Riyadh: The Hindutva forces represented by the RSS and its different offshoots including its political wing, the ruling party in India, the BJP, are increasingly engaged in their nefarious game of maligning Islam and its millions of followers in India.
As part of the sinister plot to harass Muslims, the government has been targeting Muslim leaders, political activists, religious scholars, and people of some standing in society.
In this connection, the government now has targeted a leading Muslim voice against injustice and intimidation of poor Muslims across the nook and corner of the country. A special cell of Delhi Police has filed a sedition case against Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, a leading Muslim intellectual, fearless crusader of Muslim causes, Milli Gazette editor and chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission.
This is a very serious charge and in extreme cases, it may carry the death penalty.
Now let us look into what Dr. Khan has done for which he has earned the wrath of the Hindutva bandwagon.
Ever since the diehard BJP supporters and a pliant media launched an ill-founded and baseless tirade against Tablighi Jamaat people holding them responsible for the spread of coronavirus across the country, poor Muslim hawkers were being harassed, beaten up and were prevented from selling their merchandise in areas dominated by Hindus.
There was also an increase in Islamophobia by the Hindutva forces. This attracted voices of concern and anguish from many quarters across the globe, especially the Islamic countries in the Gulf.
The growing tirade against Islam and Muslims by Hindutva goons in India was criticized by Kuwait also and rightly so.
Using his Twitter handle, Dr. Khan appreciated the stand taken by Kuwait and thanked that country for standing with the oppressed Muslims in India. Dr. Khan’s tweet also mentioned the names of several Muslim scholars who have had excellent cordial relations with the Arab World. They include Shah Waliullah Dehlavi, the thinker of Islam Maulana Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi, Dr. Zakir Naik, and Wahiduddin Khan.
The Sanghi camp loathes these names as it considers Shah Waliullah as the major impediment in their cherished desire to create an Akhand Bharat. And the harassment of Dr. Zakir Naik at the hands of the BJP government which slapped frivolous and concocted charges against him is well known and well documented in modern history.
It is established that Shah Waliullah wrote a letter to Ahmad Shah Abdali to invade India. There is no opportunity to go into a detailed historical discussion, but it explains why there is a tumult in the BJP camp over Dr. Khan’s tweet.
Dr. Khan wrote the lines thanking Kuwait while occupying an official government position as chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, thus creating a lot of controversies.
Interestingly, the case against Dr. Khan was registered on the very same day when one of BJP’s Delhi MLAs has met Delhi Governor Lt. Gen. Anil Baijal and has urged him to dismiss Dr. Khan as DMC Chairman and take legal action against him.
BJP’s Delhi MLAs have accused Dr. Khan of endangering the unity of the country, tarnishing India’s secular image in the world, and promoting enmity between Hindus and Muslims.
After the appearance of Dr. Khan’s tweet on social media, a well-orchestrated character assassination campaign has been launched against him in which Godi Media and Sangh Parivar’s WhatApp University are playing a major role. This is despite the fact Dr. Khan has issued an apology for his post which, he said, ‘was ill-timed and insensitive in view of our county facing a medical emergency and fighting an unseen enemy. I apologize to all whose sentiments were hurt.’
He added, ‘I have already stated in my previous statement as to how I have defended India in the Arab World on crucial issues. I will continue to do so, far from complaining against my country to any other country or Arab or Muslim World. This is against our Constitution, against my own views, upbringing, and against my religious belief which teaches me that “love of homeland is part of Islam”.’
Ideally, after his apology, the chapter should have been closed. But, instead, a campaign is being spearheaded to defame him, present him as an anti-national and hang him without trial. This is what has been going on in this country against Muslims for a long time: an individual is subjected to a vicious media trial, declared as the ‘source of all evils’, and then every possible effort is made to ruin him for good.
Let there be no doubt that a character assassination campaign against Dr. Khan has been launched by the very Godi Media that has become brazenly anti-Muslim and misses no opportunity to defame them. This media first traps innocent people, subjects them to media trial and then pressurizes the government to take action against them. This is exactly what has happened with Zafarul Islam Khan. Why the issue is being kept alive even after he has issued an apology?
His removal as DMC’s chairman is being pursued with such an intensity as if his survival as DMC’s head is a matter of life and death for him.
This is a common knowledge that ever since Dr. Khan took over as DMC’s chairman, he has put life in this lifeless institution. Every Indian knows that except being showpieces, minority commissions around the country serve no purpose. The government has, no doubt, granted them constitutional status but their recommendations are always thrown in dust bins. This is the reason that the chairmanships of minority commissions are always bestowed upon members belonging to ruling parties who can work as yes-men and keep silently enjoying the favors they are offered. The DMC is no different. However, ever since Dr. Khan became its chairman, this institution been completely overhauled. One of the main reasons for this is that Dr. Khan is a non-political figure without any political agenda before him. As DMC’s chairman, he has worked with courage and integrity. One does not need to go far to review his performance.
No one has cared for the victims of anti-Muslim riots of February in north-east Delhi as much as Dr. Khan has done. He toured the riot-hit areas several times and arranged relief for the victims. He repeatedly highlighted and brought to the notice of Delhi government the problems being faced by the Muslims of Delhi and got several issues resolved. It was due to his tireless efforts that attempt to ban adhan in the mosques of Delhi was also foiled.
Recently when a campaign to defame Muslims was going on behind the pretext of corona and Delhi’s Health Department, in its daily press releases, was presenting people belonging to Tablighi Jamaat as a separate category. It was Dr. Khan who raised his voice against it and made the Health Department stop this practice. There are several other examples that show how Dr. Khan used his best skills to turn an unproductive and ceremonious institution like the DMC into an effective and productive organization. He has discharged his duties with a full sense of responsibility.
In comparison to Dr. Khan’s achievements, DMC’s chairmanship looks very small and insignificant. He is a world-renowned Islamic scholar. Because of his knowledge and command over Arabic and English languages, he is accorded great respect in the Arab World. Before completing his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Manchester University, Dr. Khan had received education at Egypt’s world-famous Al Azhar and Cairo University. He has authored and translated more than fifty books in English, Urdu, and Arabic. He edited the English language fortnightly Milli Gazette for 17 years with great courage and perseverance reporting and highlighting the problems being faced by Indian Muslims. He also heads Charity Alliance, an organization working and assisting poor and needy people. This organization also runs a school for poor children in District Murshidabad of West Bengal and has built a residential colony in District Shamli for 32 victim families of Muzaffarnagar anti-Muslim riots.
The fact is that there are very few among the Indian community who are as talented as Dr. Khan. He headed Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat for three terms. During his tenure, he rejuvenated and activated this umbrella organization of Indian Muslims.
It is sad to see almost all Muslim organizations are tight-lipped at a time when a key figure of the community is being viciously targeted. Only if they could see and understand the conspiracy behind this campaign against Dr. Khan! This is the duty of every justice-loving person to give moral support to Dr. Khan at this crucial and testing time otherwise no one in the future will be able to muster the courage to raise voice for Indian Muslims.