Don’t politicize terrorism, don’t stereotype Muslims, says Catholic Forum

By TCN News,

Mumbai: The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) has called for caution and a thorough investigation before drawing conclusions as to those responsible for the Hyderabad blasts. In a memorandum to the union home minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias has said that within hours of the blasts, there has been suggestions by media that Pakistan and Indian Mujahideen is behind the blasts.

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“Now one can expect many Muslim youth to be arrested, something that has not stood up to judicial scrutiny. In the past we have seen umpteen times, after proper investigation that the Hindutva brigade has been also responsible for such terror attacks. Earlier in the aftermath of the May and August 2007 three blasts in Hyderabad, the Metropolitan Sessions Judge Radha Krishna acquitted all the 21 accused. He said that the prosecution had failed to bring any evidence to prove the charges against them. The government should refrain from stereotyping the Muslim community and making arrests, unless it is sure of the culprits behind the blasts. Ever so often, hundreds of Muslim youth have been falsely arrested and then let off. The courts have had to intervene to get them released “, he said.

According to The CSF, it is alarming to hear shrill voices, with the opposition and parties like the BJP already raising the pitch without conclusive evidence as to who is responsible. “By all means arrest the real culprits and don’t frame the innocent, just to show ‘results’. We are tired of the rhetoric and jingoism indirectly targeting Muslims, repeatedly resulting in polarizing the majority vote and peddling a soft Hindutva in the country. It is a fact, that when cases are heard in courts of law, the prosecution fails to prove the allegations they leveled against innocent Muslim youth. Many of them after suffering confinement and disgrace for as long as 20 years, the best years of their life “, said Joseph Dias.

The CSF general secretary said that if not for a Hemant Karkare, ” the role of Hindutva elements behind terror attacks would have gone unnoticed, even as one suspects communalisation of the police and bureaucracy. Many a times, while the innocent are framed, the true culprits are out free. Most Indian Muslims are as patriotic as any other citizen and such stereotyping will only alienate India’s biggest minority further. It is to the credit of the judiciary that such human rights violations have been checked and hundreds of Muslim youth set free by judges across the country.

In the case of 70 Muslims youth who were arrested in connection with Mecca Masjid blast and later released by court, it was perhaps the first time that the government ordered to give compensation. The CSF hoped that the authorities will be careful this time.

CSF is an activist network of Indian Christians.