DESPARDES REPORT — On Tuesday, Dawn reported that “Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and others “cannot stand by and let another Gujarat happen” in India — referring to the 2002 massacre — and asked the body to stop the attack on Muslims under the Narendra Modi-led BJP government”.
According to a report over 2,000 people in the state had lost their lives back in 2001. There were also dozens of cases of rape and arson targeting houses and shops belonging to Muslims. Modi was the state chief minister then and remained so till he became the prime minister of India in 2014. The riots took place four months after he became the CM.
Qureshi was not the only one pointing out the developing situation in India — independent observers say it doesn’t bode well for the world’s largest democracy and the region.
Further west of India where a huge population of Indians live and work in two important Mideast countries: Saudi Arabia and UAE — USA’s key allies in the region, the Hindu-Muslim situation back home has many of them perturbed.
An Indian professional in Riyadh (A. Khan) told DesPardes, “Gujarat and recent (Feb 2020) Delhi type of incidents will keep on happening in India”.
Millions of them live in these two countries and their remittances combined are more than a glass half-full of forex for India every year — religious affinity notwithstanding — over 22m Muslims live in India, and the largest minority group.
Last week, a Saudi professional and academician questioned the silence up north. “I am wondering why western media and so called human rights organizations are not covering these atrocities…”.
Saudi professionals and UAE who’s who have started to be doing so. Middle East media icon and analyst Khaled Almaeena was the first to raise the red card. His and Arundhati Roy’s, including Aijaz Zaka Syed’s writeups have created some awareness but remains more than a pole vault away from the pandemic-hit north.
Meanwhile, voices continue to be raised southeast of Washington.
On Tuesday, a hard-hitting article in Jeddah’s Al-Bilad English Daily online by his brother writer Tariq Almaeena appeared. It was followed up by the writer with a tweet, “Seemingly isolated incidents appear to be building up to ostracism of Muslims,” and endorsed another tweet with “Kick all the RSS loving vermin out of the country”.
Almaeena’s tweet was in response to another tweet regarding Gulf News editor @Mazharfarooqui in Dubai receiving threats from BJP’s IT cell.
Dawn’s report referred to a video message shared by Qureshi on his Twitter handle. The minister has reportedly written a letter to the secretary general of the 57-member body of Islamic countries (OIC) regarding India’s “campaign of Islamophobia amid the outbreak of a lethal pandemic”.
“Muslims cannot be left eliminated just like that. The recent protests of Muslims against NRC and taking to the streets was not expected by Indian government. They had to roll back and the Muslims generally have started thinking that this situation is about do or die”, said Khan.
Another Indian professional (Zafar) in Riyadh says, “The situation is so explosive that a single incident will unleash mayhem and mass murder in line with Burma”.
According to him, an incident in Palghar where two Sadhus were lynched by tribal Hindus was sought to be commmunalized. “Arnab Goswami went berserk. Many Hindus called for mass murder of Muslims. They wanted a Witaru like figure in India to incite violence against Muslims. Witaru is the face of Buddhist terrorist in Myanmar”.
Video on Witaru.