Muslims under siege

In the anthropological essence, the band system provided a social framework egalitarian to all and sundry with no sign of any superiority or inferiority over one another, or simply, discrimination. The later forms, including tribes, chiefdoms and nation-states turned out to be the type of societies slightly in favour of anti-egalitarianism, ergo catalysing an upsurge in discrimination due to their hierarchical structure. Throughout millennia, humans enjoyed life having boons in every nook and cranny unless a transition influenced by the agrarian revolution, the emergence of various ideologies and the technological specifications that accelerated the societal norms favourable to some and discriminatory to others.

In effect, as time evolved, the exercise of various political models were experimented and failed, none provided a footing based on the egalitarian modus operandi. Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality made the egalitarian dream shattered as time passed by. Practically better compared to bygone ones, democracy prevailed in most of the countries due to its distinguished characteristics, including equal treatment of all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. However, notwithstanding this trait, the minorities, especially Muslims are still victims of discrimination in democratic states. India is a strong example among others.

Initially, a secular state — which is a negation of religion — India evolved more in favour of Hindus than any other religions like Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. As a secular state, India’s Constitution enshrines egalitarian treatment of all other religions living in India, including Muslims too. However, the RSS-driven Hindu Rashtra overrides the rights of one of the largest minorities in the world — the Muslims. The scale of brutality is: every street, road, sign, stature, scripture, structure and historical site representing Islam is renamed, erased, destroyed and converted into Hinduism by different status quos. The Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP accelerated the process of directing India into a Hindu state track than any preceding parties did. That, in effect, gains Narendra Modi an upper hand over other parties to rise to power.

Every political leader falling into the BJP party contributed to their mission according to their power. The creatively crafted project to repress the Muslims of every nook and cranny of the country is obvious from hatred actions and hate speeches since according to U-S based research outlet, India Hat Lab, the anti-Muslim hate speeches recorded its unprecedented top with 668 speeches logged in the past year. Unsurprisingly, three-quarter of the hate speeches came from the individuals having participation in the Modi party. The premier of the country, as the indicators suggest, will ascend to the throne for the third term in this year. What will make him claim this privilege will be the manipulation of the population — especially Muslims. Having a strong arm of Hindu population, the premier has been violating the charters of UNHRC and more of the same will be in queue if he rises to power for the third time.

Directly located just north of India, China plays various tactics to repress another Muslim ethnicity — Uighurs — living in the northeast of China in Xinjiang province. The Chinese government in supremacy of the Communist Party Of China under the veneer of “Social Credit System” monitors the population including the Uighur Muslims. China implemented a series of projects installing face recognition cameras all over China to measure the acts and deeds of Chinese.

In 2014, an estimated two million Communist Party members visited the Uighurs in Xinjiang, as The Narrow Corridor authors write: “to visit the people, benefit the people and bring together the hearts of people”. One more wave of visits of around ten thousand people was paid in 2016, and followed by another in 2017 with the theme of “United as One Family” campaign to even closely look after and ensure there is no practice of Namaz, no recitation of the Quran or a copy is kept in secret and no Islamic greeting like Assalamualaikum. The re-education camps are yet another sign of discriminatory and prejudiced reality of the Chinese Communist Party. Re-education is a series of campaigns to implement Chinese rites, rituals and even religion for the Muslims. This, in effect, makes Uighurs daily life miserable given the monitoring of their actions, thus, the shadows of discrimination, persecution and prejudice remain persisted.

Ironically though, never in decades the Uighurs problem came under limelight. The Muslim world’s response in this mayhem aggravates the injuries since despite being a religion second highest in numbers and consisting of 57 plus countries, Muslim countries lend a deaf ear to this problem. Shouldn’t it be the prime purpose of the world, especially Muslims countries, to take appropriate measures against prejudice and discrimination?

The story does not conclude here. The Rohingyas — a Muslim ethnicity tagged by the government as outsiders in hand with buddhist extremists — in Myanmar (Burma), the restrictions on veil in France for Muslims and post 9/11 incident induced discrimination of Muslims in the U.S has no end in sight exemplifying the dysfunctionality of regional and international human rights organisations including the UN too. Thus, catalysing egalitarian dreams into prejudiced reality.

To preserve the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights charters, the international and regional powers must attempt to commence comprehensive combatting campaigns aiming at providing deliverance to the prejudiced minorities living in different places on the globe. Eliminating prejudice on the Muslim minorities would help the egalitarian dream — revisit first paragraph — reign supreme.

Insaf Ali Bangwar
Insaf Ali Bangwar
The writer is a freelancer. He can be reached at @[email protected]


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