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Activists on targeting of Dr Khan: 'India's human rights appallingly deteriorated'

By Our Representative
In a solidarity statement, about 100 activists and scholars have said that the recent targeting of Dr Zafarul Islam Khan for his Facebook post “thanking” Kuwait for expressing solidarity with Indian Muslims suggests how human rights in India have been “appallingly deteriorated.” Dr Khan is chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission.
In his short Facebook post (also posted on twitter), Dr Khan thanked Kuwait “for standing with the Indian Muslims”, insisting, “The Hindutva bigots calculated that given the huge economic stakes involved the Muslim and Arab world will not care about the persecution of Muslims in India.”
“The bigots forgot that Indian Muslims enjoy huge goodwill in the eyes of the Arab and Muslim world for their services over centuries to Islamic causes, excellence in Islamic and Arabic scholarship, cultural and civilisational gifts to world heritage”, Dr Khan said, adding, “Names like Shah Waliullah Dehlavi, Iqbal, Abul Hasan Nadwi, Wahiduddin Khan, Zakir Naik and many others are respected household names in the Arab and Muslim world.”
“Mind you, bigots, Indian Muslims have opted until now not to complain to the Arab and Muslim world about your hate campaigns and lynchings and riots. The day they are pushed to do that, bigots will face an avalanche”, he warned.
The solidarity statement says, “A few politicians with ulterior motives and news channel anchors known for spreading bigotry and Islamophobia have mischievously sought to misinterpret his statement and ridiculously label him as anti-Hindu and anti-India”, adding, Dr Khan had only “reiterated what many citizens of India, public figures, international institutions, various European governments, USA and UN human rights mechanisms have repeatedly underlined.”
“Dr Khan is a man of integrity. He is a scholar who is known to stand up for constitutional freedoms and values”, says the statement, adding, “His work as the Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission has been warmly applauded by human rights activists and NGOs across different faiths.”
Dr Zafarul Islam Khan takes strong stands against extremism of all sorts. That makes him a prominent critic of RSS
“His timely interventions on problems of minorities in Delhi have made him a respectable figure among not only Muslims but Sikh, Christians, Jains and Parsis. He is a humanist in the truest sense of the word”, the statement underlines, noting, “The hateful propaganda against Dr Khan is one more illustration as how certain Indians fail to differentiate between Hinduism, a religion and Hindutva which is a supremacist political ideology.”
Praising Dr Khan as a “leading Indian intellectual”, who is an alumni of the "esteemed" Jamia Al-Azhar and Manchester University, the statement says, he enjoys “great respect in the Arab and Muslim world”, and is “known for taking bold public positions.”
Thus, it says, “He issued a statement opposing the barbaric crimes of ISIL (IS or ISIS) and Boko Haram against minorities”, adding, “He takes strong stands against extremism of all sorts. That makes him a prominent critic of RSS.”
The statement asks the “appropriate authorities in the Government of India to take “strong legal action against those who are distorting Dr Khan’s Facebook post.”
Meanwhile, Dr Khan, referring to the tweet which forwarded the Facebook post, has said, it wasn’t his intention to pain some people, and he realizes the post was “ill-timed and insensitive” in view India facing a medical emergency and fighting an unseen enemy.”
Apologizing for his statement, he says, he has always “defended India” and he wouldn’t complain against the country “to any other country or Arab or Muslim world.” Stating that he loves his homeland which is “part of Islam”, Dr Khan, at same time, takes exception to “a section of media which distorted my tweet and attributed to me things I never said.”
“Legal notices have already been served on the news channel which championed in distorting my statement”, he says, adding, “If need be, further legal steps will be taken.”

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