OIC lashes out at India over rising wave of Islamophobia, hate crimes against Muslims

Says gruesome footage of Muslim villager killed in Assam shook world for its sheer insensitivity, depravity, impunity


APP October 15, 2021
Students in New Delhi took to the streets to protest the eviction of Muslims and police tactics in Assam state. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has strongly condemned the rising wave of Islamophobia, hate speech and hate crimes motivated by the Hindu supremacist Hindutva ideology in India with the tacit complicity of the BJP- led Indian government.

“The OIC-IPHRC is following with great concern the increasing incidents of systematic violence, mob attacks, public lynching and dehumanising political tirade against Muslims across different parts of India,” a statement issued by OIC-IPHRC in Jeddah on Wednesday said.

“The gruesome footage of ghoulish stomping by a journalist over the body of a Muslim villager in Assam, who was killed by police at a point-blank range, has shaken the world for its sheer insensitivity, depravity and impunity. Ironically, the Muslim villagers were peacefully protesting the forced eviction from their lands that the government wants to give to Hindus,” it added.

Read more: OIC delegation voices concerns over human rights situation in IIOJK

The statement pointed out that in Assam, Muslims were subjected to a highly discriminatory "citizen verification" drive in which nearly two million people, mainly Muslims, have been disenfranchised in the same manner as the mass disenfranchisement of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Similar measures are also being contemplated in the neighbouring states of Bihar and Bengal, it added.

The introduction of laws against “love jihad”, anti-conversion law in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, misuse of regulations against the slaughter of cows and open calls for a boycott of Muslim businesses were stoking religious divide, dehumanising Muslims and encouraging vigilantism by the Hindu extremist groups were telltale signs of an impending genocide, the commission added.

The commission welcomed the unequivocal condemnation and outrage expressed by the OIC, international human rights community, and even various progressive voices within India over the hate-mongering and violence carried out against Muslims which violate the right of minorities "to enjoy their own culture and to profess and practice their own religion" as provided in ICCPR Art. 27.

The commission reiterated that in present times, xenophobia and hate crimes have become an epidemic, which seriously threatens the coexistence among local communities and undermines the values of multiculturalism in modern societies.

Also read: OIC rebukes India over ‘systematic persecution’ of Muslims in Assam

“The ultra-right-wing political parties and extreme nationalists are using hate speech to demonise and promote discrimination against minorities for narrow political gains, which often leads to violence against targeted groups, while seriously undermining the socio-cultural foundations of their respective societies,” it added.

The commission concluded that such majoritarian rhetoric and discriminatory measures in India against the Muslims were contrary to the ideals of pluralism, counterproductive to societal cohesion and clear manifestations of Islamophobia.

It, accordingly, urged the Indian government to fulfil its international human rights obligations by ensuring the safety and security of the Muslims, protecting the rights of its Muslim minority to practice their religion, free from any coercion or discrimination and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the heinous hate crimes without impunity.

Also read: OIC delegation voices concerns over human rights situation in IIOJK

The commission also urged the (a) Muslim community and human rights organisations within India to exhaust all available domestic remedies including domestic courts for redressal of grievances and repeal of discriminatory laws and sensitise media for creating awareness; and (b) international community to engage with Indian authorities to ensure accountability of those involved in violence, hate speech, incitement to hatred and populist propaganda against Muslims in accordance with the international human rights law.

Meanwhile, the commission on its Twitter account stated, “OIC-IPHRC strongly condemns systematic violence; mob attacks; hate crime against Muslims in India.“

“Verification drive, discriminatory laws and calls for boycott of Muslims’ businesses are stoking religious divide, dehumanising Muslims; encourage Hindu vigilantism; raising genocide alerts,” it added.

The IPHRC, in its tweet, urged the Indian government to fulfil its international human rights obligations ensuring the security of Muslims, protecting the rights to practice their religion, free from coercion and discrimination; ensure justice against hate crimes without impunity.

 

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