There exists a dire need for Muslims across the globe to empathize, ideate and organize, in order to free the community of long-standing oppression
Today, August 5th marks the anniversary of India’s decision to revoke the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority state where 7 million people continue to live under brutal military occupation.
Also, today, August 5th, was deliberately chosen by Indian authorities to mark the beginning of the construction of the Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh state where the 16th-century Babri Mosque once stood, until it was destroyed by Hindu mobs on December 6th, 1992.
The demolition of the 16th-century Babri Masjid, which was constructed under the rule of the first Mughal Emperor Babar, enkindled attacks against Muslims and genocides of Muslims in parts of India that continued for months. More than 1,000 people were killed.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will be the chief guest for today’s Ram Temple ceremony and will lay the silver bricks that would serve
as the foundation of the temple that is to come.
Thus, August 5th will become another infamous date for Muslims in India, a day of increased tyranny in Kashmir, with the added insult of a grand function in the city of Ayodhya, where the Babri mosque’s destruction led to a nationwide attack on Muslims in 1992.
The controversial decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir last year was met largely with indifference from Indian Muslims, who feared being targeted by the government. However, they rose to the streets over the Government’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, whose repercussions could possibly threaten to affect the lifestyle of Indian Muslims.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said about the Muslim community, “You see the believers as resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it.”
Muslims have gradually ceased to identify as belonging under the umbrella of whom the saying calls “believers”, into various nationalistic identities that they take pride in. This conditioned shift in identification has caused them to remain numb over issues that do not affect them directly and place their “belief” in other constructed ideologies.
The maximum level of solidarity that can be expressed has been reduced to tweeting and sharing Whatsapp statuses and on rare occasions – peaceful demonstrations in an attempt to demand justice, under the guidance and restrictions of rights groups, who decide the narrative of the demonstration, which largely are of no avail.
There exists a dire need for Muslims across the globe to empathize, ideate and organize, in order to free the community of long-standing oppression and re-instil hope and faith among its people, about its people; or I would say, among the believers, about the believers.