The News – Minister attends Holi event

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 22 March 2019. Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine attended a Holi ceremony at Krishna Mandir here on Thursday.

Dr Manoher Chand welcomed all the participants to the event. The representatives of all minorities with a large number of Hindus attended the ceremony.

All the participants threw colours at each other and prayed for the solidarity of Pakistan. Ijaz Alam, in his address, said that under the leadership of the prime minister and Punjab chief minister, all the basic facilities were being provided to the minorities as Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had given assurance to the minorities. – Police didn’t take any permission from Duty Magistrate to open firing on Sikh protesters, SIT tells High Court

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 March 2019. Replying to a notice by the Punjab & Haryana High Court about the bail plea of Ex-SSP Moga Charanjit Sharma, the Special Investigation Team has told the Court that the Police cops didn’t take any permission from the Duty Magistrate Pritpal Singh to open firing on peacefully protesting Sikhs at Kotkapura and Behbal Klan.

Citing the post-mortem reports of the two Sikh youths martyred by the Police at Behbal Klan, the SIT has told the Court that the Police cops didn’t fire bullets in defense instead they attacked the Sikh protesters as the bullets were fired from very close range.

The SIT further told the Court that the Police cops had cooked a fake story of opening fire in self-defense by later firing bullets on the Gypsy of Ex-SSP Charanjit Sharma in Bathinda with the personal weapons of their known ones.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the High Court bench has deferred the next hearing of the case onto 07 May.

It may be recalled here that the Ex-SSP Moga Charanjit Sharma was arrested by the SIT on January 27 this year. He was in an attempt to flee from the country, but the SIT got intimated of his plan and nabbed him from his residence in Hoshiarpur.

Gent: Afghan Masjid – Evangelical Church – Dendermondsesteenweg

Afghan Masjid & Evangelical Church
09 March 2019

Afghaan Al Taqwa Moskee

Entry to the same front door !

Afghan Muslims at prayer: Standing

Afghan Muslims at prayer: Bowing

Afghan Muslims at prayer: Bowing low

Afghan Muslims at prayer: Sitting

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Daily Mail – Selfless Sikh taxi drivers offer free taxi rides to Muslims after the Christchurch mosque attack

Sikh taxi drivers have been offering free rides after the Christchurch attack
Drivers like Manjinder Singh is one of many who have helped people in need
The Sikh community are also raising money for flights of the victims’ family

Paula Ahillon – Daily Mail Australia

Christchurch – South Island – New Zealand, 22 March 2019. Selfless Sikh taxi drivers have been offering free rides to Muslims and anyone else in need after the Christchurch mosque attack.

Blue Star Taxi driver Manjinder Singh is one of many who have helped transport people around the city, following the chaos that cost 50 lives and injured dozens.

With taxi drivers in high demand, Sikhs like Mr Singh have put aside their differences with Muslims, who have had a long history of conflict in their homelands.

‘We decided we will offer them free rides. Whoever is in stress. Whoever needs,’ Mr Singh told TVNZ.

When TVNZ asked Mr Singh if he saw the act as an obligation, the humble taxi driver simply replied: ‘I would say, it’s a privilege because I never felt it was an obligation.’

‘It was just a human and natural reaction.’

A spokesman from Christchurch Blue Star Taxis told Daily Mail Australia the company has generously donated a number of vouchers for free taxi rides, following the attack.

‘We have also transported relatives of victims for funeral services for free yesterday and today,’ the spokesman said.

‘Overall, the response has been great and people are really happy.’

‘It was collective selfless service effort by the Sikh community in difficult time when everyone was contributing more than us,’ Mr Singh told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Singh noticed how hard hospital workers and police worked throughout the week.

‘We we are in the transport servicing industry. We thought why can we not contribute?’ he said.

The selfless driver told RadioNZ ‘terrorism doesn’t have a religion’.

‘The victims are humans, they aren’t Muslims, Sikh or anyone [else],’ he said.

Mr Singh took to Facebook and said the Sikh community were simply just putting their religious teachings into practice.

‘Recognise all human race as one. Serving God is serving humanity and serving humanity is serving God,’ he wrote online.

The Sikh community have also provided food but have gone further and are now raising money for plane tickets to help bring the family members of victims to New Zealand

The Sikh community have also provided food but have gone further and are now raising money for plane tickets to help bring the family members of victims to New Zealand.

The Sikh community have also provided food but have gone further and are now raising money for plane tickets to help bring the family members of victims to New Zealand.

Bloody conflicts between Sikhs and Muslims occurred during the Partition of India in 1947.

The conflict led to two independent dominions, a Hindu and Sikh majority in India and a Muslim majority in Pakistan.

The Hindu – By calling the Christchurch attacker a terrorist, the New Zealand Prime Minister sent a powerful message

Op/Ed, 22 March 2019. Though some media outlets gave it needless coverage, anyone could have expected that the Islamic State (IS) would call for “revenge” following the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings on March 15, in which 50 people lost their lives.

At its peak in 2015, the IS had 30,000 fighters and the estimated support of (at the most) half a million Muslims, out of a total world population of an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims in 2015. It also has the reputation of being the organisation that has killed the maximum number of Muslims in recent years, a fact obscured by its gory executions of ‘non-Muslims’.

For the IS to urge ‘revenge’ on the behalf of all Muslims was exactly the same as the act of terrorism perpetrated by the Australia-born, white supremacist, alt-right terrorist on men, women and children who had gone to two Christchurch mosques for peaceful Friday congregational prayers on March 15.

As his ‘manifesto’ indicates, this young white alt-right male terrorist was also seeking “revenge” for various acts of real or imagined violence by ‘Muslims’.

In short, the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacres and the IS are caught in a distorting binary worldview of ‘us versus them’, and inevitably this is the world they will create if the rest of us do not call their bluff.

The ‘T’ word

And this time, for a change, a world leader called their bluff right at the start. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, not only referred to the attacks as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” but, more courageously, did not hesitate to call their perpetrator a “terrorist”.

By using the ‘T’ word, which is easily applied to terrorising violence by Muslim criminals but tardily applied to similar violence by white supremacist or (in India) Hindutva criminals, Ms. Ardern sent a powerful message.

In this, she was supported by her counterpart in Australia, Scott Morrison, who also did not hesitate to describe the perpetrator as a terrorist.

The hesitation in the media to describe white extremism or Hindutva violence as terror is a reflection, however diffuse, of exactly that binary division of the world into ‘us versus them’ that I have highlighted. It has its counterpart in the Muslim world too, and I will come to that a bit later.

Evidently, Ms. Ardern’s honest description of what happened in Christchurch sent a message not only to the world media but also to Muslims: what she effectively said was that Muslims are not ‘them’ in New Zealand.

She highlighted this in many ways, by thoughtful acts of condolence as well as a clear statement in which she embraced the victims (mostly immigrants and refugees) as “one of us”.

The good effect of such admirable statesmanship was evident in the responsible way in which the New Zealand media largely covered the tragedy. Those of us in India who are used to our hyperventilating evening shows should have marked this difference. Not that the ‘us-them’ binary disappeared.

The tabloid press, not least in England, a country whose inability to face up to its own subterranean prejudices has landed it in the on-going mess of Brexit, still continued, much of the time, to think along those binaries.

This was admirably exposed by The Feed, which, among other things, compared the initial front page Christchurch heading of The Daily Mirror (‘Angelic boy who grew into an evil far-right killer’) to how the same paper had covered the Orlando nightclub shooting of 2016 (‘ISIS Maniac Kills 50 in Gay Club’).

The Feed went on to note, with references, that there is a tendency in sections of the Western media to focus on the ‘humanity’ of the Christchurch murderer, sometimes even before talking of his victims. This contrasts to the normal (correct to my mind) option of focussing on the humanity of the victims when the murderer is a Muslim extremist.

Sustaining a worldview

However, this ‘us-them’ attitude is not limited to the ‘West’. That large sections of mainstream Muslims also share it was illustrated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who rashly described the Christchurch massacres in terms of a broader attack on Turkey and Muslims.

If Ms. Ardern, unlike most other Muslim or non-Muslim leaders in similar situations in the past, showed vision and humanity, Mr. Erdoğan displayed, at best, political expediency. Just as it is easy to whip up anti-Muslim sentiments among many peoples in the West and in places like India, it is easy to whip up the exaggerated bogey of Islamophobia among Muslims all over the world.

Yes, extremist ideologies exist among Muslims and other peoples: hence, Islamophobia also exists.

But these are sweeping explanations, which finally ‘explain’ by obscuring much on the basis of a prior investment in the ‘us-them’ ideology. While noting the difference in media coverage, The Feed rightly explained it not in terms of a hatred for Muslims but a refusal to see that ‘we’ are not that different from ‘them’.

Hence, it is easy to see ‘them’ as maniacs and ‘us’ as fallen angels; it is easy to call ‘them’ terrorists, and ‘us’, well, anything but terrorists.

By doing so, we refuse to accept our complicity in sustaining a simplistic and distorted binary worldview that permits such acts of terror, against Muslims, Christians, Hindus, atheists, gay men, women, whatever may be the ‘nature’ of ‘them’ in our book of otherness.

Once we have demeaned ‘them’ to a subhuman level, it is easy to kill ‘them’ as if they were not human. Most of us won’t go that far, but most of us do help sustain the ‘us-them’ binary that enables a ‘maniac’ (or ‘fallen angel’) to go that far.

This, as Ms. Ardern also noted, is further magnified by the media tendency to give easy publicity to such confused murderers. Don’t name the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacres, she advised. And I, for one, have not.

Tabish Khair is an Indian novelist and academic who teaches in Denmark