian People's Party spokeswoman, Nupur Sharma, as well as the media official of the party's branch in the Indian capital, Nawain Jindal, insulting the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, were not accidental, but came within a familiar and repeated context for decades of hate speech, especially since the arrival of the party. People came to power headed by Narendra Modi in May 2014.
Modi is known for his hostility to Muslims, especially after he ordered the police not to harm Hindus during the Gujarat massacres in February 2002, which killed 69 Muslims, half of them were burned alive.
Modi was later described as the "Emperor of Hindu Hearts", and this fame helped him rise in the party until he was nominated to lead in the 2014 elections.
Hostilities against Muslims in India have escalated since the (European) government of the People's Party led by Naidra Modi.
How did Modi act after coming to power in 2014?
Immediately after coming to power, Modi unleashed Hindu extremists to persecute Muslims and restrict them in various ways.
This was manifested in the killing of hundreds of Muslims on charges of eating or slaughtering beef, assaulting others on charges of converting Hindus to Islam, tempting Hindu women to marry Muslims, opposing the veil of Muslim students, prohibiting the sale of halal meat, removing Islamic names for cities, villages and streets and putting Hindu names in their place.
As well as changing school books, removing any material that praises Muslims and introducing insulting material to them, amending the Nationality Law to deprive millions of Muslims of Indian citizenship, calling for their extermination, demolishing their homes and shops and storming their neighborhoods.
On the other hand, Modi sought to improve relations with the Islamic world in particular, and the Emirates allowed him to establish a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, and concluded a trade treaty with him.
How did India respond to its condemnation of its policies against Muslims?
India, through the spokesperson of the ruling party, said that it respects all religions, and that all Indian citizens are free to profess any belief they believe in.
India's partisan or governmental statements were not subjected to any government, but they singled out Pakistan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation with stinging criticism, saying that the organization's statement in this regard was "short-of-mind", and described it as "prejudicial", "misleading" and "harmful".
She said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was "following a plan to divide people for the sake of elements that have interests."
The Indian Foreign Ministry, in a tweet, asked the organization to "refrain from sectarian tendencies and show respect for all religions."
Why did India not attack the countries that criticized the offensive statements?
Many countries, such as Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, Maldives, Oman, Jordan, Afghanistan, Libya and Indonesia, condemned the statements of ruling party officials, and some countries asked their ambassadors to deliver letters of protest against this.
But the Indian government did not attack these countries because of the great interests linking them to this region.
The volume of Indian trade exchange with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries alone amounted to 87 billion dollars between 2020 and 2021, in addition to the presence of about 7.5 million Indians to work in these countries, providing India with hard currency estimated at 40 billion dollars a year.
India relies on this region to a large extent for its oil and gas needs.
This is why the party responded quickly by suspending the party's spokeswoman for six years, and expelling the other official from it.
Although observers believe that this is a temporary measure, and that the two officials will return to some leadership positions when things calm down.
Political thinker Pratap Bhanu Mehta says criticism of big countries like the US over human rights abuses in India has not affected its government, while protests from "small countries" made it take some action.
But Mehta believes that this will not change the behavior of the ruling party, describing what happened as a "half victory", as things may return to normal quickly.
During the demolition of Al-Babri Mosque by Hindu fanatics (social networking sites)
Is this response the first of its kind?
No, the Arab and Islamic countries had previously shown a similar response when Hindu extremists demolished the Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992. The argument of the Indian government at the time was that this was a "mob act" and had nothing to do with it, despite the fact that about half a million extremists gathered Hindus at the mosque prior to its demolition would not have taken place without government permission.
Moreover, the army and police battalions present in the place under the pretext of protecting the mosque did not interfere when the Hindu elements began to demolish it, and they continued their work throughout the day, and did not withdraw until after the establishment of a temporary Hindu temple on the land of Al-Babri.
How were the positions of the Indian opposition parties?
Opposition parties such as the DMK, the Muslim League, the Ordinary Human Party and the Muslim Union Council demanded the arrest of the two officials of the ruling party.
Kerala's chief minister, Pinari Vijayan, called on the central government to punish "those who spread hate propaganda".
The Islamic Personal Status Council welcomed their exclusion, but said that this is not enough, and that legal measures must be taken against them.
The Union of the Faithful Council threatened to stage demonstrations across India on June 10 if legal action was not taken against party officials.
On the other hand, there have been calls on social media to boycott Qatar Airways.
The Hindu World Organization said Hindus were offended when the genitals of "Lord Shiva" were described as a fountain at the Gyan Wapi mosque in Waranasi.
Under this argument, the Hindus seek to seize the Gyan Wabi Mosque.
Was judicial action taken against those who made the offensive statements?
India's ambassadors to the Gulf states claimed that those who made the statements were "marginal elements", although the official who made the statement was an official spokeswoman for the ruling party, and the other was head of the party's media office in the Indian capital.
The government did not register any case against these two officials to be prosecuted for insulting Islam and communal harmony, crimes punishable by the Indian Penal Code (Articles 505 and 153/a) with a fine and imprisonment of up to 3 years.
On the other hand, hundreds of Muslims are languishing in Indian prisons on charges of insulting Hindus or forcing them to convert to Islam or marry Hindu women.
With the Indian government not prosecuting the ruling party officials, citizens in Bombay, Delhi and Hyderabad have registered police cases against them for insulting the religious feelings of Muslims.
The demolition of a part of a mosque in the Jehan Gerpuri area in the capital, New Delhi, last April (Reuters)
How did India deal with protests condemning anti-Muslim statements?
Demonstrations took place in the city of Kanpur on the third of this June against the statements of the two officials in the ruling party, which were confronted by Hindu extremists under the protection of the police.
The demonstration was forcibly dispersed by the police, who arrested about 40 Muslims, with cases against 800 others registered under the "national security" clause, which means that the detainees will not be able to obtain bail for years, as the courts take a long time to release people arrested under National Security or Terrorism Clauses.
The police announced that they would confiscate the property of the demonstration leaders, amid reports of intentions to demolish their homes as well.
What is the latest crackdown on Indian Muslims?
For weeks, there have been calls to convert ancient mosques into Hindu temples.
And the Hindus raise frequent lawsuits, demanding excavations in the foundations of mosques, claiming that they were built on the ruins of their temples hundreds of years ago.
These cases are accepted by the courts, despite an Indian law passed in 1991 ensuring that all places of worship (except for the Babri Mosque) remain in the condition in which they existed on Independence Day in August 1947.
Observers believe that Hindu groups have increased their claims against mosques after they had final control over the land of the Al-Babri Mosque by order of the Supreme Court in November 2019, which gave its land to the Hindu party despite the court's recognition in the merits of the ruling that it had been a mosque for 500 years, and that the statues Placed in December 1949.
After controlling and demolishing the land of Al-Babri Mosque, the Hindu groups prepared a list of three thousand mosques demanding to convert them into temples, which means that the restrictions on the Muslims of India are escalating.