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Islamist violence: How 2022 Ramzan was a month of Islamist violence not just for India but several other countries as well

The Ramadan month of April 2022 was possibly unprecedented in witnessing the Islamists' violence worldwide. From Nigeria to India or from Israel to the peace-loving Scandinavian countries, the pelting of stones by the Islamists - a ritual of their faith - on non-Muslim kafir-satans was found to be a popular method

The month of April in 2022 was considered unique in three decades as the faith-related festivities of Easter (Christianity), Passover (Judaism) and Ramadan (Islam) coincided with the Hindu festivals of Ram Navami (April 10) and Hanuman Jayanti (April 16).

The citizens of the world should have celebrated this month with a lot of buoyancy honouring all the major religions, and tying themselves up in the common thread of universal humanity and brotherhood.

On the contrary, however, this month possibly registered as a period replete with unprecedented violence driven by bigotry, intolerance or supremacist ideology.

Followers of all the faiths may have their share, however, the Islamists’ brazenly treacherous and violent rampage on the world stage was simply mind-boggling.

Start from India. On the occasions of Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti, the Islamists and their goons pelted stones at the religious processions, shobha-yatra, of the Hindus in more than seven cities of the country. In a premeditated and planned way, they used violent methods and naked bullying to disrupt the festivities of the Hindus.

However, if you had asked the ‘Islamo-Leftists’ (a term known to have been coined by the French president, Emmanuel Macron), they would say the Muslims responded with violence because the Hindus’ processions were playing loud music, raising provocative slogans and wielding weapons before the mosques. None of these charges, even if true, would warrant or justify such a savage, aggressive or terrorizing behaviour on the part of the Islamists. In the age of digital recording, this was for the law and order machinery to handle with relative ease.

The reality is the Islamists oppose the idol-worshippers processions passing by mosques or their neighbourhood because they regard idols or their carrier-Kafirs as representatives of Satan. Obligated by their religious belief and rituals, Satan must be pelted with stones. The Muslim pilgrims, in their final ritual of the Hajj, the Great Jamara, throw seven stones at a wall representing Satan. They fear the Kafirs’ persistent efforts would lead the faithful Muslims astray.  

Also, they wish to have their neighbourhoods, mostly no-go enclaves, honoured as de jure insulated or liberated zones where not only the Hindu processions but even the law and order machinery would find it hard to penetrate.

On 14 April 2022, similar behaviour by the Islamists, mostly young illegal Muslim migrants, was noticed a globe away in Granada (southern Spain), where an Easter procession was sought to be stopped violently. The Muslims pelted the Christians with missiles and projectiles that allegedly came from a migrant shelter.

In the same week, for two days in a row (14-15 April), the Islamist rioters set four police cars on fire and injured at least four officers and one individual in the city of Linkoping on Sweden’s east coast. They threw stones and attacked police cordons, tearing down riot fences. The Islamists of Sweden, mostly former refugees or asylum-seekers, were outraged by the call to burn the Quran by a far-right leader, Rasmus Paludan.

Here, the question arises, if Islam did not teach intolerance, who was igniting these communal fires in Sweden against the Swedish constitutional right to free speech? Many didn’t agree with the far-right Hard-Line movement headed by Rasmus Paludan, but they did support his right to the freedom of speech and expression. Such incidents have happened in the past in all European countries, especially the Scandinavian countries.

Just as Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper, had the right to publish satirical cartoons of Muhammad or Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker and writer, had the liberty to make a television film critical of Islam, Paludan was also entitled to his constitutional rights as a political activist. The Islamist rioters possibly wanted to send a message that Paludan and the likes of him would face the same fate as that of Charlie Hebdo or Theo van Gogh. As we know, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed in 2011, its 12 employees were killed in an attack by the Islamists in 2015. In 2004, Theo van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death on Amsterdam street. A note was left on the body of Theo which contained passages from the Quran. Is this not faith-inspired violence and terrorism? 

No polite person would endorse the incendiary method of Quran burning, but consider the origins of pushbacks: The murderous political Islamists, by their persistent acts of violence, have brought international attention to focus on the teachings of Islam (the Quran, the Hadees etc). They have rattled the world. 

The reason the opponents of Islam wish to display their anger by taking extra-ordinary steps like burning the parts of the Quran is that it commands the followers of Islam to kill the Kafirs (the pagans, the idol-worshippers, the Jews and the Christians). 

For example, in the Quran (Sura 9:Aayat 5), it’s instructed:

“And when the inviolable months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakāh, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allāh is Forgiving and Merciful.

Saheeh International

It will be difficult to resist protest in the face of such a primitive teaching.

Away from Europe, in the month of Ramadan, see what happened in an African country, Nigeria. Reuters reported on 21 April 2022 that the Islamic State had killed or injured 30 people for selling or consuming alcohol. The Islamic State had posted a message saying the “soldiers of the caliphate in central Nigeria” had struck “a gathering of infidel Christians.”

According to another report on 17 April, the killings of 215 people across Nigeria in a week was the worst in 2022. The rival Islamist groups of Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) had killed, abducted and looted on a massive scale.

The rumblings of the Islamists’ international violence in the Ramadan month began to be felt on 27 March 2022 itself when two Islamic gunmen, Ayman and Ibrahim Ighbariah – also Arab-Israeli cousins – opened fire at a bus stop in Hadera, Israel, killing two people and injuring twelve. It was the second shooting within days by the Israeli Arab Islamists affiliated with the Jihadist organizations.

More Islamist violence was expected in the approaching Remadan month.

On 11 April 2022, a Palestinian young man was killed by the Israeli forces as he was seen throwing a firebomb at an Israeli vehicle driving on a West Bank highway. On 15 April 2022, dozens of Palestinians marched near the Western Wall of the Al Aqsa mosque and attacked police officers by throwing rocks at them. The skirmish led to the Israeli warplanes launching attacks in the Gaza Strip on 18 April 2022.

The Islamists’ brutal killings and riots were not limited to the non-Muslims only. They didn’t spare the Muslims of different sects as well.

On Friday (22 April 2022), the day of prayer for Muslims in the month of Ramadan, again, a bombing at a mosque and adjoining religious school in the town of Imam Saheb, in Kunduz province, took the lives of at least 33 people and wounded 43. This was preceded, just a day earlier, by a series of bombings, the worst of which was an attack on a Shia mosque in northern Mazar-e-Sharif that killed at least 12 Shia Muslim worshippers and wounded scores more.

Since coming to power in August 2021, the Taliban have been battling the Islamic State affiliate known as Islamic State in Khorasan province or IS-K. The IS-K challenges the Taliban as less Islamic and aims to replace them as rulers of Afghanistan. 

A year ago, on a Friday prayer day in October 2021, an Islamic State suicide bomber shattered a Shiite mosque in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, killing dozens of worshipers. It was the group’s second attack against a mosque in just a few days. This attack was aimed against the Hazara minority.

The Afghan Hazara community had feared that their indiscriminate killings at the hands of the Islamic State would go unchecked under the rule of the Taliban who preyed on the Hazara themselves.

Surprisingly, the Islamists’ violence against the Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan was not something new. Reporting on one such season of killings in Iraq, a correspondent of the Washington Post wrote in 2017:

“… the Islamic State has bombed a popular shopping street in Baghdad on Ramadan two years in a row. Last year’s attack was the worst Baghdad had seen, with more than 300 people either blown up or dead in a fire that subsequently swept through a shopping arcade. Earlier this week, 17 people were killed and more than 30 were injured at an ice cream parlour where families were enjoying dessert after a day of fasting..Dozens more were killed or wounded hours later in front of the government’s main pension office. The Islamic State claimed both bombings, saying they targeted Iraq’s Shiite majority. The Sunni militant group views Shiites as apostates.”

To conclude, for educators like us, it’s imperative to mention a word on the awkwardness of the universality of Islamic theology, its practice and its clash with the modern scientific temper. Take the instance of Ramadan. Islam commands the Muslims to fast during this month. The Qur’an (Sura 2: Ayat 187) insists on eating and drinking “until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until sunset.” Obviously, the practice of the dawn to dusk fast was not possible in places north of the Arctic circle where it is dark for 24 hours during winter and light for 24 hours during summer.

Islamists’ insistence that their faith was “God’s final revelation for the entire earth” and that anyone should “be able to practice it anywhere on the planet” was just not scientific.

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Prasad Binoy
Prasad Binoy
Binoy Shanker Prasad holds a PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Originally from Darbhanga, Bihar (India), Binoy lives with his family in Dundas, Ontario (Canada). He is a former UGC teacher fellow at JNU in India and a Fulbright Scholar in the USA. Author of scholarly works including a book, Violence Against Minorities, Gandhi in the Age of Globalization (a monograph) and a collection of poems, Dr Prasad has taught International Politics and Political Sociology at Ryerson University, Centennial College and McMaster University. He has guest-lectured at such institutions as the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), George Mason Univ., Univ of Madison-Wisconsin, and Redeemer Univ. Socially active, Binoy has also been a two-term president of Hamilton based India-Canada Society (2006-08 and 2018-20).

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