Kerala – CRPP Statement on the targetting of Muslims using the pretext of being threats to communal harmony

October 3, 2013

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

30/09/2013

CONDEMN AND EXPOSE THE MALICIOUS INTENT OF KERALA POLICE TARGETING MUSLIMS UNDER THE SMOKESCREEN OF VITIATING COMMUNAL HARMONY!
CONDEMN THE UNLAWFUL ARREST OF PK ABDUR RAHMAN BY THE COMMUNAL KERALA POLICE!
RELEASE PK ABDUR RAHMAN IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY!

Yet again the Kerala police have shown their credentials as a force that has more in common with their counterparts in the rest of the subcontinent when it comes to their attitude towards the minorities, especially the Muslims. It is a fact that the Muslim community in Kerala are relatively better—educationally—than their counterparts in the rest of the subcontinent where their condition, as stated by the Sachar Committee, is worse than that of the Dalits. The educated Muslim in Kerala has started asserting for their rights as a community. The State response to this assertion of the Kerala Muslim in the public domain has been fraught with the stereotypes of profiling them as communal, untrustworthy and hence a constant threat to what is being told as the idea of a ‘nation’. As part of the Indian state’s strategy to align with the US in the so-called ‘war against terror’, the communal profiling has further intensified with the Muslim community becoming perfect cannon fodder to promote this ideology of hate and violence on the masses of the people.

The stories of Kerala becoming the hub of the ‘jihadi’ Muslim and the educated Muslim from Kerala who is vocal in the public sphere being stared under the cross-hairs of the Indian State’s propaganda war machine as a lingering ‘threat’ has been quite a regular fixture in the political landscape of vote bank politics in Kerala, be it the Congress led UDF or the CPM led LDF.

The new story of the arrest of Mr. PK Abdur Rahman of Nanma Books, Calicut, for allegedly fomenting communal hatred through the publication of literature perfectly fits into this stereotype. The story is all the more ludicrous when we dig deeper into the particulars of the said book that is purportedly communal. Rather than implicating Mr. PK Abdur Rahman what it reveals beyond doubt is the chilling reminder the extent to which the police has been communalised in the subcontinent!

The said book Da’avathum Jihadum which was originally authored by Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi, an eminent religious scholar from Hyderabad, in Urdu, a quarter of a century before has gone through several reprints. It is a research oriented academic work dwelling deeper into the etymology of the word ‘Jihad’ and how it has been mentioned in various religious scriptures and other works of importance as well as the context in which such references has been made. Without doubt it is a book everyone should read who would want to demystify their notions about such sensationalised words like ‘Jihad’ as written by a scholar versed in Islamic religion and culture. Mr. PK Abdur Rahman who is also the Managing Director of the book stall Nanma Books and an activist of the Minority Rights Watch (MRW) had only ventured to bring this work of importance in Urdu by rendering it to Malayalam for the Malayalam readers.

Once again the lawless police in the Indian subcontinent have also become the authority to decide what is worth reading and what is undesirable for the curious eyes of the Malayali reader. What is petrifying is that the police have gone overboard to decide that this book can create disaffection and disharmony among the people. It is evident that the police have gone beyond their juridical authority to pan into areas of decision making that is of little concern for their office. Moreover it has once again shown the proactive role of the police in using their authority to fan prejudice among the people who are already under the blitzkrieg of media propaganda of the Muslim as an ‘internal security threat’.

A cursory glance through the FIR shows that paragraphs and quotes have been selectively lifted out of context of a serious study to cook up a case under 153 A of the Cr PC by the Nadakkavu police of Calicut district in Kerala. Notwithstanding the fact that it violates the fundamental rights of the person as enshrined in the Indian Constitution (Article 19 and 25) this is a serious matter of concern for all democratically minded people that a so-called society which is claimed as hundred percent literate in the subcontinent has also the gut to swallow such deep seated communal prejudice against the Muslims, this time being unlawfully championed by the police.

We at the CRPP call upon all democratic sections to stand up against this deepening rot of communalism and prejudice that have infested the body politic of the Indian subcontinent not sparing any of the so-called institutions that are supposed to represent the will of the people. We demand that Mr. PK Abdur Rahman be released immediately and unconditionally!

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani
President

Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General

P Koya
Vice President

MN Ravunni
Vice President

Rona Wilson
Secretary Public Relations

Shahnavas
Executive Member