A rebuttal to the lies of Washington Post columnist, Rana Ayyub

A rebuttal to the lies of Washington Post columnist, Rana Ayyub

On October 17, Indian ‘journalist’ Rana Ayyub went on an unhinged rant against India and pleaded with other nations to act against the Indian government.

Ayyub made the contentious remarks in her latest propaganda piece for the American daily, The Washington Post. Titled ‘The World continues to ignore the radicalisation of India’, the ‘journalist’ lamented the positive outlook of global powers towards India.

At the very onset, she raked up the issue of ‘hijab’ in the hopes of making international readers, who are increasingly concerned about the killings of women in Iran over mandatory hijab, sympathetic to the cause.

“In February, the southern state of Karnataka had banned women from wearing the hijab in classrooms — enraging Indian Muslims and delighting Hindu nationalists, who saw the state’s move as another triumph in their continuing campaign against Muslims in India,” she began setting the foundation for false equivalence.

Rana Ayyub then made a brief reference to the recent split Supreme Court verdict on the Karnataka Hijab row, with the false claim that one of the judges ruled the non-essentiality of hijab in Islam.

“One of the judges on the panel declared wearing headscarves a matter of personal choice; the other essentially dismissed the problem, saying that the hijab was not “essential” to Islam,” she wrote. This is despite the fact that none of the judges decided whether or not hijab was an essential practice.

Karnataka hijab row and Iran’s anti-hijab protests aren’t the same

Of course, it was just the beginning of a series of lies. Rana Ayyub continued, “Muslim girls in India are fighting — just like their counterparts in Iran — for their fundamental right to dress and live on their own terms.” Nothing can possibly be further from the truth.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is mandatory for all women to wear hijabs in public. One cannot take it off as per their whims and fancies. Women run the risk of being picked up by the regime’s moral police and tortured to death, as seen in Mahsa Amini’s case.

In India, there is no concept of mandatory hijab in public. Women can wear or remove headscarves in public, at their own will. In either case, the police and the State administration will not stop, harass or torture them.

When it comes to the question of personal liberty, it is very much protected in India and not Iran. Hence, the comparison is not just bizarre but ridiculous. The issue that arose out of the Karnataka hijab row was that of the uniform dress code.

In secular institutions, the school administration has the right to determine whether religious clothing can be permitted within its premises.

The Karnataka High Court observed that the Hijab is not an essential practice in Islam (and more of a choice) and uniform (for all) is a reasonable restriction on the Right to Freedom of Religion.

The same girls, who wish to wear hijabs, can freely do so in public. They are restricted only within the confines of educational institutes, where the concept of uniform exists. This also applies to students belonging to other religions (provided that the practice is not essential in their Faith).

Debunking the lies of Rana Ayyub about the demolition of ‘Muslim houses’

Rana Ayyub continued, “And Muslim students and activists have seen their houses demolished by state officials without due process, clearly as retribution for speaking up against atrocities.”

This allegation is again not rooted in reality. The BJP government has been razing illegal structures, irrespective of the faith or political affiliations of the accused. It is curious that Rana associates only Muslims with illegal encroachment.

The illegally acquired properties of dozens of criminals and mafias have been demolished in UP, and the names include non-Muslims like Vikas Dubey, Yogesh Bhadora, Ramesh Pradhan, Badan Singh, Sundar Bhati, Vijay Mishra and many others. Rana has deceptively tried to claim that the action has taken place only against Muslims.

Recently, the Uttarkhand government demolished the resort owned by the son of ex-BJP minister Pulkit Arya in connection to the murder of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari. Pulkit Arya is neither a Muslim student nor an activist but that did not stop the government from taking swift action against him.

The truth about the Bidar mosque controversy

Rana Ayyub further misled her readers by claiming that a mob barged into a mosque in Bidar and performed a Hindu ceremony within its premises, amidst chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram.’

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Superintendent of Police (Bidar district) Dekka Kishore Babu had rubbished the claims. He had informed, “It is a regular practice from the Nizam period of performing Pooja during Dasara. There is a minar inside the mosque complex.”

“Usually, 2-4 people visit but this time there was more number of people who entered the place. Nobody illegally broke the lock to enter the mosque. We have registered an FIR and will be arresting the miscreants,” he further added.

This was also confirmed by the Inspector General of Police (Gulbarga), who said that every year Hindus go near the Masjid to perform Puja on Vijaydashmi and this occurrence is not new.

Rana Ayyub shielded co-religionists accused of crimes against Hindus

The ‘journalist’ then went on to downplay the crimes committed by her co-religionists. For instance, Ayyub labelled the stone pelting on a Hindu temple in Kheda by an Islamist mob, led by Congress leader Arif Sheikh, as “trespassing and disturbing a Hindu festival.”

She also resorted to false balance by suggesting that the carnage in Leicester was the “outpouring of communal violence between Hindu and Muslim communities.” This is despite the fact that only the Hindu community has been at the receiving end of violence.

“A BBC investigation has shown that the disinformation that led to the violence was inflamed by social media accounts from India,” Ayyub claimed.

The assertion was based on the fact that the majority of the tweets about Leicester violence, with hashtags such as #Leicester, #HindusUnderAttack and #HindusUnderattackinUK, originated from India.

Given that the Hindu population in India is close to a billion and that the community was concerned about the atrocities committed by Islamists in far-off Leicester, it explains why most tweets demanding justice for Hindus were from India.

OpIndia had reported how Majid Freeman, who was at the helm of the Leicester disinformation campaign, was interviewed by the BBC to set the narrative in favour of the perpetrators.

Rana Ayyub sought global action against India

And then the journalist found a way to rope in the Indian Prime Minister as well. “Extremists clearly feel empowered, and it is not hard to guess why. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is at the peak of his power,” she insinuated.

“Modi, who has one of the biggest followings on social media of any Indian, has not called for inclusion or for an end to the violence against Muslims. Nor has he publicly reprimanded his lawmakers for speech that has further encouraged communal hate in India,” she alleged.

This is by far the most conventional, repetitive and overused tactic, employed by Islamists and left-liberals, to secure writing gigs in international publications. After all, the key to defaming India at a global level must begin with the leader, who has been democratically elected by the people.

Rana Ayyub was unhappy with the outside world for not ‘sanctioning India’ based on her dubious claims about the ‘persecution of Muslims and other minorities.’

“World leaders apparently prioritize maintaining strategic relations with India to counter China and Russia, not understanding that this willful and convenient ignorance is amplifying state-sanctioned violence against the 220 million Muslims in India,” she pleaded.

The Washington Post writer had pinned her hopes on the likes of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and international media, only to be disappointed by the overwhelming support for India among nation States.

Conclusion

Rana Ayyub does not bother to separate facts from fiction. Her book on the 2002 Gujarat riots has been junked by none other than the Supreme Court of India.

A habitual fake news peddler, Ayyub is now facing a probe for donation fraud. She had solicited money from the public in the name of Covid relief work but deposited it in her personal bank account and that of her family members.

Despite such dwindling credibility, she has been platformed by the likes of The Washington Post to amplify her lies and half-truths before a global audience.

Earlier, She also tried to use the stage of the International Journalism Festival (IJF) in Italy to cast aspersions on India’s democracy but to no avail.

This article was originally published in Opindia on October 19, 2022.