Sunday, July 23, 2017

Did Aung San Lead at Panglong – or Follow?

Stanley A. Weiss is a business leader and founder of Business Executives for National Security. His memoir, Being Dead is Bad for Business, is available online and a collection of his selected writings, titled Where Have You Gone, Harry Truman?, will be published by Disruption Books on July 31.
Major General Aung San is revered by Myanmar’s Bamar majority as the Bamar nationalist leader who guided the country from British colony to independent state after World War II.  Some of that sentiment, like the affection Americans have for John F. Kennedy or the veneration that Israelis share for Yitzhak Rabin, are rooted in a life cut tragically short by an assassin’s bullet. In fact, it was 70 years ago this week, as Aung San presided over a meeting of his Executive Council, that an armed gang led by a rival politician stormed into the building and killed Aung San, a bodyguard, and six government ministers.
The anniversary, which Myanmar commemorates as Martyrs’ Day, signifies a dream deferred. If only Aung San had survived, many believe, the promise of a strong, unified nation would have been achieved, with lasting peace between the ethnic Bamar majority and the roughly 135 ethnic minorities that have been part of this land for more than a millennia – instead of the near-perpetual war that many of them have fought against the state since 1947. It’s a story that suits the Bamar majority, but one many ethnic minorities – the very groups necessary to make Myanmar a truly unified nation – vigorously contest.
For the Bamar, Aung San has long represented the highest aspirations of nationhood. And because the Bamar have dominated the state and represented the country to the world, it is their identity and their historical narratives that color Western understanding.At the heart of this legend is Aung San’s role in a 1947 conference between the Bamar majority and ethnic minorities, known as the Panglong Conference, which produced a blueprint for a unified Burma. Until three months ago, I had no reason to doubt Aung San’s leadership role in Panglong. Now I’m not so sure. As Aung San’s daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, leads Myanmar today, reportedly pursuing a new “21st Century Panglong, getting this history right is the key to understanding what’s really at stake in Myanmar – and how to move forward.
As I’ve written before, the present conflict goes back to 1886, and – like many modern conflicts rooted in decisions made during this period – starts with the British.  When Britain conquered the Burmese monarchy, British leaders feared empowering the majority of the population that were ethnic Bamar, choosing instead to put ethnic minorities in important colonial positions. During World War II, ethnic minorities fought with Britain while Aung San led the Bamar who sided with Japan, switching sides aft the last minute when the allied victory seemed assured. As I described in a column last April:
[F]or their loyalty, the hill tribes expected British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to make them independent territories. But when Clement Attlee and the Labor Party won the 1945 British general election instead, Attlee not only turned his back on ethnic minorities, but invited the leading Burmese general to meet with him in London – where he offered to give Burma, led by Burmans [the Bamar ethnic group], complete independence. That general’s name was Aung San.
In the Bamar version of the story, upon returning home, Aung San wisely and benevolently recognized the interests of the ethnic minorities, leading him to convene the February 1947 Panglong Conference with Shan, Karen, Chin, Kachin, and Karenni ethnic minority leaders. There, he negotiated an agreement that would lead to the creation of the Union of Burma, which the ethnic groups could opt out of after 10 years if they felt mistreated. This paved the way for the creation of a true nation, but Aung San’s untimely assassination as he prepared to take over from the British voided the promise of Panglong and led to the conflict with ethnic minorities that bedevils the country today.
It’s a story line that I and many others have taken on faith and supported for many years. As I wrote in April:
Aung San brought several of the hill tribes together in the Shan town of Panglong in February, 1947, where he negotiated a power-sharing agreement. But it was not meant to be: Aung San was assassinated, derailing Panglong and leading most of the hill tribes to declare war against the Burman majority.
After that column ran, I received an email from my friend Harn Yawnghwe, the respected son of the revered Sao Shwe Thaik, the long-time Shan leader and first president of the Union of Burma, who ruled from 1948 through 1952. His short note startled me. “Aung San did not bring the hill tribes together at Panglong in 1947,” he wrote. “After World War II, ethnic leaders were restive. They knew the British might abandon them, especially after the July 1945 elections. It was my father who organized an ethnic leaders conference in Panglong in February 1947 to see if they could work together to preserve their status.”
In 1947, Attlee called Aung San to London for talks on the future of Burma – without inviting any of the ethnic minorities.  According to Harn Yawnghwe, his father, leading the Supreme Council of the United Hill Peoples, cabled Attlee in London to make clear that Aung San did not represent the minorities. His intervention led to the inclusion of an article in the January 27, 1947 agreement between Aung San and Attlee, stating the objective “to achieve the early unification of the Frontier Areas and Ministerial Burma with the free consent of the inhabitants of those areas.”  In other words, as Harn Yawnghwe’s note to me made clear, Aung San had nothing to do with organizing the Panglong Conference – instead, he was forced to rush to the ethnic leaders’ conference already occurring at Panglong to fulfill his vision for independence.
If true – and I have little reason to believe Yawnghwe isn’t being truthful – it’s the equivalent of learning that John F. Kennedy wasn’t primarily responsible for saving the crew of PT-109 after it was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in 1943, as legend goes, but instead played a supporting role.
Why does this matter? One, because it dramatically changes our understanding of Aung San and his legacy. Two, because it shows how the lessons today’s peacemakers have learned from Panglong may not be the right ones.
Two months ago, Aung San’s daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, convened the second round of her “21st Century Panglong” peace talks with ethnic groups. Thus far, like Suu Kyi’s leadership, the conference has seen more pomp than purpose. “It was organized as if the leaders of the groups were treated like lower segments,” one attendee from a non-governmental organization told me, “and the NLD [Suu Kyi’s party] and others got the red carpet while the ethnic groups didn’t even know where they should sit.”
Perhaps the real lesson of the 1947 Panglong Conference is this: make yourself heard or you’ll be left out of the equation. Only when the ethnic groups made it clear to Attlee that Aung San didn’t represent them did the U.K. change course, forcing Aung San to the negotiating table. Maybe it’s time for the ethnic leaders of today to send a similar message to the United States and others: Aung San Suu Kyi does not represent us. And maybe it’s time the United States insist more forcefully that Suu Kyi – and Myanmar’s true source of power, the military – heed the interests of minority groups. Foreign investment from the United States and other Western powers matters to a military deeply entrenched in Myanmar’s economy; that gives us leverage. Our investment and aid should come with conditions.
In Myanmar’s Mon State, across the Thanlwin River, a steel bridge connects Mon State with Belugyun Island. In April, thousands of local people came out in protest. Why? Myanmar’s Lower House had approved legislation from Suu Kyi’s party naming the bridge after Aung San. “The protesters said they wanted their ethnic Mon culture and heritage to be respected in the naming of the bridge,” one article explained, “and they meant no disrespect to General Aung San.”
Today, as the Bamar celebrate the legacy and achievements of their fallen hero, it’s worth remembering that there are many hundreds of other values, stories, and interests in this ancient land.  Whether Myanmar can ever become a unified nation – and I’m not optimistic – will depend on whether the ethnic minorities have the same rights as the Bamar.
Only then will Myanmar build not just stadiums, markets, and roads in memory of a distant past, but real bridges to the future, ones that everyone is allowed to cross – as equal citizens.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Trump’s messy half year tenure

On Friday, Sean Spicer, President Trump’s spin master, a.k.a. the White House press secretary, resigned after telling President Trump that he vehemently disagreed with his appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier, as his new communications director. After offering Scaramucci the job on Friday morning, Trump asked Spicer to stay on as press secretary, reporting to Scaramucci. But Spicer rejected the offer.
Scaramucci is a Long Island-bred former hedge fund manager who is currently the senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank.
Spicer had an almost impossible, if not, very difficult, task to answering questions from the press on the president’s erratic or irresponsible conducts, statements and positions that changed more frequently than the sand dunes of the Sahara. He had very little clue on his boss’s latest position on anything – either local or international – except that he was expected to do the devil’s job of ‘damage control’ for the POTUS.
It is not difficult to understand why Spicer became such a butt of the joke amongst late night TV talk show hosts. His role at the White House has so far been brilliantly played by actress Melissa McCarthy in the Saturday Night Live. With his departure, we shall surely miss McCarthy.
Spicer’s top deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders (the daughter of Christian fundamentalist, ex-governor Huckabee), will serve as the press secretary instead.
Twitter is having a field day with Scaramucci's old tweets, which he is trying to delete fast before they catch the eyes or draw the ire of his new boss. "Full transparency: I'm deleting old tweets," Scaramucci wrote on Saturday, adding that his "past views" have "evolved."
Those "past views" include endorsements of gun control, (ex-president) Barack Obama and even Hillary Clinton, who he called "incredibly competent." In the same 2012 tweet, he expressed hope that she would run for president in 2016. "I like Hillary," he said in one tweet. And in another: A "Hillary run makes everyone better."
Other tweets indicated a clear lack of support for then-candidate Trump, whom he called an "odd guy." During a 2015 appearance on Fox News, he called Trump a "hack politician" and said his rhetoric is "Anti-American and very, very divisive."
Now that Scaramucci has been named the new Goebbels for the White House, surely, his mental ‘evolution’ will be needed to keep his job under a president who cares only about himself and his family, and likes to be surrounded by sycophants and not honest advisers.
It is worth noting here Trump’s  50-minute interview with The New York Times, published Wednesday, when he said that he would not have chosen Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general (AG) had he known Sessions would recuse himself over matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign. In his interview, Trump had harsh words for the Justice Department investigation into potential coordination between his associates and Russia to influence the 2016 election, suggesting the probe was unfair due to conflicts of interest. [Note: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had selected former FBI Director Robert Mueller to take over the investigation as special counsel after Trump fired Comey.]
Trump suggested it would be wrong for Mueller to investigate his family's finances. The Times reported that when asked if that would be a red line, Trump responded in the affirmative, but would not say what action, if any, he would take.
According to the legal experts in the CNN, Trump's remarks represent an extraordinary rebuke from the President toward the nation's top law enforcement official who happens to be one of his earliest political allies. The relationship has cooled down in recent months. But Sessions and his deputy said that they intend to remain in their posts and are not stepping down voluntarily.
Sessions has not been truthful during his AG confirmation hearing. Sessions met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least two times in 2016: once at the Republican National Convention in July, and once at his Senate office in September.  A third meeting, during a reception the Mayflower hotel in Washington, has also been reported, but Sessions has denied having private meetings at that reception. Sessions did not disclose any of those meetings on his security clearance forms, and during his confirmation hearing denied any “communications with the Russians.” The meetings were only publicly disclosed following a CNN report in May.
There is little doubt that the Trump administration is in a mess. It tried to write a premature obituary for the Obamacare, but that attempt miserably failed. The Republican Senate majority leader failed to put the death nail on the Obamacare.
On Saturday, the Congressional leaders reached an agreement on sweeping sanctions legislation to punish Russia for its election meddling and aggression toward its neighbors. This defies the White House’s argument that President Trump needs flexibility to adjust the sanctions to fit his diplomatic initiatives with Moscow.
According to the NY Times, the new legislation would sharply limit the president’s ability to suspend or terminate the sanctions — a remarkable handcuffing by a Republican-led Congress six months into President Trump’s tenure. It is also the latest Russia-tinged turn for a presidency consumed by investigations into the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian officials, including conversations between Trump advisers and Russian officials about prospective sanctions relief.
Mr. Trump may be forced to either veto the bill, which would fuel accusations that he is doing the bidding of President Putin of Russia, or sign legislation imposing sanctions his administration has opposed.
On Saturday in a series of early morning messages on Twitter, President Trump asserted that he has the “complete power to pardon” relatives, aides and possibly even himself in response to investigations into Russia’s meddling in last year’s election although he had no need to use the pardon power at this point.
It is true that the POTUS has the authority to pardon others for federal crimes, but legal scholars debate whether a president can pardon himself. If that happens, it would be the first of its kind, and that too, only in Trump’s America!
What a messy six months of ‘making America great again’!

Rohingya situation 'hardly improved': UN envoy

Human rights has worsened in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state following a four-month-long military crackdown, a UN representative said Friday.
“The general situation for the Rohingya has hardly improved since my last visit in January, and has become further complicated in the north of Rakhine,” said Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, at the end of a 12-day information gathering visit.
“I continue to receive reports of violations allegedly committed by security forces during operations,” she said.
Security forces launched a four-month long operation in the troubled Rakhine state, where Muslims and Buddhists often engage in violence, after a militant group killed nine policemen in Maungdaw Township last October.
The government has said at least 106 people were killed during the operation but Rohingya groups have said approximately 400 Rohingya were killed.
During the operation which ended mid-April, aid groups and media were prevented from entering the region.
Lee said that after the operation, Rohingya were attacked by unknown assailants for applying for citizenship.
The Rohingya are denied citizenship by the Myanmar government, which asks them to register as Bengalis – suggesting they are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.
The ethnic group, however, maintains it belongs to Myanmar and citizenship is their birthright.
- Fact-finding mission denied access
Likewise, some village administrators and other Muslims were attacked for working with the state authorities, she said.
“This leaves many Rohingya civilians terrified, and often caught between violence on both sides,” Lee said.
Government figures show 34 Rohingya civilians killed and 22 others kidnapped by militants since last October.
Lee said the government led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has denied her request to visit several places in eastern Shan state and southeastern Kayin state, so as to impede her investigation.
“I was just able to visit Lashio in Shan state and Hpa-An in Kayin state,” she said, adding, individuals who she interviewed continue to face intimidation, including being photographed and questioned before and after meetings.
Thousands of people were internally displaced in Shan state, as fighting intensified between government troops and ethnic armed groups, since the present government came into power last March.
Lee said the Rakhine community in Kayuk Pyu of Rakhine state – where the government is implementing the Special Economic Zone project -- is also facing land confiscation with little or no consultation or compensation.
The government has refused entry to a UN team probing allegations of killing, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya during a four-month security operation in the Maungdaw area in northern part of Rakhine.
The fact-finding mission was established by the UN Human Rights Council after a UN report issued in February uncovered widespread human rights violations by security forces in Rakhine.
Lee urged the Myanmar government to allow the fact-finding mission to begin its investigation, and said she passed on the message to Suu Kyi during a recent meeting she had with her in the capital of Naypyidaw.

Review of Ilan Pappe's book

Ludwig Watzel reviews Israeli historian Ilan Pappe's book - “Ten Myths About Israel”, which came out in Germany in 2016 under the title ” What’s wrong with Israel? The Ten Main Myths of Zionism”.

Click here to read - What Israel is Really All About by Ludwig Watzal.

Soros's Sorrows

George Soros, the philanthropist, is a very controversial man in our time. He always had eyes for making money and made billions in doing what he was good at. In that process, he made many critics including the Dr. Mahathir Mohammad of Malaysia. One thing no one should argue about is his sincerity for human rights. He is driven to make things better for all, including the Palestinians in Apartheid Israel. As a Hungarian Jew such activism does not bode well amongst many Jews who like to falsely label him as an anti-Semite. Such accusations are sickening and ludicrous.
Soros is treated as a villain in his native Hungary. The reasons are obvious. The government there is a neo-fascist government that does not like human rights activism of Soros.
Here is Uri Avnery's latest piece where he writes about Soros.
He writes, "Anti-Semites always preferred the Zionists. Adolf Eichmann wrote in his confession that he saw the Zionists as the “valuable element” of the Jewish people. And so on.
Abraham Stern, called Ya’ir, an underground leader in British Palestine, split from the Irgun and founded a new group (called the “Stern Gang” by the British) whose main policy plank was to cooperate with Nazi Germany against the British, on the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. He sent emissaries to German embassies but was ignored by Hitler. Eventually he was shot by the British."
Netanyahu is a good friend of the Hungarian leader Victor Orban, the neo-fascist, and an anti-Semite bigot.
Avnery writes, "Well, life is full of contradictions. As are we.
Netanyahu’s Hungarian adventures were not over with the Soros and Horthy affairs. Far from it.
While in Budapest, he took part in a closed meeting with the leaders of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Some fool forgot to cut the line to the Journalists outside, and so they could listen in to some 20 minutes of Netanyahu’s secret speech.
To his East European soul mates, extreme right-wing semi-democrats all, our Prime Minister poured out his heart: the liberal West European governments are “crazy” when they impose conditions regarding human rights on their aid to Israel. They are committing suicide by letting in masses of Muslims. They don’t realize that Israel is their last bulwark against this Muslim invasion."

The Murder of Muslims by Farzan Versey

Farzan Versee has been writing on India and minority issues for quite some time. Here below is her latest article, which I produce in its entirety.
In India today, nationalism has a religion. Hinduism. We may pussyfoot around it and refer to it as Hindutva, saffronisation or, what the ruling rightwing Bhartiya Janata Party calls “fringe elements”, but the discourse is clearly embedded in the faith of the majority community.
Slurs against Muslims have become commonplace. A country that wants to declare the cow as the mother of the nation and where minorities have to prove their patriotism not by allegiance to the flag but to the political party in power is bound to descend into chaos.
Two years ago, a mob brandishing hockey sticks and knives barged into Mohammed Akhlaq’s house in Dadri in north India and assaulted all the family members before killing him because they suspected there was beef in their fridge. The meat was sent to the forensic lab and it was found to be lamb.
When one of his killers died (of natural causes), he was given a martyr’s funeral; his coffin was draped in the national flag and there were speeches by leaders from Hindu organisations that have direct access to the government.
Last month towards the end of Ramadan when Junaid boarded the train to return home with his Eid shopping bags, he might not have imagined that the elderly man whom he offered the seat to would egg on a mob punching him and his friends. Abuses flew. “Beef eater”, “antinational”, “mullah”. They pulled at their skull caps and newly-sprouted beards. Knives came out telling them to go to Pakistan. They were bleeding. Nobody came to their rescue. Junaid was stabbed. He died. He was 16.
At the stations en route some of the lynch mob got off, enough to let the cops shrug about little evidence.
A scuffle for seats got transformed into a fight for political and religious space. Or, perhaps, religious assertiveness is seeking out reasons.
Meat trader Alimuddin Ansari was beaten up by a mob and his van, ostensibly with cattle meat, was set on fire in Jharkhand. There seemed to have been a dispute with some people who were extorting money from him. Such excuses have become the norm where the victim is invariably Muslim, for it was not a spontaneous act. His movements were tracked for hours before he was murdered.
Mohammad Majloom and Inayatullah Khan of Latehar were taking their cattle to a fair many miles away. Five men with a mission waylaid them. After they killed the 35 and 13 year old, they tied a noose around their necks and hung them from a tree.
“Prima facie it appears to have been a case of a gang attempting to loot cattle,” the cops said. For those in a hurry to rob and make a quick escape with the cattle to profit from it, they seemed to have relished in committing the murders. Not only did they kill the two, they hanged them. The hanging was a message. To shame. To hold them up as an example. How dare they not respect their gau mata, the cow mother, their religion?
It is disconcerting that mobs are using cow protection as the higher cause even to settle petty disputes. The shaming has got a further boost because the videos are uploaded and shared. The message gets more traction. What is so evident in these viral videos is that the so-called ‘jihadi mentality’ that Muslims are accused of does not respond in kind. The victims are just overwhelmed by the suddenness of the attack; in some instances they are pleading, in one the man does not even have the energy or presence of mind to protest as they grab his hair and kick him. He just takes it like a stoic who has become accustomed to lie on a bed of nails.
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, has not uttered a word condoling any of these deaths. He tweets mourning for the loss of lives in a fire in Portugal, but makes no attempt to reach out to the families of those killed by men purportedly supporting his party’s Hindutva dream, a dream to reclaim ancient India and transform the country into a Hindu nation.
When he does speak, it is evasive: “All (state) governments should take stringent action against those who are violating law in the name of cow protection.”
How will this happen when some state governments are handing out expensive beef detection kits to the cops to smell for trouble, effectively converting the police force into cow protectors too? The very fact that there are several cow protection groups is worrying, for they aren’t animal rights activists but soldiers of the faith.
“Bolo Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Rama), is the war cry. People are stopped in the streets and asked to owe allegiance to their god. A mentally unstable woman was slapped and forced to utter the words; a cleric was pummelled just outside the mosque by a group insisting he chant the phrase; journalist Munne Bharti was driving with his elderly parents. Suddenly, their car was surrounded by a group. They threatened to set the car on fire if they did not chant “Jai Shri Ram”. They did. An adult was frightened, for himself and his aged parents.
How is this not about religion, then?
It was always about religion, perhaps by a few skewed minds. 25 years ago Bal Thackeray, the leader of the militant Shiv Sena, had asked for the disenfranchisement of Muslims. He would address huge rallies at an open ground referring to Muslims as “katuas”, the cut ones without a foreskin. After the Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya, on the instructions of these political parties, and the riots reached what was then Bombay, the men in the streets would point at the crotches of Muslim men and snigger, “katua”. They were stopped and asked to strip for a random check by random people. Unlike the Sikhs after the riots in 1984 who discarded their turbans and shaved off their hair to protect themselves, Muslims could not get back their foreskin.
At the All-India Hindu Convention held last month in Goa, for 4 days all the cars at the venue were sprayed with cow urine to purify them. “Their car needs shuddhi karan. We do it to all objects — watches, clothes, sometimes even handbags. It’s a spiritual exercise.”
How people choose to practise their faith is a personal matter. But when you have a cow piss soda, cow dung and urine being made a part of ayurvedic medicines and astrologers treating people in hospital OPDs, then it becomes obvious that the cow and beef are incidental here. They are only the more potent batons to beat the minorities. There is also the commercial angle. Giving a charlatan guru called Ramdev land and business rights to run an empire ostensibly selling indigenous products is a strategy to bring the devil close to your home.
Young Hindu women are training in self-defence to protect them from “love jihad”, a bogey created by the rightwing suggesting that Muslim men are luring them to fall in love to later convert them.
In May last year, there was a report about a camp in Uttar Pradesh training the youth wing of militant Hindu organisations to protect the country from terrorists. In the video images they are aiming their air guns and sticks at men wearing skull caps. The governor had justified the drill: “Those who cannot defend themselves, cannot ultimately defend the country and there is nothing wrong if some youths are getting arms-training purely for self defence.”
That instead of urging these fit youth to join the army, they are being brainwashed to target a particular group makes the intention clear.
How is this not about religion?
The fallout of such brainwashing is not restricted to the extremist Hindutva proponents alone. There is a not-so-subtle attempt to deflect from the Hinduness of the terror by liberals too. An academic who has taken it upon himself to explain India to Indians on social media from his perch in the US has written about the global Muslim victimhood industry by playing victim: “One cannot use the term ‘Muslim terror’ (but Hindu or Christian or Left terror is fine) or even Islamic terror without worry of being termed communal, bigoted, or Islamophobic. The appropriate phrase is ‘Islamist terror,’ which, we are expected to clarify, has nothing to do with Islam.”
Some commentators have begun to call India Lynchistan, the land of lynching. We do not seem to realise that mobs thrive on notoriety. They are not seeking a popular mandate, because they already are the popular mandate. Paper tiger responses only embolden their cause. The truth is that nobody in mainstream media or in activism or with an outsider’s perspective, like Dr. Amartya Sen, has had the courage or the will to call these planned lynchings as Hindu terrorism.
Is such nomenclature important? It is. Because it is a systematic attempt to annihilate the minorities, specifically Muslims. (Quite different from Islamist terrorism whose victims are mainly Muslim and, in some cases like the ISIS’s victims, also people who are liberal enough to support Muslims.)
Muslims immediately distance themselves from any jihad violence, even though that does not assuage their neighbours from seeing them as potential suspects. Hindus are not doing so in large enough numbers, and they are chary of admitting the faith angle because they believe that Hinduism is not a monotheistic faith with allegiance to one book and one god. It is amorphous and therefore fluid, they reason.
The caste system and its treatment of Dalits and the backward castes certainly reveals ‘fluidity’. All the government-engineered riots have been masterminded by a vile intellect that outsources the war to the police and army and pumps up the trading class to decimate minority businesses. The murder of minorities is only a more violent assertion of this sheltered ghettoisation of the elite majority.
There are many who use their internet liberalism to rationalise their own subtle bigotry. That many of them also have a stake in steak does lend weight to their public “I’m not too Hindu” utterances.
In one such recent piece, the headline flashed about how Hindu victimhood is a manufactured cry. In the first para itself, though, the writer gave a clean chit to Muslims quoting, of all people, George Bush: “India is a country which does not have a single al-Qaida member in a population of 150 million Muslims.” Hindus do not have to prove whether they have allegiance to any extremist organisation, even if they elect them to power.
The usage of Islamist phrases like fatwa and jihad to explain Hindu terror acts and suggest they are only “mimicking” reeks of another version of Islamophobia and projects violence by Hindu extremists as a reaction to centuries of abuse by Muslim rulers. This historic narrative pushes the ‘tolerate Muslims despite their past’ idea, the moral compass revealing who considers itself the superior side.
These recent attempts to call out Hindu extremists is not organic. They are a response to some of us wondering why we did not link the Hindu word with terrorism. We have woken up or, in good old Hindu speak, and in deference to many of us being converts from the ancient religion, our third eye has been awakened.

Ramzy Baroud on the story behind the Jerusalem Attack

To read Ramzy Barroud's Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner click here.