By Dr Syed Fazil Hussain Perwez
Ever since Donald Trump entered White House as the new United States President, Islamophobia seems to be taking root in the West and the anti-Muslim forces have gained strength. The detention of renowned boxer, Muhammad Ali’s wife, and son at the Florida airport for over two hours is an example of bias and undue treatment meted out to Muslims in Trump’s America.
Rumana Ahmad, a Muslim White House security staff of Bangladeshi origin, who was known for donning hijab, recently resigned from her prestigious post because she said she could not work under the current environment anymore. This is a clear display of the unfair environment created by Trump’s biased policies and the Islamophobia caused by his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Despite such bias, Trump has many supporters among the communal-minded Indian-Americans. Hindu-for-Trump group had welcomed him with Indo-American cultural programs and America-based industrialist Shalabh Kumar had even gifted Trump 8 lakh dollars.
However, the enthusiasm of these supporters was dampened when Kansas, Mussourie shooting left an Indian engineer dead and an Indian couple seriously injured. The violence against Muslims has escalated since Trump has ascended the chair.
Trump administration has mostly kept quiet on such incidents violence. After such incidents, the younger western culture loving population is also becoming wary.
For security reasons, in such environment in America these days, Indians are advised to keep away from speaking in their own mother tongues in public lest they incite violence from any stray Trump supporter in the vicinity.
The enthusiastic supporters of Trump seem to have been emboldened by his win and his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim stance. They have started taking the law in their own hands.
Similar atmosphere seems to be on display in our country. During a seminar in Ramjas College in Delhi University, Khalid Umar and JNU Student union leader Shahla Rasheed were denied entry. ABVP activists, opposed to their invitation, went on rampage, beating students and teachers alike. They snatched Shahla Rasheed’s mobile phone and Khalid Umar and other left activists and his group anti-nationals.
When Gurmehar Kaur, a young DU student, protested against against ABVP violence on social media, she received rape and death-threats and had to flee from the city itself. ABVP activists kept harassing students and teachers in Ramjas, kept holding them hostage for hours and disrupted studies in the college for days. Ramjas college students went on a protest march against ABVP actions in the college on February 28. Gurmehar Kaur did not participate physically in the March but expressed her support through social media.
Such violence within educational institutions were allowed because the government of the day supports such elements.
Similar was the case of Rohit Vimula of University of Hyderabad last year, who was caught in a tussle with an ABVP member. The university took the side of the political cadre. The bias and discrimination against Rohit and all his friends became so unbearable that he committed suicide.
ABVP created similar uproar in JNU against Kanhaiya Kumar and Khalid Umar and left the university ringing with shouts of ‘anti-national’. Richa Singh of Hyderabad University also became the target of ABVP goons. None of the ABVP members were ever chastised for their attack against secular forces. The leniency with ABVP members, despite their clearly unjust and violent measures, is surprising.
Whatever is happening in Indian colleges these days is open for all in the world to see through social media. This is also the reason why we cannot question the injustice being meted out to Indians in the rest of the world. We are culprits in our own land, how can we point out to others of doing the same? (Translated by Nabila Habib from Urdu Times)