Saturday, March 23, 2019

Christchurch Massacre: Best and Worst of Humanity

Has the world seen the best and the worst of humanity since the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand? How did New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern handle the aftermath of the tragedy? Is her genuine compassion and decisiveness a shining example of leadership? How was the response to the tragedy from major world leaders like US President Donald Trump, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Imran Khan? What does it say about them?

Who came out to show support for Muslim communities around the world? How did New Zealanders show solidarity with Muslims? How did Muslims in Silicon Valley deal with the aftermath of the tragedy? Who joined them in mourning?

Who celebrated the massacre of innocent Muslims and why? What do White Nationalism and Hindu Nationalism have in common? Are these two sides of the same coin? Who was BS Moonje and why did he meet Mussolini? Who was Golwalkar and why did he admire Hitler? What is Modi's connection with Golwalkar's RSS movement? What did he say about Hitler's treatment of Jews as "a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by"?

What did Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik say about Hindu Nationalists in his manifesto? Are White Nationalists and Hindu Nationalists reinforcing each other on social media platforms? What role does social media play in promoting extremist ideologies? What can be done to manage this problem?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with Sabahat Ashraf (ifaqeer) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)


https://youtu.be/BXGWZvTNOkk






Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Hindu Nationalists Love Nazis

Islamophobia Goes Mainstream in 2017

A Conversation With White Nationalist Jared Taylor on Race in America

Lynchistan: India is the Lynching Capital of the World

Modi and Trump

Anders Breivik: Islamophobia in Europe and India

Hindu Nationalism Goes Global

Hindutva: The Legacy of the British Raj

19 comments:

Ismael M. said...

Pretty dastardly comments from Times of India readers.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/many-march-for-love-in-new-zealand-as-mosques-reopen/articleshow/68531653.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Ismael: " Pretty dastardly comments from Times of India readers."


Such blatant bigotry is common in comment sections of most Indian newspapers. Hindu Nationalist social media are even worse

http://thecognate.com/indias-anti-muslim-bigots-celebrate-new-zealand-terror-attack/?fbclid=IwAR19xH-D2xKhmx8PT-nwjH7pHsrca7AM12vpo-eUc3ZG6tEsfFKybQ75VEc

https://twitter.com/i/topics/news/e266373025?cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjc18y&refsrc=email

Anonymous said...

Every time I read the comments like those I thank jinnaJ for creating Pakisan and my grandfather for having the wisdom to migrate.

G. Ali

None said...

Religion of peace???

Koran 8:12

"I am with you:
give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers:
smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."

Riaz Haq said...

None: "Religion of peace??? Koran 8:12"

Some non-Muslims either through ignorance or Islam-bashing continue taking the verses of the Holy Quran out of context and its history to justify their false propaganda. In order to gain a proper understanding of many verses in the Holy Quran, it is important to understand and know the historic context of the revelations. So many revelations in the Holy Quran came down to provide guidance to Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and the fellow Muslims based on what they were confronting at that time. The verse 8:12 is one such verse which is misinterpreted. The verse and its brief explanation follows:

008.012 Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you:
give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers:
smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."


This verse and the verses before and after were revealed about the Battle of Badr, which occurred in Arabia in the early seventh century. A battle in which the pagans of Makkah traveled more than 200 miles to Madinah with an army of about 1000 to destroy Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and fellow Muslims had suffered severe persecutions and torture for 13 years in the city of Makkah. And now that they had fled Makkah and found a sanctuary in the city of Madinah, they were once again threatened. Muslim Army was only about 300 strong. God Almighty gave the order to Muslims to fight to defend their lives and faith. The enemy came to them with the intent to kill Muslims. It was a war to defend themselves and their Faith. It was a war imposed upon Muslims.

And when you fight, you strive to kill the enemy during the fight.
However, even during the war, Islam has the highest moral law of war. You don't kill children, women or any one who is not fighting with you. See the page on Human Rights in Islam.

You also don't fight, if the enemy wants a peace treaty:

008.061 But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards
peace, and trust in God: for He is One that hears and knows (all things).

God Almighty also says in Chapter 60:

060.008 God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith
nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God
loves those who are just.

060.009 God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith,
and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from
turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these
circumstances), that do wrong.


For the ignorant, misquotation is a habit they enjoy. Misquoting the Holy Quran is a sin and a shame for the one who commits such an act, as God says in the Quran:

Behold! how they invent a lie against Allah! but that by itself is a manifest sin! [The Holy Quran,4:50]

And He says:

Who does more wrong than those who invent a lie against Allah? They will be turned back to the presence of their Lord, and the witnesses will say, "These are the ones who lied against their Lord! Behold! The curse of Allah is on those who do wrong! [The Holy Quran,11:18]

Imagine if the following Biblical paragraph is used in the same way the above verse is used. Muslims know that Jesus, peace be upon him, like all prophets, came with the message of peace to earth. However, a misquotation may change the whole meaning. Read:

"34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35 For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—“ KJV-Matthew10

Riaz Haq said...

Riaz Haq's Ramadan Sermon: Interfaith Relations in Islam

https://www.riazhaq.com/2015/07/riaz-haqs-ramadan-sermon-interfaith.html

"Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" Quran 2:62 (Translation by Yusuf Ali)

"There is no compulsion in religion" Quran 2:256 (Translated by Shakir)

"Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion." Quran 109:1 (Translation by Pickthall)

My Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters:

Assalam-o-Alaikum.

In a prior Ramadan sermon, I have discussed the importance of Huqooq ul Ibad (rights of fellow human beings), the significance of earning an honest living, abstaining from harshly judging others and taking responsibility for both the negative or positive consequences of our actions.

In this sermon, I am sharing with you some verses from our holy book to convey to you the Quranic exhortation to establish good interfaith relations. The verses amply make it clear that Islam not only acknowledges the existence of other faiths but also accepts religious pluralism.

The Quran reveals that Allah sent 120,000 of His prophets to humanity. It follows, therefore, that Islam does recognize differences in points of view and religious beliefs outside Islam (Quran 109:1). The Quran says no one has a right to force their own understanding of religion upon others (Quran 2:256). It acknowledges that other religions can also lead to salvation (Quran 2:62).


In chapter 5 verse 48, the Quran says: "Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." (Translation by Sahih International)

So the diversity we see in this world is all Allah's creation. We should, therefore, not fight the will of Allah. We must accept it.

In matters of state, we must emulate the State of Madina that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) created. We must learn from Misaq-e-Madina (Charter of Medina), Islam's first constitution approved by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Honored by US Supreme Court

Here's the opening line of Misaq-e-Madina:

"This is a document from Muhammad the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), governing relations between the Believers i.e. Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib and those who followed them and worked hard with them. They form one nation -- Ummah."

It clearly says that all citizens of "Yathrib" (ancient name of Madina), regardless of their tribe or religion, are part of one nation--"Ummah". So the word "Ummah" here does not exclude non-Muslims who lived in Madina.

Further into the "Misaq" document, it says: "No Jew will be wronged for being a Jew. The enemies of the Jews who follow us will not be helped. If anyone attacks anyone who is a party to this Pact the other must come to his help."

The Misaq assures equal protection to all citizens of Madina, including non-Muslim tribes which agreed to it. The contents of Misaq-e-Madina, Islam's first constitution approved by Prophet Mohammad 1400 years ago, appear to have inspired Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah vision of Pakistan where people of all religions and nationalities live in harmony with equal rights and protections under the law.


Riaz Haq said...

Author JM Berger Says #NewZealandTerroristAttack Points To A Global Resurgence Of '#Extremism' "We're seeing a resurgence in various countries," he says of #WhiteNationalism . "It's a worldwide phenomenon." #Christchurch #Islamophobia #racism #Trump https://n.pr/2CEHDuA

So what we've seen is because Trump is a huge magnet for news attention, for media attention, he's a really useful figure to give all these diverse movements something to coalesce around. White nationalism and the far-right in general is very factional. Everybody has their own little group. The groups don't get along. They don't believe the same things. There's often a lot of infighting and they sometimes kill each other. What they have now is kind of a common theme, a common cause that they can work into their dialogue, and make it more palatable to people. It helps bring out the attitudes that are friendly to what they want, and really, support for him has become a crystallizing factor.


One of the few things we really know about this guy is that he was very steeped in trolling culture. So the original manifesto and the link to his video were first posted on 8chan, which is a trolling site. There's all manner of anti-social content on a site like that, including a lot of white nationalism and a lot of other extremely objectionable kind of views. But a lot of what they do is cloaked in this sort of shroud of irony.

So they're being "funny" and it's designed to provoke people, to offend people, to get them chasing down rabbit holes of content, and to put misinformation out that has to be corrected later and kind of muddies the truth around things. ... So there's a real culture here of messing with the media; messing with the mainstream narrative. ... A lot of what's in this manifesto is really designed to mislead. It's not like some of the previous examples we've seen, which are very sincere and ideological.

There's a lot of jokes in it, and it's kind of horrifying to think that somebody would kill 50 people to get a series of bad Internet jokes out in circulation in the world. That's certainly not the only reason he did it. He certainly appears to sincerely have these kind of anti-immigration and white nationalist views, but this is sort of a new thing, and it caught a lot of media unawares. So there were a lot of reports that just unironically repeated things that were in the manifesto, that were clearly questionable, clearly meant ironically. Some of them are memes or were sort of deep cut jokes that were really pulled out of obscurity, and some of them are almost certainly incorrect.


--
A Former Neo-Nazi Explains Why Hate Drew Him In — And How He Got Out
You have a book like The Turner Diaries [by Andrew MacDonald], which is a dystopian white nationalist novel that opens with minorities taking over the government and disarming white Americans. The book successfully conveys that as an apocalyptic event so effectively that even people who are not heavily engaged with white nationalism turned to the book and talk about it as if it was prophetic. ...

What we've seen even more in the last couple of years is a wave of other books that seek to maintain the extreme gun control theme without having quite so much of the overt racism. So we've seen a lot of extremist authors. There's this incredible body of dystopian, extremist fiction that I'm currently working on for a future project, and what you see is that people from a lot of anti-government viewpoints, people with different kinds of racial viewpoints, they're all writing books that open up with guns being taken away. I don't think extremists should be able to dictate our policies and public discourse on this, but I think we should also be aware of what effect something like that here would have on them.

Riaz Haq said...

The #UN Must Urgently Investigate #Hindutva #Extremist Violence Against #Indian #Muslims. #Modi #HinduNationalist #India #Islamophobia https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/03/25/the-un-must-urgently-investigate-hindutva-extremist-violence-against-indian-muslims/ via @eurasia_future

On the 23rd of March, horrifying video emerged of a Hindutva lynch mob attacking a Muslim family with sticks and swords while the desperate cries of a female relative can be heard in the background. The incident which took place in Haryana state was apparently triggered by something as innocent as a stray cricket ball. This led to a violent break-in of the Muslim family’s private property by the violent and heavily armed mob.


Days before, a 50 year old man in Uttar Pradesh was beaten to death by a Hindutva mob of 20 young thugs, all the while his young son looked on in horror.

And yet these recent incidents are not isolated but are instead part of a wider development whereby radical Hindutva lynch mobs are both actively and subliminally encouraged to commit crimes against humanity by the political class.

Determining the citizenship of peasants in India has always been a difficult task due to the lack of modern local governance in remote and rural regions, as well as due to the fact that many of the people in question simply do not have any modern documentation that is typically used to determine one’s status as a citizen. It is against this background that India’s lower house of Parliament has decided to pass a proposal as part of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, that would see all un-documented Indian residents have their status normalised as full Indian citizens – with the exception of Muslims.

The passage of the new proposals have led to riots in India’s eastern Assam state where last year, four million Muslims were left off of citizenship rolls, effectively leaving them stateless even though most of these people had spent much or even all of their lives in India. While many believe that the controversial bill won’t be cleared by the upper house of India’s parliament, the fact that such an explicitly discriminatory piece of legislation could even be considered, says a great deal about the anti-Islamic tricks that Premier Narendra Modi’s BJP has up its sleeves in the run-up to this year’s general election.

While India has not even been able to conduct a proper tally of its own residents and has struggled throughout 2018 to attempt and conduct such a thing without resorting to overt discrimination, the wider global media has been focused more on Donald Trump’s border wall than on India’s wholesale discrimination against 172 million of its Muslim citizens, as well as the discrimination against millions of non-documented Muslims who know no other home than India.

Legally, Trump’s border wall does not violate any part of the US constitution and it is of course the right of every nation to physically secure its borders, just as Pakistan and Turkey have done in respect of portions of their borders with hostile neighbours. But what India is doing is something very different. India is punishing millions of people in Assam and beyond, for the fact that they were brought to India as genuine refugees and had lived for years in a system with widespread deficiencies in local governance that did not allow for a traditional normalisation of their status within India.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Might Not Survive Another 5 Years of #Modi. ‘Hindu Rashtra’ has been open agenda of the #RSS since its inception in the 1920s. It had openly demanded Manusmriti to be the guiding force of the #Indian Constitution in 1949. #Hindutva #BJP https://newscentral24x7.com/narendra-modi-bjp-rss-hindu-rashtra-hatred-muslims-lok-sabha-elections-2019/ via @nc24x7

The Indian Middle Class has fallen for the overwhelming perception that is being manufactured by the ruling regime and its political-media complex these days by blaming Muslims and Pakistan for all the wrongs in the country, it. It is quite difficult to comprehend that the Middle Class has been gloating over the regime-sponsored propaganda of India being the highest growing economy in the world, at the same time blaming Muslims for the country being poor and failing to create new jobs.


It is also baffling that the Middle Class, day-dreaming that India has surpassed China as the global power, still finds Pakistan as the country’s major threat. In India these days, there is very little space for reason and logic. The so-called argumentative Indians have become screaming Indians. A negative and defeatist passion has engulfed the country. Even educated elites and so-called liberals have been inflicted with a new HN (hyper-nationalism) virus.

India has passed through very difficult times in its 72 years of existence but had never blamed a particular country and/or a community for it as it does now. No one questions this mass-madness against Muslims and Pakistan, many blindly accept this Modi-manufactured discourse, others are scared to be branded as anti-Hindu and anti-national. India is fast slipping into an abyss.

Also Read: Editorial: ‘Go to Pakistan’ is Another Horrifying Invitation to Assault Muslims in India

The lack of unity among opposition parties has provided Modi a very fertile ground to powerfully-project a community and a country as Hindu nation’s enemies and at the same time build support for its ‘Hindu Rashtra’ project. The Congress party, in spite of its 40+ seats in the present Lok Sabha, is still the only party, which can challenge and checkmate Modi and Sangh Parivar over their grand plan of winning the election again and turning India to a Hindu Talibani state.

But, the smaller-state level parties, who are basically family-run political clubs without any political ideology and the only aim is to be in power or with power, are doing all they can to scuttle the process of opposition unity and actively facilitating Modi’s capture of power again. Most political commentators, who had supported Modi’s coming to power in 2014 in the name of their opposition to UPA’s corruption, are shedding crocodile tears in TV studios every evening over the Congress not being accommodative enough to create an opposition unity. Strange that these political commentators don’t see any role of the state-level satraps in saving India from falling into the hands of Hindu chauvinism forever.

There is no doubt that if Modi wins the election again, it will be good for the Congress as a political party and its organisation. Many old-timer power-brokers of the party have taken into a mindset as if ruling the country is their birthright. Another defeat might send many of them to retire or move to other parties in the search for power. That will help Rahul Gandhi to bring in new leadership, new ideas and most importantly, for the party to get back its fighting spirit. He is young, the natural face of opposition and has international recognition and support. He can politically afford to wait.

However, one must realise that if Modi retains power after the election, Indian politics will not move in a business-as-usual approach. As some BJP leaders have already hinted, 2019 might be India’s last election. To remove Modi from power and to get India back its secular constitution, Rahul Gandhi might not get the option of a regular election in 2024, most likely he will need a popular democratic revolution.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Might Not Survive Another 5 Years of #Modi. ‘Hindu Rashtra’ has been open agenda of the #RSS since its inception in the 1920s. It had openly demanded Manusmriti to be the guiding force of the #Indian Constitution in 1949. #Hindutva #BJP https://newscentral24x7.com/narendra-modi-bjp-rss-hindu-rashtra-hatred-muslims-lok-sabha-elections-2019/ via @nc24x7

By Ashok Swain, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research

The Indian Middle Class has fallen for the overwhelming perception that is being manufactured by the ruling regime and its political-media complex these days by blaming Muslims and Pakistan for all the wrongs in the country, it. It is quite difficult to comprehend that the Middle Class has been gloating over the regime-sponsored propaganda of India being the highest growing economy in the world, at the same time blaming Muslims for the country, being poor and failing to create new jobs.


It is also baffling that the Middle Class, day-dreaming that India has surpassed China as the global power, still finds Pakistan as the country’s major threat. In India these days, there is very little space for reason and logic. The so-called argumentative Indians have become screaming Indians. A negative and defeatist passion has engulfed the country. Even educated elites and so-called liberals have been inflicted with a new HN (hyper-nationalism) virus.

India has passed through very difficult times in its 72 years of existence but had never blamed a particular country and/or a community for it as it does now. No one questions this mass-madness against Muslims and Pakistan, many blindly accept this Modi-manufactured discourse, others are scared to be branded as anti-Hindu and anti-national. India is fast slipping into an abyss.

The lack of unity among opposition parties has provided Modi a very fertile ground to powerfully-project a community and a country as Hindu nation’s enemies and at the same time build support for its ‘Hindu Rashtra’ project. The Congress party, in spite of its 40+ seats in the present Lok Sabha, is still the only party, which can challenge and checkmate Modi and Sangh Parivar over their grand plan of winning the election again and turning India to a Hindu Talibani state.

But, the smaller-state level parties, who are basically family-run political clubs without any political ideology and the only aim is to be in power or with power, are doing all they can to scuttle the process of opposition unity and actively facilitating Modi’s capture of power again. Most political commentators, who had supported Modi’s coming to power in 2014 in the name of their opposition to UPA’s corruption, are shedding crocodile tears in TV studios every evening over the Congress not being accommodative enough to create an opposition unity. Strange that these political commentators don’t see any role of the state-level satraps in saving India from falling into the hands of Hindu chauvinism forever.

There is no doubt that if Modi wins the election again, it will be good for the Congress as a political party and its organisation. Many old-timer power-brokers of the party have taken into a mindset as if ruling the country is their birthright. Another defeat might send many of them to retire or move to other parties in the search for power. That will help Rahul Gandhi to bring in new leadership, new ideas and most importantly, for the party to get back its fighting spirit. He is young, the natural face of opposition and has international recognition and support. He can politically afford to wait.

Riaz Haq said...

The Indian Constitution, which is appreciated world over for its progressive content, was a disappointment for the RSS. The Organiser had stated in the November 30, 1949 issue:


https://www.newsclick.in/neech-debate-heres-what-manu-smriti-favourite-rss-has-say-about-it


“The worst about the new constitution of Bharat is that there is nothing Bhartiya about it. The drafters of the Constitution have incorporated in it elements of British, American, Canadian, Swiss and sundry other constitutions. But there is no trace of ancient Bhartiya constitutional laws, institutions, nomenclature and phraseology in it…But in our constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”

While conservative Hindus see Manusmriti as a document that “excite(s) the admiration of the world”, the laws of Manu really need to be examined to see what it has to say about women, the lower castes and the “untouchables”.

The Manusmriti is a law-book that prescribes rules and regulations for the four varnas (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) as well as avarnas or the “untouchables” or the chandalas. The book bestows privileges upon the Brahmin men, which is what the RSS leadership is made of. For women, lower-castes and untouchables, there are no rights at all.

The law book – which the RSS wants as the guiding document to run India – has certain prescriptions for the untouchable castes on what they can eat; what property they can own; what should be their clothing, and how and where they should live (excerpts from ‘Laws of Manu’, published by Penguin):

[50] These (castes) should live near mounds, trees, and cremation-grounds, in mountains and in groves, recognizable and making a living by their own innate activities.

[51] But the dwellings of ‘Fierce’ Untouchables and ‘Dog-cookers’ should be outside the village; they must use discarded bowls, and dogs and donkeys should be their wealth.

[52] Their clothing should be the clothes of the dead, and their food should be in broken dishes; their ornaments should be made of black iron, and they should wander constantly.

[53] A man who carries out his duties should not seek contact with them; they should do business with one another and marry with those who are like them.

[54]Their food, dependent upon others, should be given to them in a broken dish, and they should not walk about in villages and cities at night.

[55] They may move about by day to do their work, recognizable by distinctive marks in accordance with the king’s decrees; and they should carry out the corpses of people who have no relatives; this is a fixed rule.

[56] By the king’s command, they should execute those condemned to death, always in accordance with the teachings, and they should take for themselves the clothing, beds, and ornaments of those condemned to death.

One look at these laws that Manu prescribed for the untouchable castes makes it clear why the Constituent Assembly did not even mention the “law-book”.

The “law-book” even dictates what names of the people should be the according to their castes.

[31] (The name) of a priest should have (a word for) auspiciousness, of a ruler strength, of a commoner property, and (the name) of a servant should breed disgust.

[32] The name of a priest should have (a word for) secure comfort, of a king it should have protection, of a commoner it should be connected with prosperity, and of a servant it should be connected with service.

Riaz Haq said...

#samjhautablastcase: With ‘anguish’, NIA judge says crucial evidence was “withheld” by prosecutors resulting in ‘dastardly act’ going unpunished for want of proof. #Modi #Hindutva #terrorism #Islamophobia #Pakistan | #India News, The Indian Express

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/samjhauta-express-blast-with-deep-pain-and-anguish-nia-judge-says-dastardly-act-of-violence-unpunished-for-want-of-proof-5646743/

The court has also rapped the investigating agencies in general for what it called a "malaise" to "coin various terms like Muslim terrorism, Hindu fundamentalism etc or brand an act of criminal(s) as act(s) of particular religion, caste or community".

Coming down heavily on the NIA, the Panchkula special court judge, who last week acquitted all four accused in the Samjhauta Express blasts case, said he was doing it “with deep pain and anguish” because a “dastardly act of violence” was going unpunished.

In a 160-page order which was released Thursday — the verdict was delivered on March 20 — special NIA court judge Jagdeep Singh said the “best evidence” was “withheld” by the prosecution and was not brought on record. He said some of the cited independent witnesses were never examined or sought to be declared hostile for cross-examination when they chose not to support the prosecution case.

Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma were acquitted by the court on March 20. Sixty-eight people including 43 Pakistan citizens, 10 Indian citizens and 15 unidentified people were killed in the blasts which took place on the Attari-bound Samjhauta Express on February 18-19 night in 2007. Two explosions took place in two unreserved coaches between Diwana and Panipat in Haryana. Two bombs that did not go off were recovered later.

Three accused, Amit Chouhan (Ramesh Venkat Malhakar), Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, have been declared proclaimed offenders. Another accused, Sunil Joshi — the NIA called him the mastermind — was killed in December 2007 in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.

In his order, the judge said: “There are gaping holes in the prosecution evidence and an act of terrorism has remained unsolved. Terrorism has no religion because no religion in the world preaches violence. A Court of Law is not supposed to proceed on popular or predominant public perception or the political discourse of the day and ultimately it has to appreciate the evidence on record and arrive at final conclusion on the basis of relevant statutory provisions and settled law applicable thereto.”

“In the present case, there is no evidence regarding any agreement to commit the crime amongst the accused persons. There is no evidence regarding any meeting of minds between the accused to commit the crime. No concrete oral, documentary or scientific evidence has been brought on record to connect the accused, facing the trial, with the crime in question. There is not an iota of evidence to make out any motive on the part of the accused to indulge in the crime,” he said.

Observing that a large number of witnesses turned hostile in the case, the judge underlined the need for a sound and workable witness protection scheme in the country. Of 299 witnesses in the case, 224 deposed before the court. Of these, 51 were said to have turned hostile, changing statements recorded earlier.

Riaz Haq said...

When They Want #War, #India and #Pakistan Will Always Have #Kashmir. This year, it was Pakistan, rather than India, that came out looking like the adult on this occasion. #Balakot #PulwamaAttack https://www.thedailybeast.com/when-they-want-war-india-and-pakistan-will-always-have-kashmir?ref=scroll

The essentially violent nature of Hindu nationalism, or Hindutva, has now been laid bare by events. Countless Kashmiris in other parts of India spent most of late February avoiding lynch mobs—many of them helped by activists like Shehla Rashid, who you will hear from later in this series. Many gruesome scenes that recalled the 2002 Gujarat riots, which left countless people, mostly Muslims, dead.

The Indian media, up to and including ostensibly liberal journalists like Barkha Dutt, devolved in the wake of the Pulwama attack into an unthinking, bloodthirsty rabble. Bollywood actors, who have only ever played at war, became all-too-willing mongers for it.

Hindutva Twitter—which has long made MAGA Twitter look quaint—seethed with denunciations of “traitors” and “Pakapologists” and writhed with demands for ever greater violence. The extent to which Modi’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has entered the Indian mainstream—its bloodstream—seemed scarily absolute.


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On February 14, an Indian-born Kashmiri named Adil Ahmad Dar drove 300 kilograms of explosives into a convoy of Indian military vehicles in Pulwama, a district of Indian-administered Kashmir. In addition to himself, Dar killed 40 Indian soldiers, rendering the attack the deadliest in decades. A Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed responsibility for his actions, and the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to allege Pakistani involvement. Pakistan denied the charge.

A quickly escalating game of tit-for-tat followed. Indian jets crossed the infamous Line of Control and, according to official statements, bombed a terrorist training camp on Pakistani soil. Pakistan denied this, too, saying the planes hadn’t destroyed much of anything and certainly hadn’t killed any terrorists.

Meanwhile, Pakistan sent its own planes across the LoC in response. For the first time since the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan engaged in dogfights over Kashmir. When an Indian plane was shot down on the Pakistani side of the LoC, its pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured. He was returned to India on the first day of March in a move that Pakistan described as a “gesture of peace.” The stand-off has largely been limited to cross-border shooting and shelling since. A number of Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC have been killed.

Bill Clinton once described Kashmir as “the most dangerous place in the world.” Christopher Hitchens once described the LoC—from a vantage point on the Pakistani side—as “the near-certain flash point of a coming war that could well become an Asian Armageddon.”

For the moment, that war appears to have been averted. Cross-border shelling is business as usual in this part of the world.

But Hitchens would have been surprised to learn that it was Pakistan, rather than India, that came out looking like the adult on this occasion. Then again, Hitchens, who wrote his dispatch in 2007, had long been convinced that the U.S. alliance with Pakistan was a form of geopolitical self-harm, and Hitchens died before Modi came to power in India in 2014. He did not foresee the rise of an Islamophobic nationalist government in Delhi and couldn’t have guessed at the manner in which that government would wind up radicalizing a whole generation of Indian Kashmiris through its militarization of the region and the brutality it would inflict on its citizens there.

Riaz Haq said...

#India #Beef #lynching case accused seen sitting in front row, chanting Yogi Yogi in #BJP's Bisada rally. #Modi #Hindutva https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/mohammed-akhlaq-lynching-dadri-case-accused-bjp-yogi-adityanath-bisada-rally-1490912-2019-03-31?fbclid=IwAR1uBkz-ODMmPgcCUwUEU10iDeu0nkKymWd1MFSqiAG9igFPLz4YUxYoWlU via @indiatoday

One of the accused in the Mohammed Akhlaq lynching case was seen in a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally in Bisada village in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida. The rally was addressed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The accused, Vishal Singh, was sitting in the front row and cheering the Uttar Pradesh chief minister along with his friends. A report said that 16 accused in the Akhlaq lynching case were seen attending the rally which was held today (March 31). India Today couldn't confirm it.

On September 28, 2015, 51-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq was dragged from his house and killed by a 200-strong mob on suspicion of eating beef, triggering communal tension in the Uttar Pradesh's Bisada village.

Akhlaq died before he could be taken to a hospital. His son was seriously injured in the incident.

The announcement that the family was consuming beef was made from the local temple. The chargesheet mentions that Vishal Singh as one of the prime accused who had made the announcement.

Vishal Singh, son local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, had then said that he was being falsely implicated in the case.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi took a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allowing a lynching accused in Yogi Adityanath's rally.

Taking to Twitter, he said, "BJP's rally organizers have previously prevented people from attending rallies if they were wearing black; but a man accused of such a heinous crime gets first-row tickets BJP has never missed a chance to show that they'll side with lynchers over their victims."

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s political parties are spreading #misinformation. #BJP Cyber Army 400+ WhatsApp group includes head of the BJP IT: “This Group is Nationalists Group With #Hindu Warriors Working To Save Nation from congress, communists, #Islam, #Christianity.”#Modi https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/04/india-misinformation-election-fake-news/586123/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share

EW DELHI—In the days following a suicide bombing against Indian security forces in Kashmir this year, a message began circulating in WhatsApp groups across the country. It claimed that a leader of the Congress Party, the national opposition, had promised a large sum of money to the attacker’s family, and to free other “terrorists” and “stone pelters” from prison, if the state voted for Congress in upcoming parliamentary elections.

The message was posted to dozens of WhatsApp groups that appeared to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party, and seemed aimed at painting the BJP’s main national challenger as being soft on militancy in Kashmir, which remains contested between India and Pakistan, just as the two countries seemed to be on the brink of war.

The claim, however, was fake. No member of Congress, at either a national or a state level, had made any such statement. Yet delivered in the run-up to the election, and having spread with remarkable speed, that message offered a window into a worsening problem here.

India is facing information wars of an unprecedented nature and scale. Indians are bombarded with fake news and divisive propaganda on a near-constant basis from a wide range of sources, from television news to global platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. But unlike in the United States, where the focus has been on foreign-backed misinformation campaigns shaping elections and public discourse, the fake news circulating here isn’t manufactured abroad.

Read: India’s lynching epidemic and the problem with blaming tech

Many of India’s misinformation campaigns are developed and run by political parties with nationwide cyberarmies; they target not only political opponents, but also religious minorities and dissenting individuals, with propaganda rooted in domestic divisions and prejudices. The consequences of such targeted misinformation are extreme, from death threats to actual murders—in the past year, more than two dozen people have been lynched by mobs spurred by nothing more than rumors sent over WhatsApp.

Elections beginning this month will stoke those tensions, and containing fake news will be one of India’s biggest challenges. It won’t be easy.

Riaz Haq said...

In #India Election, Lies, #Hate Speech Flummox #Facebook. Major #Indian parties run sophisticated #disinformation #socialmedia campaigns with false, manipulated photos and videos, coordinating posts across a network of paid acolytes, volunteers. #Modi #BJP https://nyti.ms/2FGEX0m

On Monday, the company said it had removed hundreds of misleading pages and accounts associated with the B.J.P. and its main rival, the Indian National Congress, many of which were publishing false information. Facebook also removed more than 100 fake pages and accounts controlled by the Pakistani military.

India — where the company has 340 million users, more than in any other country — poses distinct challenges. Posts and videos in more than a dozen languages regularly flummox Facebook’s automated screening software and its human moderators, both of which are built largely around English. Many problematic posts come directly from candidates, political parties and the media. And on WhatsApp, where messages are encrypted, the company has little visibility into what is being shared.

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After a suicide bombing on Feb. 14 in the disputed border region of Kashmir, India accused neighboring Pakistan of harboring the terrorists who it said had orchestrated the attack. The two countries quickly traded airstrikes.

Online, there was another battle.

One clip that circulated widely on Facebook and other services purported to show an aerial assault by India on an alleged terrorist camp in Pakistan. It was, in fact, taken from a video game. Photographs of dead bodies wrapped in white, supposedly of Pakistani militants killed in the attack, actually depicted victims of a 2015 heat wave, according to fact checkers. And local news outlets raced to post shreds of “exclusive” information about the hostilities, much of it downright false.

Facebook executives said the deluge was extraordinary. “I’ve never seen anything like this before — the scale of fake content circulating on one story,” tweeted Trushar Barot, a former BBC journalist who leads the social network’s anti-disinformation efforts in India.

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After Mr. Modi’s victory, Facebook advised him on how to use its service to govern, including getting government agencies and officials online. In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, hosted Mr. Modi for a televised chat at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Facebook held India up as a model for how governments could use the social network.

Facebook has since played down its connection to politicians around the world, including Mr. Modi, amid a rise in political misinformation. Ajit Mohan, a former Fox executive who became the social network’s first India chief in January, said, “We are absolutely not affiliated to any political party in India or anywhere else in the world.”

Rks said...

Dear Riaz saheb. Why pull India into N.Zealand shooting? This is not fair at all. Just look at today's bomb blast in Quetta. This was targeted at a minority "Muslim" community. THIS incident has parallels to New Zealand killings. White supremacists can be compared to Radical Islamists. This kind of incidents do not take place in India. Sorry to prick your bubble. In India, even Ahmedis and Shias(in fact India has 40 million Shias) are safe. With this kind of articles, you will lose your credibility.

Riaz Haq said...

Vote for #BJP if you want to destroy #Muslims: #India BJP leader Ranjeet Bahadur Srivastava. #Modi #Hindutva #Islamophobia

https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/politics/190419/vote-in-favour-of-bjp-if-you-want-to-destroy-muslims-bjp-leader.html?__twitter_impression=true


Barabanki: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ranjeet Bahadur Srivastava on Thursday brewed a fresh controversy by asking voters to cast their ballot in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi if they want to destroy Muslims.

"In the past five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made attempts to break the morale of the Muslims. Vote for PM Modi if you want to destroy the breed of Muslims. Despite partition, the Muslim population is increasing in the country and soon they will able to get the grip on the power through voting," he said while addressing a gathering in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP leader also said, "after the Lok Sabha elections, the party will bring machines from China to shave 10-12 thousands of Muslims and later will force them to adopt Hindu religion." He asked people to vote for the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections or else, "get ready to face consequences if you do not vote for the BJP."

Voting for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh concluded at 5 pm with a turnout of 67.55 per cent on Thursday. The remaining 64 seats will go to polls in the next five phases of elections. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.


Anonymous said...

The bombings in Sri Lanka. Are these a RAW stunt of the Hindu fascists? A last ditch effort to garner anti Islam votes.
People in India think so.
This is the current Happiness rating of India: HATE HATE HATE HATE!