By Aliyu Sa’adatu
Disturbing images and news keep coming out of India where Muslim men and women continue to be harassed and prosecuted by Hindu zealots, but little has been done or said about it. There has not been the intervention of International Human Rights Watch or the United Nations, much less an outcry from the United States. The US has, over the years, designated and paraded itself as the human rights violation police, overseeing and monitoring cases of abuse across the world.
Could the lens of the US be partial?
Lately, there has been a surge in Islamophobia across the US, Europe and other countries like India. Hindu elements beat Muslims, rip apart their homes and businesses and rape their women day in day out. These thugs are emboldened by the nationalist campaign to create an exclusive Hindustan by some of its prominent leaders of the BJP party and even the so-called prime minister Narendra Modi. Yet, the United Nations and the US have been silent over the years as more crimes against humanity are being perpetrated against Indian Muslims.
What set the Taliban apart from the BJP?
The Taliban in Afghanistan wishes to formulate a Muslim State where Sharia, in its strictest form, is used as the basis of governance. It has, over the years, fought foreign government out of the country, establishing the kind of state it wanted even though the system of governance put in place and proposed by the Taliban is considered to be inclined towards extremism as women’s rights to things like education and work continue to be denied.
Over the start of its rule in the late 1990s, records of violations and abuses have been filed of men and women subjected to public beating, amputation in case of theft. In addition, girls are forcefully taken out of schools as young as the age of ten and condemned to a life of early marriage, to mention a few.
The US and its allies have seen these as offensive and unacceptable, but it has repeatedly perceived these acts practised by the Taliban as highly condemnable and unprogressive. Whereas in 2002, Narendra Modi is said to have fuelled the brutal crackdown on Muslims in Gujarati when he was governor of the state and is doing the same as we speak, as he seeks to rid off the nation of Muslims to establish an exclusive Hindu state. Yet I do not see the prying lens of the United States shifting to cover the crimes committed against Muslims. I do not see it calling out the prime minister of India asking him to end every violence perpetrated against its minority religious population as Modi seeks to obliterate Muslims off the face of India.
To this day, his actions continue to fuel and encourage the Hindu majority population as they continue to terrorize the lives of their minorities like Muslims and Christians alike. Now I ask: what set aside the Taliban’s mandate from that of Narendra Modi? What even sets Modi’s nationalist agenda apart from that of ISIL, who brutally prosecuted minorities, like the Hazaris’ and Kurds’ in Syria and Iraq subjected to beheadings and widespread rape of women and girls in a bid to establish an Islamic State? We all have criticized their approach and activities. Why then is the West and its allies turning blind eyes to this crisis as Muslims continue to suffer in the hands of extremist Hindus’ and Narendra Modi as he rakes the path to establishing the so-called Hindustan?!.
The hypocrisy of the West and the Muslim witchhunt
The West is quick to find a faulting de facto Muslim leader of a country and have him investigated, slammed his government with sanctions and in some cases invade his country and eventually have him removed if ever found wanting on crimes committed against humanity. Still, when the leader in question is a non-muslim, they turn blind.
Some months ago, some Hindustani populace went online publicly calling for genocide against Muslims of India. The case went viral. We saw and read across media platforms in the world. The United States probably caught wind of the news, but strange is the way they never respond. When the Burmese military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar six years ago, nobody did anything. Again, I ask why the United States and the rest of the international community are selective in their punishment in response to human rights violations against Muslims worldwide.
A boycott of Bollywood
We Muslims will not sit back and continue to watch the people’s faces who continue to kill our Muslim brothers and sisters in India. So, therefore, my suggestion is we call on the Muslims across the world for a boycott of Bollywood. We will patronize them again only and solely when the ban on Muslims right to worship peacefully without intimidation in India is restored. Their right to live in peace and use public spaces like other Hindu citizens should also be re-issued and guaranteed.
Sa’adatu Aliyu comes from Kogi state. She is a graduate of English Language from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Masters student in Literature at the same institution. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.