Advocacy groups condemn police brutality against Muslim protesters in India

Ask US and international community to take a stand against “India’s Islamophobic actions impacting the Muslim community”

Disturbing news coming out of India in the past few days over religious disharmony is once again concerning the diaspora in the United States.

Indian American Muslim Council, the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States, has condemned the alleged violence and police brutality unleashed upon Muslim protesters across India.

The protests were sparked by derogatory remarks made by two former officials of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) about the Prophet Muhammad.

Read: Raja Krishnamoorthi condemns BJP officials’ derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad (June 7, 2022)

IAMC alleged two Muslim teens named Mudasir, 15 and Sahil, 19 from Ranchi, Jharkhand, were killed by the police during a protest.

In the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), police in multiple cities charged at Muslim protesters with batons, pelted stones, and beat several individuals with sticks before arresting them, it alleged.

In Allahabad city, now known as Prayagraj, police illegally arrested family members of a prominent Indian Muslim activist Afreen Fatima including her father Javed Mohammed, mother Parveen Fatima, and younger sister Sumaiya Fatima. Her house was also demolished without providing any reasons, Afreen Fatima stated.

In Hyderabad, Telangana, police charged at protesters with batons to disperse them, while the Srinagar district in Kashmir was subjected to an internet blackout to quash any form of dissent.

“There is a clear double standard in the way protesters and Hindu supremacist rioters are treated by the Indian law enforcement,” said Husnaa Vhora, spokesperson for IAMC.

“While Muslims protesting against hate speech are murdered by police gunfire, weapon-wielding Hindu supremacists are allowed to wreak havoc on Muslim neighborhoods and walk away with no consequences,” she said.

“It is now the norm to find that police are complicit in furthering anti-Muslim violence across India. This is unacceptable and must be condemned at the highest levels of government,” said Syed Afzal Ali, president of IAMC.

Meanwhile, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the US, Monday called on the international community to act against the demolition of homes of Muslim protesters by authorities in UP.

In a statement, CAIR Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said, “The tactics of authoritarian Islamophobic governments are always the same; targeting innocent civilians as a means of collective punishment to inhibit public protest.”

Read: Murder of 2 Muslim teen protesters in Jharkhand; Indian diaspora aghast (June 11, 2022)

“Our government and the international community must take a stand against India’s Islamophobic actions impacting the Muslim community.”

He noted that last week, CAIR welcomed the response of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its member states to recent comments by BJP officials and called on the OIC to take similarly unified action against the persecution of Muslims worldwide.

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