Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, July 20th, 2018

Hate Crime – A Great Cause for Concern


Hate Crime – A Great Cause for Concern

When women clad in Islamic veil boarded the passenger train in the Mainpuri district of India on Wednesday, they were chased and robbed. The male offenders jumped inside the train and attacked a Muslim family and the passengers who sought to rescue them. “We were attacked with rods. They robbed us and molested the women. They did not spare even my 17-year-old mentally challenged son,” says one of the victims. On the same day, a 36-year-old Muslim man Ismail Shah was injured severely after being assaulted by Hindu cow vigilantes who accused him of carrying beef in India’s Maharashtra state.
On June 23, about 20 men attacked four Muslims on a train in the outskirts of New Delhi, fatally stabbing a teenager and injuring two others. In the last three months, five killings of the same nature took place in broad daylight and in busy public areas in India.
Rights groups say Indian officials have been slow to strongly condemn the attacks and that police action against perpetrators has been inadequate.
Following a suicide bombing at a concert in Manchester and an attack in London by three terrorists, a tall man wearing a black hooded top pushed a Muslim woman – as she was getting out of her car and crossing the road with her 3-year-old daughter – to the ground, pulled off her veil and threw towards her without exchanging a word. The attack shocked her tremendously. The UK police confirmed they were treating it as a racially or religiously aggravated hate crime.
After the spate of terrorist attacks in many parts of the world, Muslim men and women suffer from hate crime. Women have turned highly vulnerable to the persistent hate crime in countries claiming democracy and human rights. Despite paying heavy sacrifices in combating terrorism, Muslims are pigeonholed as radicals and treated violently in public places in foreign countries.
It is an unmistakable fact that stoking hate crime and discriminating one on the basis of their accidental backgrounds will lead to horrible consequence in a society. No wonder, assaulting and humiliating Muslims will outrage the public conscience around Islamic countries, if not the world, and will fill religious extremists with stronger sense of revenge. Therefore, the extremist groups will seek to expand their reach and intensify their attacks more than ever before.
It should be noted that Muslims and Islamic countries bear the brunt of terrorism and extremism. For instance, thousands of Afghan people were killed and wounded in terrorist attacks and still suffer painfully as a result of terrorism. Simultaneously, Muslims in Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, etc. sustain heavy casualties in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks.
In his famous speech “New Beginning” in Cairo on June 4, 2009, the US former President Barack Obama pointed out the very fact as he said, “None of us should tolerate these extremists. They have killed in many countries. They have killed people of different faiths – more than any other, they have killed Muslims. Their actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings, the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind…. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”
It is believed that radicalism does not necessarily belong to Muslims but to the followers of many religions. For example, the cow vigilantes in India attack individuals violently disregarding their religious principles, which is also called a radical act.
Indeed, human societies suffered severely in light of religious intolerance, racial superiority and ethnocentric acts throughout the history. Disregarding human rights and dignity led to injustice and cruelty around the globe. One should realize the fact that terrorist networks blackmail the entire world and spill the blood of individuals indiscriminately. Their acts simply reflect their radical ideology but will not represent a nation or a religion. Therefore, they kill people of different faiths and target churches, temples, mosques, etc.
With the emergence of a strong common enemy, the world needs to strengthen the spirit of brotherhood and religious tolerance. The bloody wars which led to human catastrophes and inflicted indescribable casualties upon nations within the history, must be an eye-opener for the human societies. Discriminating one on the basis of their caste, color and creed will generate violence. We are all members of human family and violation of one’s rights and dignity – in any parts of the world – regardless of their racial and religious backgrounds will be a stain on collective conscience. We have to raise our voice about any acts of violence being committed against religious groups, ethnic minorities or simple people.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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