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  1. #481
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    Just another day.


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  2. #482
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    Like India, Sri Lanka is using coronavirus to stigmatise Muslims

    The world is going through a period of unprecedented instability, distress and uncertainty. The novel coronavirus pandemic, and the threat posed by it to the socioeconomic fabric of nations, pushed many governments around the world into an existential crisis and forced them to switch to survival mode. Populist politicians in these countries, who failed to respond to this public health crisis swiftly and efficiently, resorted to scapegoating minority communities, especially Muslims, to justify their shortcomings.

    This has put millions of people, who were subjected to discrimination, abuse and oppression even before the start of the pandemic, in a bind. In many countries around the world underprivileged Muslims are now facing not only a pandemic that is threatening their lives and livelihoods, but also a spike in institutionalised Islamophobia.


    In India, since the emergence of COVID-19, members of the country's 200 million-strong Muslim community have repeatedly been accused of being "super spreaders" of coronavirus both by the media and the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    In late March, after a Muslim religious gathering in New Delhi allegedly led to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, a politician from the BJP dubbed the gathering "corona terrorism", and called for Muslims who attend mosques amid the pandemic to be "punished like terrorists". As a result, "corona jihad" became a trending topic on social media and many Muslims, including volunteers distributing relief material, faced physical and verbal attacks. A BJP legislator from the state of Uttar Pradesh, meanwhile, called for a boycott of Muslim vendors, accusing them of "infecting vegetables with saliva".

    The Indian media also contributed to the stigmatisation of Muslims during the pandemic. As politicians continued their efforts to blame the rapid spread of the virus in the country on Muslims, pro-government media organisations ran shows and published reports that support this unfounded accusation. As a result, Muslims who had only a few months ago survived a pogrom in New Delhi found themselves with an even bigger target on their backs.

    India's government treated the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to double down on its existing Islamophobic policies. Since the start of this public health emergency, it not only used Muslims as a scapegoat to divert attention from the shortcomings of its coronavirus response, but also managed to deepen the Hindu majority's existing prejudices about this community.

    In neighbouring Sri Lanka, the government chose to use the pandemic as an excuse to stigmatise Muslims and pander to Islamophobia.

    Sri Lanka is an island nation with a vibrant multireligious and multi-ethnic heritage. But Islamophobic propaganda persistently spread by the media and politicians over the years, coupled with attacks by radical Muslim groups in Sri Lanka and the mainstreaming of Islamophobia across the world, led to the marginalisation of Muslims in the country. Muslims faced waves of violence at the hands of Buddhist nationalists. The government was accused of not doing enough to protect this minority community and bring those who attack them to justice.

    So, unsurprisingly, when COVID-19 reached Sri Lanka, some prominent media organisations and nationalists who are close to the current government were quick to blame Muslims, who form nearly 10 percent of the population, for the spread of the virus. Just like in India, Muslim religious practices were singled out as "super spreader events" and Sri Lankans who belong to the Buddhist majority were warned not to buy food items from Muslim vendors.

    In April, the government made cremations compulsory for coronavirus victims, which goes against the Islamic tradition of burying the dead. The measure not only deprived Muslims of a basic religious right, but it contributed to the widespread perception that Muslim religious practices aid the spread of the virus.

    Islam has at its heart the sanctity of life and honouring the dead is an extension of that sanctity. There are four duties that Muslims are obligated to perform upon the passing away of a fellow Muslim; they are to wash the body, shroud it with clean sheets, perform the funeral prayer even if only with a few people, and provide a dignified burial.

    When called on to take all the necessary measures to stop the spread of the virus, the majority of Muslim communities, in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, agreed to adjust their burial practices accordingly, especially in regards to the first two duties.

    There is no scientific basis to the claim that burying bodies of victims contributes to the spread of the coronavirus. Countries across the world, from Europe to Africa and North America, are burying coronavirus victims, according to the detailed guidelines issued by their governments, and without causing any risk to public health.

    The Sri Lankan government's decision to make cremation mandatory for all victims of COVID-19 is thus not a public health measure but a blatant act of institutionalised Islamophobia. It speaks to the larger fears that amid the coronavirus pandemic the Indian model of disenfranchisement is being tested in Sri Lanka as well.

    India and Sri Lanka are not the only countries in which Muslims face increased risks, abuse and discrimination due to the coronavirus crisis.

    In China, Uighurs and other Turkic-Muslim minorities are still subjected to the most unimaginable forms of abuse at the hands of the government. According to the UN, about one million Uighurs are being held within so-called "re-education camps" in unhygenic and cramped conditions. As I wrote at the very beginning of this crisis, this puts them at an increased risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. It is also not known whether they have immediate access to healthcare.

    The suffering of Rohingya Muslims, who in 2017 faced a military offensive in Myanmar for which the government is facing genocide charges at the UN's top court, has also increased due to the pandemic.Today, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees are living in densely populated camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. A COVID-19 outbreak in the overcrowded camps is almost certain to come - and when it does, experts say, the damage could be severe. A Rohingya refugee in the camps already tested positive for the virus last week.

    The governments of both China and Myanmar are using the coronavirus pandemic to divert attention from the crimes they committed, and continue to commit, against Muslim minorities in their countries. Political leaders across the world are using racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia as potent tools for short-term gains during this pandemic.

    The world must act immediately and decisively to hold these leaders and governments to account to ensure we do not let the rise of COVID-19 contribute to the rise of fascism.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/op...134939934.html


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  3. #483
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    Madhya Pradesh Police Apologise for Beating Lawyer, 'We Thought You Were Muslim,' They Say

    New Delhi: In Madhya Pradesh’s Betul, an incident which is striking in its example of Islamophobia and police highhandedness has come to light.

    On March 23, a lawyer Deepak Bundele was beaten up brutally by the state police while he was on his way to a government hospital for treatment. A month later, he is under pressure from the police to withdraw his complaint. Police officials, in their defence, told Bundele that he was beaten up because they had wrongly identified him as a Muslim man.


    Speaking to The Wire, Bundele said that on March 23, between 5.30 and 6 pm, he was on his way to the hospital when he was stopped by the police. “The nationwide lockdown hadn’t come into place then but Section 144 had been imposed in Betul. I have been an acute diabetic and blood pressure patient for the last 15 years. Since I was not feeling well, I decided to visit the hospital and get some medicines. But I was stopped by the police midway.”

    Bundele, who sports a beard, said that he explained to police personnel that he had to get his medicines but one of them slapped him without trying to listen to what he was saying.

    “I told them that they should act within constitutional limits, and that I was ready to be detained under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code if the police thought so. On hearing this, the police personnel lost their temper, and started abusing me and the Indian constitution. Within no time, many police officials came and started beating me up with sticks,” Bundele said.

    Only after he said he was a lawyer and would take them to task did they stop beating him, he said. “But by that time my ear had started bleeding profusely,” Bundele alleged.

    He called his friend and brother to accompany him to the hospital later, and got a medicolegal case (MLC) report done.

    On March 24, he filed a complaint with the district Superintendent of Police D.S. Bhadoria and the state Director General of Police Vivek Johri.

    He wrote subsequent letters to the chief minister, state’s human rights commission, the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh high court and top government officials. Bundele also said he filed a RTI application for the CCTV footage of the March 23 incident, but was denied the information. “I received a reply saying that I had not clearly stated the reason for which I made the RTI request. But I have been told unofficially that the CCTV footage may have been deleted from the government files,” the lawyer said.

    Since then, he alleged, police have been trying really hard to get him to withdraw the complaint. “First, some of the top officials told me that they could issue a statement condemning and apologising for the incident, if I withdraw my complaint. Then some told me that if my brother, who is also a lawyer, and I wanted to practice law peacefully, I should stop pursuing my complaint.”

    However, Bundele didn’t budge. In his March 24 complaint to the SP he requested the district police to file an FIR against the incident. On that basis, a few police officials came to his house on May 17 to record his version. This is when the police told him that this was a case of mistaken identity, and that the police officials thought he was a Muslim.

    “It should have taken the police officials not more than five minutes to record my version, but it took around three hours as they kept trying to convince me to withdraw the complaint,” Bundele said.

    According to the voice recording Bundele shared with The Wire, voices allegedly belonging to police officials are heard saying that his assault was a mistake on the part of a few officials who thought he was a Muslim because of his beard. Then they go on to say that police generally support the Hindus in a situation of communal riots.

    “We seek an apology on behalf of those officials [who assaulted Bundele]. We are truly embarrassed because of the incident. If you want I can bring those officials and make them apologise in person to you,” the alleged police officials are heard saying.
    “I am making a heartfelt request to you to write, ‘the police did not behave indecently with me or beat me up’. Please agree to our request; understand that we are living in Gandhi’s country; we are all Gandhi’s children…I have at least 50 friends from your caste,” the police official said.

    When Bundele insisted that he had nothing personal against him or any police official and declined to withdraw his complaint, the police official said:

    “All those people are ashamed that they did something like this to a Hindu brother without knowing his identity.

    “We do not have any enmity against you. Whenever there is a Hindu-Muslim riot, police always supports the Hindus; even Muslims know this. But whatever happened with you was because of ignorance. For that, I have no words,” he said.

    Bundele clarified that there was no Hindu-Muslim riot that day, and asked whether he was beaten for being wrongly identified as a Muslim. The police officials agreed, and said:

    “Yes, exactly. You had a long beard. The man (who assaulted you) is a kattar (staunch) Hindu…In Hindu-Muslim riots whenever a Muslim is arrested, he beats them up brutally, always.”

    Bundele then goes on to say that he had been a professional journalist with leading dailies in Bhopal for 10 years, and came back to Betul only in 2017 to practice law while insisting that he won’t withdraw his complaint. He said that he has already requested top officials of the state and the country to take action in the case, and therefore, will pursue the complaint now.

    An FIR against this case has still not been registered, Bundele said. “I was struck by the way the police officials apologised. Even if I was a Muslim, what gives the police the right to assault them without any cause,” he said.

    The Wire sent a request to the Betul SP for a comment, but he has not replied. The story will be updated if and when his response comes.

    https://thewire.in/communalism/madhy...r-police-betul


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  4. #484
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  5. #485
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    A British man has been detained in an Indian prison after being accused of breaching the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown rules.

    Sohail Hughes, 29, had been on an extended holiday to visit family in the Gujarat region before undertaking a pilgrimage of mosques when he was detained last month.

    His family, who have a launched a petition to have him freed, have claimed he is being unlawfully held by Indian officials.

    Hughes’ sister, Aatika, said he was forced to take refuge in a mosque in Bhopal after being caught out by the swiftly implemented lockdown laws requiring people to stay off the streets.

    Aatika, 35, says her brother, alongside dozens of other men, had his passport seized before being kept in quarantine for more than a month inside a hostel. While in quarantine Hughes has been repeatedly tested for Covid-19 and has always been negative.


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  6. #486
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  7. #487
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    https://www.dnaindia.com/india/repor...y-raut-2826432

    I wonder if Modi will be held to the same standards as the TJ people and Muslims in general were.

  8. #488
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Generico View Post
    https://www.dnaindia.com/india/repor...y-raut-2826432

    I wonder if Modi will be held to the same standards as the TJ people and Muslims in general were.
    So Bal Thackeray party is now the gospel truth for you guys?

  9. #489
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketjoshila View Post
    So Bal Thackeray party is now the gospel truth for you guys?
    It’s not about who said it, it’s about common sense and double standards. The Tableegh event that created a huge backlash in India happened around the same time as this rally didn’t it?

    If the TJ event could be held responsible then doesn’t it make sense that this massive rally could have also led to spread of covid?

  10. #490
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Generico View Post
    https://www.dnaindia.com/india/repor...y-raut-2826432

    I wonder if Modi will be held to the same standards as the TJ people and Muslims in general were.
    You dont have to wonder anything because its just Sanjay Raut's personal opinion which means nothing. There is no proof that Trump's visit caused corona spread in India. Trump visited in mid february when there was hardly any Corona awareness. Sanjay Raut is simply trying to hide massive failure of his own Shiv Sena govt in Maharastra where Covid 19 cases are highest.

  11. #491
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Generico View Post
    It’s not about who said it, it’s about common sense and double standards. The Tableegh event that created a huge backlash in India happened around the same time as this rally didn’t it?

    If the TJ event could be held responsible then doesn’t it make sense that this massive rally could have also led to spread of covid?
    Tableegi Jamaat spread Corona Virus in India was proven by medical science and tests conducted. Read below:

    https://theprint.in/india/iim-study-...-event/397810/

    No proof that Trump spread any virus in India whatsoever. You are just cluching the straws unfortunately.

  12. #492
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajdeep View Post
    You dont have to wonder anything because its just Sanjay Raut's personal opinion which means nothing. There is no proof that Trump's visit caused corona spread in India. Trump visited in mid february when there was hardly any Corona awareness. Sanjay Raut is simply trying to hide massive failure of his own Shiv Sena govt in Maharastra where Covid 19 cases are highest.
    I am sure this Raut person has his motives and my point isn’t about him. The Tableegh event took place in early March while this rally was in late February. So not much time difference, so how come one group was rounded, tested and vilified while the people in this rally weren’t tested or held responsible? You don’t see the double standards?

  13. #493
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajdeep View Post
    Tableegi Jamaat spread Corona Virus in India was proven by medical science and tests conducted. Read below:

    https://theprint.in/india/iim-study-...-event/397810/

    No proof that Trump spread any virus in India whatsoever. You are just cluching the straws unfortunately.
    Were the people in rally tested? How would their be proof without testing?

    I am open to be proven wrong but were the attendees of the Trump rally rounded up and tested like the TJ people were? It’s a very simple question.
    Last edited by El Generico; 1st June 2020 at 02:32.


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