Elections 2024: How Indian Muslims Would Vote

The election festival in India has started yet again and with the first phase of the mammoth exercise starting off on 19 April, the political pundits are wondering once again, how the Indian Muslims are going to vote.

If we analyse the election results of the last two general elections, then we realise that at the national level, in the past two national elections Indian Muslims at many places voted strategically, yet a party with just 35% of the vote emerged victorious.

However, it should not dishearten the Indian Muslims, they should take courage from the fact that they are standing along with the 65% of the Indian population, which stands for India’s secular credentials and values. Alas, this reality is not seen by the so-called Muslim parties, which often emerge as vote spoilers or dividers, by attracting a minuscule number of Muslims and giving an edge to anti-Muslim forces.

Data available at the Election Commission of India’s website from the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, shows that the ruling BJP won narrowly on 40 seats in the country.

Of its 303 tally, it won by less than 50,000 votes in as many 40 seats in 2019. This is usually considered a reversible margin.

This means that if the margins had been reversed, it would have taken its tally down to 263. Of these 40 narrow victories, 11 were versus the Congress party, and six against the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Biju Janata Dal. Four were versus the Trinamool Congress, two versus the Rashtriya Lok Dal, and one each against the All India United Democratic Front, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Janata Dal (Secular) and an Independent.

Moreover, fourteen of these narrow seat victories were in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. Machlishahar in U.P. has the dubious distinction of electing a BJP candidate by just 181 votes in the last elections. Overall, of its 303 seats, BJP won by less than one lakh votes on 77 seats.

In view of these facts, firstly, it should be the strategy of the secular political parties and particularly of the Muslim leaders to focus on these crucial seats and turn the tide against the anti-Muslim party. The irony is that even the parties, which were once relied upon as saviours of the Muslims like the Samajwadi and BSP, have also emerged as Muslims haters. In view of this the Muslims should vote strategically and vote for a lesser danger than the bigger danger.

Secondly, if we find our so-called leaders and parties lacking in these efforts, then the community’s intellectuals and experts, who are robustly active on various social media platforms, should persuade the Muslim voters to cast their vote positively on the D-day.

The mention of the importance of social media in today’s India, brings our attention to a recent report complied by Al Jazeera on the medium’s importance and how it is being used to spread mis- or dis-information and increasing Islamophobia among the electorate.

India has over 460 million YouTube users, making it the platform’s largest market, with four out of five Internet users in India consuming its content. Increasingly, more and more Indians are getting their news from YouTube, now a days.

The report says that most often these YouTube channels peddle mis- or dis-information in the garb of news. Some of these YouTube news channels increasingly offer a smattering of dis-information and Islamophobia, often cheerleading the ruling dispensation, while targeting its critics and opposition leaders. However, what makes these channels unique is that they claim to be ‘news’ channels, ostensibly claiming to present fact-based reportage.

These channels, though lesser known than mainstream news channels, have millions of viewers, giving them an outsized role in how the world’s largest democracy is consuming news as India prepares for its national election. Most of these channels have followers running into millions, with over billion views, a staggering and fearsome figure indeed.

With such a wide reach, concerns abound on how such ‘news’ outlets might shape perceptions and opinions, especially during the election season.

Studies have shown that Indians place greater trust in news they view on YouTube and WhatsApp, over news delivered by mainstream media outlets. Already, the World Economic Forum’s 2024 Global Risk Report has concluded that the most severe risk India faces is the fallout from the spread of false information.

The Al Jazeera report further quotes a study done by Narrative Research Lab, a New Delhi-based data lab that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to track print media and social media content, NRL analysed the content across six channels – NMF, Rajdharma, Headlines India, Shining India, Capital TV and O News Hindi – and found that on all these channels, coverage of India’s opposition parties was muted and its leaders were rendered almost invisible. In contrast, PM Modi and the BJP loomed large, their coverage almost always glowing.

The lab analysed 2,747 videos published by these channels between December 22, 2023, and March 22, 2024. In their findings, the lab found that across all the channels, some of the most frequently used words in the titles were “Modi”, “BJP” and “Yogi”, while mentions of opposition parties and leaders were used scarcely.

A “sentiment analysis” by the lab found that while “Modi” was used commonly across videos that had both negative and positive sentiments, references to India’s opposition figures like Gandhi mostly emerged in negative phrases.

Routinely, these channels amplify Islamophobic sentiments and use anti-Muslim tropes. The Narrative Research Lab analysis also found that there was a spike in the number of videos these channels produced on events like the day the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act rules were announced on March 11.

Another issue, which haunts the journalists in this election season, is the extra vigil and precaution, which they have to exercise while covering the elections. Based on their past experiences, the journalist in a survey carried out by the US-based, CPJ – The Committee to Protect Journalists, which promotes press freedom worldwide, and defends the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal, said they were concerned about political violence, criminalisation of journalism, attacks by other journalists and online censorship, while covering the elections.

Overall, these elections are crucial not just in face of the daunting task carried by journalists as listed above, but are also important for the minority community to vote strategically, unitedly, unwaveringly and certainly by ensuring their presence at the polling booths on the D-day, to ensure the safety of minorities in the country, besides safeguarding the country’s constitutional and secular values,

Otherwise the foreboding messages, which currently abound on WhatsApp university may turn into a frightening reality.

(The writer is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator)

Terror Attack in Iran

Terror Attack in Iran Augurs Bad Omen for West Asia

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi joined mourners in the southern city of Kerman on Friday last week for the funerals of 89 people killed in twin blasts claimed by the Islamic State (Daesh), according to the Iranian media.

Suicide bombers struck crowds gathered near the tomb of Revolutionary Guards General Qasem Soleimani to mark the fourth anniversary of his killing in Baghdad in a targeted US drone strike. The terrorist attack on 3 January killed 89 people, which included many women and children as well as at least a dozen Afghans, state television said.

Raisi vowed to avenge the killings; saying, the time and place will be determined by our (Iranian) forces. Whereas, Revolutionary Guards chief Hossein Salami said, we will find you wherever you are.

In a statement published on Thursday 6 January on Telegram, the Daesh claimed two of its members ‘activated their explosives vests’ at the gathering. A staunch enemy of Daesh, Soleimani headed the Guards’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, overseeing Iranian military operations across the Middle East.

Though some Iranian officials have already hinted at Israel’s involvement in the attack, journalists and active media members have also started bringing to the limelight the differences between Daesh’s latest statement and its previous ones to prove a second party’s complicity.

The Tehran Times reported that the extremist group acknowledged responsibility for the assault more than 30 hours following the explosions. This departs from its usual pattern, as the group typically asserts its role in acts of terror immediately after their occurrence.

Also, Daesh generally precedes attacks with ominous posts on its social media platforms shortly before they unfold. Surprisingly, no such forewarning preceded the blasts in Kerman, contrasting with the group’s established modus operandi.

Moreover, in the image disseminated by Daesh, faces of both the attackers are completely obscured, with their faces fully covered and their eyes deliberately blurred. While previous attacks carried out by Daesh members featured images of the perpetrators in full clarity.

An Iranian journalist Mona Hojat Ansari analysing the evidence says that the text of the recent statement also exhibited notable disparities from prior declarations made by the extremist group.

ALSO READ: Iron Women Of Iran

Historically, Daesh has consistently referred to Iran as the ‘land of Persians’ or the ‘state of Khorasan’. However, the latest communication from the terrorists explicitly uses the country’s actual name: Iran. This shift has sparked suspicions regarding the origins of the statement, prompting questions about whether it might have been authored by an external entity and subsequently handed over to the group for dissemination on its social media platforms.

Further the characteristics of the attack also raised suspicions about Israel’s potential involvement, Iranian media pointed out. As per an Iranian lawmaker who inspected the blast site, the explosives employed to trigger the suicide vests were identified as RDX, which has frequently been associated with Israel’s past use in carrying out targeted assassinations within Iranian territory.

Despite the claim from Daesh, Iranian officials have continued to accuse Iran’s arch foes Israel and the United States of complicity in the attack. “IS has disappeared nowadays”, Salami said, adding that its remaining members, “only act as mercenaries” for US and Israeli interests.

They assert that Israel has been trying to weave a web of provocations to turn the whole region into chaos, leading to an all out war in the Middle East. Further, the US wants to involve Iran first, in this foreseeable confrontation The Iranian media claims that following its significant setback on 7 October by Hamas, Israel has grown increasingly desperate for direct involvement from Washington in the on going war.

Despite the US’s diplomatic support and provision of weaponry used in Gaza, it has, thus far, displayed reluctance to escalate the conflict beyond Gaza. In fact, reports suggest that the US has been pressuring Israel to halt its fruitless campaign by the end of January.

Iranian media claims that recognising its inability to eliminate Hamas and its deteriorating international standing, Israel now views a regional war as necessary to permanently eliminate the so-called Axis of Resistance. From Israel’s perspective, the opportunity to draw the US into a war with Iran and its allied groups may not arise again.

This motive has led to a series of orchestrated attacks in recent weeks aimed at provoking Iran and triggering a full-scale regional conflict. The sequence began with the assassination of a top Iranian military advisor in Syria, followed by an attack targeting a Hamas leader in Beirut. While some analysts anticipated a similar assault on Iranian soil, the direct targeting of civilians in a terrorist attack was largely unforeseen.

Meanwhile, tensions remain heated on the Israel-Lebanese border. An Israeli strike on southern Lebanon on Monday, 8 January killed a top Hezbollah commander, the Iran-backed group said in a statement. Clashes between Hezbollah and the Israeli army have intensified since the war in started.

While it is still debatable who carried out the attack or on whose instructions, it is clear that any direct American entry in the region may escalate the Gaza conflict, besides bringing chaos to the whole region. So far, the US has rejected any suggestion that it or its ally Israel were behind the bombings, while Israel has not commented on the issue.

However, one should not pay heed to the provocative statements by Israel against its other Arab neighbours and by Iran against Israel, the collective aim should be to get the Palestinian issue resolved at the earliest, as per the aspersions of the Palestinian people and try to limit the war and stop its spread in the region, as any further confrontation or attacks may prove catastrophic for the global peace.

(Asad Mirza is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator)

For more details visit us: https://lokmarg.com/

Growing Islamophobic Politics In Europe

Islamophobic Politics Amplified in Europe

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is often in the news for making bold statements, but she recently scoffed at Islamic culture and said that there is no place for it in Europe. She says there is no place for Islam in Europe: ‘There is a problem of compatibility’

Her comments were made at a political festival organised by her far-right party – the Brothers of Italy, in Rome, which was attended by the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and X’s owner Elon Musk, too.

In her speech Meloni said, “The Islamic cultural centres in Italy are financed by Saudi Arabia where Sharia is in force. In Europe, there is a very Islamisation process distant from the values ​​of our civilisation! I believe that there is a problem of compatibility between Islamic culture and the values ​​and rights of our civilization.”

Meanwhile, an old video of her also re-surfaced on various social media platforms that shows her saying she would not allow Sharia law to be implemented in Italy. Meloni also criticised Saudi Arabia for its strict Sharia Law.

“I believe that these should be raised, which does not mean generalising on Islam. It means raising the problem that there is a process of Islamisation in Europe that is very distant from the values of our civilisation,” she added.

During his speech at the event, Rishi Sunak said that he would push for global reforms to the asylum system while warning that the threat of a growing number of refugees could ‘overwhelm’ parts of Europe.

He even warned that some ‘enemies’ were deliberately ‘driving people to our shores to try and destabilise our societies’.

“If we do not tackle this problem, the numbers will only grow. It will overwhelm our countries and our capacity to help those who actually need our help the most,” Rishi Sunak said, adding, “If that requires us to update our laws and lead an international conversation to amend the post-war frameworks around asylum, then we must do that.”

Meanwhile, Tesla’s founder and X’s owner Elon Musk marked a rare appearance as he met world leaders at the annual gathering. “Immigration isn’t enough to combat population shrinking,” he said at the event, explaining: “There is value in cultures, we don’t want Italy as a culture to disappear, we want to maintain a reasonable cultural identity of those countries or they won’t be those countries.”

Analysing the speeches given by these three leaders, makes it clear that not only political leaders alone but even business leaders are increasingly turning to Islamophobia, based on their belief systems and also converting political issues to anti-Islam utterances, to gain public support.

Both Sunak and Musk couched their Islamophobic feelings into anti-immigrants policies. This could be partly blamed to these countries’ own doing. Firstly, various European nations opened their doors for immigrants from the Muslim dominated countries.

The migrant’s flow to many western countries increased as the increasing prosperity there was matched with no desire to engage in menial jobs at lower wages, gaps which were filled by the migrants. Further, they allowed Muslim immigrants entry to assuage their own guilt feeling, as many of the migrants fleeing their homes were coming from those countries where these countries had started or were supporting wars against the so-called radical or Islamist elements.

Though many of these immigrants were not connected to any radical ideology, but they became an easy scapegoat to be blamed for any wrongs happening in these western societies.

Rishi Sunak has been accused of adopting the “toxic” rhetoric of his former home secretary Suella Braverman, after he warned that migration would “overwhelm” European countries without firm action.

Sunak also said that both he and Meloni, with whom he has been forging a close relationship over hardline migration policies, were taking inspiration from Margaret Thatcher’s steadfast radicalism in their quest to do “whatever it takes” to “stop the boats”.

Sunak’s relationship with Meloni, Italy’s first female premier has blossomed over their shared hardline approach towards immigration through policies that have pushed the limits of legality. They have also bonded over their admiration of Thatcher.

As far as Elon Musk is concerned, recently studies have found that Islamophobic comments are being spread widely through X and the company does not respond to complaints or seem to take any remedial action, to handle the issue. X users resort to spelling mistakes intentionally while debating controversial subjects like religion, terrorism, crime, and even the Indian history.

These are not errors made in the heat of the moment, but careful distortions meant to keep the tweet from being flagged or deleted for hateful content. For example, a tweet posted in November 2022 that singled out people with Muslim names from a series of random crime news reports did not refer to the perpetrators as “Muslims” but instead used the phrase “Ola ke Bande” (Ola’s group or Ola’s gang). The word “Ola,” which refers to the Indian ride-hailing taxi service, was used in place of “Allah.” The tweet author currently has close to 7,00,000 followers.

Reporting such tweets for targeting a group of people based on their religion is now more difficult than reporting a hateful tweet simply referring to “Muslims,” as the X moderators viewing the complaint would have to be familiar with not only the Hindi phrase being used, but also understand the double meaning of “Ola.” Moreover, if the moderation process were automated, the machine would most likely see a user verbally abusing a taxi service, which does not constitute hateful conduct.

Meanwhile, reports from France speak of a parliamentary vote in favour of a new tough bill against the immigrants. Right-wing French leader Marine Le Pen described this as an ‘ideological victory’, due to the inclusion of many hardline measures

In fact from Italy’s Meloni to France’s Le Pen, to Geert Wilders’ popularity in the Netherlands and Austria and Hungary’s increasing public support to the right-wing politicians on the rise, the recent developments point to the wave of right-wing and Islamophobic politics overtaking Europe.

(Asad Mirza is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator.)

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Resolve To Tackle Climate Crisis

New Resolve to Tackle Climate Change

Though right form the start or even before it started, the vibes from the Dubai COP 28 Summit were not positive. However, as the jamboree ended, 198 countries announced that they are committed to phase out fossil fuels as they pose the main climate change accelerators.

Ending Fossil Fuels

The countries agreed to contribute to a transition “away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science.”

This could be counted as some progress as just a few years ago it was inconceivable that fossil fuels, which in fact still fulfil almost every country’s energy needs to a large extent will be shamed and might be banned.

However, the announcement doesn’t mean anything, as there is no mandate behind it, but it could help build momentum for more action from governments. The Paris climate agreement’s commitment that countries would pursue efforts to limit global heating to 1.50 C, above pre-industrial levels staged a version of this in 2015.

In fact, the agreement doesn’t underline the urgency required to avoid worsening climate destruction, and it includes language, which may fuel further delay or non-action.

A New Culprit Identified

While oil and gas companies have not yet committed to producing less fossil fuel, their pledge to cut emissions from their own operations is noteworthy.

In the agreement, instead of highlighted the harmful effects of Carbon Dioxide – CO2, the delegates were somehow influenced to focus more on Methane-CH4.

Methane, an odourless gas is produced by virtually every oil and gas project worldwide. When it is not cost effective to capture it, companies often release methane into the atmosphere via venting or burn it through flaring, which ironically converts it into Carbon Dioxide. 

The gas also leaks into the atmosphere from facilities via innumerable small, undetected or unreported leaks in pipelines or other equipment, or through large-scale releases called “super-emitter” events.

Scientists say methane has been responsible for up to 30 percent of global warming since the industrial era began, so the Dubai agreement offers a win for the climate, even if the 50 signatories account for less than a third of the industry’s total operational emissions.  

Oil companies may choose to shut some production because that is the most cost effective answer to the target of zero flaring of methane. Some of the biggest oil companies have already promised zero routine flaring and near-zero methane, and a number have shown that big progress can be made on the latter.

Renewable Energy

A second COP 28 commitment could affect demand for fossil fuels by tripling the world’s renewable energy generation capacity to at least 11,000 Gigawatts –GW by 2030.

More than 120 countries signed up to this pledge, which will require a big leap in effort from what has been done before. It took 12 years from 2010 to 2022 to achieve the last tripling of renewable capacity. This one has to be done in the space of eight years.

This means that meeting the goal will be difficult, but achievable. This is also supported by the fact that solar and wind are now the cheapest sources of new energy generation in most countries, but the growth of renewables is being held back by a range of bureaucratic and regulations bottlenecks that many authorities are struggling to unblock.

Generating More Efficient Energy

The third COP 28 commitment with implications for hydrocarbons is aimed at boosting energy efficiency.

More efficient and smart use of energy is widely referred to as the “first fuel” in clean energy transitions because it offers some of the quickest and most cost-effective options for cutting emissions, lowering energy bills and bolstering energy security. 

The countries that signed up to the 2030 renewables pledge agreed to collectively double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements from around 2 percent to more than 4 percent every year until 2030.

However, all this could translate into real achievement only when the world leaders who attended COP 28 are focussed to turn these words into real ground action by creating plans for implementation of the summit’s goals.

This certainly leaves much to be desired, given the sway of the oil and petrochemicals giants on various governments, an example of which is the manner in which they have been able to turn the attention from CO2 to MH4 at the recent summit. Thus, a resolve coupled with sincere and active policymaking, should pave the way forward but it may also invite political opposition and industry resistance.

 (Asad Mirza is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator.)

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Afghan Tragedy Unfolds in Pakistan

For the last two months the international attention has been focussed on the continuing Gaza crisis, yet in its background another human tragedy has been unfolding in Pakistan, noticed by few except the humanitarian agencies.

Reportedly, more than 370,000 Afghans have fled Pakistan since 1 October, after Pakistan vowed to expel more than a million undocumented refugees, mostly Afghans.

However, in a significant ruling the Supreme Court of Pakistan observed on 2 December 2023, that Pakistan is a signatory to United Nations’ conventions safeguarding the rights of refugees and these agreements bind Pakistan.

Earlier, an apex committee, chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, on 3 October 2023 had issued a deadline for foreign nationals to depart voluntarily or risk deportation by Pakistan by 31 October.

Reportedly, this was to affect some 1.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan but also members of other persecuted communities including China’s Uyghurs and Myanmar’s Rohingyas.

While the majority of the over 4 million Afghans living in Pakistan has been in the country since the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, between 600,000 and 800,000 Afghans are believed to have arrived in Pakistan after the Taliban 2.0 took over power in 2021.

Pakistani Crackdown

As per media reports, Police and other officials have carried out mass detentions, night raids, and beatings against Afghans. They’ve seized property and livestock, and bulldozed homes. They’ve also demanded bribes, confiscated jewellery, and destroyed identity documents. Pakistani police have sometimes sexually harassed Afghan women and girls and threatened them with sexual assault.

Among those being deported or coerced to leave are people who would be at a greater risk of persecution in Afghanistan, including women and girls, human rights defenders, journalists, and former government employees who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

Some of those at risk had previously been promised resettlement in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada, but resettlement processes are not proceeding quickly enough.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said that the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people into Afghanistan “couldn’t have come at a worse time,” as the country faces a prolonged economic crisis that has left two thirds of the population in need of humanitarian assistance, and now, winter is setting in.

The new arrivals often come with almost nothing, because Pakistani authorities have prohibited Afghans from taking out more than 50,000 Pakistani rupees (US$ 175) each. Humanitarian agencies have described shortages of tents and other basic services for those arriving.

The area of Torkham – the crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan -, lies just outside the city of Jalalabad. The Taliban government has converted this area into a massive tent city, bereft of civic amenities, to accommodate the influx from Pakistan.

Souring of Pak-Afghan Relations

Since 2021, Islamabad has attempted to close its border with Afghanistan with little success. Apparently, as expected the bilateral relationship between the two countries after the Taliban’s takeover of power in Afghanistan didn’t worked out on expected lines.

The Taliban 2.0 were not the same lot as the earlier Taliban. This time around they were surer of themselves and instead of following Pakistani diktats through ISI, the Taliban charted a new course of their own.

The relationship even soured more, once the new Taliban government started fencing along the border on the Durand Line. Added to that was the issue of free trade between the two countries, which stopped flow of goods into Afghanistan via Pakistan twice over the last two years. Pakistan has also implemented several measures to tighten the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA), which critics say has been misused, for smuggling goods back into Pakistan.

Additionally, over the past year, there has been a surge of militant attacks inside Pakistan, with most claimed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a close ally of the Afghan Taliban. Pakistani authorities have blamed Afghan migrants in part for the rise in attacks.

Only last week, an air force base was attacked in Mianwali, the capital of the Punjab province, though most attacks take place near the long border with Afghanistan, where Islamabad says the TTP has safe-havens.

When the decision to deport refugees was announced, Interim Minister Sarfraz Bugti had stated that out of the 24 suicide bombings in Pakistan this year, Afghan nationals carried out 14.

The Taliban government in Kabul has denied involvement and has done little to allay Islamabad’s security concerns. Refusing to take back any refugees, Kabul also disapproves of Islamabad’s repatriation plan.

As tempers rise, the Afghan interim Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund has criticised Pakistan’s decision to expel refugees, saying that Islamabad had violated international laws, while his deputy Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai has warned Pakistan “not to force their hand to react over the move”.

Hostility is so deeply entrenched against Afghans that Jan Achakzai, caretaker minister in Balochistan province, has said that the expulsion of refugees would continue, “no matter which political government comes to power after the elections.” The tenure of the current caretaker government ends in February 2024.

Perhaps the Pakistan government can take lessons from the practice of the Prophet with regard to immigrants from the early history of Islam. The teaching of Islam has very important foundations for providing mutual help among immigrants and citizens. The Holy Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet contain many examples of peaceful societies made of immigrants as well as regular citizens. The Prophet says, “You cannot be a real believer unless you want for your brother what you want for yourself.” If indeed they take lessons from the Prophets tradition, then they could adopt a more humane approach to the issue.

Though the current situation may have arisen due to Pakistan’s own economic woes, in addition to its souring relationship with the Taliban 2.0, yet, the major sufferer in this case is the common Afghan. In this backdrop it becomes the duty of international humanitarian agencies and western governments to take cognisance of the issue and start a slew of measures to ensure care of Afghan citizens and also try to get relations patched up between the two neighbouring countries.

(Asad Mirza is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator.)

holy quran burnings

Drawing The Line Between Freedom of Expression & Hate Speech

Recent incidents of burning copies of the Holy Quran in Sweden and Denmark by the far right elements has forced the two Scandinavian countries, besides several others to introspect their stand on the freedom of expression and hate speeches and crimes.

Reportedly the Swedish government is concerned about national security following several incidents involving the burning of the Holy Quran that have provoked demonstrations and outrage from Muslim-majority countries.

On 25th August, Denmark’s government said it would “criminalise” desecration of religious objects and moved a bill banning the burning of scriptures.

Denmark and Sweden are among the most secular and liberal countries in the world, and have long allowed trenchant public criticism of religions. Politicians across Denmark ‘s political spectrum said an outright ban would compromise citizens’ constitutionally inscribed right to freedom of expression as new laws could stop or at least restrict them.

While freedom of expression is a fundamental human right in liberal democracies, the right to express one’s opinion can become complex when expressing one’s views clashes with the religious and cultural beliefs of others and when this rhetoric veers into hate speech.

In many European countries, lawmakers and others are asking whether these religious book burnings should be seen as exercises of free expression or more as incitement based on religion. A few countries are already introducing new legislation to curb hate speech against religious communities, as per a report by Armin Langer, for The Conversation.

But here we also have to acknowledge the fact that such tendencies grew in Scandinavian countries, which have a far better societal edifice. This suffered cracks when a large number of migrants from various, mostly Muslim Arab and Asian countries, to these developed nations began. As a result of their old customary and religious belief and with little help from government’s side, these migrant communities were not able to assimilate themselves properly in the mainstream of these countries and were seen more of a problem, rather than an asset.

As per census figures the migrants in Sweden constitute about 1.8 to 4.4% of the population, in numbers these transform to 250,000 to 400,000 in a country of 9 million people. On the other hand, 5% of Denmark’s population consists of migrants or descendants of migrants.

Historically, since medieval times, because of the dominant role of Christianity in political and cultural life, blasphemy against Christian beliefs in European countries was severely punished.

Even now various European countries retain blasphemy laws, though the laws may not prevent present-day acts like dishonouring of religious texts.

Russia, introduced a federal law in 2013 criminalising public insults of religious beliefs. The German Penal Code of 1969 has forbidden the public slander of religions and worldviews.

Both, Austria and Switzerland have laws in this regard. In 2011, a person in Vienna was fined for calling the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a paedophile. This case later went up to the European Court of Human Rights, which supported the Viennese court’s decision. The court said that the person wasn’t trying to have a useful discussion but instead just wanted to show that Prophet Muhammad shouldn’t be respected.

Spain, also takes a strong stance against religious disrespect. Its penal code makes it a crime to publicly belittle religious beliefs, practices or ceremonies in a way that could hurt the feelings of followers of other religions.

Italy, punishes acts deemed to be disrespectful to religions. Its penal code has been used to punish actions that insult Christianity. For example, in 2017 authorities charged an artist for depicting Jesus with an erect penis.

Even in the U.S., there’s an on going debate about the boundaries of free speech. The First Amendment of the Constitution allows free speech, which some can interpret as the right to burn holy books.

If we analyse closely, based on our interpretation of societal mores and democratic principles, these acts of hatred against one particular religious community seems to be a part of a broader agenda of targeting Muslims by far-right groups across Europe and elsewhere, too.

Lawmakers, social scientists, academicians, politicians all are intent on getting a plausible definition of defining whether these acts of book burnings should be seen as exercises of free expression or more as an incitement based on religion.

On the other hand in India, a country which has seen a steady increase in cases of hate crimes and hate speeches over the past few years, the real intervention has come from the judiciary, not the political class.

In reality, if we really want to put an end to such fissiparous tendencies then we’ll have to change our focus. The cases of burning copies of the Holy Quran or religious books of other religions or the increasing rise in Islamophobia across the world, could be resolved with the help of the political class but we need to adopt a more humane and social approach to resolve the anti-religious acts through finalising a more clearer definition of free speech, hate speech and hate crimes. Only this would help in dealing with them in a more proactive manner rather than a reactive manner, as is evident by the Danish decision to review laws relating to free speech in Denmark.

A few countries are introducing new legislation to curb hate speech against religious communities. For example, in 2006 England got rid of the blasphemy law and introduced The Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which makes it an offense to stir up religious hatred. After repealing its blasphemy law in 2020, Ireland has been discussing the introduction of a hate speech law, which will criminalise any communication or behaviour that is likely to incite violence or hatred.

Sweden passed a hate speech law in 1970 protecting racial, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. Swedish authorities pointed to this legislation when they took action against a Quran-burning incident that occurred in front of a mosque in June 2023.

(The writer is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator)

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Holy Quran

Draw The Line on Freedom of Expression & Hate Speech

Recent incidents of burning copies of the Holy Quran in Sweden and Denmark by the far right elements has forced the two Scandinavian countries, besides several others to introspect their stand on the freedom of expression and hate speeches and crimes.

Reportedly the Swedish government is concerned about national security following several incidents involving the burning of the Holy Quran that have provoked demonstrations and outrage from Muslim-majority countries.

On 25th August, Denmark’s government said it would “criminalise” desecration of religious objects and moved a bill banning the burning of scriptures.

Denmark and Sweden are among the most secular and liberal countries in the world, and have long allowed trenchant public criticism of religions. Politicians across Denmark ‘s political spectrum said an outright ban would compromise citizens’ constitutionally inscribed right to freedom of expression as new laws could stop or at least restrict them.

While freedom of expression is a fundamental human right in liberal democracies, the right to express one’s opinion can become complex when expressing one’s views clashes with the religious and cultural beliefs of others and when this rhetoric veers into hate speech.

In many European countries, lawmakers and others are asking whether these religious book burnings should be seen as exercises of free expression or more as incitement based on religion. A few countries are already introducing new legislation to curb hate speech against religious communities, as per a report by Armin Langer, for The Conversation.

But here we also have to acknowledge the fact that such tendencies grew in Scandinavian countries, which have a far better societal edifice. This suffered cracks when a large number of migrants from various, mostly Muslim Arab and Asian countries, to these developed nations began. As a result of their old customary and religious belief and with little help from the government’s side, these migrant communities were not able to assimilate themselves properly into the mainstream of these countries and were seen as more of a problem, rather than an asset.

As per census figures the migrants in Sweden constitute about 1.8 to 4.4% of the population, in numbers these transform to 250,000 to 400,000 in a country of 9 million people. On the other hand, 5% of Denmark’s population consists of migrants or descendants of migrants.

Historically, since medieval times, because of the dominant role of Christianity in political and cultural life, blasphemy against Christian beliefs in European countries was severely punished.

Even now various European countries retain blasphemy laws, though the laws may not prevent present-day acts like dishonouring of religious texts.

Russia, introduced a federal law in 2013 criminalising public insults of religious beliefs. The German Penal Code of 1969 has forbidden the public slander of religions and worldviews.

Both, Austria and Switzerland have laws in this regard. In 2011, a person in Vienna was fined for calling the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a paedophile. This case later went up to the European Court of Human Rights, which supported the Viennese court’s decision. The court said that the person wasn’t trying to have a useful discussion but instead just wanted to show that Prophet Muhammad shouldn’t be respected.

Spain, also takes a strong stance against religious disrespect. Its penal code makes it a crime to publicly belittle religious beliefs, practices or ceremonies in a way that could hurt the feelings of followers of other religions.

Italy, punishes acts deemed to be disrespectful to religions. Its penal code has been used to punish actions that insult Christianity. For example, in 2017 authorities charged an artist for depicting Jesus with an erect penis.

Even in the U.S., there’s an on going debate about the boundaries of free speech. The First Amendment of the Constitution allows free speech, which some can interpret as the right to burn holy books.

If we analyse closely, based on our interpretation of societal mores and democratic principles, these acts of hatred against one particular religious community seems to be a part of a broader agenda of targeting Muslims by far-right groups across Europe and elsewhere, too.

Lawmakers, social scientists, academicians, politicians all are intent on getting a plausible definition of defining whether these acts of book burnings should be seen as exercises of free expression or more as an incitement based on religion.

On the other hand in India, a country which has seen a steady increase in cases of hate crimes and hate speeches over the past few years, the real intervention has come from the judiciary, not the political class.

In reality, if we really want to put an end to such fissiparous tendencies then we’ll have to change our focus. The cases of burning copies of the Holy Quran or religious books of other religions or the increasing rise in Islamophobia across the world, could be resolved with the help of the political class but we need to adopt a more humane and social approach to resolve the anti-religious acts through finalising a more clearer definition of free speech, hate speech and hate crimes. Only this would help in dealing with them in a more proactive manner rather than a reactive manner, as is evident by the Danish decision to review laws relating to free speech in Denmark.

A few countries are introducing new legislation to curb hate speech against religious communities. For example, in 2006 England got rid of the blasphemy law and introduced The Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which makes it an offense to stir up religious hatred. After repealing its blasphemy law in 2020, Ireland has been discussing the introduction of a hate speech law, which will criminalise any communication or behaviour that is likely to incite violence or hatred.

Sweden passed a hate speech law in 1970 protecting racial, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. Swedish authorities pointed to this legislation when they took action against a Quran-burning incident that occurred in front of a mosque in June 2023.

(The writer is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator)

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Terrorists Attack Karachi Police Chief’s Office

India Under Threat From Global Terror Groups

A recent UN Report on global operations of Al Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the UN Security Council says that Al Qaeda is regrouping in Taliban-led Afghanistan. But what is more worrying is that around 200 fighters of the Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the South Asia-focused branch of the parent terrorist organisation, are still active, and who might be planning operations in Jammu and Kashmir, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the report says.

The report says that the AQIS is grooming an affiliate for Kashmir operations. Plus, it also raises concern on Taliban-ruled Afghanistan becoming the epicentre of global terrorism, with around 20 militants groups operating from its soil.

While developing their network at home in India, The Islamic State supporters also provides recruits to join jihadi organisations, outside India. According to reports, as many as 200 have left India, a significant number of these are from Kerala. Although this number might look surprisingly low considering India’s large Muslim population, the participation had an impact on the domestic network, forming an important conduit for advice and communication with the organisation in Syria and in Afghanistan.

As per the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace (USIP) report, one of those who benefited from this link was Umar Nisar Bhat. Nisar was a central figure in the pro-Islamic State network in India from the inception of ISJK, playing a major role in the network’s propaganda dissemination until his arrest in July 2021.

But the threat here is multi-organisational, not just from Taliban or the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but also from the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), which has emerged as one of the dominant terrorist organisation in Afghanistan.

The Islamic State’s presence in South Asia is not limited to Afghanistan and Pakistan but extends to include “periphery” territory, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

Reportedly, Al Qaeda uses Afghanistan as an ideological and logistical hub to mobilise and recruit new fighters while covertly rebuilding its external operations capability. According to the UN report, the Al Qaeda core in Afghanistan remains stable at 30 to 60 members, while all Al Qaeda fighters in the country are estimated to be 400. The report also mentions Osama Mehmood being the AQIS chief.

One of the most alarming aspect of the UN report is that Al Qaeda is maintaining “a close and symbiotic” relationship with the Taliban government. Under the patronage of high-ranking Taliban officials, Al Qaeda members “infiltrate law enforcement agencies and public administration bodies”, ensuring the security of the group’s cells across Afghanistan. Though, Al Qaeda’s capability to conduct large-scale terror attacks “remains reduced while its intent remains firm”.

The report says that Al Qaeda is also working to strengthen cooperation with non-Afghan terror groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and Jamaat Ansarullah.

Meanwhile, a war of words between TTP and ISKP has also been reported, with each blaming and criticising the other having ties with regional intelligence agencies.

The UN report also assessed the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant-Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP) as the “most serious terrorist threat in Afghanistan and the wider region.” The ISIL-KP has actually in recent years developed close links with AQIS and many recruits from India and Pakistan have worked for this terror network.

For the Indian government, the most alarming aspect is the aspirations of the AQIS targeting India and Kashmir, which has been on its radar since 2010 onwards. However, as per another UN report of 2017, Al Qaeda has not been able to make significant inroads into the Kashmir theatre. The new threat, as evident from the UN report, may be a renewed effort by the terror group to reinvigorate its network.

However, as per the USIP report the Islamic State has largely failed to mobilise large numbers of supporters in India to migrate to the Levant or to engage in extremist activities at home. The group’s presence in India started with the establishment of several pro-Islamic State groups operating in the Indian-administered region of Jammu and Kashmir.

In July 2017, these supporters took the name “Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir” (ISJK), yet it was not until May 2019 that the Islamic State officially established a separate province in India, also covering Kashmir, as per the USIP report.

The USIP report further says that the nexus of AQIS-ISIL-KP has already made its foray into India. This terror network poached some youth from Kerala who went missing and then were reported to have joined ISIL. Similarly, many youth who were arrested between 2013 to 2016 from various locations like UP, Gujarat, Delhi and Odisha were supposed to be members of the AQIS.

The UN report has also expressed concerns that the outlawed TTP could become a regional threat if it continues to have a safe operating base in Afghanistan.

Part of the reason why India, despite its large Muslim population, has seen fewer attacks than other countries in the region are due to India’s counterterrorism capabilities, which have considerably improved since the devastating 2008 Mumbai attack. A report published by Hindustan Times in September 2021 reported that according to India’s counterterrorism agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), 168 individuals have been accused of association with the Islamic State across 37 cases. Though the figure might look very low compared to the Muslim population of India, yet it is a cause of concern for the community and the government too, as it raises the spectre of radicalisation in the country.

The USIP report suggests that to counter radicalisation, states can promote political pluralism and respect for minorities. Government policies that discriminate against, marginalise, and even violently repress minorities are fostering severe domestic cleavages in South Asian countries, alienating groups to the extent that some of their members look to the Islamic State to help them fight back. To mitigate the risks associated with such policies, India should promote political and religious pluralism respecting all minorities.

(Asad Mirza is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator. He can be contacted at at www.asadmirza.in)

Implications of Uniform Civil Code

On 9th December 2022, Kirodi Lal Meena, a Rajya Sabha M.P. of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) introduced a private member bill on India’s Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the Rajya Sabha that fuelled a fresh debate on an issue, which saw no resolution even in pre-Independence India and continues to haunt the political climate of India even today.

The sensitive nature of the issue besides giving political mileage to the BJP, affects various political parties, with respect to their stand on the issue. Plus, it also puts various religious communities coming under the purview of the UCC to give up their respective Personal Laws, particularly the Muslims, which are the largest religious minority in the country.

Let’s dissect the political motives first and then the response of the affected communities.

First, the audacious move of tabling the Private Member Bill in the Rajya Sabha came just one day after the BJP secured victory in the Gujarat assembly polls in December last. It reinforced the BJP’s political manifesto of enforcing Hindutva, which may also serve as the lynchpin of its political strategy for the upcoming general elections in 2024, by polarising the public.

Further, the second move to seek public opinion on the proposed UCC, in absence of any Draft of the proposed Bill, was a very astute move by the BJP. As it came within a week of the opposition parties’ meeting in Patna in June to formulate a united front and strategy to counter the BJP in the upcoming 2024 elections. As expected the move sowed division within the opposition’s ranks. Further, it saw an immediate half-baked response from the so-called leaders of the religious minorities – particularly the Muslims.

Muslim religious and community leaders without batting an eyelid immediately started opposing the UCC, and didn’t stopped to dwell on what grounds they were protesting and we saw a plethora of sentimentally rich and logically poor responses coming forth from them. The only common stand they took was that they oppose any interference in the Muslim Personal Law.

But I’m sure, neither the leaders nor their supporters know which Muslim Personal Law they are talking about. The one codified by any Muslim rulers like the Mughals, the Khiljis or the Tughlaqs or the ones before them? The answer is NO. In fact, the British colonialists codified the prevailing Muslim Personal Law, without any consultations from any Islamic jurist or scholar.

Before 1937, Muslims of all denominations, all over India, followed the uncodified local Hindu customs, practices and usages in addition to their personal law as per the Sharia. So the British just concurred on codifying the prevalent practices relevant to the marriage, divorce etc., but changed the ones relating to succession and division of property, in the case of Muslims.

It would be interesting to know at whose behest the colonial rulers codified the Muslim Law of Succession and Inheritance. It was none other than MA Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League.

The Shariat Act of 1937 was imposed on Indian Muslims as a win-win political deal between the British, keen to divide Hindus and Muslims, and the Muslim League, keen to lure the Muslims away the Congress. In a manner this also suited Jinnah’s political strategy on how to secure a separate country for the Muslims, but it had an added personal angle also to it.

MA Jinnah’s daughter Dina married Nevile Wadia – a Parsi, against his wishes, though he himself had married a Parsi lady, Rattanbai Petit. To disown Dina and leave no inheritance for her, Jinnah made use of the recently introduced Shariat Act 1937 and nominated his sister Fatima as his successor. The Act, a joint strategy of the British and the League, contained provisions to sabotage the Islamic Sharia, by secretly smuggling the Hindu customs and usages into the 1937 Act to save the property rights of the Muslim leaders, Jinnah and the zamindars from harm by the Islamic Sharia. Did the Shariat Act of 1937 — now acclaimed as the holy law of Islam — contain Hindu law provisions to secure the property rights of the League leaders? Yes, it does.

Historian, KK Abdul Rahiman in The History of the Evolution of Muslim Personal Law in (1986) says the British gave strength to customs and usage that had long been adhered to particularly in matters of succession by sections of Indian Muslims.

Further, we have to realise that the UCC would not only affect Muslims but also Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Jews, Parsis and other minorities and scheduled tribes in the country. And at the moment it is just a political gimmick of the government to polarise the electorate and also sow seeds of discord amongst the unified opposition. Muslim leaders need to bring other communities leaders at the same platform and also inform their Hindu brethren that the UCC will abolish the HUF provisions for filing Income Tax, thus it would increase the tax liability of Hindus also.

The UCC Bill has been introduced as a political reform by the BJP, guided by principles of Hindutva, as a response to replace the existing complicated set of personal laws. These personal laws are so complicated that even the Britishers didn’t dare to interfere with them. Further, the Constituent Assembly, besieged by two schools of thought, one supporting the UCC argued that it provided for the emergence of a secular and progressive nation, while the opponents felt it to be conflicting with the ideas of inclusiveness and pluralism, deemed it fit to circumvent the issue and leave it at the moment and thus chose to include it under the Directive Principles of the constitution, under Article 44 of the Constitution, and leaving it for the future generations to sort it out.

A realistic and practical understanding of how personal laws operate will indicate that the state’s organs and the Indian society are yet not ready, even after 73 years for the substantial revamp that such legislation would bring. Instead of gunning for political gains we should try to reflect the rich Indian diversity of traditions and their importance in common Indians’ daily life.

Lastly, the manner in which the Muslim leadership responded to the government’s move, shows its complete immaturity and the set manner of its traditional, out of touch with reality reactive response, completely bereft of any political nuances and strategy, which was also evident during the Babri Masjid movement, Triple Talaq issue etc.

Though it is high time but still there is time for the Muslim leaders to formulate a Unified Strategy and response to the UCC, in consultation with leaders of other religious minorities and political parties, so that this time they don’t get defeated by the government in its anti-Muslim campaign, though the chances of any such endeavour seem very remote.

(Asad Mirza is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator)

Syria Back into Arab League

Syria Welcomed Back Into Arab League

Apparently it seems that the Arab League has lost its meaning and purpose and it is demonstrated by the manner in which member states takes its sessions in a non-serious manner. Morocco declined to host a summit in 2016, calling the event a waste of time. The Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman, skipped last year’s gathering in Algeria on medical grounds. Heads of state are sometimes spotted falling asleep at the fora meetings.

But it seems that at the moment no one would relish the regional Arab body more than the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who seemed euphoric to be invited to the Arab summit, last week. Syria was suspended from the league in 2011, when Assad began a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests that plunged the country into a civil war

Assad’s deployment of chemical weapons against his own people along with mass arrests, torture and disappearances and killing of more than 3 million civilians in the country have no parallel elsewhere. This is a legacy, which he inherited from his father, Hafez al-Assad, who reportedly massacred more than 10,000 people in the city of Hama during a 1982 siege.

On 7th May, however, the regional Arab body agreed to readmit Syria to its fold. Though an invitation from a dull talking shop crammed with dictators may seem unappealing to many but to Assad, it is the culmination of a long effort to end his Arab isolation – and, he may hope, another step towards acceptance in the West.

US stand on Syria

However, Assad’s regional Arab acceptance creates a “problem” for the United States, which continues to oppose any sort of normalising ties with the Syrian government but has not been able to force its Arab partners from restoring ties with Damascus.

US officials maintain that though they do not back normalisation with al-Assad, they share the objectives that restored relations could bring, including expanding humanitarian access to conflict-torn regions, combating ISIL/ISIS, reducing Iran’s influence and countering the trafficking of the drug Captagon.

Mona Yacoubian, vice president of the Middle East and North Africa centre at the US Institute of Peace (USIP), a think tank funded by the US Congress, told Al Jazeera that the US position under President Joe Biden reflects a “tricky, gnarly, complex challenge”.

But without accountability for Syrian government abuses, she added, Washington will not normalise its relations with Damascus or ease its heavy sanctions, including the blocking of foreign reconstruction funds.

Making the US stand quite clear, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week, “We do not believe that Syria merits readmission to the Arab League.”

Still, Blinken said Washington and its Arab allies have broader common objectives in Syria.

Last week, a group of bipartisan House representatives introduced a bill dubbed the Assad Anti-Normalisation Act, which aims to “hold the Assad regime, and its backers, accountable for their crimes against the Syrian people and deter normalization with the Assad regime”.

The bill is a sign that Congress will likely push Biden and future administrations to fully enforce Syria sanctions.

Syria’s Ostracisation

Syria was suspended from the Arab League and left isolated by regional power brokers in 2011 after its crackdown on protests during the Arab Spring, a wave of anti-government demonstrations across several countries in the region that year.

That heavy-handed security approach in Syria turned into a protracted war, killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing millions.

In recent years, government forces recaptured much of Syria with the aid of Russia and Iran, and local ceasefires have maintained relative calm as parts of the country remain under the control of various rebels and armed groups.

Emerging Scenario

As to why Arab states are keen to bring Syria among their fold, there are many plausible reasons. One is to forge a broader spirit of detente. The Saudis struck a deal in March with Iran to restore diplomatic ties and reopen embassies. this came after years of proxy wars in Syria, Yemen by both and now both seems to have forgotten the past. Turkey and Egypt, mired in mutual economic crises, are trying to end a decade of animosity. Gulf states have ended their embargo of Qatar, which accomplished little. Old foes across the region are keen to pretend they are friends.

When it comes to Syria, however, they want something bigger in return. Its neighbours hope to get rid of millions of Syrian refugees. The 2 million or so in Lebanon, with a population of just 5 million, are seen as a burden, blamed unfairly for the country’s economic collapse. In Turkey the mood has also turned hostile. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the main opposition candidate in the election on 26th May has vowed vows to send Syrians packing within two years if elected.

In addition, the West hope that mollifying Syria may result in it controlling its Captagon trade.  Syria has become the world’s leading producer of Captagon, an amphetamine that is a popular recreational drug in the Gulf. The scale of the Captagon trade is often exaggerated. Unconfirmed estimates put its annual value at $57bn. The real figure is probably an order of magnitude smaller – but that is still large enough to make it Syria’s top export.

Regardless of the future of US policy on Syria, the fact that Arab states are normalising with al-Assad is also a sign of the receding US political influence in the region.

Indeed, this seems to be a sad commentary on the Arab world and its dictatorial leaders who basically conspired to crushed the Arab Spring 12 years ago, instead of working for the betterment of their people. In reality the pro-democracy, pro-rights movement has not fizzled out; rather, it was clubbed to death by a conspiracy of the dictators.

The writer is a Delhi-based senior political commentator. He can be contacted at www.asadmirza.in

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