Tavleen Singh writes on Hints of Islamist radicalism among India’s Muslim community:
Now that things have calmed down enough in Muzaffarnagar for the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi to make a visit the time has come for some dispassionate analysis. Not just of what happened in this particular riot but of what could be happening in Muslim communities across India.
In situations of communal tension we have become so accustomed to blaming Hindus that we could be missing something insidious and very dangerous. We could be missing signs of radicalisation in the Muslim community that we do not dare talk about because it is so politically incorrect especially in the aftermath of communal violence that usually results in the death of more Muslims than Hindus. In Muzaffarnagar it has been heartbreaking to see injured children and disturbing to see whole villages emptied of their residents because Muslims fear for their lives. This is why it is easier to blame administrative incompetence and Hindu perfidy than Islamic radicalisation for what happened. But, it is important to confront the reality of radicalization among Indian Muslims and try and deal with it or consequences for the future are likely to be too awful to contemplate.
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It is the worst communal riot that UP has seen in a very long time and that already is an ominous portent in a state with a long history of Hindu-Muslim violence. It comes at a time when turbulence in the Islamic world has affected Indian Muslims and made far too many believe that Western countries are colluding to destroy Islam. There was a time when I heard this kind of thing only in Pakistan but increasingly I hear it from Indian Muslims who in their efforts to identify with the Islamic cause are now more visibly Muslim than they have ever been. You see signs of this from Kashmir to Kanyakumari where Islamic beards on men and hijab on women has become the order of the day.
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