Don’t let India turn Kashmir into another Palestine

Don’t let India turn Kashmir into another Palestine

The Kashmir crisis is another Palestine in the making. There are all the tell-tale signs of the Kashmir crisis being an action of hatred by the right-wing extremist BJP government.

Despite several other states enjoying special status such as in Article 370 and 35A under the Indian constitution, Kashmir was singled out for being a Muslim-majority state.

Stripping it of its autonomy and clamping down on the freedom of Kashmiris by deploying millions of armed personnel, was an act of war by the BJP government against the biggest Muslim community in the country.

This, however, is only the start and we need to put a stop to it before it gets any worse.

In a brief period of 38 days, the international media has already reported the arrest and imprisonment of several thousand Kashmiri youth. They’re being picked up randomly and sent to undisclosed jails in and outside Kashmir.

Every detainee is reported to being subject to extreme torture that lasts for hours. There are reports of beating with sticks and rods and electrocution for hours at a stretch.

Kashmiris protesting the military action are subject to tear gas and pellet guns resulting in blinding, injury and even death of several hundred Kashmiris, including children as young as six. There are also reports of Indian soldiers firing at and killing women and children passing by.

But as usual, the Indian government continues to deny the deaths and injuries or any wrongdoing by the Indian military.

The Indian government would not have done this without taking certain international powers into confidence.

The issue was brought up during a meeting between Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and US president Donald Trump on July 22, two weeks before the Modi government’s action on Kashmir. I would not be surprised if the US has promised to look away while India executes its Kashmir plans.

Knowing Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) growing proximity and admiration for Israel, I would not be surprised if Israel is giving tutorials to India on how to deal with Kashmir.

The blockade and total lockdown of Kashmir – that has made it the biggest prison in the world, much bigger than Palestine – is an expertise that Israel excels in. That would explain its tutorials to the Modi government on Kashmir.

Under the circumstances, I have a firm opinion that Kashmiris will not get help from any of the powerful nations and it is up to the world Muslim community to stand up and raise their voices against the Modi government’s atrocities on the Kashmiris. We need to put pressure on our respective governments to take up the Kashmir issue with India.

It is our duty as Muslims to speak out against oppression, irrespective of who and how powerful the oppressors are. If we stand by the sidelines and do nothing about it, we will have failed our Kashmir brothers and sisters.

Our betrayal will cost us heavily in this life and in the next. But if we unite as an ummah in defence of truth and justice, giving a voice to the voiceless and daring to confront tyranny, only then can we hope to reclaim our honour.

Allah says, “O you who believe! If you help (the Cause of) Allah, He will help you, and plant your feet firmly.” (Al Qur’an 47:7)

Let us, the Muslim community of the world, unite and act because unless we do so, Kashmir is doomed to become the next – and even bigger – Palestine.

Dr Zakir Naik is an internationally recognised Islamic preacher

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Leaders Online.

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Dr Zakir NaikKashmirMuslim worldNarendra Modi