Skip to main content

Refusal to condemn attack on Rushdie a hypocrisy that 'doesn't help' Muslim cause

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights group, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD), terming the murderous attack on Salman Rushdie dastardly, has said that the “regime of fear” created by the infamous Iranian fatwa has “made sure that very few stood with Salman Rushdie, except for those Islamophobes who delighted in telling the world that this thuggery was ‘real Islam’.”
Floated by IMSD’s national convener Javed Anand, national co-convener Feroze Mithiborwala, and national committee member Arshad Alam, its statement, and signed by 60 prominent citizens from India and abroad, the statement says, “Thirty-three years later, we hear the same loud silence from Muslim countries and organizations.”
It regrets, “None of the prominent Indian Muslim organizations have condemned this barbarous attack on a prominent writer. It is this silence that emboldens the Islamophobes to paint the religion as a creed of violence and terror.”

Text:

The IMSD condemns the murderous attack on Salman Rushdie in the strongest possible terms. There cannot be any doubt that the assault on the world-renowned writer is due to the Iranian fatwa in 1989 which pronounced that Rushdie should be killed for blaspheming against the prophet of Islam. 
Despite the apology tendered by Rushdie for ‘hurting the sentiments of Muslims’, the fatwa against him remained in force; the bounty on his head was doubled. In Islamic theology, an apostate can be forgiven if he apologizes but the blasphemer against the prophet is not to be given any such quarter; he has to be summarily executed. 
That a young Muslim man, Hadi Madar, who was not even born when 'Satanic Verses' was published, willed to execute the fatwa, only goes on to prove the extraordinary sway of such a theology.
Any such attack is designed to create a regime of fear. Translators of 'Satanic Verses' were killed, discussions on the book were violently repressed and bookstores were forced to take the novel off their shelves. 
The regime of fear made sure that very few stood with Salman Rushdie, except for those Islamophobes who delighted in telling the world that this thuggery was ‘real Islam’. Thirty-three years later, we hear the same loud silence from Muslim countries and organizations. 
None of the prominent Indian Muslim organizations have condemned this barbarous attack on a prominent writer. It is this silence that emboldens the Islamophobes to paint the religion as a creed of violence and terror.
The recent murder of Kanhaiya Lal for another case of blasphemy by two Muslim fanatics, is another case in point of the intolerance within sections of the Indian Muslim community. 
Though all major Muslim organizations condemned the murder, they did do so under the pretext of a hate-crime, but refused to acknowledge the fact that it was a murder for blasphemy. Such is the blatant hypocrisy, which only serves to weaken and further isolate the Muslim community due to it's dual standards.
Muslim organizations only remember human rights when they are being attacked but don't extend same rights and dignity to others
It is rather rich on the part of Muslim organizations that they only remember human rights when they are being attacked but do not extend the same rights and dignity to others, Muslims or not, who differ from them on matters of religion. This is plain hypocrisy which does not help the Muslim cause. Being a minority, Indian Muslims should be championing a rights-based discourse on the importance of free speech and dissent. 
It is unfortunate that despite living in a political democracy for 75 years, Muslim organizations today are demanding a national blasphemy law. Muslims do not need the Hindu right wing to argue that Islam and human rights are incompatible; they themselves have been advertising this position for long.
'Satanic Verses' was one of the first novels to inquire into the nature of Muslim immigration into Europe. And yet the irony is that Muslims burnt it to proclaim a politics of distinction and separateness. The IMSD firmly states that without free speech, freedom to read, write and dissent, we cannot uphold the freedoms enshrined in our constitution. And we believe that only by investing in these freedoms can we uphold the values of our republic. In this hour of grave crisis, we stand firmly with Salman Rushdie and wish him speedy recovery. 
We once again appeal to all Muslim organizations to rethink their position on blasphemy; a form of politics which is doing Muslims more harm than good.
---
Click here for list of those who have endorsed the IMSD statement

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.