ASIA/INDIA - Tension and violence among Hindu and Muslim radicals

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 religious minorities   religious freedom   islam   hinduism   ethnic minorities   human rights   terrorism   violence  

New Dehli (Agenzia Fides) - Tension and violence among Hindus and Muslims in India: in the past few days clashes and violent protests of the local Muslim community occurred in the Western Bengal state, after the provocation of a young Hindu extremist who on the social network Facebook had insulted Islam. After days of tension and violence, police managed to restore calm in the towns of Baduria and Basirhat, in the "North 24 Parganas" district.
The episode highlights the tension among Hindu radical groups and the Muslim minority in India (more than 130 million faithful), which has increased in the last period due to recent measures and extrajudicial killings related to trade and consumption of beef, banned for Hindu religion.
According to the observers, Hindu extremist groups, strong in their ideological design of eliminating Muslim and Christian minorities and making a "Hindu" India, intend to cause violence, a sort of civil conflict. Tathagata Roy, current state governor of Tripura (northeast of India), wrote on the social network Tweeter: "The Hindu-Muslim problem will not be solved without a civil war".
According to Fides sources, in Christian environments it is noted that this violent response of Muslims weakens the secular-democratic narrative that opposes the approach of radical hindu groups and at the same time provides them with the opportunity to present themselves as "defenders of persecuted Hindus" , to broaden their consensus in society. "One must not fall into the trap of these groups", who intend to foment social and religious violence and then legitimize a mass attack against Muslim and Christian minorities, says to Fides Shamsul Islam, a writer and intellectual professor at the University of Delhi, Scholar of the condition and problems of religious minorities in India.
"In the violence of Muslims against Hindus in West Bengal, police officers have been silent spectators who do nothing but increase polarization", observes Shamsul Islam. "Muslim crowds who attacked and destroyed Hindu properties for a couple of days claimed that they were doing it to save the honor of Islam but in this way they betray Islam and do not contribute to building an egalitarian and secular society", he concludes, indicating that there may be new attempts to trigger a dangerous violence.
The incident is added to another recent case of violence on Hindu pilgrims in the Indian state of Kashmir, where a bus carrying Hindu faithful from Gujarat, who were going to the pilgrimage center in Amarnath Yatra, was hit by a terrorist attack attributed to the Islamic "Lashkar-e-Taiba" group. Seven people were killed and 32 wounded. Local Christian and Muslim religious leaders condemned the attack recalling that "religious violence must not have place in India". (PN-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 12/7/2017)

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