These two words are synonymous nowadays. It’s result of the continuous Endeavour of few fanatics who are unfortunately great leaders with extraordinary motivational power... That has ironically blemished a pious religion and turned the biggest religious group into savage and blood thirsty terrorists. Whole world is suffering abut here my concern is of those true men of Allah who have neither abhorred any feeling of animosity against followers of other religion nor done any inhuman act in their lives. How they feel torn and fight with their own self every single day of their existence. How they are prejudiced and called terrorists when they have not a slightest intension of indulging in same.
Here is an article by one such Muslim … it may not lessen terrorism by an iota but I hope it will definitely make few of us ponder..
The Usual Suspect
Kashmiri – an identity in conflict, a community which struggles for their basic rights, the people who have lost their nation. It seems that this “Kashmiri” identity is under intimidation not only in India but elsewhere as well. It is not India alone which considers every Kashmiri as a “suspect terrorist” but Western countries too have borrowed the idea.
Every Kashmiri might have faced this prejudice in India at one point or the other, but now Kashmiris who live or travel to the West are experiencing this ‘racial suspect identity’.
Justifying what I have written above, I would like to narrate a personal experience which I recently had in the United Kingdom.
Presently I am pursuing a short term fellowship course organized by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Besides, I have also been travelling to other European cities for meetings and seminars, highlighting human rights situation in Kashmir. It is in this regard that I was invited by Amnesty International, Netherlands and Inter Church Peace Council, a Dutch civil society group for a programme on Kashmir in Waginengen, Netherlands on 17th February. In this programme besides speaking about general situation of Kashmir, I also spoke about the role and the responsibility of the European Community in the resolution of Kashmir conflict. While returning back on 19th February at the Glasgow International airport, I had to do a lot of explaining for being a Kashmiri,
After being cleared by the immigration desk, I was stopped by supposedly a police officer in civvies.
First thing he asked was my passport followed by purpose of my visit to the UK. I explained about my fellowship programme and also clarified that the course is organised by the FCO. He then asked why I had been to Netherlands. When I explained to him that I participated in a programme on Kashmir, the officer took a long sigh and said, “aaaaye – so what is your relation with the separatist movement in Kashmir”. Initially, while declining to answer this question, I told the officer that I was a student here invited by the British government. The officer then enquired, “While in Kashmir what is your relation with the separatist struggle?” I replied, if he was referring about the political struggle then every Kashmiri is part of that movement and I personally have been working as a human rights activist in Kashmir. The next absurd question was, why my passport has so many visas and why have I travelled so much. I argued to the officer why I am being detained for so long and asked, “Was I a suspect?” He said, “May be”, adding, “You must be travelling to these countries to talk about Kashmir”. I just had to jiggle my head in affirmation. The next provocative question follows, “Who pays you?” I candidly said, your government, at least for this course.
The officer still had numerous questions, so he asked me to follow him to a room, which is supposedly used to interrogate suspects at airport. By then I was already standing there for 25 minutes.
As a Kashmiri I am accustomed to obeying the diktats when being stopped by the Police or army in Kashmir or India for questioning. So, I followed my instinct here as well, without questioning why and what as it was now evident that there is hardly any difference between Kashmir and Glasgow.
---- to be contd .. refer terrorism and muslims :II