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2002: Muslims in Gujarat were ‘stripped, burned and hacked’; Islamophobic world ignored this too

Gujarat victims were ‘stripped, burned and hacked’

Two months after the event that triggered Gujarat’s pogrom, Muslims in the western Indian state are still counting the cost. Yesterday, 40 survivors came to Delhi to tell journalists and parliamentarians how their relatives and friends had been stripped, raped, burned and mutilated.

A boy of 11, Raja Bundubhai, recalled seeing his mother and sister stabbed then burned alive. A woman identified as Reshma recounted how she saw a heavily pregnant woman called Kausar Bano “being brutally raped … Her stomach was carved open, her baby flung into the fire before she was sexually abused, cut up and burnt.”

On 27 February, a mob of Muslims in the town of Godhra attacked a train carriage full of Hindu activists returning from the temple town of Ayodhya, killing 59. Hindu retaliation in the days that followed left hundreds of Muslims dead in pogroms that shamed India and appalled the world.

And although the scale of violence has slackened, peace has yet to return to the state, famed as the home of Mahatma Gandhi and as an economic powerhouse before it became a byword for savagery.

At least 35 people have been killed in Ahmedabad, the commercial capital, in the past week. “They [Hindus] provoke us by yelling insults and bursting crackers during the night,” said Iqbal Kansara, who lives in Juhapura, a large Muslim area. “Youngsters who can’t stand the insults come out to retaliate and police fire at them.”

The state government says some 850 people have died in the violence, but a secret report by British diplomats leaked this week to the BBC says at least 2,000 died. The report claims that far from being a spontaneous eruption of Hindu anger after the Godhra outrage, the violence was pre-planned and carried out with the support of the state government.

The British officials said the violence had all the marks of ethnic cleansing, and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims was impossible while the controversial chief minister, Narendra Modi, was in place. Mr Modi heads the Hindu nationalist BJP government, and Gujarat is now the only sizeable state where the party that leads the ruling coalition in Delhi is in power. For this reason the central government is accused by the opposition of doing nothing to bring about normality. A censure motion on the government’s performance on Gujarat will be debated next week.

Delhi claims Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has apologised for the leaking of the report, but there have been many European rebukes. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said some governments were interfering and could damage relations. The “interference”, however, is unlikely to end as long as the government ignores the worst communal bloodletting in 10 years.

Tens of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat remain crammed into squalid camps, too scared to return to their homes. Some commentators believe cold political calculation by the BJP is to blame. The Indian Express said: “Because of the severe beating that the Muslims have taken … no Hindu is safe unless governments … partial to us are put in place.”


Mumbai attacks

I don’t see why everyone is assuming the attackers were Muslim. So far there are NO indications that they are Muslim. Get that. NONE. It’s all assumptions, and WRONG ones.

All the indications so far disprove the claim they were Muslim.
Eyewitnesses at different locations have said that some of the attackers looked like “foreigners”, with “light” skin, and one even said some of them had blonde hair. Another said they were at a cafe, drank BEER, paid their bill, then got up and took their guns out of their backpacks and started firing.

First, how many Pakistanis or Indian Muslims are “light skinned” or “blonde”? One could likewise say the same about most Muslims not being blonde and fair-skinned, although there are quite a few who are (mostly in Bosnia, Chechnya, and some in Lebanon, Syria, etc.). And second, how many Muslims would drink BEER (the eyewitnesses were specific about the beer) ? And if they were “Muslims” and drinking beer, what makes the attack “Islamic terror” then?

It seems that this is an outside (or joint outside-Indian) job, that will now be made to look by India to have been the work of Pakistan. It’s an artificially induced campaign against Pakistan and India’s Muslims (recall the destruction of the Babri Mosque? recall the Gujarat pogroms and ethnic cleansing? All done while the so-called “world’s most populous democracy” turned a blind eye). This would also explain the eyewitness accounts about policemen joining in at the railway station and firing at civilians instead of shooting the attackers, and then the attackers simply walking away without a scratch, and then the police saying that the eyewitnesses must’ve been mistaken due to the fact that they were “in shock”. I mean, what are the chances that none of the eyewitness testimonies could be relied on because all of them, at various locations, were all allegedly in shock?

The so-called e-mail claim of responsibility is fishy, and must’ve been done to, from the very start, plant the seed in people’s minds that this was a case of “Islamic terror”. Also, there are now pictures flowing in of one of the attackers at the rail station, and he is wearing western clothing, does not have a beard, and is wearing an orange ribbon around his wrist. You know who wears those wristbands? You got it right, the Hindu extremists and terrorists. The same ones who destroyed the Babri Mosque in 1992 and ethnically cleansed Gujarat of Muslims in 2002.

There is also much to be said about the veil of secrecy regarding the whole affair by Indian authorities, the unsubstantiated accusations against Pakistan by the Indian PM, and the fact that the chief of counter-terrorism unit, who had earlier made comments about Hindu extremism, was killed. I bet the Jewish element was thrown in to convince the skeptical masses that this was a case of “Islamic anti-Semitism.”

This seems to have been a job well done (or maybe not so, since the eyewitnesses who saw the attackers were not all finished off) by joint CIA-Indian Intelligence teams. The readiness to officially blame Pakistan for it based on alleged proofs that India has refused to provide to world public opinion, speaks volumes, and combined with eyewitness accounts, rules out that the perpetrators were Muslims, let alone that they were doing it in the name of Islam.

Case closed, until further proofs are presented to back up the accusations and assumptions that the perpetrators were Muslims. The Islamophobic world once again uses the tragedy that has struck innocents, to rear its ugly head.