HYDERABAD — The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) has strongly condemned the heinous killing of cleric and desecration of a mosque in Andhra Pradesh. The killing is the second bloody hate crime against members of the minority community in three weeks in India. On December 6, a Muslim labourer from West Bengal was hacked and burnt on camera in Rajasthan.
IAMC has condemned the heinous murder of Mohammed Farooq, a cleric at Noorani Mosque in Talacheru village in Rajahmundry district of Andhra Pradesh on December 29.
According to media reports, Mohammed Farooq, a native from Bihar, was bludgeoned to death and was found lying in a pool of blood inside the mosque. In addition, the mosque was reportedly 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.
“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.”
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.
The country has been gripped by an alarming rise in hate crimes and attacks on its religious minorities ever since the BJP came to power at the Centre with a brute majority 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 organizations behind such hate crimes,” IAMC said in a statement.
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On December 6, Mohammed Afrazul, a migrant worker from West Bengal, 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 groups.
Commenting on the Andhra mosque incident, Ms. Seema Salim, National Vice President of IAMC, said: “Andhra Pradesh has traditionally been marked 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.”