By Syed Ali Mujtaba
India’s beleaguered Muslim community unable to withstand the vilification campaign against them is demanding a law to be enacted on the lines of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to safeguard them from the slurs belted out day in day out from different quarters.
“The ‘Muslim Act’ should be enacted on the lines of ‘SC/ST Act and people who use derogatory slurs against the minority community should be booked immediately, demanded Naeem Qureshi, president of the Muslim Seva Sangathan in Uttrakhand.
According to media reports, hundreds of Muslims held a protest in Dehradun on October 3, 2021, alleging harassment of the community through hate speeches and have urged the government to enact laws to protect the community.
“The duty of the government is to protect the rights of each of its citizens but the hate crimes against Muslims have increased,” said Mohammad Ahmed Qasmi, the city Qazi.
The protesters claimed that the government was carrying out some sort of witch-hunt of the Muslims and targeting even some of the revered clerics without any reason.
“The charge against cleric Kaleem Siddiqui of running a “conversion racket” is baseless and his arrest by Uttar Pradesh Police is illegal,” claimed Naeem Qureshi.
“Article 25 of the Constitution allows citizens to peacefully promote his/her religion but Muslims are not allowed to exercise such constitutional rights,” he said.
He also demanded that cows should be declared a national animal to stop the mob lynching of the Muslims. The cow vigilantes are indulging in mob violence killing Muslims to protect the cows.
“In order to stop that cow should be declared as national animal and killing of the cow should be banned across the country. However, the government is neither doing so nor banning the consumption of its meat in states like Goa and the northeast where the BJP is in power. This is something imponderable and can only be called a double standard of the government,” Qureshi said.
Muslims endure racial slurs, threats of violence and are targeted through harassment campaigns on social media platforms. Studies have found that hate speeches against Muslims have resulted in increasing violence against them and their places of worship are being targeted.
There is hardly any law to protect Muslims from such ignominy. The Muslim Act on the lines of ‘SC/ST Act’ to control the use of derogatory slurs against Muslims is the need of the hour.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org