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Muslims need to unite to confront new and emerging challenges

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UP Muslims made Himalayan blunders during the recently concluded elections in the state. Will they analyze as to what went wrong and what mistakes they committed during the course of the long electoral campaign in the state?

In the last assembly they had around 70 MLAs in the house of 405 MLAs. Now their strength stands at merely 25 MLAs in the same house. Their sheer numbers suggest that Muslims have become completely marginalized in the state where as many as 40 million Muslims reside.

There is no denying that mistakes committed by Muslims helped the BJP immensely in the state. If it was not the sole reason of the BJP coming to power, it was certainly a reason in the BJP winning more than 300 seats in the house where they had less than 50 seats in the house.

Nonetheless, even in these difficult times the Muslim community of the state is failing to look at the real picture and instead keeping itself busy ranting about foul play in the voting machines.

They are trying to cast a blind eye to the seriousness of the matter and failing to look at their mistakes. Now more than ever they need to step out of the war of sectarianism within themselves and take in the larger desolate picture.

The life for a Muslim has changed drastically since BJP has taken the reigns of central governance. Since BJP victory in UP the undercurrents in the country have deepened against the Muslims. The pleasant mannerisms of leaders of pre-polling days have changed and turned ominous.

In a village in Barreilly notices have been pasted on the houses of Muslim locals that they need to vacate the village by December or face scary consequences. Whatever BJP is doing in Uttar Pradesh has already happened to the whole of community during the reign of SP.

Muzaffarnagar and Asthana village of Pratapgarh were similar and Muslims were beaten and shooed out of these places. These forty families had to flee leaving behind their homes and farmsteads. They were forced to take shelter in madarsas. Not much was done against the miscreants and accused in these cases. Nothing was done to discourage such biased violence. That was the rule of SP.

There might be other villages where the population of Muslims was scarce and it would have been easier to scare them away from their homes. This is not a new experience for Muslims. Muslims have faced atrocities in Muradabad, Jamshedpur, Nellie, Meerut, Malyana, Hashimpur, Gujarat, Mumbai and Bhiwandi. The list of deaths is long and atrocities longer.

The anti-Muslim agenda that is being prepared by the leaders in Vishva Hindu Parishad, RSS, BJP, and Shiv Sena, that might be thrown back at their face since history works in a full circle.

Muslims are a patient community. They have been displaced and killed and burned, maligned for terrorism when they are themselves terrorised. And now a government has come in power that apparently has no soft corner for this community. Muslims are deteriorating financially and educationally.

But all this is happening and the patient community has not stood up to take solid measures to protect itself. It has not come together. It has not picked up the Islamic ethics that are strong enough to turn the tides of history. The Muslim community is not Muslim enough to join hands and stand firm on its principles of peace and unity. The community is not listening to what has been said by Allah, that if he strays from the path of Allah, then a tyrant government would be imposed upon it.

The time is here and now to hold firm on faith and follow the religion carefully. It would not do for Muslims now to lead an easy and deluded life. They are meant to be strong and make an effort to stay firm and fight for peace with unity. Then they can count on the help that is promised. (Translated from Urdu Times, Mumbai)

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