In an attempt to justify their statement of not treating a terror attack – where the terrorist himself declared that it was a religious war against infidels – as a religious hate crime, FactChecker compared the terrorist attack with alleged attacks on Kashmiris in some parts of India after the Pulwama terror attack. They claimed that they have not included such attacks either as ‘hate crime’ as it doesn’t fit into their ‘motivated by religious identity’ criteria, because such attacks appear motivated by regional identities of the victims, not religious.
We have similarly not recorded the subsequent attacks on Kashmiris across India post-Pulwama, as prima facie they don’t fit the database definition.
So far, these acts of violence appear to be motivated by a bias against the regional identity of the victims–not their religion.
— FactChecker.in (@FactCheckIndia) February 20, 2019
Interestingly, FactChecker had deleted the tweet originally posted by them and reposted the same for reasons best known to them.
Now there are multiple issues with this justification, and FactCheker has only dug holes for themselves with it, as they had once done earlier while trying to justify why they don’t include attacks on Hindus in their hate-crime database.
With their subsequent tweets, FactChecker tried to pass off the allegations of attack on Kashmiris as some real crime while it has been witnessed in multiple cases that such allegations were either rumours or fear of Kashmiri students without any actual attack having been taken place against them. Therefore, if FactChecker is not including those in their database, primary reason is because such crimes don’t exist at all. They are essentially making a virtue out of necessity.
Secondly, some of the ‘attacks’ against Kashmiris were not exactly hate crime but could at worst be called revenge attacks, where some people hit back at those celebrating Pulwama attack. Many of such Kashmiris were booked by respective state police departments or their employers or colleges took action against them. These can’t be called hate crimes at all. So once again, FactChecker is making a virtue out of necessity.
Thirdly, in regards to such alleged attacks, religion is an integral part of the Kashmiri identity. No Kashmiri Hindus were targeted anywhere, so one can’t say ‘regional’ identity is the only driving factor here. Therefore, if any such attack did take place, it entirely qualifies as a hate crime and as a religion-based hate crime. It’s astounding why FactChecker will leave it out. Perhaps only to justify their leaving out the religion-based terror attack that killed 44 jawans.
And finally, if FactChecker strongly believes that alleged attacks against Kashmiris were primarily due to their regional identity i.e. the editors, if any, at IndiaSpend have the ability to understand the nuance that every Muslim victim is not attacked only due to his religion, where does this nuance go when dealing with attacks on Muslims accused of cow smuggling? Aren’t economy and law and order the primary reasons behind such attacks? Why does FactChecker then treat those as religion-based attacks, especially when there are multiple cases where Hindu cow smugglers have also been attacked? If attacks on Kashmiris don’t qualify as religion based hate crimes, as per FactChecker themselves, the case for cow related attacks not being treated as religion based hate crime is far more stronger, as farmers are primarily protecting an asset.
This reminds me of a couplet from this popular song from Padosan:
Ek chatur naar badi hoshiyaar,
apne hi jaal mein phasat jaat,
hum hasat jaat, arre,
ho ho ho ho
Just give up FactChcker, and stop justifying your Hinduphobia.