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Hindutva Inspired Anti-Muslim Violence Rocks Indian State

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The Indian Military has been deployed to quell violence in the state.

The anti-Muslim violence that erupted in Uttar Pradesh the past few days was instigated by Hindutva activists who forwarded a video they claimed showed Muslims lynching two Hindu men, in fact the video was from Pakistan and had nothing to do with Hindus. This comes in light of hundreds of violent incidents across the nation just this year and thirty anti-Muslim riots since the election of Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh.:

They say these images killed. They’re wrenching and awful, but it’s important you watch them. You can watch the video here but please note that it is graphic in nature.

It’s important, because police and politicians in Uttar Pradesh have been blaming the video for fuelling communal violence in Muzaffarnagar. It was claimed, by fringe Hindu nationalist groups, to show the killing of two Hindu men.

In fact, as police point out, the video’s been online since 2010—and actually records the lynching of two Pakistani teenagers in the city of Sialkot.

The violence has caused tremendous suffering, mosques have been burnt down and pillaged and numerous Muslim homes and shops ransacked or destroyed. Such mass scale riots are sparking fears of communal violence spinning out of control.:

Authorities declared a high-security alert following the violence in which mobs burned houses and a mosque in the state, which has been the scene of some of the nation’s worst religious riots in recent decades.

Hundreds of troops were already patrolling in riot-hit areas as villagers crowded police stations seeking safety in the worst-hit Muzaffarnagar district, 105 kilometres (65 miles) northeast of capital New Delhi, television footage showed.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the violence and promised “all required assistance” to the state government for “tackling the situation”. “The number of those dead has risen to 28. We have also arrested 90 persons,” senior state police officer Arun Kumar said in Muzaffarnagar where 38 percent of the population is Muslim and the remainder mainly Hindu.

He told reporters the situation was tense but largely under control in the area from which families streamed late Sunday, abandoning their homes and carrying children in their arms, according to local media. Junior Home Minister R.P.N. Singh said 5,000 extra paramilitary personnel were being rushed to violence-hit areas of the state, India’s most populous with 200 million people.

“We don’t feel safe in this village, where we form less than 10 percent of the population,” Mohammed Haneef, a Muslim resident from Kharad village, 45 kilometres from Muzaffarnagar, told The Indian Express daily.

A journalist for the local IBN7 television network and a police photographer were among those killed in the violence, the most serious in recent years. Politically pivotal Uttar Pradesh witnessed deadly riots in 1992 following the razing of a mosque by a Hindu mob. More than 2,000 people — mostly Muslims — were killed after the 16th-century mosque in Ayodhya was demolished in some of India’s worst communal clashes.

The latest violence has triggered speculation that political parties are seeking to polarise the state along religious lines ahead of general elections due next year. The state’s secular ruling Samajwadi Party has accused the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of fuelling tensions with inflammatory speeches.

A video posted online appearing to show two men being lynched by a mob seems to have aggravated tensions although police said it was faked. The clashes erupted late Saturday after thousands of Hindu farmers held a meeting to demand justice over the killing of three Hindu men who had protested when a woman was allegedly harassed.

Provocative speeches calling for action against Muslims were allegedly made during Saturday’s meeting. The farmers were attacked as they were returning home from the meeting, triggering an angry backlash, media reported.

Clashes then broke out in neighbouring villages between Hindus and Muslims and the army stepped in to try to control the situation. “They started firing rounds at our homes from the fields and soon they were hurling petrol bombs,” Muslim villager Iqbal Ansari told the Indian Express which showed a front-page photo of a bloodied child with a bandaged head in hospital.

“My house, my belongings and my life’s savings were burned to the ground,” he said.A state BJP politician rejected accusations that the party was behind the violence.

“The government has failed on all the fronts… they are now searching for a scapegoat,” Hukum Singh told NDTV. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the state government of failing to act in time to check the violence.

“The state government has failed miserably in maintaining communal harmony,” Prasad told reporters in New Delhi. The BJP is working to revive its fortunes before the elections by attacking the ruling Congress-led government over a string of corruption scandals.

The national government has warned that India is witnessing a rise in communal violence, and that there could be further such incidents in the run-up to polls.

“Communal violence incidents have increased since last year. While 410 incidents occurred in the country last year, this year, till now, 451 incidents have taken place,” federal Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said.

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  • Tanveer Khan

    But it would be good balance if one of you posted the Malaysia regime craze about the God appellation “Allah”

    Are you talking about christians using the word “Allah” and some muslims becoming “upset”? Or am I thinking of somewhere else?

  • Guess

    Garibaldi, though I would like to address this to IIisha since she’s the one I asked if LW could make room for Muslim loons. But it would be good balance if one of you posted the Malaysia regime craze about the God appellation “Allah” (which may have pros & cons) but nonetheless a Muslim loon period.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    I agree.

  • Fox-News

    More needs to be done documenting the foundations of these fascist groups in India, who are their ideologists and think tanks, what are their goals, their funding, etc. The international world still does not know much about them even though they are quite venomous and dangerous. It is also quite possible that many of the Islamophobes actually learn tactics from these groups in India.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Yes, looks like they were.

  • mindy1

    This is reminding me of the Rwandan genocide, they used media to incite people to kill then also :'(

  • mindy1

    That was such a sad story, so many sad stories that day :'(

  • JD

    Is The NYPD Using Youth Sports To Monitor Muslims And South Asians?

    http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2013/09/10/2596871/nypd-using-youth-sports-monitor-muslims-south-asians/

    As part of its widespread surveillance of Muslims and Arabs, the New
    York Police Department has classified entire mosques as terror cells to
    monitor them, paid informants to “bait” Muslims into crimes, and spied on Muslim student associations at area universities. Those are only part of the program that has been criticized by politicians on both sides of the aisle and the FBI, produced no actual terrorism leads, and bred political and religious suppression of Muslims around the New York City area.

    Now, it seems the NYPD may have stooped even lower, using area sports
    leagues it promoted as a gateway to spy on Arab, Muslim, and South
    Asian families, as The Nation’s Dave Zirin reported Tuesday:

    In 2009, the Arab American Association of New York
    sponsored the Brooklyn United, a team in the New York Police
    Department’s youth soccer league. “We were trying to engage with law
    enforcement, get kids off the street and it was kind of putting out our
    hand to the NYPD,” said the organization’s Executive Director Linda
    Sarsour. That first year, the Brooklyn United won the tournament trophy
    and even posed for the above photo with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
    But by 2011, the AAANY withdrew their sponsorship after learning
    that the league was also being used as a way to monitor the Arab,
    Muslim and South Asian players and their families. […]

  • JD

    Muslim mother seeks justice for the son she lost on 9/11

    http://www.religionnews.com/2013/09/09/muslim-mother-seeks-justice-for-the-son-she-lost-on-911/

    (RNS) It’s been five years now that Talat Hamdani has been able to talk about
    her son without crying, but she still prefers mostly not to tell his story.
    She’s stopped talking about how she initially didn’t worry when her son,
    Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who was a cadet with the New York City Police
    Department, didn’t answer his cellphone that night; about how police questioned
    her and her husband when authorities couldn’t find their son’s body, to see if
    he had any terrorist connections; about the New York Post headline a
    month after the attacks — “Missing – Or Hiding? – Mystery Of NYPD Cadet From
    Pakistan,” that cast him as a suspect in the 9/11 attacks.

    She’s mostly stopped talking, but she’s still fighting for the recognition
    she says is due her son.

    Hamdani’s remains were found five months after 9/11 at Ground Zero, next to
    his medical kit. He had been headed to his job as a research technician at Rockefeller
    University in midtown Manhattan
    but apparently detoured to the World Trade
    Center, voluntarily, to help.

    Hamdani received full police honors at his 2002 funeral, where Mayor Michael
    Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly both praised his heroics. His name
    was cited in the Patriot Act as an example of Muslim American valor, and on the
    first anniversary of 9/11, Kelly presented Talat Hamdani with a police shield
    in her son’s honor.

    NYPD officials promised they would “always be there” for her. “But everybody
    disappeared,” she said.

    Hamdani’s name was left off the NYPD’s official 9/11 memorial, and there’s
    no mention of him in the list of 441 first responders on the National September 11
    Memorial in lower Manhattan.
    Instead, his name is etched with others on the panels surrounding the spot where
    the South Tower
    originally stood.

    “I told them they should have told me right away, because I would have
    started fighting long ago.”

    Hamdani wrote three letters to Kelly; an NYPD spokesman told her her son was
    not on their list of 9/11 fallen because he was a cadet, and hadn’t worked for
    several weeks at the time of the attacks. His mother countered that he was
    still an NYPD employee when he was killed, at the age of 23.

    Since then, Hamdani has written politicians and President Barack Obama,
    lobbied memorial organizers and other groups and spoken on television, all to
    no avail. But she hasn’t given up.

    “I won’t find peace until this thing is resolved with justice. He gave the
    same sacrifice as the other police officers did, why is he not acknowledged as
    such?”

    Some people suspect the NYPD has left Hamdani’s name off their memorial
    because it would mean having to pay compensation to the family, just like they
    did to the families of other fallen NYPD members.

    “I think this is a major factor, but it should not be. His sacrifice is no
    less than the others,” said Hamdani.

    She suspects there is another reason.

    “If his name had been anything but Mohammad, it would have been a different
    story,” she said.

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