Archive for India

Mumbai: How Some Muslims in India View US Military Courses Teaching “War Against Islam”

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2012 by loonwatch

Above, members of Raza Academy protest the US military courses which taught that the US is at war with Islam.

They believe there is a “conspiracy” to bomb Mecca and Medina. Whatever could have given them that idea, I wonder? Oh yeah, maybe the fact that the courses advocated “Hiroshima” measures to “defeat Islam.” Or slides like this in the courses presentation:

Hateful US military course instigates protest in Mumbai

By Rehan Ansari, TwoCircles.net,

Mumbai: Although the US has withdrawn the Military course that was instigating anti-Islamic sentiments among military officers, anger among Muslims over the issue is growing in India. Raza Academy, an organization of Barelivi Muslims, conducted a protest demonstration against the US for the idea of bombing Mecca and Madina, the holy cities of Muslim world. The protestors also expressed concern at the silence of Saudi Government over the issue.

Raza Acadmey staged protest on Friday in Azad Maidan, Mumbai. Condemning the US military syllabus, Syed Moinuddin Ashraf, presiding the demonstration said, “We believe that this is total in disregard of the Geneva Convention of 1949. It’s worse than Abu Garib. What they are talking about is essentially the Genocide of Muslims.”

Demanding serious actions against the guilty officers, members of Raza Academy said, “It’s imperative to take actions against the culprit officers and to study the impact of this course on 800 Military officers who were taught this syllabus.”

While talking to TwoCircles.net Saeed Noorie, Secretary of Raza Academy quoted from famous Obama speech to the Muslim World where he had said, “So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.”

Noorie demanded that the people promoting conflict must be brought to justice because they will create cycle of suspicion between America and the Muslim World.

Through a course, US military officers were being taught that America’s enemy is Islam in general, not just terrorists, and suggesting that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following World War-II precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima or the allied firebombing of Dresden.

Following the outcry over the hateful course, the Pentagon has suspended the course in late April when a student-military officer objected to the material.

Is Child Marriage a Muslim Problem?

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by loonwatch
Laxmi SargaraLaxmi Sargara, 18, holds her certificate of the annullment of her marriage outside the court Tuesday in Jodhpur, India.

Loons often attribute child marriages exclusively to Muslims, but a Unicef report says 47 percent of married women in India wed before age 18. Unicef also says 40 percent of the world’s child marriages take place in secular, Hindu-majority India.

As this map clearly shows, the practice is widespread in many parts of the world, most notably in parts of Africa:

Child Marriage Map

Disregarding anthropology (the comparative study of human societies) and eager to pin every social ill on Islam, anti-Muslim activists portray child marriage as unique to Muslim communities, and cite Islamic Law as a major obstacle to ending the practice. In fact, most Muslim-majority countries have legal age limits for marriage comparable to Western countries. According to the United Nations, in Algeria, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, and Morocco, the legal age a female can marry is 18, and in Tunisia, it’s 20.  Most of the remaining Muslim-majority countries have ages set for females ranging from 15-17, and in all of these countries, the age for boys is either the same or slightly higher. India has also set the legal limit to age 18, but as is the case in many countries, the law is difficult to enforce, especially in rural areas, where historical, cultural, and economic factors often outweigh legal restrictions.

Akha Teej  is considered an auspicious day, when one does not have to consult any astrologer. This is the best time for marriages … Even our epics mention about child marriages. There is no harm in performing it, as the children do not live together and stay together only after attaining adulthood. ~ Priest in Rajasthan, Al Jazeera

Recently police and administration officials were injured when they were attacked by a group of villagers conducting child marriages in Rajasthan on the holy day of Akshaya Tritiya. Now a young Indian woman has won a landmark case that challenges the culture of child weddings. (h/t: Zangia)

Indian baby bride Laxmi Sargara wins annulment in landmark case

By msnbc.com staff

An Indian woman who was a baby bride has had her 17-year marriage legally annulled in a ground-breaking case challenging the culture of child weddings, Agence France Presse reported Wednesday.

Laxmi Sargara was 1 year old when she was married to a 3-year-old boy named Rakesh in the desert state of Rajasthan in northwestern India, the French news agency said. Their families decided that when they grew up they would live together and have children.

Child marriages, outlawed in India in 1929, are still common in many parts of the country, especially in rural and poorer communities, AFP said. A Unicef report says 47 percent of married women in India wed before age 18. Unicef also says 40 percent of the world’s child marriages take place in India.

“I was unhappy about the marriage,” Sargara, now 18, told AFP. “I told my parents who did not agree with me, then I sought help. Now I am mentally relaxed and my family members are also with me.”

Girls married off in infancy often remain in their parents’ homes until they reach puberty and then are taken amid great celebrations to their husbands’ families, AFP said. When Sargara just days ago discovered that she was married and would be sent to her husband’s home this week, she sought advice from social worker Kriti Bharti, who runs the children’s rights group Sarathi Trust, AFP said.

Bharti negotiated with Rakesh, the groom, who only uses one name, and both families to persuade them that the marriage was unfair, AFP reported. “It is the first example we know of a couple wed in childhood wanting the marriage to be annulled, and we hope that others take inspiration from it,” Bharti told AFP.

Rakesh, an earth-mover driver, at first wanted to press ahead with the relationship but was convinced by Sargara’s fierce opposition that the marriage should be revoked, Bharti said. The marriage was annulled through a joint legal document signed by the bride and groom and validated by a public official in Jodhpur, AFP said.

“To ensure that the girl does not face any problem in future, we decided to go for a legal agreement,” said Indu Chaupra, local director of the ministry of women and child development, told AFP.

The annulment coincided with the Akshaya Tritiya festival, a traditional date for mass child weddings. On Sunday, villagers in Rajasthan attacked and injured at least 12 government officials who tried to stop a wedding of about 40 child couples, AFP said. A recent survey found that 10 percent of girls in Rajasthan are married off before the age of 18, the BBC reported.

India: Villagers attack police who prevented child marriages

Posted in Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Child Brides

Every year around the world, an estimated 10 million girls are married before they turn 18, according to Girls Not Brides, an organization devoted to ending the practice of child marriage.

Islamophobes portray the problem of child marriage as unique to Muslims in their relentless effort to demonize Islam. They scour the Internet, cherry picking incidents that serve their agenda–or simply make something up: Anti-Muslim Blogoshpere Runs Amuck: Forced to Eat Crow.

Child marriage is a widespread problem should be tackled for the benefit of girls and young women, not politicized for the purpose to spreading hate. Don’t expect to read about it in the looniverse, but recent events in Rajasthan clearly illustrate this problem is not unique to Muslim communities.

India: Villagers attack police who prevented child marriages

In the Jhalawar District of Rajasthan, 30 minors were being illegally married in a group.

By Spero News

At least six police and administration officials were injured when they were attacked by a group of villagers who was conducting child marriages in Rajasthan’s Jhalawardistrict, police said in India. The villagers even attacked a police outpost later. Police arrested 15 villagers on April 21 and lodged first information reports (FIR) against 50 others.

The incident took place on the evening of April 20 inGhatoli area of the district. “We were on high alert in the wake of Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej) that is to be observed April 24,” a police official said.

Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej is considered one of the most auspicious days of the year for Hindu and Jain communities. Acting on a tip-off that about 30 minors were being illegally married in a group wedding ceremony at Prithavipura village, a team of district and police officials was rushed to the spot.

The officers asked the villagers to show the birth certificates of the grooms and brides. But when they refused, the team asked the villagers to stop the weddings.

“Enraged villagers then started pelting stones at the officers following which six of them were injured,” said the official.

The state home department had asked the district administration and police to keep strict vigil on child marriages on Akha Teej, which is a rampant practice in the rural areas of Rajasthan.

The Sun: Diamond Jubilee ‘Derailed’ by Queen’s Love for Muslim

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by loonwatch

Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim

Queen Victoria and her Indian manservant, Abdul Karim

The EDL is going to love this, looks like ‘Islamization’ has been a slow steady process for centuries in the UK.

An intriguing story about the love between Queen Victoria and her Indian Muslim servant, Abdul Karim.

I know “The Sun” is a tabloid but this is an interesting read, there will also be a documentary on the Channel 4 in the UK about this:

Diamond Jubilee ‘derailed’ by Queen’s love for Muslim

(The Sun)

BRITAIN is set to go Diamond Jubilee crazy as the Queen marks 60 years on the throne.

But just over a century ago the same celebration for her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, was nearly derailed by her scandalous relationship with an Indian manservant.

In fact Her Majesty became so infatuated with tall, handsome Muslim Abdul Karim that senior royal advisers plotted to have her declared insane just days before her Jubilee unless she halted a controversial plan to knight him.

The young waiter — he was just 24 — had begun serving the Queen’s table in June 1887 after being sent to London as a “gift” from the Indian outpost of her empire.

He soon began bewitching her with romantic tales of mysterious India, and cooking up delicious curries for her in the royal kitchens.

But royal biographer Jane Ridley believes Abdul’s striking looks also helped to draw in the Queen.

She says: “Victoria always had a great appreciation of male beauty so when she saw these gorgeous clothes, sashes and turbans kissing her feet, how could she resist?”

Victoria soon promoted Abdul from waiter to her personal teacher — or “Munshi” — and after he began to teach her a few words in Hindi the pair grew ever closer.

She had been starved of affection since the death of her beloved husband Albert in 1861, and Abdul Karim’s great-grandson, Javed Mahmood, says it is not hard to see why she fell for his great-grandad.

 

Together ... Queen Victoria and her manservant, Abdul

Together … Queen Victoria and her manservant, Abdul

He says: “Abdul was a very warm man. He was very jolly, entertaining — a very human person.

“Maybe those were the traits that attracted the Queen eventually, because he came across as a man of flesh and blood, and she wasn’t used to real people around her.”

But as is revealed in a new Channel 4 documentary — Queen Victoria’s Last Love — their growing intimacy did not go down well in the strictly hierarchical world of the royal household.

By 1894, Abdul was elevated to the position of Her Majesty’s Indian Secretary — making him an official member of the inner circle.

Jane Ridley says: “The idea that a servant, an outsider who has none of this pedigree or background, could suddenly leapfrog into a position of great closeness with the Queen is something courtiers found not just threatening but wrong.”

It wasn’t just Abdul’s class that troubled the Queen’s advisers. They were also scandalised by his race.

But the more the royal household attacked Abdul, the more the Queen defended him.

She fired off an angry memo to her Private Secretary, Sir Henry Ponsonby, saying: “As for Abdul Karim, the Queen cannot praise him highly enough. He’s zealous and attentive, a thorough gentleman.”

The royal household hit back by sending investigators to India who came back with alarming information about Abdul’s origins.

He was not, as he had claimed, the son of a high-flying Army doctor. In fact, his father was a lowly pharmacist who worked in Agra jail — where Abdul himself had worked as a mere clerk.

But the revelation only served to push the Queen closer to Abdul.

She took a stance that was astonishing at the time — accusing her household of racial prejudice.

In a memo to Sir Henry she wrote: “To make out the Munshi is low is outrageous. Abdul feels cut to the heart to be thus spoken of. The Queen is so sorry for the poor Munshi’s sensitive feelings.”

Rumours started to circulate that Abdul was passing Victoria inflammatory advice about India, and that he was a spy leaking secret foreign policy information.

 

Bow about that ... gentleman greets Queen Victoria as she stands with Abdul

Bow about that … gentleman greets Queen Victoria as she stands with Abdul

She responded by becoming even more intimate with him. When he became ill she would spend long periods in his bedchamber, fluffing his pillows and stroking his hand.

Then in 1897, with just weeks to go until Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the Queen announced she planned to knight Abdul.

The bombshell was one step too far for her ministers and attendants.

The Viceroy of India joined forces with the Prime Minister to oppose the move. In response, Victoria threatened to pull out of the Jubilee celebrations.

With the biggest event that the British monarchy had ever seen under threat, the Queen’s eldest son, Bertie — later Edward VII — stepped in.

He hatched a plan with the Queen’s doctor, Sir James Reid, who wrote to her, saying: “There are people in high places who know your majesty well and say to me the only charitable explanation that can be given is that your majesty is not sane, and that at some time it will be necessary for me to come forward and say so.

“I have seen the Prince of Wales yesterday and he has said he is quite ready to come forward, because it affects the throne.”

Victoria had to admit defeat and Abdul did not get his knighthood.

But he was constantly by her side for the Jubilee celebrations. For the remaining four years of Victoria’s life, she was inseparable from her beloved servant.

When she finally died in 1901, the protection Abdul had enjoyed came to a sudden end.

Just days after the funeral, the royal householders marched into Abdul’s home, seized all items bearing the royal crest and burned all his precious letters from the Queen.

He was exiled to India — where he survived just eight more years, dying at the age of 46.

Queen Victoria’s Last Love is on Channel 4 on Wednesday at 9pm.

King of Bollywood Detained in the US….Again

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by loonwatch

Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan

India boasts the largest film industry in the world, and Shahrukh Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars. The Muslim actor was recently detained at a US airport–for the second time in three years.

The incident caused a stir in India and once again raised questions of ethnic profiling, but Khan seemed to take it in stride. Later when addressing students at Yale University, he quipped:

“Yes it always happens, it’s nice. Whenever I start feeling arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America.”

“The immigration guys kick the stars out of stardom,” said Khan, who boasted of some small victories when he was questioned under detention, such as fibbing about his height.

“The next time I’m gonna be more adventurous. What colour are you? I’m gonna say white,” Khan said.

What’s in a name?

Editorial, The National

Shah Rukh Khan has more Facebook fans than Tom Cruise (2.58 million to 1.79 million) and has acted in more films (78) than most Hollywood A listers do in a lifetime. And yet, he still can’t get through immigration in New York without trouble.

During a weekend visit to the US to be honoured at Yale University, Khan was detained for two hours at the small regional airport in White Plains, NY. Were this the king of Bollywood’s first run-in with American border policy it might have been a mere inconvenience. Coming after a similar detention in 2009, it looks like a trend.

US officials, clearly embarrassed, defended their screening of Khan by rejecting allegations of profiling. As State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Friday, Khan was less “detained” than he was “simply delayed”. But anyone with a Muslim-sounding name who has travelled to the US since September 11 2001 will find this explanation unsatisfying.

Two US administrations in a row, one Republican and one Democratic, have subordinated everything else, often including common sense, to an obsession with security.

Nor has this been done intelligently: Islamophobia has been in practice – though not, at least, in theory – a frequent element of this policy. Combined with American ignorance of the rest of the world, that leads to incidents like this one, ludicrous if they weren’t so damaging.

******

The Daily Show, following the prior incident in 2009:

WhatIfTheyWereMuslim?: Hindus Riot Over University ‘Beef Festival’

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Hardline, right-wing Hindus have rioted over a ‘Beef festival’ put together by Dalit students at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India.(h/t: JD)

Shall we now blame all of Hinduism for their violent response, and remark that Hinduism is innately, uniquely incapable of dealing with ‘offense’ to their religion? Of course not, it is not Hinduism, but the interpretation of a specific group of Hindus with a specific approach to their religious texts that has caused this:

Osmania University Beef Festival Leads To Violence

(WhatIfTheyWereMuslim.com)

beef festival organized by Dalit students at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India on April 15th erupted into violence, the BBC reports. About 100 members of the Hindu right wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad(ABVP) protested the festival, leading to five injuries according to The Hindureport.

ABVP protested the beef festival on the ground that consumption of beef is against Hindu culture. Ramkrishna, senior ABVP leader told BBC, “Today they are asking for beef, tomorrow they will want alcohol.”

The purpose of the festival was to oppose “food fascism” in university hostels, reports NDTV. The festival organizers demanded beef be included in the university canteen menu as it is part of their “cultural identity.”

“The festival was intended to make the point that upper caste diktats over food habits need to be resisted, however another group of students opposed the idea on the grounds that it is against Indian culture,” a police official said in a quote reported by the NDTV.

More than 1500 students attended the beef festival and consumed various dishes made of beef according to the BBC report.

The beef festival was organized by the Telangana Students Association, Progressive Democratic Student Union, Student Federation of India and student groups from English and Foreign Languages University.

S. Satyanarayana, Osmania University vice-chancellor announced yesterday that there would be no change in the hostel menu, reports NewsWala.

Despite the violence, the organizers of the beef festival were generally pleased with the large turnout and aim to make this an annual event, reportsDeccan Chronicle.

23 Convicted for Deadly 2002 Anti-Muslim Violence in India’s Gujarat

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2012 by loonwatch

People charged in connection of setting a building on fire weep inside a police vehicle as they are taken to a prison after their hearing in a court at Mehsana, about 60 km (37 miles) north from the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. (File Photo - November 9, 2011)

People charged in connection of setting a building on fire weep inside a police vehicle as they are taken to a prison after their hearing in a court at Mehsana, about 60 km (37 miles) north from the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. (File Photo – November 9, 2011)

23 Convicted for Deadly 2002 Anti-Muslim Violence in India’s Gujarat

In India, a court has convicted 23 people in connection with the killing of 23 Muslims during deadly religious riots that swept through Gujarat state in 2002. The massacre was investigated by a special team after allegations that the probe by state police was not impartial.

A special court Monday found the 23 people guilty of setting fire to a house in Gujarat’s Ode village where a group of Muslims had taken shelter to protect themselves from rioting mobs.

Twenty-three others were acquitted for lack of evidence. Most of those who stood trial are Hindus.

The massacre took place a decade ago, when towns and villages in Gujarat were convulsed with riots that targeted Muslims homes and neighborhoods. The violence erupted after a train fire, blamed on Muslims, killed 60 Hindu pilgrims and prompted retaliation by Hindu mobs.
The prosecutor, P.N. Parmar, called it a historic judgment in the mass killings in Ode village.

“Nine children, nine women and five men burnt alive in this heinous crime,” he said.

The sentences will be announced later. Defense lawyers say they will appeal the verdict.
The massacre in Ode village is one of nine incidents into which the Supreme Court has ordered a special investigation, following allegations that the Gujarat police were not impartial in their probe into the deadly riots. About 1,000 Muslims died in the violence.
This is the third judgment to be handed down in connection with the riots. In two separate judgments last year, 31 people were sentenced for burning 39 Muslims to death, while 31 Muslims were found guilty for setting fire to the train that killed the Hindu pilgrims.

Gujarat is ruled by the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. The state’s chief minister, Narendra Modi, has often been accused of not doing enough to stop the riots or bring the perpetrators to justice.

After Monday’s verdict, senior BJP leader Balbir Punj said justice has been handed to the riot victims.

“It is a victory for the people of Gujarat and it is a slap on the face of those people that [say] justice cannot be done in Gujarat,” said Punj.

Although the 2002 violence tarnished Narendra Modi’s image, the controversial leader remains one of BJP’s top leaders. He has won state elections in Gujarat twice since the riots and hopes to play a larger role in national politics.