One more sensational news

The Sunday edition of Delhi-based English daily The Pioneer (Feb. 19) has published a sensational story as its front-page lead news, which begins thus: ‘SIMI-backed Popular Front of India is fast becoming a major internal security headache for the Government. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is tracking the outfit, has specific information on its efforts to mobilise Muslims for seeking a “state within state” to address the community’s woes.’ The rest of the story has to say:  What has alarmed Government is the outfit’s rapid growth among Muslims and Dalits…. “This could make it the biggest internal security threat by 2014 parliamentary polls if its growth is unchecked,” top NIA sources said…. It has shifted its headquarters from Kerala to Delhi…. “in a bid to garner support for its separate Muslim state agenda”…. The Front imparts training to its cadres in the use of sharp-edged weapons…. The secret agencies have put the Front activities on surveillance…. The possibility of PFI’s role in the Israeli diplomat terror attack case was also being looked into.

Why is the report a matter of concern?
The Pioneer is a semi-governmental organ owing allegiance to the ideology of R.S.S. and B.J.P. It often publishes such news reports. So its cock and bull story would not have been worth considering. But as its reporter Rakesh K Singh has frequently referred in his story to N.I.A, I.B, C.B.I, and Kerala Police, so the report is a matter of concern. A matter of concern because the government agencies are trying to create such a situation and media is a great support to them in this regard. We don’t know anything about this Popular Front and whether there is any truth in the English daily’s report on its activities. But in view of the prevailing situation, it can be said with certainty that this lie is like the one told about the individual or group that raises voice against the excesses done to the oppressed and backward sections and the minorities especially Muslims. However, it may be that the leaders of the Front raise emotional and irresponsible slogans or use strong words about the government and its agencies; but as a whole it seems that they too are perturbed about the circumstances.

What type of Muslims they like?

And to be perturbed is not something immoral or illegal. Everyone knows that our government, its Home Ministry and some political parties like only such sections especially such Muslims who are easy-going, who do not comment on the circumstances around them, who speak nothing about the atrocities against their community and individuals, who keep mum on the arrest of innocent Muslim youth. But in their eyes, those who act, at any level, against oppression and exploitation are considered most unwanted and worth detaining. Government agencies and media persons oppose them tooth and nail. They (such persons) are harassed and defamed under various pretexts. Allegations of terrorism, anti-nationalism, separatism, and waging a “war” against the nation are levelled against them. Efforts are made that not only these people are silenced but also no other person or group might raise such a voice. This is a big challenge before those working for human rights in this country. This should also be seen in the light of extraordinarily growing relations with America and Israel.

25/02/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf


Car blast and the list of media

No sooner had the news of a car bomb blast on a New Delhi road in the Feb. 13 noon been fully disseminated than the reaction of Israeli prime minister came: “There is the hand of Iran,” whereby it could be known that the car belonged to the Israeli embassy and an Israeli lady diplomat was injured therein. There could have been no bigger news than this enticing the concern of Government of India and the interest of media – the media took hold of the (propaganda) front faster than the Union Home Ministry machinery came into action. The statement of Israel was simply that it was the handiwork of Iran that got it done with the help of Hizbullah of Lebanon but the Indian media started parroting the names of all those real (?) and concocted groups that had been in their record – Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, SIMI, Indian Mujahideen, HuJI, – local hand – and many other names and angles. That is, the government machinery was doing its work while the media was concocting its own cock and bull story. All this because the matter was related to the bosom friend, Israel. Some precaution was being played with regard to Iran as it supplies oil to us.

The discomfort of Government machinery
But, along with it, the Government machinery and the media occasionally had to face some uneasiness in their mission. There did come some stages where they found their premeditated line in jeopardy; but somehow they took hold of it. For instance, a news item was abuzz that the leader of Israeli (secret) agency Mossad had been present here for a few days prior to the blast. It was said that he was here to attend some meeting. Then certain newspapers repeated the story that an Israeli couple had been present in a city in Kerala, had rented a house at a very exorbitant cost, where suspicious activities were going on. But, before the people’s attention could have shifted fully to this couple, the media tainted the story that the Israeli couple had been continuing their activities in India with the help of “Islamic terror groups”. Thereafter came the statement of the injured Israeli woman, disquieting to the media and investigating agencies, that the man bombing her car had worn black clothes, not red; that the colour of his motorcycle was black, not brown; and that the blast occurred within 30-40 seconds, not 4-5 seconds. But, fearing that the lady might make some other (embarrassing) statement, she was flown back to Israel.

What the events say
A very cautious but close study of the sequence of events reveals that the Government machinery and the media had never experienced such embarrassment as they have been doing in declaring their standpoint on this act of “terrorism” though they have everything – resources, control over media, and believers in their stories. The problem with the Home Ministry is that it does not want to discover on its own the aspect of “Islamic terrorism” at least in this incident (notwithstanding the media is doing this job well). But it also does not want to hold Israel responsible for this incident. While this is quite easy as Israel has been preparing to attack Iran for a long time, and wants to seek international support for this. It has been creating a situation against Iran by committing acts of terror. And, the problem with common, justice-loving citizens is that they do not have any agency or NGO working to prove what is right right, and what is wrong wrong. Had there been any, the Feb. 13 incident could have been proved quite easily a Mossad deed.
22/02/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf


The Maldives, India and Islam

(1) Question (by The Times of India, Feb. 11): “There have been fears that radical Islamism has been growing in the Maldives and could takeover. How would you address such fears?” Answer (by Mohammed Waheed Hassan, new president of Maldives): “You have to remember we are a 100% Muslim nation. We expect there will be Islamic scholars in government…. Our view is the best way of dealing with Islamist ideology is to engage with them and work with them.” (2) A major headline in The Times of India (Feb. 13) “Rise of Islamism in Maldives a cause of worry for India”. Further, in the main body of the news item, after saying that Islamic forces in the Maldives are so powerful that the ruling elite are powerless before them, deposed president Nasheed had also an understanding with them, it is written that “the new president Mohammed Waheed, in an interview with The Times of India, said that they would work with Islamic groups.” (3) One sentence of a detailed news item in The Hindustan Times (Feb. 8): “Despite close ties, New Delhi had expressed some concerns over the presence of Islamist in Maldives police and army.”

This is the tone of the news items and comments
Since Feb. 7, when the Maldives underwent a change of guard, the news items and comments in the Indian media have gone in this very direction. Newspapers and TV channels are regularly unleashing the propaganda that the Islamic elements in the Maldives have become a big threat to India. They have contacts with Al-Qaida and Taliban. They are mostly Salafi and owe allegiance to the ideology of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The media, in their reports and news analyses, are often referring to government sources. The powers-that-be in India themselves have the same thinking.  Sometimes they indirectly announce their statements and often get it declared in media; particularly in government media. In the night of Feb. 8, at 9.30 p.m., All India Radio was broadcasting a discussion under “Charcha ka Vishay (Topic of Discussion)”. The participants were Ranjeet Kumar, Hindi journalist (convenor); Shashank (former Foreign Secretary); and Mahendra Ved (senior journalist). A major part of their talk consisted of the presence of “Islamists” in the Maldives, on which these educated persons were repeatedly expressing concern. It is especially worth mentioning that they were not hesitating even a bit in mentioning Islam viz. fundamentalist Islam, Wahabi Islam and jihadi Islam, rather Islam itself.

Muslims must have their own standpoint
This attitude of the Government of India and the Indian media is really not unexpected. They have got one more opportunity to draw the attention of America towards it and thereby receive American aid more and more to fight the “Islamic terrorism” in this part of the world. As the matter is between two independent countries, it is the requirement of the “patriotism” of the citizens that they support the policy of their government. But, along with it, as this is an issue related to Islam as well, the name of which is mentioned under the various pretexts and often in a negative way, so Muslim citizens must have their own stand on this crisis, which should be under the real sense of patriotism and in which right and wrong should be termed as they are. And the requirement of true patriotism is that the powers-that-be, who are badly afraid of Islam, should be acquainted with the real teachings of Islam. It should be made clear to them that Islam is a religion of mercy and kindness. And it stands against everything that harms human beings and humanity in any way. Therefore, before saying anything or forging a policy related to Islam, they must study Islam. Can’t a few of the 15-20 crore Muslim population take a firm resolve to do this work?
19/02/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf