Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Academics Blame Hindu Supremacists

In recent weeks there have been accusations that Muslims are using "aggressive techniques" to force young Hindu and Sikh university students to convert to Islam. This site already looked at the MCB's reaction. Today MPACUK has reproduced a letter from some Muslim academics to Sir Ian Blair. In this letter they state:

Your statements appear to have been made on the basis of claims by the Hindu Forum of Britain who have not presented any evidence that such forced conversions‚ are taking place. In fact the notion of forced conversions‚ of young Hindu women to Islam is part of an arsenal of myths propagated by right-wing Hindu supremacist organisations in India and used to incite violence against minorities. For example, inflammatory leaflets referring to such conversions‚ were in circulation before the massacres of the Muslim minority in Gujarat exactly five years ago which left approximately 2,000 dead and over 200,000 displaced.

As a matter of interest, the wikipedia article on the Gujarat violence contains no mention of these leaflets, nor is it obviously flagged up by a Google search. That isn't conclusive, obviously, but it makes it unlikely that Sir Ian Blair (or most Britons) will have heard about it. Furthermore, the implication here is the the Hindu Forum of Britain is a Hindu-supremacist group. Again, a wikipedia search shows no articles about Hindu-supremacists nor does a Google search reveal much.

This argument also fails to explain why Sikh groups have made the same allegations. The letter already noted that Sikhs had also made a complaint. The letter goes on to say:
In our view, it is highly irresponsible to treat such allegations at face value

In the light of the fact that there is almost no way Sir Ian could know whether these allegations are an age old myth (and taking into account that its being a myth is unproven) it is shocking to tell the police not to investigate. The police must always take all allegations at face value.

Finally, the letter finished with the traditional "victimhood" claim:
we can only see statements such as yours as contributing to the further stigmatising of the Muslim community as a whole and as a pretext for further assaults on civil liberties in Britain.