Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), a group of countries with Islam as the official religion, has criticized India for the hijab row. In response, the Government of India has put a very strong statement, calling it “communally minded”.
“The communal mindset of the OIC Secretariat does not allow for a proper appreciation of these realities. OIC continues to be hijacked by vested interests to further their nefarious propaganda against India,” the Ministry of External Affairs, or MEA, said in the statement, referring to the Jeddah-headquartered organisation that has 57 member states.
“As a result, it has only harmed its own reputation,” India said.
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) February 15, 2022
The OIC general secretariat had expressed deep concern over “recent public calls for genocide of Muslims by the ‘Hindutva’ proponents in Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand and reported incidents of harassment of Muslim women on social media sites as well as banning of Muslim girl students from wearing hijab in the state of Karnataka”.
“The continued attacks targeting Muslims and their places of worship, the recent trend of anti-Muslim legislations in different states and rising incidents of violence against Muslims on flimsy pretexts by ‘Hindutva’ groups with impunity, are indicative of the growing trend of Islamophobia,” it had said.
In its response, the Indian government also pointed out the fact that it is a democracy, and the issues are resolved through the constitutional framework.
Organisations like OIC are an exclusive group of countries with a particular religion as state sanctity. Still, they preach to other countries about secularism, freedom of speech, democracy, and whatnot.
Countries like France are reshaping Islam according to their national values. Thus, the organizations like OIC, which represent Dar al-Islam (literally house/abode of Islam or Dar al-Tawhid, house/abode of monotheism) are becoming irrelevant.
India should also reshape Islam according to its “national values”. France has shown remarkable resilience to the threats from Islamic radicals. As extensively reported by the TFI, in October 2021, the French government had shut down 650 places in the country for housing extremists elements.
In December 2021, it was reported that 99 mosques and Muslim prayer halls have been investigated in recent months because they were suspected of spreading a “separatist” ideology. 21 out of these 99 mosques had been shut down. Additionally, 36 mosques have been tamed by the French government.
Recently, Islamic radicalism has seen an outburst in the western world. France, which holds the largest Muslim population in western Europe has been specifically targeted by Islamists.
A total of 236 deaths between 2014-16 can be attributed to radical Islamism in the country. The concerns about taming radicalism caught momentum only after the beheading of Samuel Paty by Islamists.
The French had long been holding a red carpet for Muslim migrants flooding the country’s shores. During 1960-70, West African Muslim men flooded the country, mainly as Economic migrants.
The Islamists in these countries receive financial and ideological support from organizations like OIC, which wants to make the entire world Dar-al-Islam. Thus, India should ensure that these organizations do not gain a foothold among Indian Muslims and keep a close eye on them.