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OPINION | How PFI leaders are spreading venom through lies, hate speeches

Police has set up a special team to round up the radicals, but the problem is that the messages originated from phone numbers outside India. In several places, these messages have been circulated through internet. 

Written by: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Published on: May 06, 2022 17:14 IST
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Image Source : INDIA TV

OPINION | How PFI leaders are spreading venom through lies, hate speeches

Members of a self-styled outfit called Muslim Defense Force 24*7 in a WhatsApp group message sent to Muslim families in South Canara district of Karnataka have threatened to take action against women who move around in streets without veil (burqa). The messages sent in Kannada language say, “MDF workers are monitoring Muslim girls in Mangalore for any ‘misbehaviour’. If they are not wearing burqa, they will be beaten up.”

In one of these messages, they have asked Muslim parents to keep watch on their womenfolk and daughters when they go to public places.  Reacting to these messages, Mangalore Police Commissioner Shashi Kumar has said, police is monitoring the activity of this group who are sending such threatening messages through social media.  

For the time being, police has advised Muslim women not to remove burqa or hijab in public while taking selfies, for their own safety,  as they could be attacked by members of this group. The Police Commissioner said, “this WhatsApp group claims to be the protector of Muslim rights. They are saying Muslim women should not remove burqa or hijab in public while taking selfies, or they will be attacked. We are keeping a watch on this.”

This news is truly worrying. One must understand that such messages are not being circulated in Islamic countries like Pakistan or Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. They are being circulated in India to Muslim families, creating a fear psychosis. Police has set up a special team to round up these radicals, but the problem is that these messages originated from phone numbers outside India. In several places, these messages have been circulated through internet. It could be a minor issue, but the message is chilling. This is a clear case of anti-Indian forces at work, who are trying to strike fear in the minds of Indian Muslims. 

I have another example to share here. People’s Front of India (PFI), a radical Muslim outfit, is trying to spread poison of hate in the minds of Muslims. In my prime time show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ on Thursday night, I showed the video of Mohammed Shakif, national secretary of PFI, spewing venom against Hindus and the BJP government at the Centre. This PFI leader is alleging, Muslims in India are being harassed by RSS with the help of Indian government, Muslims are being made target, and this is not the time for Indian Muslims to remain silent.

In one of his speeches, Mohammed Shakif is saying, riots during Ramnavami this year were pre-planned. He alleged that Ramnavami processions were deliberately taken out in different towns and cities through Muslim localities, in order to incite Muslims. “This is an Israeli formula. Before we all sink, we must stop this, otherwise we are bound to sink”, says this PFI leader.

In his speech, Mohammed Shakif says, “RSS has now become a gangrene which has spread throughout India. We must sacrifice if we want to save our country. We have to give sacrifice. Without pain, there is no gain. Yes, it is true that if you join PFI or SDPI, police will file cases against you, ED will raid you homes, and you may have to spend two to five years in jail. If you are not ready to face this, then be prepared to become slaves, and see your children becoming slaves. Pray to Allah to give strength to all of us to fight. We must not flee from battle. The problem with rich Muslims is that they flee from battle. If you flee then how can the poor Muslims fight? Let rich Muslims come forward and join the battle.”

In the video taken on April 29 in Mysuru, during an ‘iftar’ event organised by PFI, this leader says, “If you do not have cases slapped against you, you don’t deserve to be called a leader. I am proud to have NRC/CAA/Babri mosque agitation cases filed against me. I am proud that police came to my house. I will have pride the day I go to jail for my ‘qaum’(race).”

Mohammed Shakif further says, “This has now become a fashion across Bengaluru and India, organize iftar parties and win their hearts. The more deer will throw themselves at their feet, the wolves will not spare them. Whatever may happen, is going to happen. The first battle of ‘Badr’ took place during Ramzan. Pray for those children during Ramzan, who are languishing in jails for taking part in CAA agitation. They sacrificed themselves for the ‘qaum’. They are children who came forward, when they tried to snatch away our citizenship. PFI was the first organization. Thousands of our children are in jail on charge of terrorism. …We have to fight these wolves. They will come and break your mosques. You must come out and stop them, fight these wolves”.

This man, Mohammed Shakif is no ordinary person. He is the national secretary of PFI. His work is to go around the country and deliver such hate speeches and incite Muslims. When he alleges in a loud voice that it is the government which is throwing stones, it is the government which is attacking mosques, the ordinary Muslim may ask, why should the government do this? This government belongs to all of us. PFI leaders are ready with their answers. They say, if you want to be in this country, you must live as second-class citizens, if you raise your voice, they will enter your homes and beat you, they will demolish your homes.  

PFI leader Mohd. Shakif is lying. He is trying to mislead and incite people. He is alleging that all violent incidents are taking place at the behest of the establishment in India.

Let me state the facts about the incidents which he referred to. Both Hindus and Muslims were affected during the Delhi Jahangirpuri riots, Khargone riots and the Jodhpur riots. It is being alleged that only Muslim homes were demolished and Muslims are being sent to jails. The first bulldozer that demolished a shop in Delhi Jahangirpuri, belonged to a Hindu.

The MCD bulldozers were sent there to remove encroachments that had taken place over several years. Shops of several Hindus were demolished too. Shops of Muslims were also demolished. The mosque in Jahangirpuri was not demolished. Only the outer area which was extended through encroachment was demolished. The bulldozer was about to demolish the encroached portion of a nearby temple, but, by evening, the temple management itself removed those encroachments.

As far as people arrested in Delhi Jahangirpuri riots are concerned, their names are Ansar, Salim, Zahid, Shehzad, Mohd Ali, Aamir, Noor Alam and Akram, all Muslims, but the list of arrested also includes Saurabh, Suraj, Neeraj, Suken, Suresh and Sujit Sarkar, all Hindus. PFI leaders claim themselves to be the leaders of Muslims, but the real fact is that during the Jodhpur riots, PFI was involved in attack on Hindu homes and shops. Its role is being investigated by police, which is working under the Congress government.

In Jodhpur, police arrested 211 people, which includes both Hindus and Muslims. There was no fight over any Hindu procession. Those who took part in Eid ul-Fitr namaaz in Jodhpur, later started pelting stones. Among those arrested in Jodhpur, many of the Muslims were outsiders. They were brought from outside to foment violence. It is being alleged that PFI had a role in the Jodhpur violence. Whether it is Jodhpur or Khargone, allegations being made by PFI leaders are baseless.  PFI is an extremist Islamic organization, and its leaders are going around spreading lies about atrocities on Muslims.

Other Muslim organizations and maualanas are aware about the activity of PFI leaders. The ulema (Muslim clerics) are advising people to be on alert against this outfit. PFI has already spread its network far and wide, using social media and technology. They prepare video of one hate speech and then start circulating in WhatsApp groups. They are spreading venom to millions of people, radicalizing Muslim youths and inciting them to take up arms.

Sufi Khanqah Association has sent copies of inciting speeches made by PFI leaders to the Centre and UP government, seeking a ban on this outfit. Qausar Hasan Majidi, the president of Sufi Khanqah Association, has alleged that PFI is trying to cause disturbance as part of a conspiracy.  Majidi said, “on January 26 this year, PFI had passed a resolution to launch “Save Democray” movement in India, but in effect, it is not a ‘Save Democracy’ movement but a ‘Divide India’ movement. Our association is raising its voice against PFI, and we have asked the Centre and state governments to impose a ban on this outfit.”

Sufian Nizami, the spokesman of Darul Uloom Firangi Mahal, a renowned Muslim institution of Lucknow having millions of followers, has said that no such outfit must be allowed to spread hate. He said, “the common Muslims do not trust PFI, and they should remain vigilant. This country is being run according to the Constitution, and we should all respect it.”

In February this year, PFI had taken out a parade of its workers in Kota, Rajasthan, where several hate speeches were made. The national general secretary of PFI Anees Ahmed has compared RSS with the international terror outfit Islamic State. Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh hinted in Patna, while speaking to India TV on Thursday, that the government is considering the option to ban PFI. Giriraj Singh said,” those who give lofty speeches on secularism are now silent, why?” 

In social media, any comment, remark or speech which is venomous, spreads faster. Any message which seeks to create divisiveness and hatred, too spreads faster. My request to all is, please do not trust these messages and speeches, and do not forward them to others. In the past, it has been revealed that several such mischievous and hateful messages originate from Pakistan, spread to other countries through ISI propaganda cells active in Pakistan, and then reach India.

Those who are spreading such hate messages  are anti-national. They want to hurt India. We must remember that the person who throws stones, acid bottles or attacks with swords and lathis is actually neither a Hindu nor a Muslim. No religion preaches violence. But there are people who are trying to pit one community against another, but spreading half-truths and mostly lies. We must remain alert.

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