Muslims view Narendra Modi with Hate not Fear

Recently an acquaintance of mine echoed the following words to me:

“Even if Narendra Modi was involved in the 2002 Gujarat riots, I don’t care. His economic work wins out. I will vote for him.”

Since then, I have not been able to shake a deep-seated disturbance at his disregard for essential humanity. This disregard, I fear, is shared by many in India. Before I lose your attention, this is not another piece debating Modi’s guilt. In fact, the argument about Modi’s guilt is endless. I have my view, you have yours, and facts are facts—they don’t change even after a questionable judgment from the court that gave Modi a clean chit. But that’s not the point.

The point is not even whether you think Modi is better than Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, or any other potential prime minister. What matters here is where you draw the moral line between what is acceptable in a politician and what is a deal breaker.

What this person showed me—and I have heard this thinly veiled sentiment often—is that if Modi walked into a press conference tomorrow and confessed to all of the crimes he is accused of, then he would still vote for him. He had already made peace with the possibility of him being guilty. To me, that position is untenable.

Gujarat Riot Mastermind Narendra ModiThe 2002 Gujarat Riots have been called ethnic cleansing, a pogrom, and even genocide. The government estimated, according to the BBC, that “790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, 223 more people reported missing and another 2,500 injured.” Those are facts, regardless of whether you think Modi was involved. Here comes the test: if you believe he was behind the riots—behind “genocide”—then Gujarat’s economic growth rate does not matter. Rather, it shouldn’t matter.

Has India become so desperate for rapid economic growth, so blinded by the promise of prosperity, that she has forgotten basic humanity? It seems that, in the race towards higher GDP, the majority of India is willing to inject itself with the steroids of bigotry or ruthlessness. Ethics be damned.

The way the debate is playing out there is the “Muslim factor” at one end of the pole and the Narendra Modi “factor’’ at the other with the entire campaign reduced to a “Muslim versus Modi” affair. No doubt, Muslims are a factor (haven’t they been a factor in every election in the past 60 years?) and so is Modi.

As Indian elections coming close to an end, the over 180 million Indian Muslims are feeling the heat with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) allies trying to terrorize the community through their anti-Muslim comments, giving them a dim view of the future if the nationalist party won the elections.

Giriraj Singh, a BJP candidate in Bihar, had said at an election rally that “all Modi critics should go to Pakistan”.

On 19-April, Vishwa Hindu Parishad president Pravin Togadia delivered an anti-Muslim speech in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Togadia asked a Muslim businessman to vacate his house within 48 hours, otherwise threatening him with dire consequences, including his house being possessed by right wing Hindu workers.

There is a general perception, fuelled by the BJP opponents who are trying to woo the Muslim vote, that the Muslim community is “scared’’ of Modi. It is argued that the Muslim opposition to him is prompted by their fear that they would not be secure under a Modi government.

Muslims only fear Allah and no one. Who is Narendra Modi? It is Allah who protects us and it is only He who will take care of Muslims.

Allah says in the Quran,

“So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.” [Surah ‘Ali ‘Imran, 3:175]

The actual word used for fear in this verse is ‘khawf.’

In another verse, Allah says,

“Therefore fear not men but fear Me,” [Surah al-M a’idah, 5:44]

Muslims don’t fear Modi. Muslims hate him. I’m afraid there is no softer way of putting it, so deep is their anger over Gujarat.

Modi aided and abetted the riots, and that violence on such a scale was not possible without his overt or covert. And above all this he got a clean-chit from the court, where the SIT shielded him and others. This verdict gives another setback to Muslims hope for justice from judiciary. Muslims hate him for what they see as his indifference to Muslim suffering and anguish. And we hate him for his bullish refusal to show any contrition for what happened under his watch. Godhra and its aftermath do not scare us, Modi does not scare us. Why should any Muslim be scared of him? Why should any Muslim be scared of anybody in India if he loves his country as much as the person next door?


Preserve India

Narendra Modi the mastermind behind the riot that killed many Muslims and made 100,000 refugees. In the past 12 years he has consistently and arrogantly refused to show any remorse.

“The trouble with Muslims is that we have four choices to defeat Modi — the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party), SP (Samajwadi Party), the Congress and now the Aam Aadmi Party. But Modi’s vote is not divided,” says Mohammad Adeeb, a student at the Academy of Mass Communication, Urdu Centre in UP.

Asked if they do not believe that Modi will bring development to the country as he is said to have done in Gujarat, Adeeb’s friend Niyaz Ahmed intervenes, “I am from Champaran in Bihar. Nitish Kumar (the Bihar chief minister) has brought so much development to Champaran, but nobody talks about it. Why only talk about Modi?”

“Modi will develop India for sure,” adds Mohammad Zia, “but he will divide India permanently with his communal policies.”

“If you take the history of the BJP, there was only one leader — Atal Bihari Vajpayee — who was secular. The rest of them including (L K) Advani just have a communal agenda,” pitches in Badar Ali. 

Many of the worshippers at the Jama Masjid Terhi Bazaar mosque in Ayodhya, a kilometre from India’s most notorious religious flashpoint, were too young to remember the 1992 riots which left more than 2,000 people dead.

Not Mohammad Sagheer, a teenager at the time of India’s worst post-independence violence. “What could be worse than seeing Muslims being beaten up, cut up and burned to death?” he said.

The dispute in Ayodhya, which boiled over when zealots tore down a mosque believed to have been built over the birthplace of the Mythological Hindu god Ram, left deep scars but vaulted Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to national prominence.

“If a Hindu party wins a majority of votes then we will ask that a law be passed by parliament to free Ram’s birthplace and it be given to the Hindu community,” Sharad Sharma from the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP, World Hindu Council) told AFP in Ayodhya.

The nine-phased Indian elections will end on May 12, 2014 and results will be announced on May 16, 2014.

Anticipating the results, Shah-Zaman, another Muslim scholar from Uttar Pradesh, asserted his belief that Modi would not be able to create fear among Muslims.

“We have faith in the Almighty. We believe whatever happens will be for the betterment of the nation and the community. No one can create fear in our mind,” he told

“These people can’t do anything even if they come to power. Their only goal is to grab power.”

Mamata Banerjee’s party tweeted about Narendra Modi as “The Butcher of Gujarat” who could not “take care of his own wife.”

The nation still remembers that BJP’s first term in power in New Delhi (1998-2004) coincided with the Gujarat riot, an event that severely tarnished India’s secular credentials. If India needs robust economic growth, it also needs a strong, pluralistic, and secular society to maintain its existence as a nation, to maintain what is often called the “idea of India.”

The verdict should make Indians think long and hard -should they vote for a party or individual who threatens the very idea of India, or rather choose a secular alternative where the country’s future remains in safe hands.

Narendra Modi, RSS front BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, is an insult to this ancient country. While we conclude this post, lets hear from Arundhati Roy, a political activist, known for her involvement in human rights and environmental causes.

Naved Zia

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