These clerics may criticise Mr Tarek Fatah's ideas and beliefs, but they have no right to indulge in calls for murder. This is a criminal offence under Section 108 of the IPC and deserves police action. Murderous threats cannot be permitted to pass under the guise of an expression of hurt sentiment. (The vicious campaign against Taslima Nasreen by certain ulema and organisations of conservative Muslims is still going on). It is a favourite habit of communalists to resort to violence and/or violent intimidation if anyone challenges their so-called religious beliefs. A famous 'Baba' who is also a successful businessman recently announced his desire to behead all those who did not chant Bharat Mata ki Jai upon demand. Would these ulema approve of head-chopping in revenge for 'hurt sentiment' by the Hindutva brigade?
Frankly it is a wonder to me that persons who are so consumed by hate and blood-lust are seen by any section of the public to be interpreters of religious truth. It is unbelievable that Almighty God could be so bloodthirsty. Does God have nothing better to do than wait for heads of blasphemers to roll? Hasn't enough blood been shed? There are many of us whose sentiments are outraged by the antics of nation-worshippers and communal fanatics. It doesn't give us the right to resort to or instigate violence. This has gone on for too long and we have to raise our voices against it, no matter which religious flag they wave.
At the height of the violence of 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had said “it is time for peace-loving citizens to assert themselves and isolate goondaism. Non-violent non-cooperation is the universal remedy. Good is self-existent, evil is not. It is like a parasite living in and around good. It will die of itself when the support that good gives it is withdrawn.” The men demanding violence in the name of religion are a disgrace to whichever faith they claim as theirs. They can continue only because many of us remain silent or complicit in their misbehaviour. It is time that peace-loving persons of all faiths break their silence and withdraw co-operation with those who incite or indulge in violence - DS
Mob at Delhi Urdu Festival Called Me “PM Modi’s Dog”- Tarek Fatah
This article was written 23 years ago, in the wake of the controversy surrounding the ban on The Satanic Verses; the victimisation of professor Mushirul Hasan for suggesting the ban needed to be lifted. (He was violently assaulted in December 1992). Soon after that, the hounding of Taslima Nasreen began in Bangladesh.
We must now demand that it provide due protection for him to resume his functions. Even those who publicly endorse the fatwa against Rushdie are guilty of murderous incitement. If, after December 4, 1992, the anti-Mushir lobby in Jamia have spoken of minority rights on a single instance (which I am sure they did on December 6), they will have transgressed their own communal logic. For they will have admitted that a sense of virtue and non-violent conduct among non-Muslims is the only stable basis for the safety of the minorities, and that therefore their monolithic doctrines are not the only fount of virtue.