In the Name of Allah, the Most Gra­cious, the Most Mer­ci­ful.

As-salā­mu ‘alaykum wa-rah­mat­ul­lāhi wa-barakā­tuh (Peace, Bless­ings & Mer­cy of Allah be upon You).

Over 40 peo­ple have been killed in riots that erupt­ed on Sun­day 23rd Feb­ru­ary in wake of the anti-Mus­lim Cit­i­zens Amend­ment Bill. Hin­du mobs have tar­get­ed Mus­lims homes, shops and mosques in what is being described by many as pogroms, rem­i­nis­cent of anti-Semit­ic pogroms that Jews endured in the decade pre­ced­ing the Holo­caust. There is a fear of a repeat of the Gujrat riots of 2002 which saw over 1,000 dead. The cur­rent debauch­ery is fore­ground­ed by the lock­down of Kash­mir, which has been in effect for over six months.

We remain com­mit­ted to stand­ing against any injus­tice or oppres­sion com­mit­ted against any human being. As Mus­lims, this is our duty, and we stand firm with our broth­ers and sis­ters in human­i­ty to uphold our shared val­ues of peace and jus­tice.

We sug­gest a spir­i­tu­al plan of action and a polit­i­cal plan to address the egre­gious vio­la­tion of basic human rights that is ongo­ing in India.

 

Spir­i­tu­al Action Plan

We are Mus­lims, there­fore our first reac­tion in any sit­u­a­tion should be to reflect upon our actions and to turn to Allah Ta’ala in seek­ing for­give­ness and to beseech Him for his assis­tance and help. We urge all Mus­lims in Britain to repent and make sin­cere Dua to Allah Ta’ala to help the Mus­lims in India, and indeed across the globe.

Encour­age your fam­i­ly, friends, and com­mu­ni­ty to per­form indi­vid­ual prayers and even organ­ise Qunut Nazi­lah in your com­mu­ni­ties.

Spend your mon­ey and give Sadaqah in addi­tion to your Duas to invite the Mer­cy of Allah Ta’ala.

Change your life for the bet­ter and do your best to come clos­er to Allah Ta’ala by ful­fill­ing His com­mand­ments and fol­low­ing the Sun­nah of Prophet Muham­mad (Peace be upon Him).

In times of despair and dis­tress, it is also advis­able to recite and reflect upon Surah Yusuf; from this, we under­stand that Prophet Yusuf’s (ﷺ) time in the well was lim­it­ed, so too was his time in prison, and indeed his time as min­is­ter. What is ever­last­ing is Allah’s plea­sure, and this is what we find Prophet Yusuf (ﷺ) pur­su­ing regard­less of his sit­u­a­tion.

 

Polit­i­cal Action Plan

We encour­age you to pur­sue a polit­i­cal action plan. This sec­tion will detail how you should engage polit­i­cal­ly, and which groups you should engage with: (1) politi­cians, (2) human rights groups, and (3) hold­ing sup­port­ers of Modi’s tox­ic nar­ra­tive to account.

 

Meth­ods of engag­ing

You can engage the fol­low­ing group through a com­bi­na­tion of emails and social media. Details for email address­es are in the sec­tions below, as well as points that you can raise via email. When writ­ing emails to politi­cians, bear in mind the fol­low­ing:

1) Do not use copy and paste let­ters

MPs very often ignore these, and under­stand­ably so; a copy and paste let­ter sug­gests that who­ev­er sent it has not giv­en the issue much time and thought. Some MPs explic­it­ly men­tion that they will ignore copy and paste let­ters. Instead, you should embed your pas­sion and inter­est in a top­ic in the let­ter.

2) Build your let­ter around facts

MPs have very lim­it­ed time, so if you can base your let­ter around ref­er­enced sta­tis­tics and reports, your MP is more like­ly to take an inter­est in the top­ic, rather than leav­ing it to them to research it for them­selves. If you take the time out to research an MP’s views on an issue, you can use this as a way of build­ing rap­port with them e.g. ‘I appre­ci­ate that you vot­ed x for y pol­i­cy, and I thought this relat­ed mat­ter would inter­est you…’.

3) Write suc­cinct­ly

As already men­tioned, MPs are very busy and do not have much time. Keep­ing your let­ter slick and to the point makes it easy for them to engage with its con­tents, rather than skim­ming over it. As a rule of thumb, the read­er of your let­ter should be able to under­stand it after read­ing it only once. If they have to back­track because of too many big words and com­pli­cat­ed sen­tences, the let­ter becomes much more dif­fi­cult to engage with.

4) Include a call to action

Remem­ber to include a tan­gi­ble request at the end of your let­ter, whether that be pass­ing on a let­ter onto a Min­is­ter or rais­ing an issue in par­lia­ment.

 

If you use Twit­ter, ensure that you use rel­e­vant hash­tags such as #Del­hiV­i­o­lence, #Del­hiRi­ots. You should also share arti­cles and infor­ma­tion on all of your social media plat­forms. The below Twit­ter accounts are help­ful sources of infor­ma­tion (please note that Wifaq Ula­ma does not nec­es­sar­i­ly endorse the below accounts – they are for ref­er­ence):

 

(1) Engag­ing Politi­cians

At present, Lord Ahmad of Wim­ble­don, the Min­is­ter of State for South Asia has at present said noth­ing on the vio­lence in India. He met with Vikas Swarup (Sec­re­tary in India’s Min­istry of Exter­nal Affairs) on Mon­day dur­ing the Human Rights Coun­cil at Gene­va, which is due to run from 24th Feb to 20th March. Write to Lord Ahmad (ahmadt@parliament.uk), or tweet to him insist­ing that he rais­es the hor­rif­ic con­di­tions in Del­hi and the lock­down in Kash­mir in wider meet­ings and with his Indi­an coun­ter­parts.

You should also reach out to politi­cians who have a track record of sup­port­ing British Mus­lims, such as mem­bers of the All-Par­ty Par­lia­men­tary Group (APPG) on British Mus­lims. Write and tweet to them thank­ing them for their good work, and encour­ag­ing them to lob­by the Gov­ern­ment to pres­surise the BJP to desist from their anti-Mus­lim Cit­i­zens Amend­ment Bill. Men­tion that the Mus­lim Coun­cil of Britain have been work­ing close­ly with the Indi­an Mus­lim Fed­er­a­tion in the House of Com­mons to oppose the Cit­i­zens Amend­ment Bill. You should also encour­age them to speak out against sup­port­ers of Modi and the BJP’s tox­ic nar­ra­tive. Below are details of some mem­bers of the APPG on British Mus­lims, who you can both email and con­tact on social media:

You should also con­tact your local MP ask­ing them to raise the mat­ter (as well as the Kash­miri lock­down) in Par­lia­ment, and sim­i­lar­ly lob­by the Gov­ern­ment to apply diplo­mat­ic pres­sure upon Modi’s Gov­ern­ment. You can also write a let­ter to a min­is­ter (such as Lord Ahmad) and ask your MP to pass it onto them. Your MP must do this even if they dis­agree with what you have writ­ten, and it’s much more like­ly to be read by the min­is­ter.

 

(2) Human Rights Groups

There are many NGOs and char­i­ties that do excel­lent work defend­ing human rights. Engag­ing with these organ­i­sa­tions would be an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty ally­ing our­selves with those who also fight against injus­tice.

Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al has local groups that meet reg­u­lar­ly. You can con­tact them, attend their reg­u­lar meet­ings, and aim to coor­di­nate wider cam­paigns in sup­port of Indi­an Mus­lims in your local com­mu­ni­ty. This is an impor­tant plat­form for Mus­lims to raise oth­er instances of oppres­sion, and build allies in our strug­gle for jus­tice and peace.

Con­tact­ing Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al at a high­er lev­el, for exam­ple, the inter­na­tion­al sec­re­tari­at is also a great way to reach a very wide and influ­en­tial audi­ence.

 

(3) Hold­ing Modi’s Sup­port­ers to Account

A lit­tle known fact is that Modi was once banned from the US because of his links to Hin­du extrem­ists. His tyran­ni­cal, despot­ic behav­iour should come as no sur­prise. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there are many in Britain who sup­port Modi, and these groups and indi­vid­u­als should be held to account for sup­port­ing and asso­ci­at­ing with an extrem­ist.

The MP for Har­row, Bob Black­man strong­ly sup­port­ed the revo­ca­tion of Arti­cle 370, which removed Kashmir’s qua­si-auton­o­my. Mr. Blackman’s Twit­ter page fea­tures a pic­ture of him with Modi. It is unfor­tu­nate that Mr. Black­man is lever­ag­ing his posi­tion as Chair of the APPG on British Hin­dus to sup­port Modi’s posi­tions, such as explic­it­ly sup­port­ing the revo­ca­tion of Arti­cle 370. It should not come as a sur­prise that the APPG also reject­ed the def­i­n­i­tion of Islam­o­pho­bia. It seems that the APPG on British Hin­dus is focussed on sup­port­ing Modi, rather than rep­re­sent­ing British Hin­dus.

The Hin­du Coun­cil UK, a civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tion claim­ing to rep­re­sent all Hin­dus in the UK has sup­port­ed Modi and his poli­cies. Both the Hin­du Forum for Britain, and the Friends of India Soci­ety UK also sup­port the anti-Mus­lim Cit­i­zens Amend­ment Bill.

We encour­age you to con­tact these organ­i­sa­tions direct­ly, ques­tion­ing their sup­port for the extrem­ist Modi. You should also cite these organ­i­sa­tions in your let­ters to politi­cians, high­light­ing how prob­lem­at­ic it is for British Hin­du groups to sup­port Modi.

 

Final­ly, we urge all Mus­lims to uphold jus­tice and bal­ance. We should be very care­ful not to label all Hin­dus in a neg­a­tive light. This has been done time and time again to Mus­lims, and we know the hatred and vio­lence that this begets. As Mus­lims, we are the torch­bear­ers of jus­tice and good con­duct, and we must com­mit to peace­ful and legal protest against injus­tice wher­ev­er it appears and who­ev­er it affects.

May Allah pre­serve and pro­tect the Mus­lims of India and deliv­er swift jus­tice to the oppres­sors. Ameen.