India Takes Positive Steps Towards Inclusion

India has witnessed increased disputes between Hindus and Muslims in a form that followers of Hindu faith continue to terrorize Muslim women, men and children, especially the elderly. Unfortunately some Muslims also have fed into the turmoil and have responded violence with violence. We ask Muslims and Hindus to practice dialogue instead of use of violence to resolve their issues. Some politicians use differences between people to gain votes and in their pursuit towards political gains, they use any resource. Inciting violence should also become a crime in India, so Politicians or anybody else for that matter do not use inciting measures to gain votes.

We thank the Karnataka High Court in Southern India for rejecting a lawsuit put forth by extremist groups to ban call for prayer from Minarets of Mosques. The court confirmed that the call to prayer does not infringe on the religious freedom of other religions, contrary to what some Hindu parties hold.The plaintiff claimed that the phrase “Allah Akbar” caused harm to the feelings of people of other Indian religions that have beliefs different from the Islamic faith.The court based its decision on Articles 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution, which grants citizens the right to express their religious rituals freely.

The website (India Express) quoted the court as saying, “There is no doubt that the plaintiff, as well as believers of other religions, has the right to practice their religious rites.” “The Azzan is a call to prayer, and the claim that its contents violate the basic right guaranteed to the plaintiff, as well as to persons belonging to other religions, cannot be accepted,” added the website.

We thank Karnataka High Court for taking steps to remain inclusive towards Muslims and hope all India adopts a platform of dialogue instead of incitement of violence. There is still a few subjects that need to be addressed like the freedom of Dignity for Muslim girls who like to wear Hijab to educational facilities, prevention of closure for Muslim Business owners, and many other issues that are important to Muslims who have chosen a Islamic lifestyle.The road ahead towards full inclusion can be rocky but achievable. We ask Indian government to facilitate platforms for all people to be able to voice their opinions in a constructive way instead of use of violence which leads to damages instead of true gains.