DGP of Uttar Pradesh, OP Singh, made a statement today during a press briefing that could only ever be described as troubling and deeply problematic. He claimed that prima facie, the murderers of Kamlesh Tiwari appeared to have been ‘radicalized by the comment he made’ on Prophet Muhammad in 2015.
#WATCH OP Singh, UP DGP on #KamleshTiwariMurder: Prima facie this was a radical killing, these people were radicalized by the speech that he (Kamlesh Tiwari) gave in 2015, but much more can come out when we catch hold of the remaining criminals. pic.twitter.com/kJ19yoBLh5
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 19, 2019
The comment made by Singh is a classical example of victim-blaming. He might not have intended for it to come out as it did but the impression his remarks conveyed was that Kamlesh Tiwari is somehow to be blamed for his own death. This is when all of us now know what killed him. It certainly betrays the fact that even law enforcement authorities are not willing to say in public how Radical Islamic Terrorism actually works and thrives.
Kamlesh Tiwari’s death was motivated by factors that go way beyond his opinion of the prophet’s sexuality. The riots that occurred in the aftermath of his comment and the various places where Muslims went on a rampage demanding his death provide some insight into the real reason behind his death. Kamlesh Tiwari was murdered because he dared to break the omerta that Muslims consider inviolable. A significant section of them is willing to use violence to enforce it and a whole lot more will tacitly support such violence even if they won’t participate in it themselves.
The essential element that resulted in Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder is not only the bigotry of the perpetrators themselves and their violent dogma. Many people wouldn’t want us to say it due to political correctness, just like they would not want us to talk about the rampant radicalisation and the violent dogma, but this needs to be said. Kamlesh Tiwari was murdered also because the murderers were perfectly aware of the fact that they are going to be hailed as heroes by a significant section of the Muslim community and vast sections of the community believe that murder for insulting the prophet is justified.
Kamlesh Tiwari was not murdered only because his comment insulted the prophet but also because the ones slitting his throat and firing the bullet knew that killing him was their one shot to glory. His death was not merely the consequence of the murderers’ personal belief that he ought to be murdered and their complete conviction that they will be hailed in Jannat for it but also the fact that their actions had complete approval of their community at large.
The celebration on social media that was observed after Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder is a testament to that effect. We need to understand that Radical Islamic Terrorism is not limited to organizations like Al Qaeda or ISIS or Indian Mujahideen, there is a far greater structure underneath that serves as the foundation for these organizations. And it is this very foundation that produced the murderers of Kamlesh Tiwari. If we are to defeat the threat of Radical Islamic Terrorism, then we must destroy the foundation which ensures that these terrorist organizations never run out of men in their ranks. Unless this supply network is cut off, things will not get better.
The foundation of Radical Islamic Terrorism is the power structure of the Islamic community. If the Indian state does not take active measures to dismantle the power structures within the Muslim community, then our country will be condemned to perpetual anarchy. The iron hand of the state must be used to force the entirety of the Muslim community to reform themselves out of the concept of Jihad. The cost of this will be huge but one that we, as a country, must be willing to pay if we wish for the continued existence of the Indian Union without further disintegration.
The manner in which Article 370 has been forced down the throat of the residents of Jammu & Kashmir is how the Indian State must force massive reform on the Muslim community. They must be provided incentives to adopt these reforms but we should not suffer under the delusion that mere incentive will be enough for them to embrace them. There’s a reason the carrot and stick policy tends to be successful but the carrot and carrot policy does not.
Unfortunately enough, Singh’s statement reflects a mindset that’s all too prevalent among vast sections of the law enforcement authorities. This mindset operates under the impression that radicalization occurs due to the actions of people outside the Islamic community. However, the reality of it is that the roots of Jihad lie entirely within the Muslim community. Non-Muslims did not teach the Muslims demanding Kamlesh Tiwari’s death that murdering someone over a comment is justified, they were taught that by the Maulvis and Maulanas and their family members and fellow members of the community. And we need to recognize this fact.