Saturday, May 31, 2014

Remembering Shaykh Sa'di - the great sage of Islam


Shaykh Sa’di was one of the greatest sages of the Muslim world. Growing up as a child in Bangladesh, I first came across a story about this great scholar in my text book.  It was an intriguing piece which never escaped from my mind. 

Shaykh Sa’di was once invited to a wealthy man’s mansion.  He goes there shabbily dressed.  The guards would not let him in.  He returns after a short while wearing an expensive gown.  This time the guards let him inside the mansion.  The time for supper comes.  Instead of eating the food, he starts collecting the food in his pockets.  The host is puzzled by what he sees.  He approaches the Shaykh and inquires about the matter.  Sa’di says: “I don’t deserve the food, but my gown surely does.  Hearing this, the host is equally puzzled by the reply of his honored guest.  He begs the Shaykh to explain the matter.  When Sa’di explains to him as to what had happened, the host gets a lesson on morality and apologizes earnestly for the manner of his guards.  

Who can deny the moral behind the story that people are often judged by the dress they wear?

            Shaykh Sa’di’s full name is Musharraf-ud-din bin Muslih-ud-din Sa’di Shirazi.  He was born nearly 800 years ago in the city of Shiraz in Iran in ca. 1213 C.E.  He lost his father, Muslih-ud-din, in his early childhood.  He studied traditional Islamic sciences in Baghdad at the renowned Nizamiyah College.  During his time, the Mongols had devastated much of the Muslim lands, esp. Iran and Baghdad (in today’s Iraq).  The condition of Muslims was terrible.  No time in history before had they suffered anything like this.  Millions were killed, homes and business places razed, mosques and minarets demolished, schools, colleges and universities destroyed.  With the destruction of the famous library in Baghdad, much of the six hundred year old collection of the Islamic work in all branches of knowledge – science and medicine, logic and philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, history, literature, hadith, tafsir and kalam – were lost forever.  It was such a blow that Muslims could never again claim intellectual superiority over other nations.  Much of what passed on to Europe or the West, responsible for catalyzing western Renaissance later, was through the collections in Muslim Andalusia (Spain). 

            The uneasy and devastating situations in the Middle East led Sa’di to wander abroad through Iraq, Syria, Anatolia (Turkey) and Misr (Egypt) for many years.  He was held in captivity by the Christian Franks and put to work on the trenches of fortress of Tripoli (in Libya).  When he eventually returned to his native Shiraz, he was an old man.  He lived there till his death in 1291 C.E.  He took his pseudonym Sa’di from the name of the local Atabeg or Prince, Sa’d bin Zangi.  Because of his wisdom, he was more popularly known as the sage -  Shaykh Sa’di. 

            Shaykh Sa’di’s best known works are the Bustan (The Orchard, written in 655 A.H./1257 C.E.) and the Gulistan (The Rose Garden, written in 656 A.H./1258 C.E.).  The Bustan is entirely in verses and consists of stories illustrating virtues of justice, liberality, modesty and contentment recommended to all Muslims, as well as of reflections on the behavior of Sufis and dervishes and their ecstatic practices.  The Gulistan is mainly in prose and consists of stories and personal anecdotes containing aphorisms, advice and humorous reflections.

             In his introduction of Gulistan, Shaykh Sa’di wrote:

“Our intention was advice and we gave it.

We recommended you to God and departed.”

             Shaykh Sa’di is going to be remembered as an author of a number of masterly odes in Qasa’id, and as a lyricist found in Ghazzaliyat.  He is also known for a number of works in Arabic.  The peculiar blend of humor and resignation, human kindness and cynicism often displayed in Sa’di’s works make him the most lovable writer in the Iranian culture.  If not for anything else, he will always be remembered among the Muslims for his famous qasidah on the Prophet - Muhammad sal-lal-lahu alaih wa sal-lam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): Balagal ‘ula be-ka-malihi kashafad-duja be-ja-malihi .... meaning:

He attained exaltation by his perfection. 
He dispelled darkness by his beauty. 
Beauteous are all his qualities, 
Benediction be on him and on his family. 

             May Allah be pleased with Shaykh Sa’di.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

NPR's coverage of the Rohingya problem in Myanmar

The NPR (National Public Radio), known for its independent views, has recently covered the Rohingya problem in Myanmar. Here is a link to read its review.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thai Government is in cahoots with criminal human traffickers of the Rohingya Detainees in Thailand

Thin Lei Win of the Thomson Reuters Foundation has recently covered the plight of the Rohingya detainees in Thailand. She mentions in particular about the sad saga of a Rohingya teenager who had left Arakan in 2012. This young teenager was holed up in a Thai Detention center for nearly a year before being handed over to traffickers.

In the words of the detainee, "I was stuck at the Ranong Immigration Detention Centre (in southern Thailand near the Myanmar border) for 11 months. One day, we were told we would be deported back to Myanmar. The boats were to carry us to Kawthaung (in Myanmar) but we ended up at a place where cars were waiting. The cars took us to the jungle camp run by the traffickers.
"The first time they beat us was just after we - about 400 of us - arrived at the camp in the early morning. They threatened us and made us call our relatives to ask for money so we would be released. When people said they did not have money or relatives to contact, they were beaten up even more.
"We had to squat during the day and sleep in a foetal position at night. We couldn’t move. The guards would swear and beat us if we tried to change position.
"After 10 weeks in the camp, my legs started wobbling when I tried to stand up. My body would sway. Within two or three days, I could no longer move them. I had to drag myself on my bottom to get anywhere, including going to the toilet.
"Many people died in the camp - some from beating, but they were already weak from not having enough food, and some from diseases because living conditions were not clean."

 By handing over the detainees to criminal human traffickers, it is obvious that the Thai government officials of the Immigration Detention Center are in cahoots with criminal gangs that prey on such vulnerable people. It is a gross violation of the human right of a detainee or an asylum seeker. Thai Government should be ashamed of committing such crimes and let the suffering linger.

You can read the article by clicking here

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Our 'Crazy' World!

In the early 1980s, I lived in Isla Vista, California, for two years and a half.  Located nearly a hundred miles north of Los Angeles city and edging the shore of the Pacific Ocean, with a round-the-year spring like climate, it is a small university town catering mostly to the needs of the students and staff of the University of California, Santa Barbara. It is paradise for students and probably the most scenic university campus in the USA. As a former student and resident I have fond memories of the place.

I was simply shocked to learn that seven people, including a suspected gunman, died in drive-by shootings on last Friday night in Isla Vista. Such violence is almost unknown in this town. The police authorities believe the act to be "a premeditated mass murder." The violence began and ended within minutes, from 9:27 p.m. KEYT reported that "witnesses described seeing a black BMW speeding through the streets, spraying bullets at people and various targets." Six minutes after the first emergency call, the suspected gunman Elliot Roger traded fire with sheriff's deputies, and the vehicle plowed into a parked vehicle. The suspected gunman was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound. It wasn't clear whether the death was self-inflicted or whether deputies killed the suspected gunman. A semiautomatic handgun was recovered from the vehicle.

Police are looking into a possible link with a YouTube video in which Elliot Roger complains of repeated rejection by women and threatens to take revenge. Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown called the suspect "severely mentally disturbed," according to KEYT.

I am sure if the suspect was a Muslim, he would be described as a terrorist. Remember John Allen and his accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo – the Beltway Snipers? They, too, were severely mentally disturbed who terrorized parts of Maryland and Washington DC. They sought a ransom of $10 million from the US government to stop their sniper killings that would be used to establish a Utopian society for 140 homeless black children on a Canadian compound.

Whatever the motivations and mental conditions of the killers, it goes without saying that our world is increasingly becoming a killing field, or so it feels like, in which ordinary people are at the mercy of criminals.

Not all these criminals – executioners and planners are, however, ordinary thugs or killers that have nothing better to do than to kill someone for some material gains or mere fun of being able to kill someone.

Some of the killers are state actors – agents of a brutal government – merely carrying out the order of the boss, or those in power in the government. They are the most dangerous of the bunch. They can target anyone who is not in their good books -- sometimes even beyond their own borders. Sometimes they can carry out mass murders. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria fits into this latter category. His Alawite forces have killed some 150,000 Sunnis in the civil war. The ruthless mass murderer has no desire to step down and host a fair election, and is committed to rule the country for another seven years and probably, for life, until he dies. So, he bombs and kills civilians in the rebel-controlled areas, while the world watches apathetically and does not do anything to stop him. There is little chance that the resistance against his brutal regime will be fully incapacitated, but as the evidences show the armed struggle to oust him is slipping into the hands of more radical, extremist groups who are no less brutal against any so-called collaborators of the hated regime and want to fight to the end. The ordinary citizens are caught in the middle of this mayhem, and many are dying, and many are fleeing the country.

Amongst the non-state actors, in recent days, the Boko Haram, under the leadership of Abubaker Shekau, has captured most of the news headlines these days. The group has abducted more than 200 girls from school dormitories in the town of Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria. Shekau, in a video, claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and threatened to sell the girls if his demands for releasing prisoners were not met. The UN has recently called it a terrorist outfit.

Loosely translated from the region's Hausa language, Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden". It was founded by Mohammed Yusuf who was killed in 2009 in police custody and succeeded by Abubakar Shekau.  

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer and yet, despite its vast wealth, huge and diverse population, and regional leadership role, the country has been failing in nation-building.  It’s a Muslim-majority country in which everything – from politics to economy and the branches of the federal government from administration to police to military to judiciary – is controlled or dominated by the Christian minority. Corruption is very rampant and the country ranked an abysmal 156th out of 187 countries on the United Nation's Human Development Index despite having the world's 32nd largest GDP.

The Christian-run federal administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has failed to deliver any semblance of government, justice, and security for huge sweeps of its nearly 175 million people. The Hausa, Fulani and other Muslims in Nigeria have long suffered under discriminatory and corrupt practices of the federal government. For instance, police would often wrestle young men off to prison in hopes of winning bribes from their families for their release. Jobs are portioned off to cronies and family members of those in power or of influence. The oil wealth has not trickled down to the Muslim territories. Elected MPs hardly visit their impoverished region except when elections roll around so as to buy their votes.

Responding to these degradations, many in the country's Muslim-majority north (traditional Hausaland) supported a movement at the turn of the century to impose Sharia law there - an attempt to bring true justice to a system that lacked any semblance of such. So emerged Boko Haram, which claimed to establish a stricter form of Islamic governance!

As noted in a 2012 article in the National (UAE) by Elizabeth Dickinson, what transformed Boko Haram from accident to inevitability was simple: the government's response to it, particularly that of the army and the police. For years, the security forces responded to threats of extremism by rounding up anyone who they thought might possibly be connected. Usually that meant tens or hundreds of innocents would be jailed for every few guilty.

When Boko Haram first struck in 2009, the police reacted by raiding their compound and summarily executing the group's leaders. Since that day, Boko Haram has waged war on the Nigerian police in retaliation. The government's response has always been hard-handed crackdown, which has only pushed more and more sympathizers into Boko Haram's camp. Thus, what was once a manageable and avoidable mistake has now become a full-blown ‘terrorism.’

Until Nigeria mends its fences towards effective nation-building and indignities go away through empowerment, education, jobs and securities for the local Muslims, Boko Haram surely will not be the last of such rebellious groups waging war on a corrupt government no matter how reprehensible their means can sometimes be.

Some of the killers in our ‘crazy’ world have been politicians. With power and influence, such crimes come easy and are often manageable. Consider, e.g., Bangladesh. Some members of the police and its crime-fighting special unit – RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) – have recently been found complicit in the execution style murder of seven individuals, which included a Narayanganj city ward councilor and a lawyer.

An anti-terrorist local organization, Santras Nirmul Toki Manch, demanded last Friday that MP Shamim Osman of the ruling Awami League be immediate arrested for his alleged involvement in the sensational murder. Interestingly, Osman comes from a well-known political family in Narayanganj city with deep roots within the ruling party. He has long been feared as a criminal Godfather.

When a known criminal is nominated and gets elected, it is like putting the Dracula to guard the blood-bank!

Well, with criminals – serial and mass-murderers – running the show these days in many parts of the world, life can only become worse or so it seems. We should probably thank God more often that we are still alive and can complain about such anomalies in our world!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Narendra Modi - an analysis by Vikas Jose

Soon after my article on Narendra Modi got published in the Internet, some Indian pro-Modi supporters complained that I was too harsh on him, and that he was not a fascist. As I maintained many times before, Modi is a fascist, and I have not changed my mind on this dangerous man. His toxic ideology of Hindutva is  Hindu fascism and nothing short of it. By electing Modi and his BJP party overwhelmingly the Indian electorates have shown their fascination and fondness for fascism. Pure and simple! There is no other way to describe their choice! There is no way to hide this ugly fact.

Two years ago, Vinod Jose wrote an excellent article - The Emperor Uncrowned - analyzing Narendra Modi's rise from a low-caste Hindu family to becoming the chief minister of Gujarat. It provides ample of evidences to show that my verdict of Modi is not misplaced. The interested reader can read Mr. Jose's lengthy article by clicking here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My mother-in-law has passed away

My mother-in-law Rowshan Ara Begum died yesterday (Saturday) in Dhaka. Inna lillahi wa inna elayhi rajioun. May Allah forgive her and grant her jannat.

She was a writer and wrote more than half a dozen books that included children's story books and short stories.

Modi’s Win in India - An Analysis

The Indian people have spoken and have elected Narendra Modi resoundingly as their man to lead their impoverished but promising nation of some 1.25 billion people. Modi has been described by many as a ruthless murderer, a fascist, a racist and a bigot, espousing a chauvinist agenda that favor one community, i.e., Hindus, over others in this caste-ridden nation of many creeds. His supporters, on the other hand, see him as a Hitler-like avatar that could work miracles, delivering results that would reposition India in the global arena as a power broker.

Anxieties are high on all sides. Can Modi, revered by so many and also hated by so many, deliver the promises he has made? Will he carry out his threats? Can he deliver economic miracles? Or, will he marginalize non-Hindus, who despise him? Will his agenda lead to further escalation of regional tension?

There is no doubt that India needed a change. Indians were tired of the dynastic rule from the Nehru family that has ruled India for much of her history since she won independence in August 15, 1947. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the ruling Congress had become a political fossil that did neither inspire nor engage the party cadre, much less general public, and knew that his time has run out and that the mantle of leadership had to be passed on to someone new and younger, possibly a hypnotic and charismatic figure.

But Rahul Gandhi, the grandson of Indira Gandhi and the son of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, surely, was not the person who could gravitate people to the Congress cause. He appeared too upper-class, European/non-Indian looking and out of touch, as if not belonging, in spite of his occasional use of dhuti in the election rallies. With a Catholic mother, albeit Sari-clad, and an electorate that has increasingly come to identify itself along narrow religious lines, Rahul Gandhi appeared naïve and unfit, and was no match against a veteran politician like Narendra Modi who symbolized Hinduism, or more properly, Hindutva.

Too many things have gone wrong during the Congress rule of India. The economy has been suffering miserably and growing at an anemic rate, inflation has been steadily rising, and the unemployment rate has been steeply climbing forcing some half a million Indians to work illegally inside Bangladesh. And to this list, add the endemic corruption that has multiplied several folds and a bureaucracy that is one of the least efficient and highly corrupt in our world.

In the midst of all such crises, the Indian voters were looking for a prudent leader who not only looked like them and had an ordinary upbringing, but could also revive their economy by bringing in jobs that mattered most. The Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi seemed to fit that expectation quite well. He is a commoner who served as a tea hawker in his childhood years in a railway station; his mother worked as a servant in other people’s homes. As a teenager he got attracted to the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh or RSS, the Hindutvadi platform, which was to shape his life.

Modi formally joined the BJP in the mid-1980s, and participated in its meetings, rising gradually from a field worker to a regional leader. In 1995 he became the BJP's national secretary and, three years later, became the general secretary. He held the post until October 2001 when he was chosen to be the chief minister of Gujarat. He got reelected twice.

Last year in May, Modi was appointed the head of the BJP's election management committee. Within months, he was declared the BJP's prime ministerial aspirant. He made good governance and development the main focus of his campaign, deriding Gandhi as a "princeling" who had little concept of the aspirations of more than half a billion Indians, living below the poverty line. During the election campaigns, he traveled far and wide and sounded serious and credible, while the ruling party ran a lackluster campaign. He was highly organized and had a plan, while the ruling party seemed to have none. He also sold hope while the ruling party ran out of ideas to excite and motivate the Indian electorate. He enjoyed endorsement from Indian billionaires whose business enterprises had hitherto benefitted from the concessions enjoyed at Gujarat. 

So, what was long known and expected by political pundits has now become a reality. The BJP and its leader Modi won big and are expected to run India for the next five years. His election win, however, comes with a high price. He has long been a very polarizing politician who has been accused of culpability for the Gujarat massacre of some two thousand Muslims. He represents a Hindu supremacist (i.e., fascist) party that promotes the absurd idea that India is for Hindus only, and that other minorities must either pack up and leave or conform to Hindu supremacy.

While many Hindus celebrate his win, the non-Hindus in India are nervous. Amid what many see as a rising tide of intolerance drummed up by Hindu fascist and nationalist groups, most Muslims fear what a Modi-led government means for their community. As one Muslim told the CNN, "For Muslims, Modi represents death." He also means destruction. As the Prime Minister of India, will Modi now repeat the crimes of Gujarat everywhere? Will he carry out BJP’s promise to build a Hindu temple at the site of demolished Babri mosque in Ayodhya? Will he evict Muslims, much like what the other fascist Hitler had done with the Jews of Germany?

These anxieties are not merely a relic of the past. As recently as September last year, more than 60 people were killed and tens of thousands displaced in pogroms in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh state. Most of the affected were Muslims. Modi’s bigotry-ridden and xenophobic speeches in election campaigns have already resulted in the targeted massacre of Muslims in Assam, bordering Bangladesh. Thousands of Muslims are without homes now. During the election campaign, Modi appeared alongside associates including a Gujarati politician who made inflammatory speeches speaking of "revenge" for the 2002 riots and called on voters to reject parties with Muslim candidates. Modi has also threatened to deport the so-called outsiders to Bangladesh.

Modi’s initial victory speech was self-referential. “Go on YouTube and you will see young children who can barely say mummy or daddy say, “Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar (this time around, Modi’s government).” As a leader of a fascist party, humility is not in his dictionary. He is proud and rigid.

If the past is any way to judge the future trend, Modi is sure to ruffle feathers further polarizing the divided nation. Indians through their vote for BJP and its polarizing figure Modi have once again proven the shallowness of secularism in India. Truly, they have never come to terms with the true spirit of secularism. It is a sad commentary, but a hard fact!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Another Rohingya victim of Buddhist Lynching

Another Rohingya has been lynched to death in Arakan, Burma, by hateful Buddhists. You can read the story by clicking here.

Irfan Engineer on Assam Violence

 Irfan Engineer writes on Indian secularism. In his recent posting, he has covered the massacre of Muslims in Assam. Here below is his piece, which I share in full:
========================================
What is happening in Assam should shame humanity and Indian democracy. Official figures of dead in Kokrajhar and Baksa Dist. (Assam) is 32. Citizens were fired upon and killed on 1st May and 2nd May for their voting choice. Unofficial sources say number of dead toll may be even higher as 31 persons are still missing and not accounted for.
The 16th General election for Lok Sabha concluded in Assam on 24th April. From Kokrajhar constituency, the candidate of Bodo People’s Front, a party of former militants, was Chandan Brahma and was opposed by a non-Bodo candidate Heera Saraniya, a former commander of ULFA, backed by the Sanmilita Janagostiya Aikkyamancha (SJA), an amalgamation of at least 20 ethnic and linguistic groups based in BTAD. He problematized 26 per cent Bodos ruling over 74 per cent non-Bodos in the BTAD. He called it revolution and not election. Voting among non-Bodos was about 65%.
Pramila Rani Brahma, BPF Minister for Agriculture in Assam and elected from Kokrajhar East Constituency gave an interview to media on 30th April claiming even before the results of Lok Sabha elections are out that this time Muslims did not vote for the BPF and therefore their candidate Chandan Brahma was not likely to win. The ministers speculation amounted to dividing the electorate on the basis of religion amounted to violation of law of the land promoting hatred ill-will or animosity on the basis of religion, an offence under sec. 153-A of IPC. She should have been immediately dismissed from the cabinet and arrested for the offence.
As if on cue, the next day, i.e. on 1st May at 7.30 p.m., 8 Bodo youth armed with fire arms riding on 4 bicycles entered a house in Narasinghbari village in Baksa Dist. inhabited by Muslims and asked, whom did you vote for, and before getting any answer they fired shots and killed 3 persons and injured two. At 12.30 a.m. on 2nd May (night of 1st May) in Balapara village part I, 20 armed militants entered and fired indiscriminately on 5 houses and killed 8 people which include 3 women, two old persons and 3 children (aged: 3, 8 and 12 years), who had obviously not even voted. On the same day (2nd May), 40 militants surrounded 77 houses in Narayanguri village (the last village before Manas National Park) and fired indiscriminately. 20 dead bodies have been found so far, 8 had to be hospitalised and 31 are still not accounted for. This has led to exodus of Muslims to safer places.
The Addl. DGP visited Kokrajhar and has requisitioned 10 companies of armed security forces but only 6 companies have been sent so far. Flag marches are being conducted on main roads by the security forces whereas people are unsafe inside villages and flag marches notwithstanding, they are scurrying to more secured places.
Who are responsible for the killings?
Media needs to name those responsible for tragedies. Quoting sources it blamed NDFB (Songbijit faction) for the killings. However, why should NDFB kill non-Bodos for not voting BPF candidate when both the organizations have a running feud and have killed each other’s cadres? Moreover, NDFB claims that they do not fire indiscriminately and have denied their role in the incident.
Assam Minister of state for Border Areas Development Siddique Ahmed has on the other hand claimed that extremist elements in Bodoland People's Front (BPF), an alliance partner of Tarun Gogoi-led state government, are involved in the recent violence in Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD). About 40 surrendered youth of Bodo Liberation Tigers (now BPF) have been given arms (303 rifles) to defend themselves against NDFB militants and camped in Basbari Range Forest office. They are members of youth wing of BPF. All their expenses are met by the Bodoland Territorial Council Government. It is suspected that these youth might have attacked Narayanguri village as spent cartridges from 303 rifles were found in the village and were handed over to the police. 4 of those youth have been arrested. 5000 villagers of Narayanguri village surrounded the Basbari Range Forest office demanding that all the 40 youth be disarmed, disengaged and arrested immediately.
Bodo militants feel constant threat that they constitute only 26 per cent in the BTAD and are demanding even larger territory. They have attacked the Rajkochbanshis, Oraons and other adivasis and non-Bodos in the past for ethnic cleansing and converting their 26 per cent into a majority. Muslims are the soft target as they are vulnerable to the accusation of illegal migrants. Also sort of social consensus has been manufactured by the right wing Hindu nationalists and Assam agitation holding them responsible for all evils and threat to existence of the nation. When Muslims are attacked, there is not even a little ripple in the political establishment. The Bodo militants might be wanting to send a message to all the non-Bodos but the target the softest target they might have found were Muslims. The victims and the community they belong to have remained absolutely peaceful. Now the onus is on the state to protect them and ensure that they enjoy all the citizenship rights.
WE therefore demand:
· That the 40 surrendered militants of BLT in Basbari Range Forest Office be disengaged. Disarmed and investigated for their complicity in the attacks on Muslims in BTAD on 1st May and 2nd May 2014.
· FIR be registered against Pramila Rani Brahma for her anetment and instigation of the said attack on Muslims, investigated and brought to justice
· Secured relief camps with adequate standards be provided to the victims till they feel confident to return
· Adequate compensation to those killed and injured be provided immediately
· Illegal arms be demobilized and a sustained campaign against armed militants be undertaken till all of them are disarmed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Is India a budding hegemon or a regional leader?

Thirty years ago, Indian political scientist, writer and foreign affairs commentator (late) Dr. Bhabani Sen Gupta wrote in the India Today, “The Indian elephant cannot transform itself into a mouse. If South Asia is to get itself out of the crippling binds of conflicts and cleavages, the six will have to accept the bigness of the seventh. And the seventh, that is India, will have to prove to the six that big can indeed be beautiful.” [“The Big Brother Syndrome”, India Today, April 30, 1984]

Has the Indian elephant proven its case that it is beautiful, and not an ugly beast? Before we try to explore the issue, it may be proper to get used to the term ‘hegemony’; after all, India is viewed as a hegemonic power by all her neighbors – from Bangladesh in the east to Pakistan in the west, from Nepal and Bhutan in the north to Sri Lanka in the south.

Hegemony is the privileged exercise of power in complete disregard to the interests of other states. Joshua Goldstein defines the term hegemony as “being able to dictate, or at least dominate, the rules and arrangements by which international relations, political and economic, are conducted.”

The power that a state possesses in a community of nations is measured either by a quantification of the elements of national power, which includes both the tangible elements like national population, GDP, military expenditure, technological capabilities and intangible elements like national morale and quality of leadership, or a perception that other states have in regard to that state. Perception is psychosomatically rooted in what and how of the others’ behavior in international interaction. It is conditioned to circumstances, duration of time and historical experience, and may not really be true.

Leadership, regional or global, on the other hand, does not reflect only one country’s national interest; it reflects the common interest of a group of states in the regional or global order.

Hegemony and leadership emerge from the same sources of power elements, but essentially differ in the mode of power projection and reception creating different models of inter-state relations.

Power is perceived as leadership when its exercise is characterized by the following: i) encourage maximum involvement and participation, ii) diffusion of responsibility, iii) reinforcing inter-state contacts, iv) initiation of new ideas, and v) defending and advancing common group interest.

When power is distributed unevenly, political leaders and theorists use terms such as empire and hegemony.

The exercise of power is perceived as hegemonic behavior when it is characterized by the following: i) changing the rules rather than adapting to policies to the existing rules, ii) enjoying special rights for advancing hegemonic interests, iii) voluntary responsibility for group development is assumed, with focus on individual development, iv) group goals and strategies are defined by the hegemon which may or may not promote group interests, and v) code of conduct is framed for directing and regulating behavior of individual states.

Is India a hegemonic power? As to her tangible, quantifiable power, here are some undeniable facts to consider. India occupies a unique position in the South Asian region by dint of occupying nearly 72 percent of the land surface in South Asia, being a home of 77 percent of the region’s population, and accounting for nearly 75 percent of the regional economic output.

As noted above, by the virtue of its size, location and economic potential, India claims a regional leadership position for herself, while her South Asian neighbors accuse her of exercising hegemony. And her neighbors have reasons for their allegations. India has repeatedly resorted to military force in the region, most famously by splitting Pakistan into two in 1971. India ousted the Ranas in Nepal and put King Tribhuvan on the throne (1950). India got him to sign a treaty of peace and friendship that is viewed by many Nepalese politicians as imperialist. India trained the Tamil Tigers to start a rebellion in Sri Lanka in the early 1980s worsening the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka. India restored Prime Minister Gayoom’s rule during the attempted military coup in Maldives (1988).

In terms of annexation, land grab and occupation, India has occupied Muslim-majority Jammu & Kashmir (1947), Muslim-ruled Hyderabad (1948), Portuguese-administered Dadra & Nagar Haveli (1954), and Goa, Diu & Daman (1961), and Buddhist-ruled Sikkim (1975) through a plethora of violent and deceitful means, often disregarding people’s wishes. For instance, an opinion poll by CSDS in 2007 showed that 87% of people in the Kashmir Valley wanted independence, i.e., they didn’t want to live under India. And yet, India, the so-called largest democracy in our world, has no desire to holding such a referendum in the occupied territories. She likes to hold onto the territory by hook or crook, much like what China has been doing with Xinjiang and Tibet.

In the early 1960s, the world's initial outrage at ‘pacifist’ India's resort to military violence for conquest of Portuguese territories (and enclaves) subsided into resigned disdain. The Christian Goans were humiliated and less than happy about their "liberation" by luxury-hungry Indian soldiers who stripped bare their shops. In a December 19, 1961 article, titled, "India, The Aggressor", The New York Times stated, "With his invasion of Goa, Prime Minister Nehru has done irreparable damage to India's good name and to the principles of international morality.” Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, a respected Indian leader of the Swatantra Party, declared, "India has totally lost the moral power to raise her voice against the use of military power." In a letter to the U.S. President on January 2, 1962, Pakistan’s President General Ayub Khan stated: "My Dear President, The forcible taking of Goa by India has demonstrated what we in Pakistan have never had any illusions about—that India would not hesitate to attack if it were in her interest to do so and if she felt that the other side was too weak to resist.”

India’s relationship with her neighbors is quite contentious. India favors a bilateral dialogue for addressing these concerns, while her neighbors demand a multilateral regional approach. India fears that the neighbors would gang-up against her and demand unrealistic concessions in a multi-lateral milieu, while the neighbors suspect that India seeks to take undue advantage of the weak bargaining capacity of each state in a bilateral dialogue. Neighbors view Indian bilateralism as an instrument of coercive diplomacy, while India considers the demand of multilateralism as an unnecessary burden of the nascent and fragile process of SAARC.

The neighbors see India as a powerful bully that is using their territories to dump poor quality Indian goods while putting unnecessary restrictions to exporting their goods into India. Consider, for instance, the trade with Bangladesh. With regard to exports, Bangladesh’s contribution to India’s global exports is significant. According to World Bank, Bangladesh officially imported $2.3 billion (USD) worth of goods from India in 2007 while exporting only $0.5 billion (USD) to India. (Note that illegal trade between the two countries is estimated to be at least three-quarters of the official figures.) This trade deficit has since been widening at an annual rate of approx. 10%.

If the unfavorable trade deficit continues, the neighbors fear that they will be dependent only on a few products for their exports, and imports from India will displace domestic production to such an extent as to de-industrialize those countries. As a result, high levels of unemployment will follow creating chaos and regional instability.

As noted by experts, the real constraints to intra-regional trade in South Asia are to be found in tariff and para-tariff barriers. The tariff rates have always been higher in India than in Bangladesh and other neighbors. India also requires mandatory testing on India’s imports in food items, textiles and leather from her neighbors like Bangladesh. The samples of Bangladeshi textile and leather products are sent to Lucknow and Chennai for testing which takes significant time.

Obtaining licenses for meeting the Indian mandatory standards on a number of export interest items such as cement, electrical appliances, drinking water appliances, etc., also involve considerable amount of time. India has neither taken the initiative to liberalize the license issuing procedure nor attempted to set up testing laboratories closer to the border area.

India’s attitude with her smaller neighbors has been quite roguish. She has granted Bangladesh the opportunity to export six million pieces of RMG products to India, provided the entire fabric for the purpose is imported from India. Here again, India has forgotten that dynamism is the most basic quality of leadership, which it has failed to demonstrate with her neighbors.

India has been accused of wanting to use Bangladesh as a corridor to transport its goods to north-east corner without providing similar facilities to Bangladeshi goods to penetrate the region.

India has shown reluctance for updating the Indo-Nepal Treaty of 1950 and the Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of 1972 despite repeated demands by these two states. There has been no real progress on issues around the enclaves since the signing of Indira-Mujib treaty between India and Bangladesh. In September 2011, the Prime Ministers of the two countries Manmohan Singh of India and Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh signed an accord on border demarcation and exchange of adversely held enclaves, giving residents a choice of nationality; Bangladesh has already ratified the agreement, however, the Indian parliament has yet to ratify it.

With India persistent with her ‘unilateral withdrawal’ of water upstream, it is hardly surprising that the trans-boundary river Teesta has almost dried up. Irrigation in the northern Bangladesh is being affected by the low flow in the Teesta. According to officials of the Joint River Commission (JRC), as quoted in a report published in New Age recently, Bangladesh received the lowest-ever 500-550 cusecs of water in February-March, out of a ‘historical record’ of 6,500 cusecs in the lean season. New Delhi has repeatedly postponed JRC meetings on such pretexts as the ‘Indian water resources minister’s inability to attend the bilateral talks in Dhaka.’ It is uncertain if New Delhi will ever sign the Teesta water-sharing agreement given the fact that the agreement was supposed to be signed during the September 2011 visit of the Indian prime minister but did not go through with it in the face of objection by the West Bengal chief minister.  [The chances of signing the agreement are even slimmer if BJP wins the national election.]

Bangladesh has already felt the adverse effects of India’s Farakka Barrage, which has been correctly termed as the ‘Death Trap’ for Bangladesh, built on the international river – Ganges/Padma. It has raised salinity levels, contaminated fisheries, hindered navigation, and posed a threat to water quality and public health, let alone leading to desertification of vast territories inside Bangladesh.  In spite of widespread public criticism, India is planning construction of yet another dam – the Tipaimukh Dam – on another international river – the Barak River, in an ecologically sensitive and topographically fragile region that has registered earthquake of magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter scale.

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) is also guilty of gruesome murder and killing of Bangladeshis along the no-man’s land (inside Bangladesh) showing its trigger-happy murderous instinct. While most of the land borders between India and her neighbors to the east and the west are barb-wired, India has deliberately left certain areas unwired. This policy is seen by many as a ploy to exploit the so-called infiltration issue from her neighbors to her advantage. The policy of erecting barbed wires to deal with so-called labor migration negates the leadership potential of India in the region.

Bottom line: the notions of hegemony and leadership are shaped by policies and sustained by perceptions. And India is failing in both counts to making a case for her potential leadership role. Her policies remain short-sighted, if not selfish and often murderous. She has also failed to eradicate the widespread negative perceptions held by all her regional neighbors. So far from Bhabani Sen Gupta’s utopian view India has become a regional untamed bull, if not an elephant or even worse. And no one likes such a beast!

Just as the United States of America and Russia are hated today in many countries globally for their hegemony, so is India in South Asia.

Truly, the stamp of a regional hegemon is written all over India’s face. As a matter of fact with the resurgence of the Hindutvadi fascist forces in the national politics of India, she has the potential to become a regional pariah. And that is an ominous sign for the entire region!
 
[This article is based on author’s speech at a seminar in St. John’s University, New York, on April 19, 2014.]



 

Pathikrit's ignoble sanctification of xenophobia

In an article in the One India someone under the pen name of Pathikrit has made many unsupportable claims about the so-called Bangladeshi infiltrators in India. His claim is flawed on several grounds, and interested readers may like to read my articles on the Assam violence, which have targeted Muslims for a number of decades.
The anti-Bengali local governments of Assam have played evil roles in such massacres, at least dating back to the time of Nelli massacre that witnessed massacre of thousands of Muslims. Even in the recent ones in which Bodo terrorists (mix of Christians, animists, Hindus and Buddhists) have attacked Muslims and other Adivashi (indigenous) people of Assam, the local government of Tarun Gogoi had a hand in letting such targeted violence happen against minority Bengali-speaking Muslims. They have become the willing executioners in the altar of xenophobia, hatred and bigotry.
There is no supporting evidence that Bangladeshi Muslims have infiltrated into Assam after 1971. During the War of Liberation some East Pakistanis did take refuge there, but almost all, per Indian government account, had returned and settled back to Bangladesh after the country's independence. It is said that some Hindus with close family relatives already living in Assam might have chosen to stay back, but their number is not large.
In recent years with the resurgence of Hindutvadi fascism, what was once anti-Bengali movement in Assam for decades has transformed into an anti-Muslim campaign. Modi and BJP therefore like to divide the Bengali speaking people that had historically settled there for centuries.
Nilim Dutta has been also fighting xenophobic claims against Bengali-speaking Muslims, and his blog  should be a good read for anyone interested in the truth about this 'infiltration' debate.

Far from Pathikrit's claim that his article is aimed at digging facts out of fiction, he has basically promoted intolerance and despicable xenophobia against Bengali-speaking Muslims. He is no better than a fascist who promotes hateful fascism.
 

Why "no" to Taslima Nasrin?

Why not Taslima Nasrin? - asks Modi.

In a recent interview, BJP's fascist leader Narendra Modi criticizes secular leaders of India (esp. Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal) who had criticized Modi's divisive policy along the religious line. He said that if they were so interested in letting the infiltration of 'Bangladeshis' continue why object to Taslima Nasrin.

It is not difficult to understand why. Should a symbol of hatred and highly poloarizing figure (whose mention triggers emotional outbursts amongst the Muslim victims) be celebrated and welcome in a democracy that is still illiberal (like India)? Surely not. Just as the Mein Kampf is an unwelcome addition in a public library, morality and decency demands that such hateful characters like Nasrin be not hosted as a celebrity anywhere, esp. in a country with a sizable Muslim population of nearly 150 million Muslims. It would be simply stupid and irresponsible.

It is not difficult to understand Modi's veneration of Taslima!

Modi, by promoting Nasrin, wants to widen the religous divide in India and strengthen his poisonous fascism of Hindutva. That is harmful and unacceptable.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Understanding the anti-Muslim pogroms in Assam, India

Today, I came across an excellent article by Nilim Dutta who is executive director of the Strategic Research and Analysis Organisation, Guwahati. He wrote this article back in 2012 soon after the anti-Muslim pogrom in Assam. It has lots of useful information to understand better the current crisis revisiting the state. You can read his article by clicking here.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Does BJP have a hand behind the latest massacre of Muslims in Assam?

Assam violence






 

Does Narendra Modi, the BJP leader, have a hand in the latest killing of Bengali-speaking Muslims in western Assam's Baska and Kokrajhar districts since Thursday evening of May 1? Union Minister Kapil Sibal believes so, and so does Assam Youth Congress president Piyush Hazarika.

Addressing media the law minister said that the BJP leaders were fanning violence in Assam using morphed pictures as part of its "communal propaganda" on social media. Targeting the Gujarat chief minister, the Congress leader said, "Modi is a model of dividing India. This is the policy of BJP since 1984 of dividing India. The Rath Yatra, Babri Masjid demolition and all this has been a part of the communal strategy of the BJP."

Raha MLA Hazarika said, "On April 1, immediately after Narendra Modi's rally in Biswanath Chariali, a local BJP leader, Bhavdev Goswami, told a TV channel that BJP had the support of NDFB
(National Democratic Front of Bodoland) rebels. At Sri Rampur on the Assam-West Bengal border, Modi said he would drive out all Bangladeshis after May 16." [The relevance of May 16 is that BJP expects to win the marathon election held now, which ends on May 12, whose results will be declared on May 16, 2014.]

It is worth noting here that NDFB is an armed separatist outfit which seeks to obtain a sovereign Bodoland for the Bodo people in Assam, India. It is designated as a terrorist organization by the Government of India.

According Assam Police, NDFB's Sangbijit group is behind the killings in the massacre of Muslims since May 1, though the group has denied its role in a press statement.

The published reports from Assam show that on April 1, Bhavdev Goswami claimed in front of a television camera that he along with some other party workers had a meeting with members of two NDFB factions - Sangbijit and Ranjan Daimary - at Bhalukpung and they had pledged support to the BJP for the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP candidate from Tezpur constituency, RP Sarma, also reportedly told the TV channel that he was aware of the meeting. BJP's Sonitpur West district president Ritubaran Sarma later denied that any such meeting took place.

"When Rahul Gandhi had a rally at Biswanath Chariali on March 27, NDFB had declared a bandh. What more evidence do you need that BJP is hand in glove with terror groups? Modi wants to repeat in Assam what he did in Gujarat in 2002," Hazarika said.

Meanwhile, Assam Minister of state for Border Areas Development Siddique Ahmed has claimed that extremist elements in Bodoland People's Front (BPF), an alliance partner of Tarun Gogoi-led state government, are involved in the recent violence in Bodoland Autonomous Territorial Districts (BATD). The BPF is also in power in the BTAD. Congress leader Abdul Khaleque has sought BPF leader Pramila Rani's arrest for her 'incendiary' comment on April 30 that Muslim migrants did not vote for her party candidate from Kokrajhar seat Chandan Brahma. Chandan Brahma is currently transport minister in Gogoi cabinet. The All Assam Minority Students' Union Abdur Rahim said the BTC administration had planned the mayhem after the votes were cast.

An umbrella group of 21 non-Bodo organizations has also attributed the violence to BPF legislator Pramila Rani Brahma's view on April 30.

Opposition parties have also sought immediate resignation of Chief Minister Gogoi, who is also in charge of the home ministry. Badruddin Ajmal, president of Assam's largest opposition party All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), has demanded the imposition of Presidents' rule in the state.

Muslims are a major constituent of this group that fielded Naba Kumar alias Hira Sarania, a former United Liberation Front of Asom rebel, as an independent candidate in Kokrajhar. Non-Bodos including other tribes have never won this seat despite constituting two-thirds of the population. "BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary is responsible for instigating his cadres to attack non-Bodo villagers, particularly Muslims, because his party has realized it could lose the Kokrajhar seat," Sarania said.

According to government officials, hundreds of Muslims and other minority groups have fled their villages to safer locations fearing a rerun of the 2012 communal clashes that took the lives of 108 people. According to India Today, indefinite curfew has been clamped in Baska and Kokrajhar districts. The Union home ministry has sent 10 companies of central para-military forces to Kokrajhar and Baksa.

As I have noted elsewhere in a 2012 article, at the heart of Assam's troubles is a debate over the "infiltration" by outsiders, which has led to ethnic tension between the state's so-called indigenous population and Bengali-speaking people who have settled there for generations. Overlooked in this debate is the fact that all these territories were once part of British India with people – both Assamese and Bengali – living on either side of today’s border that separates Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan/ East Bengal) from the state of Assam in India. The Assamese were mostly illiterate people and so many Indians (mostly from the province of Bengal) were brought in to work as engineers, doctors, administrators, clerks, railway workers and other government related jobs. Many of the Bengali-speaking famers were also brought in to boost rice production in the area, especially around the ‘chars’ (river islands). Having lived there for generations, these so-called migrants are as Indian (in today’s parlance) as the ethnic Assamese or the tribal people are in the state.

Forgotten also in this charged up xenophobia is the mere fact that Muslim inhabitation in Assam can historically be put at least in the early 13th century. The descendants of those early Muslims continue to live in Assam, and are mixed with other Muslims whose ancestors had moved to the territory ever since.

Unfortunately, the ensuing change in demography, rivalry for land, dwindling natural resources and livelihood, and intensified competition for political power between the ruling party and the separatists has added a deadly force to the issue of who has a right to Assam. It is all about xenophobia. Successive governments have used Assamese/Bengali Muslims as little more than a vote bank without recognizing their due rights.

The latest massacre in the tea-growing Assam state comes towards the end of a marathon election in which the Hindu fascists of the BJP have been able to stoke ethnic and religious hatred. The sad fact in today’s India is: xenophobia and bigotry sells, especially if it is against the minority Muslims. Modi and Swamy’s recent visits of the troubled northeast – a copycat of (now dead) Ariel Sharon’s visit of the holy Muslim precincts of Jerusalem just before the Israeli election –where they sold the poisonous pills of communalism and intolerance provided the necessary backdrop to bring the worst amongst the Bodo people. They became BJP’s willing executioners.

As we have seen before, in this latest pogrom, too, entire Muslim villages have been burnt down while the police and army came too late to stop the massacre of Muslims. Like the Chief Minister Modi of Gujarat a dozen years ago, the Assamese Chief Minister Gogoi cannot evade his culpability for the massacre of Muslims – both then in 2012 and now in 2014.

Assamese Muslims now live in fear. The Reuters reported that Anwar Islam, a Muslim who had come to buy food in Barama, a town about 30 km (20 miles) from the villages in the Baksa district where the violence erupted on Thursday and Friday, was heard saying, "We are scared to live in our village, unless security is provided by the government." He said men armed with rifles had come to his village, Masalpur, on bicycles and had then fired indiscriminately and set huts on fire.

As I write this article on Sunday, 32 people have died, all Muslims, as a result of the latest pogrom in the BATD of the state of Assam. The district administration in the adjoining Dhubri district has opened up two relief camps. The death toll is expected to go up with many reported missing.

Targeted massacre of minorities has no place in our time, especially in a state that touts itself as a model of democracy and secularism. Such crimes only strengthen the dark forces on all sides, and often have ramifications that go beyond the sources of the trouble. The Indian government owes it to its people to rein upon such evil fascist forces that have managed to thrive unscathed, often fattened by the local government that is supposed to protect the victims. The Indian Election commission should also look into the matter of hate speech delivered by chauvinist politicians whether such speeches had violated rules during the election time.  

There is little doubt that BJP leaders’ xenophobic speeches have catalyzed targeted pogrom in Assam. Justice demands that they be held accountable for their criminal role. Otherwise, all those bloated claims about Indian secularism are mere hogwash and nothing else.
You can learn more about the massacre by clicking here and here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Killing of Muslims in Assam - 11 dead

Last month in a series of articles I warned about the potential harm that can visit Muslims in India, esp. in places like Assam, where Hindutvadi forces have been playing the anti-Muslim card to agitate others against the Muslims.

As reported also in the BD News:
"Candidates in India's general election, including opposition front runner Narendra Modi, have contributed to anti-Bangladeshi feeling in Assam.
Modi last week said immigrants from Bangladesh in a nearby state should have their "bags packed" in case he came to power."

The Muslims that live in Assam are not immigrants from Bangladesh. Like many others, they have been living there for centuries, and at least before the time of Indian partition into Pakistan and India. Simply because of their Muslim identity and Bengali root, they are perceived as outsiders or new settlers in hateful Assam, which had her bloody history of pogroms against Muslims.

According to the latest information, suspected tribal anti-Muslim terrorists shot dead 11 Muslims, including two women, in attacks in tea-growing Assam, where tension is running high in election time. Police said they suspected the anti-Muslim militants behind the overnight killings were members of the Bodo tribe, Reuters reported.

In the first incident, the militants shot dead three members of a family, including two women, while wounding a baby, police said.
"The gunmen entered the house and shot them dead on the spot," a senior police officer in the state capital with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters.
In the second incident, eight people were killed by a group of guerrillas, he said.
Two years ago, 40 people were killed in clashes between Bodo people and Muslims in the same district.

Conference in the UK - Call to end Genocide of Rohingya people

Call To End Rohingya Genocide With Endorsements

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 
(Photo: AP)

CALL TO END ROHINGYA GENOCIDE

Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingya Must End

What is really going on in Myanmar/Burma beyond tourist brochures, media spin and official reform hype?

Unspeakable crimes are being carried out against innocent humans: children, women and men by the country’s government and racist extremists.

Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya (of whom there are more than 1 million inside the country and another million around the world) have been singled out for systematic destruction.

Successive governments, for decades, have institutionalized a system of apartheid against these people. Kept in concentration camp-like conditions and ghettoized neighborhoods, Rohingya are not permitted freedom of movement.

Every aspect of their lives, including marriage, childbirth and ability to work, is severely restricted. Their right to identity and citizenship is officially denied; in other words, they are not recognized as humans before the law. The Myanmar government even denies humanitarian agencies unfettered access to nearly 200,000 Rohingya in the camps.

Rohingya are profoundly vulnerable to all forms of oppression and atrocities.

As a nation, Myanmar is committing numerous crimes including systematic persecution and discrimination, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.

Of the country’s ethnic groups, only Rohingya are subjected to a policy of compulsory birth and marriage control because of their ethnicity.

As a matter of national policy, Myanmar is:

DENYING Rohingya legal existence, and right to nationality; access to medicine, food, and other basic necessities to sustain life; and

DESIGNING extensive structures of discrimination, genocidal hatred and popular violence that amount to the extermination of Rohingya as an ethnic group. Thereby, both the government and racist extremists, are

DESTROYING an entire people with impunity and popular consent.

Myanmar’s official deeds speak volumes about its intent to destroy Rohingya as an ethnic group.

We call on everyone: in governments, in the streets and fields around the world to stop the destruction of Myanmar’s Rohingya.

This is genocide.

The following organizations have endorsed this global call:

Non-Rohingya Organizations
  • International State Crime Initiative (ISCI), King’s College, University of London
  • The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention, Canada
  • Global Campaign for the Rwandans Human Rights
  • London Centre for Social Impact
  • Justice for All, USA
  • Burma Task Force USA
  • Burmese Welfare Association, USA
  • Burmese American Muslim Association
  • Myanmar Muslim Association in Thailand
  • Myanmar Muslim Youth – Malaysia
  • Myanmar Muslim Civil Rights Movement
  • Dignity International endorses
  • Pax Romana ICMICA
  • International Movement for a Just World (JUST)