Attack on foreign students during namaz in Gujarat University Hostel is part of a disturbing pattern to target Muslim symbols and religious practices: JIH Vice President, Prof Salim Engineer

March 18, 2024

New Delhi: The Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Prof Salim Engineer has condemned the attack on foreign students in a hostel in the Gujarat University. In a statement to the media, the JIH Vice President said, “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns in the strongest terms the shocking incident that occurred in the campus of Gujarat University on Saturday night, where a group of foreign students, were brutally assaulted for offering prayers during Ramadan. According to reports, five students were injured and two had to be hospitalized. These foreign students were offering namaz on the premises of the hostel. Some outsiders entered the campus and misbehaved with the students followed by stone pelting and vandalism. It was surprising that the police did not act on time and allowed the perpetrators to commit arson within the university campus. Inaction of the police also should be investigated and the responsible officers should be punished. The inaction of the police present at the campus points out why hatemongers and anti-social elements do not fear the law.”

Prof Salim Engineer said, “This reprehensible act, where foreign students were attacked for practicing their faith, goes against the very principles of tolerance and pluralism that our nation upholds. Such incidents not only endanger the lives of innocent students but also tarnish the name of our country. We call upon the authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of this violence are swiftly brought to justice. We demand a thorough investigation to identify all those involved and hold them accountable for their actions. We urge the Gujarat Police to expedite their efforts in this regard and ensure the safety and security of all students, regardless of their nationality or religion.”

The JIH Vice President averred, “This incident should not be viewed in isolation. It is an outcome of the general climate of hate and polarization that has developed over the years against the Muslim community in India. Targeted violence against Muslims has been normalized. Unless this climate of hate is confronted; we will not be able to address the root cause of such communal incidents. Also, there appears to be a disturbing pattern in this violence. In many instances, namaz (Muslim ritual prayer) was targeted on campuses and public places, and even FIR was registered in other BJP-ruled states. This demonization of Muslim symbols and religious practices is becoming common. While the majority of religious practices are being promoted with full vigor in public places with active government involvement. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind calls upon political parties and civil society to speak up about this pattern of targeting Muslim symbols and religious practices. We urge the judiciary to take note of it and come out suo moto with clear directives.”

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