Imagine you’re taking a flight or are in a mall, just having a good time. You suddenly hear someone shout ‘Allahu Akbar’. What would your first reaction be?
Unfortunately, considering the recent incidents where beheading and terror attacks have taken place right after this chant, dread is a natural reaction.
Which is why some Islamists and their apologists are desperate to turn every crime against a Muslim perpetrated by a Hindu as ‘hate crime’. So much that they even invent scenarios to turn every random crime into a hate crime.
Here is a recent example. A Muslim youth, Asif Khan, in Haryana’s Nuh was killed on Sunday by a group of men. Asif’s group and the prime accused Pradeep alias Patwari’s group were old rivals and have had incidents of violence between them. In fact, just few days prior, Asif’s group had beat up members of Pradeep’s group. The unfortunate incident on Sunday was perpetrated as a revenge for earlier attack.
Here I’d like to make it clear upfront that any kind of crime is not justified and law must take its course and bring Asif’s killers to justice.
However, on Monday a strange pattern emerged on social media.
Newslaundry columnist and AMU alumnus Sharjeel Usmani took to Twitter to claim that Khan was killed by ‘Hindu men’. That somehow, the rivalry between two groups was not relevant anymore but that the perpetrators were allegedly Hindu was the most important thing in this incident.
He went on to claim that a Hindu chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is ‘most likely’ to be a terrorist.
Similar tweets were made by a former journalist with CNN News 18, Asheem PK. He shared an article from Maktoob Media, an online portal based in Kerala which was the first to mention that Asif was ‘forced to chant Jai Shri Ram’.
Remember, all this narrative till now that Asif was a victim of hate crime perpetrated by a ‘Hindu mob’ and forcing him to chant Jai Shri Ram, was based on only one report by Maktoob Media. Maktoob did not attribute these claims to anyone, so it could very well be figment of someone’s imagination to create communal tension. It seems, minorities in India have first right to nuisance as well.
Maktoob, incidentally, has in the past indulged in mischief to peddle propaganda. In the violence at Jamia University episode, Maktoob released a heavily edited video online to cast aspersions at the Delhi Police which was forced to enter the campus to flush out rioters.
Maktoob Media is a Kerala-based media startup founded in March 2014. As per Facebook it states it is based in Kerala, but on its website it mentions it is based in Delhi. It mentions “Shaheen Abdulla” as its Associate Creative Editor in its “About Us” section. Who is Shaheen Abdulla? Shaheen Abdulla is the same person who was ‘saved’ by the “Jamia Sheroes” who were hailed by controversial journalist Barkha Dutt. Husband of Aysha Renna, one of the “Sheroes”, Afsal Rahman, has also worked with Maktoob Media. He has currently deactivated his Facebook profile but as per his LinkedIn profile, he was associated with Maktoob till September 2019 and is currently associated with “Opera News”. Aysha Renna had called India ‘fascist’ for executing Mumbai Blast terrorist Yakub Memon.
In September, 2020, Maktoob Media reported about an incident where it claimed that a Muslim man was beaten up by Hindu mob because he was a Muslim.
“Those people including two women dragged him inside the house and started beating him brutally and on finding a tattoo on his right hand which read ‘786’, they cut his arm off with a saw blade,” Maktoob Media report claimed. Maktoob was also the first to make such a claim.
Except, it was far from reality. The fact was that Akhlaq was caught molesting a minor. As reported by TheQuint, the family of the child had alleged that when they were sleeping in the verandah in their home near the railway line, they noticed the child was missing. When they started looking for him, they reached a nearby park where they saw Akhlaq with the child who was undressed. Akhlaq then allegedly tried to run away toward the railway track. Family then took their son and brought him home. The child has alleged that Akhlaq tried to push his private parts into his mouth.
But Maktoob and many other Islamist apologist portals such as The Wire had made it about ‘786’ tattoo on his hand.
In current case, the witnesses, Asif’s cousin Rashid, who was also injured, in his witness statement said how they were attacked by a group. He knew most of the attackers.
A report by The Quint says that the two groups were old rivals and have a history between them. The Quint, which has a history of whitewashing criminals, also does not mention anything about ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant. Neither does India Today report which says how he was killed while he was killed while he was out to get medicine.
It has been a consistent pattern where random crimes are portrayed as hate crimes either to whitewash the crime the criminal was perpetrating (like Akhlaq, who was raping a minor was suddenly victim of ‘hate crime) or to set a narrative of ‘Hindu terror’ as can be seen in the case of Asif Khan.
‘Dara Hua Musalman’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’
The commitment to spread the propaganda was so high that certain propaganda websites came up with a ‘hate crime tracker’. The database was faulty and so subjective that the hate crimes against Hindus were watered down and outrightly rejected from being hate crimes. The Pulwama terror attack, where the Islamist jihadi Ahmed Dar carried out attack to kill those who ‘drink cow urine’ (a jibe often used by Islamists and their ‘liberal’ apologists) to mock Hindus, was also not considered a hate crime.
Ever since PM Modi came to power in 2014, the ‘Dara Husa Musalman’ bogey has been raised time and again in Indian context mostly to whitewash hate crimes carried out against Hindus, like forced religious conversion amongst others, specifically because they are Hindus. In fact, most of the fake hate crimes which were claimed to have been perpetrated against Muslims almost always had the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant.
In May 2019, media reports of a Muslim man, Barkat Ali, in Gurugram being beaten up by some Hindu men in Sadar Bazar area had gone viral on social media. The alleged victim, Barkat Ali, claimed that he was beaten up by a group of men who removed his skull cap claiming it was now ‘allowed’ in the area and had forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. However, the Police denied that it was a hate crime after going through the facts of the matter. Gurugram police had said that the incident was a case of a minor brawl in a drunken state.
In fact, in his original FIR, he never mentioned the ‘forced to chant Jai Shri Ram’ bit. The police believed he was being tutored to claim that he was beaten up for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Later in June 2019, a controversy had erupted after a Delhi-based Muslim man had claimed that he was allegedly hit by a car after he refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. A madarsa teacher named Mohammed Momin had alleged that he was allegedly abused and then run over by the car as he refused to chant Hindu religious slogans. However, eyewitnesses rubbished Momin’s allegations. A Police officer said, “The accounts given by some eyewitnesses of the incident do not substantiate the claims made by the victim”. CCTV footage from near the crime scene was also not able to prove the allegations.
This urge comes from the fact that their pious chant Allahu Akbar has become so dreaded and that they can’t do much about it as Islamic terrorists continue to stab, behead and blow up (themselves and others) chanting it.
So only thing left is to prove that others are equally bad.