بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Hindu Extremists Seek to Revive the Gujarat Anti-Muslim Pogrom Across India
Ramadan saw an intensification of the persecution and violence against Muslims in India by Hindu extremist groups. During the blessed month, thousands of Hindu nationalists and supremacists stormed through Muslim neighbourhoods in various states in India, including Madhya Pradesh, Gujurat, Jharkhand and West Bengal, and conducted threatening rallies and spread messages of hate, under the guise of celebrating the Hindu festival Ram Navami. Many carried sticks and swords, and a number of mosques, Muslim homes and shops were attacked. In the district of Khargone in Madya Pradesh, a mosque was set alight by a Hindu mob, while in Goa, a mob carrying saffron flags tried to enter a mosque just as worshippers were opening their fasts. In some instances, police personnel were seen joining the mobs. In these rallies, incendiary communal songs filled with threats of genocide against Muslims were played. One Hindu man told a journalist, "when we listen to the song, we feel strengthened, we get the feeling that we want to kill every single Muslim around.”
Such rallies are part of the continuing agenda of Hindutva supporters, including the ruling BJP party, led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who seek to make India a Hindu state based upon a Hindu religious and cultural identity, where Muslims are terrorised into leaving their faith. These events are only a fraction of the intense persecution and threats that Muslims are facing across the country. In the district of Khargone in Madya Pradesh, the district administration bulldozed around 16 homes and 29 shops belonging to Muslims who were accused of violence against the Hindu mobs who attacked and threatened their neighbourhood. Muslim men have been attacked and accused of marrying Hindu women for purpose of conversion to Islam in what has been labelled by Hindu extremists as “Love Jihad”, while other Muslims have been lynched on the streets by cow vigilante groups. In 2020, following the start of the Covid pandemic, Muslims were accused of spreading the corona virus, or taking part in “corona Jihad” as it was called. One of the latest Bollywood blockbusters, “The Kashmiri Files”, promoted by India’s ruling BJP party who also sponsored screenings of the film in India and abroad, portrays Muslims as blood thirsty villains. After watching the film, some Hindutva supporters gave speeches in movie theatres calling Hindu men to forcibly marry Muslim women and produce children with them to ensure that Hindus will always outnumber Muslims in the country.
In some Indian states, such as Maharashtra, authorities have tried to ban mosques from broadcasting the call to prayer, and have encouraged their Hindu followers to go to mosques and play Hindu songs at twice the volume of the Azan if loudspeakers are not taken down. And in other Indian states, such as Karnataka, right-wing Hindus have called for a boycott of Muslim traders, taxi drivers and Halal stores, while Muslim women and girls in the state have been banned from wearing the Hijab in schools and colleges. Such a ban of the Islamic dress in educational institutions is also being considered in other Indian states. And in December last year, during a religious gathering, Hindu monks and Hindutva leaders called publicly for a genocide against Muslims. Indeed, such calls for mass murder of Muslims has become routine in India. One of the organisers of this gathering, Swami Prabodhanand from the Hindu Raksha Sena stated: “Just like Myanmar, the police, the army and every Hindu must pick up arms and organise a cleansing [of Muslims]...We have no other choice.” All this is alongside the regime’s Citizenship Amendment Act and al-India National Register of Citizens which disproportionately targets Muslims with the threat of deportation if they do not have the required paperwork to prove their citizenship of the country, despite having lived in the land for generations.
All this is reminiscent of the hatred and violence espoused against Muslims in the Gujarat anti-Muslim pogrom two decades ago in which hundreds of Muslims were slaughtered, including women and children. This mass-murder unfolded under the watch of Narendra Modi who was the chief minister of the Gujarat state at the time. Yet today, despite these atrocities conducted against Muslim in India, past and present, Modi and his communal regime are warmly welcomed by heads of states and governments across the world, embracing authoritarianism for the sake of economic gain and national political interests...the defining marker of capitalist secular states. Just this April, Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, visited India to bolster trade and investment deals. Meanwhile, the regime in Pakistan is seeking to ‘normalise’ the state’s relationship with India despite the continuing brutal occupation of the Muslims of Kashmir and persecution of Muslims by the BJP and its supporters.
All this should be a stark reminder to Muslims across the world that there is no state, no international body, no leadership today that will genuinely stand to defend the life, rights and Deen of the Muslims – whether they be in India, Kashmir, Myanmar, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Central Africa, East Turkestan or elsewhere. The families of the victims of the Gujarat massacres, not only continue to wait for justice for the crimes instigated against them 20 years ago...but are now ruled by the very man who supported the campaign of mass-murder against Muslims.
As Muslims, we must fully recognise that there will be no security for the Muslims of India or elsewhere without the establishment of the leadership and system of Islam, the Khilafah (Caliphate) based upon the method of the Prophethood. Indeed, it was under Islamic rule alone that the Muslims of India, as well as those of other faiths enjoyed security and prosperity. Therefore, to prevent a new pogrom against Muslims in India or in other lands of the world, we must focus our sincere attention, efforts and energies with urgency to return the state which serves as the guardian, shield and supporter of the Muslims and their Deen: the Khilafah. The Prophet (saw) said:
«إِنَّمَا الْإِمَامُ جُنَّةٌ يُقَاتَلُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ وَيُتَّقَى بِهِ» “Verily the Imam (Khalifah) is a shield from behind whom you fight and by whom you are protected.”
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir