Indian Americans express outrage, revulsion at heinous murder of Muslim cleric in Andhra Pradesh

By TCN News

The Indian American Muslim Council, an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today condemned yet another heinous murder of Mohammed Farooq, a cleric at Noorani Mosque in Talacheru village in Rajahmundry district of Andhra Pradesh. According to media sources, Mohammed Farooq was bludgeoned to death and was found lying in a pool of blood inside the mosque. In addition, the mosque was desecrated by the attackers who left behind a trail of destruction including burnt pages of the Holy Quran, cigarette butts and signs of urination on the mosque floor.

The year 2017 recorded the highest death toll (11 deaths) and the most number of incidents of hate violence (37 incidents) related to cows and religion since 2010, according to an IndiaSpend database that records cow-related hate crime.

“This murder of an innocent cleric and the desecration of the mosque represents a worsening of the human rights situation of Dalits and minorities in India. We call upon the Andhra Pradesh administration not only to take every step to apprehend the killers of Mohammed Farooq but also to check the hateful rhetoric and bigotry that enables such senseless and brutal violence” said Ahsan Khan, the National President of IAMC. “This hate crime is an aberration in an otherwise peaceful Rajahmundry district which has a history of peaceful coexistence amongst people from all religious communities,” he added.

India has been gripped by an alarming rise in hate crimes and attacks on its religious minorities ever since the Narendra Modi administration came to power in May 2014. This year alone, there have been 28 recorded incidents of Hindutva vigilante led lynching and mob attacks on Muslims, Christians and Dalits. However, the continued failure of the law enforcement to prevent these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice has emboldened the individuals and organisations behind such hate crimes. Earlier this month, Mohammed Afrazul, a migrant worker was hacked to death in Rajasthan by a self-styled Hindutva vigilante who recorded the killing on video and proclaimed that he committed the murder to stop Muslims from love-jihad – a fake claim made by Hindutva supremacist groups that Muslims are running some kind of campaign men to convert Hindu women to Islam through false expressions of love.

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Commenting on this issue, Seema Salim, National Vice President of IAMC, expressed grave concern at the rising tide of hate crimes across India. “Andhra Pradesh has traditionally seen peaceful coexistence amongst communities of all religious backgrounds even as many of the BJP ruled states have been gripped by rising tide of Islamophobia and hate crimes against religious minorities. We call upon the Andhra Pradesh state administration for an impartial and expeditious investigation into this hate crime in Rajahmundry while ensuring that this incident is not used to spread hate and discord in the community”, Salim added.

Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organisation of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation.

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