Kerala: Muslim group urges for law against Islamophobia

Thiruvananthapuram, May 21 (KMS): A Youth Caravan by Solidarity Youth Movement Kerala, a Muslim organisation affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, has urged for a law to prevent Islamophobia.

The Caravan that began on 5 May, traveled across the southern state and completed its journey on 15 May in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of the Indian state of Kerala.

Inaugurating the concluding event, Jamaat-e-Islami national secretary Malik Motasim Khan demanded legal protection for Muslims from hate crimes. “Islamophobic campaigns are barring Muslims from economic rights, political rights, and democratic rights,” he said.

“Kerala legislative assembly should initiate an ordinance against Islamophobia,” demanded Nahas Mala, president of Solidarity Youth Movement Kerala.

“The recent anti-Muslim hate speech event in Thiruvananthapuram needs to be probed and strict action needs to be taken against the organizers,” the leader of the Caravan said at the concluding ceremony.

Solidarity Youth Movement Kerala’s Youth Caravan against Islamophobia protests against the demolition drive in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, the center of the historic anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) movement in 2019. Multiple events highlighting the sufferings linked to Islamophobia were organised in various districts. The Caravan visited families of under-trial prisoners who were charged with draconian laws including Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The team met Beeyummah, mother of Zakaria facing detention under UAPA, and Raihana Kappan, wife of journalist Siddique Kappan. The Caravan members also met the families of Faisal Kodinji and Yasir Tirur. The duo was killed by Hindutva groups after they converted to Islam.

Leaders of the Indian National Congress, the Muslim Youth League, and the Welfare Party of India participated in the events related to the Caravan, backing the group’s demand to criminalise Islamophobia.

“It is high time the authorities acknowledge the phenomenon. The threshold of violence is intensifying,” Nahas told the media.

The campaign will conclude on 22 May with a public conference in Kochi.