Stoked by the powerful few, islamophobia grips India
SHAH ALAM – In the world's most populous democracy, India, troubles have brewed as the nation tumbles deeper into a quagmire of religious animosity, stoked and exacerbated by the select few who wield political power.
“These few people have put us in a box. These are the Muslims, and we need to hate them,” was how Mohamad Sohaib of the Al Imdaad Charitable Trust (AICT) described the present reality faced by Muslims in India.
And it was a situation in which the Bihar-born Sohaib remarked, in an episode of Sinar Daily’s Fireside Chat, that India was not how it used to be.
“If a family is travelling through a train, they must think ten times about what they are carrying because they might carry chicken, but people might think it’s beef and they might beaten and lynched.
“If you go to any job interviews, the Muslims are being left out. At schools, if your child wears a hijab, you child will not get an education. These are the stuffs that are happening a lot in India lately,” he claimed.
While Sohaib did not name names, he mentioned that such hostility against the Muslim population was only palpable over the past 10 years ago; prior to that, Indians – regardless of religion – were close to one another.
“Some people who came to power started speaking hatred against Muslims. They started making people think that Muslims are not meant to be in India. Muslims are not good people.
“The reality in India right now is that we are in pain. India is bleeding. There should not be any kind of discrimination like this,” Sohaib lamented, earnestly and poignantly.
Sohaib’s depiction of India apparently matched the findings from the Panel of Independent International Experts report in 2022 which highlighted that there was indeed a serious violation of human rights the Muslim minority since 2019.
According to the evidence reviewed, federal and state-level authorities “adopted a wide range of laws, policies and conduct that target Muslims directly or affect them disproportionately.”
“In relation to violations perpetrated by non-state actors, the State failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the acts, effectively investigate and prosecute them.
"The Panel further found that some of the violations may amount to crimes against humanity, war crimes and incitement to commit genocide,” read the report led by three renowned international law experts, Sonja Biserko, Marzuki Darusman and Stephen Rapp.