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The Holy Month and the Pursuit of Jihad

Author: Ashlyn Davis
Publication: Robertspencer.org
Date: May 3, 2022
URL:      https://robertspencer.org/2022/05/the-holy-month-and-the-pursuit-of-jihad

The world can now breathe a sigh of relief that the holy month of Ramadan is finally over. In recent years, the world has witnessed a surge in the intensity and frequency of Islamic jihad violence during this “holy month.” The pattern was no different this year; if anything, there have been more instances of recorded Islamic violence than the previous years.

Ramadan started on April 2 this year, coinciding with the first day of the Hindu New Year, celebrated in India. In the Indian state of Rajasthan, Muslim crowds unleashed a planned attack on the Hindus’ procession. The procession was attacked by bikers when it passed through a “Muslim area” in Karauli. The Muslims had placed stones, brickbats, and petrol bombs on their rooftops, and began throwing them at the Hindus at first sight of their procession. What started with a hail of stones culminated in arson attacks, as well as the vandalizing of Hindu ships, and the burning of bicycles.

On April 3, Ahmed Murtaza, a chemical engineer, tried to enter a Hindu temple in Gorakhnath; he screamed “Allahu akbar” while wielding a machete. Though the police arrested him before he could cause any significant harm, he succeeded in injuring two cops in the brawl. Investigations revealed that Abbasi was a terrorist-in-the-making; he was committed to the ideology of the Islamic State and had used various social media platforms to establish contacts with ISIS terrorists.

After this rocking – quite literally – start to the “holy month of peace,” Muslim forces in all corners of the globe took to innovative ways of continuing their legacy of violence.

On April 7, Raad Hazem, a 28-year-old Palestinian gunman, opened fire in a crowded bar in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing three and wounding ten more. The police gunned him down near a mosque on Jaffa the next day.

Synchronized mobs of Muslims attacked Hindus in seven Indian states on the occasion of the Hindu Ram Navami festival on April 10. The modus operandi of these attacks was similar to the onslaught of April 2.

The following day, Muslim youths in Spain tried to block an Easter procession, as they believed that the Holy Week procession was wrong and offensive. Some in the Muslim community seem to harbor a detestation for processions of non-Muslims anywhere, be it the Hindus in India or Christians in Spain.

Another shared virtue of some Muslims worldwide is their penchant for collecting stones and hurling them at the “kaffirs.” Taking a cue from their coreligionists in India, Palestinians sheltered in the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem began throwing stones at Israeli forces on Friday, April 15. There was no respite for the Israeli police during this time. They had to go into action against Muslims again in less than 48 hours when Palestinians started throwing stones to block Jewish visitors from the Temple Mount on April 17.

The stone-throwing in Israel took place just a day after Muslim mobs in Delhi, India, attacked Hindus again in the familiar and tested fashion when the Hindus began a procession for Hanuman Janmostav. Interestingly, reports suggest that the Muslims who attacked the Hindus in the nation’s capital were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who entered India over the porous Indo-Bangladesh border. Right about this time, Muslims in Sweden decided to go on a rampage after hearing that so-called far-right activists were planning to burn copies of the Quran. This led to violent clashes between the Police and the mob.

It’s not just the kaffirs that have to bear the brunt of Islamic jihad. This ideology is plagued with sectarianism; Muslims don’t go easy on the “other” kind of Muslims, either. Infighting is common among the different schools of Islam. On April 5, Abdullatif Moradi, a 21-year-old Muslim youth from Uzbekistan who illegally entered Iran in 2021 from the Pakistan border, reached the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran, and stabbed two Shia clerics to death. His plan was to take down three, but he could only manage to injure the third one severely before being arrested along with his six other accomplices. He was identified as a “takfiri,” a Muslim who believed other Muslims were not truly Muslim, and who believed that Shia Muslims were heretics whose blood should be spilled.

The blasts that rocked the Abdul Rahim Shahid High School area on the 19th, in a Shia-dominated part of Kabul, Afghanistan, were another instance of Muslim-on-Muslim violence. Afghanistan kept trembling under the absolute rule of Sharia as one bomb after another exploded through the remaining days of Ramadan. Deafening explosions ripped through the Kunduz mosque, killing over 39 and injuring 43 Muslims who had gathered to offer Friday prayers on April 22.

Things weren’t peaceful in the neighboring country either. On April 26, a 31-year-old Muslim Balochi woman, a mother of 2, blew herself up in Karachi, Pakistani, to support the Balochi freedom movement. Three Chinese nationals became victims in the ongoing conflict between Pakistan and the Balochis. The suicide bomber, a primary school teacher by profession, was convinced that disappearing in a ball of fire was more important than educating children in a crisis-stricken country.

These incidents, steeped in the blood of the innocent people, corroborate the fact that regardless of geography, languages spoken, education, and profession, the philosophy of the jihadi mind remains constant and adamant in its pursuit of the blessings of Allah.    
 
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Author: Alka Dhupkar
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 2, 2022
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/loudspeaker-lessons-for-india-from-a-maharashtra-village/articleshow/91259002.cms

The villagers of Barad have passed a resolution to stop the use of loudspeakers

Barad shows that strong-arm tactics are not needed to curb noise pollution; a simple matter of sitting across a table and discussing can do wonders

Barad is a biggish village in Nanded district of Maharashtra with a population of around 15,000. It is roughly 20km from Nanded city. Over time, the village has prospered and places of worship, among other buildings, have been renovated.

The village has 15 religious places — 12 Hindu temples and a place of worship each for Buddhist, Jain and Muslim communities. In some neighbourhoods, these religious places are in close proximity. No problem there.

It was only when these places started using loudspeakers to broadcast sermons, aartis and bhajans that the problem started. It became a veritable Tower of Babel — all noise and confusion.

“Since five in the morning, we used to play songs. In some places, one couldn’t hear the other’s songs or for that matter what was played in our temple,” says Suresh Deshmukh, a trustee of the local Hanuman temple.

For days on end, farmer Sharad Kawle’s 80-year-old grandmother couldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of the rampant use of loudspeakers in the village.

But all this is in the past now. In charged times like these, Barad stands out as a model of communal harmony. Back in 2018, the villagers unanimously decided to remove loudspeakers from all religious places.

So, what happened in 2018?

According to deputy sarpanch Balasaheb Shankarao Deshmukh, sometime in December 2017, a Ganesh temple was using loudspeakers to broadcast maha aarti and a Buddha vihar nearby was playing religious songs. This went on till late at night.

“Groups from both sides started raising voices against each other, asking that the volume be lowered. Harmony in the village was completely disturbed,” he says. “Somehow we managed to cool tempers, but the tension simmered.”

But this wasn’t the only incident. A local school kept complaining about noise pollution to the Shiva temple trust and others in their area. The students couldn’t concentrate on studies because there was a kind of competition in using loudspeakers till late night and early mornings among all the religions.

The villagers were fed up. Some of them met after the tension escalated between Buddha and Ganpati followers. During a meeting with the local police, they discussed the proposal of removing all loudspeakers.

Thereafter, the villagers held a meeting with all the religious groups separately. Everybody accepted that the use of loudspeakers was a cause for concern and social discord. The religious trusts said if it was mandatory for all religious groups then they would also stop using loudspeakers.

After the consultations, a special gram sabha was called and a unanimous resolution was passed.

The villagers agreed to use sound boxes instead of loudspeakers. The only caveat: the volume of the sound box should be maintained at a pre-mandated level so the sound does not go beyond the walls of the holy place.

The gram panchayat has already installed around 40 small sound boxes for local announcements such as deaths, vaccination or other government programmes.

After the noise, peace

Yogesh Ratnparakhi, who runs Om Sai Coaching Classes in Barad, says, “In my centre, there are around 100 students and I can’t tell you how happy we all are that the loudspeakers have finally stopped. Earlier, students would use unending noise as an excuse not to study. Now, they properly focus on studies.”

Kiran Mahajan, a trustee of Chandra Prabhu Digambar Jain temple, says, “Ours is a private temple that is open to the public. We too had installed a loudspeaker because others installed it too. But after the removal of loudspeakers, we didn’t lose any devotees. Loudspeakers actually don’t matter.”

Sharad Kawle, the farmer, says, “Many of us in this village are followers of the Varkari bhakti movement. I believe that your religious activity should not disturb others. Keep it personal, so we all supported this proposal.”

His views are echoed by Sardar Sattar Khan Pathan of Jama Masjid in Barad. “We respect festivals of all communities. The kind of communal harmony we have maintained would not have been possible with loudspeakers at each religious place in the village.”

According to Vasant Lalme, a trustee of the Shiva temple, loudspeakers are not essential for singing bhajans or kirtans. “Devotion is a very personal feeling. It can be attained without loudspeakers. We have proved it.”

Model village

Deputy sarpanch Deshmukh, however, is disappointed that his village has not been given due recognition for the innovative solution to the menace of unchecked loudspeakers. The village doesn’t encourage the use of loudspeakers even for political rallies, weddings or other celebrations.

In other ways, too, Barad can be touted as a model village. It has received state awards for cleanliness and drinking water distribution management, open defecation-free status, success of ‘tanta mukti’ yojana (a scheme to clear local disputes at the village level) and other achievements.

The village has 20 CCTV cameras, which have helped curb theft, sexual harassment and other crimes. The village has developed a proper watershed system; a dormitory near a rural hospital is a unique feature of the village. It has also built a hostel for girl students, it has a zilla parishad school, multiple anganwadis, among other facilities.

As the noise over the use of loudspeakers at religious places grows louder and various state governments are using strong-arm tactics, perhaps it is Barad’s use of consultation that stands out more than its other achievements.