Question: whom does today’s Left-Liberal hate the most? The answer is easy- anyone with a position contrary to one held by them. After all, “disagreement from opposition as a proof of moral deficiency “is Left-Lib’s go-to defence in all arguments.
Next Question- Among all those disagree with them whom does today’s’ liberal hate most? The answer once again is easy- all things being equal, the Left-Lib is likely to take criticism from a woman far less kindly than from a man. That is one of the reason, why, for all their talk of gender equality, Left-Libs are some of the biggest misogynists on the planet. In India women leaders from HRD Minister Smriti Irani to state CMs like Anandiben Patel, Vasundhara Raje Scindia or EAM Sushma Swaraj,have all been at the receiving end of the left vitriol otherwise aimed only at the PM.
Then how about a liberal woman who disagrees with a Left-Liberal? A woman disagreeing and claiming to be one of their own. The Traitor!! Must ! Not ! Be ! Tolerated!!
In this light the hit job on Hawaii Rep (D) Tulsi Gabbard by alternet.org hack Zaid Jilani should come as no surprise to anyone. What surprised me mostly was how uninspired and shoddy the hit job was. The assertions made by the writer are so ludicrous and self-contradictory that exposing them gives me no pleasure.
The subject of this anti-Gabbard rant is nominally her appearance on Fox News where she questioned the wisdom behind White House holding an extremism summit with Muslim Americans. Rep Gabbard termed this outreach by the Obama administration as diversion from what our real focus needs to be. And that focus is on Islamic extremist threat. Needless to say Jillani got riled. He took exception to Rep Gabbard’s claim that the Islamic extremism is essentially theological and not fuelled by materialistic motivation. The writer quotes “To Gabbard, the fact that Syria and Iraq have been through years of brutal civil war, wrecked economies and massive displacement is irrelevant; the only reason they have an extremism problem is because of Islamic theology.”
Fact check- If Jilani actually saw the whole 5.52 minute interview clip he posted, he would be forced to admit that of the two countries mentioned above, Rep Gabbard makes a specific reference to Iraq war (3.11 onwards in the clip) “we were diverted from that and ended up in a nation building mission in Iraq, deposing Saddam, pushing forward this Western ideal of democracy in Iraq, costing trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and to what end?”
Doesn’t sound like someone who finds the brutal war and wrecked economy irrelevant, does it?
And of course she is 100% right on the Islamic extremism not being fuelled by materialistic motivations. As the Fox News journalist points out at 1.47 in the clip 13 out of the 19 Saudi hijackers of the 9/11 belonged to wealthy Saudi families. Nor is Rep Gabbard the only politician to point this out. British PM David Cameron in a speech in July 2015 stated “The root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself.” This opinion is also supported by studies like the one done by RAND Corporation in 2009 that showed Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease,” and “Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.” Osama Bin Laden anyone?
Of course Jilani knows all this and reveals his real agenda in the next para itself where he claims “the case of Rep Gabbard becomes less curious and more expected once you look at her links to a different set of ethnic and religious hardliners- the Hindu nationalist Indian Bhartiya Janta Party ( BJP)”
The writer introduces us to the “Islamophobic” BJP. The writer mentions ( as you would ) PM Modi’s past i.e. Gujarat 2002 riots and says “Although Modi was never indicted, many including a senior police officer who testified before India’s Supreme Court said Modi believed his region’s Hindus should be allowed to “vent their anger,” and deliberately allowed the rioting to happen for some time before intervening.
The senior officer? Disgraced IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. The meeting Bhatt talks about never took place as confirmed by the other senior officers Bhatt claimed to have attended the meeting with. Bhatt’s own boss R. B. Sreekumar denies Bhatt ever speaking to him about this meeting prior to him filing an affidavit (9 years after the riots). His own driver claims Bhatt took him to the local Indian National Congress leader’s house and threatened to corroborate Bhatt’s version.
Yes, and the officer you have cited at this moment stands terminated from his service. His plea to constitute Special Investigative Team for cases filed against him by Gujarat government is quashed by the Supreme Court with the following observation “petitioner (Bhatt) was in active touch with leaders of rival political party, NGOs, their lawyers tried to play media card, was being tutored by NGOs. He had probably forgotten that he was a senior IPS officer. In case he was fairly stating a fact after nine years, he ought not to have entered into the aforesaid exercise and kept away from all politics and activism of creating pressure, even upon 3-judge bench of this court, amicus and many others…”
A tip about citing past news for you Zaid- if you are quoting an article from 2011, just make sure none of the claims made there are refuted later on. You can google this stuff, you know.
His question “why did the state government not intervene sooner?” sounds hollow in face of the facts that –
- Narendra Modi issued orders of curfew and shoot-at-sight at the town of Godhra in less than 2 hours after Muslim mob murdered 59 Hindus without provocation.
- After his visit to the station that evening more than 800 people, mostly Hindus were taken in preventive custody to stop them from retaliating this gruesome mass killing of Hindus.
- 70,000 strong police force was deployed, Rapid Action Force was used on the day after riots and the first Army unit was called for and landed in Ahemdabad in less than 48 hours from the Hindus were massacred at Godhra.
- Almost all people killed in police firing in first week were Hindus.
Interestingly, Modi had requested 3 neighbouring states, namely Madhya Pradesh, Maharahstra and Rajasthan (all ruled by BJP’s opponent Indian National Congress ) to send in their state police / state reserved police since the Gujarat police was hopelessly outnumbered and barring Maharashtra who sent 2 companies of the state reserved police, the other two states did not help. A true investigative journalist will present these facts since they are easily accessible and verifiable. A hit job artist will sweep them under the rug and hope for the best.
The writer also uses the clichéd lie, namely mostly Muslims were killed in the riots in 2002. Facts do not bear this out. The riots started when a mob of Muslim extremists burned 59 Hindus including 15 children alive at the train station of Godhra. In the subsequent riots too, there was a cycle of violence where each attack by Hindu mob was answered with similar attack by Muslims in the hope of cowering Hindus into giving up. Dalits were targeted and killed by Muslims. Muslims formed cordons and cut off their power supplies to make it impossible for law enforcement personnel to search for Islamic miscreants and allowed them to escape so they could continue to perpetrate violence. These are facts and they are undisputed.
Moving on, our intrepid truth seeker claims Modi was unapologetic about the riots and again hilariously (if it was not so tragic) quotes this NY times story published in 2002.
Another tip for you- never use a story as reference material when nearly every claim made in that story has been refuted later on.
Like where the story claims (in the riots) “A pregnant woman’s belly was slit open, her foetus raised skyward on the tip of a sword and then tossed onto one of the fires that blazed across the city.”
We all know now that the doctor who performed post mortem on the woman in question has clarified that the foetus was intact and in fact he had stated the same in his original post mortem report. A report any conscientious journalist would have cross checked with if his objective was reporting truth instead of doing his political master’s bidding.
The same NYT story also portrays the victims of Godhra train massacre as religious zealots who insulted the Muslims on the platform and thus their gruesome murder was kind of a spontaneous reaction. Guess the NYT reporter assumed the mob just kept the large amount of quantities of petrol needed to burn a train coach with them , you know just in case.
I feel the perpetrators of both attack need to be punished and you cannot explain one case of violence with another. At the same time there is no denying that if the 59 peaceful Hindus were not butchered in a cold blooded attack by Islamic extremists, then the subsequent riots would not have taken place. Jilani ;whose mission is to explain away beheadings and planes flying into buildings with socio economic deprivation should see my viewpoint. Except he doesn’t.
The falsehood continues as Jilani makes the ridiculous assertion that “several BJP figures who were accused of spurring on the violence, and noted they had yet to be arrested.”
Are you even real ? For the record a grand total of 443 people were convicted for the riots in 2002. Almost 75 % of them were Hindus. Maya Kodnani, the sitting minister for women and child development of the state government was convicted and sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment in 2009. Compared to that, United States has convicted 319 people (as per the Bush administration) on terrorism related charges arising out of investigations primarily after 9/11.
The writer then states “Modi escaped repercussions at home”, on the contrary he faced every inquiry by various law enforcement agencies, provided them with all the co-operation that was expected out of him as the CM of the state and as a person of interest in the case and won an acquittal.But Jilani the crusader makes it sound like Modi fled India in the middle of the night.
The string of disasters continue in the article as Jilani gets the freaking surname of RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat wrong (referred to as Bhagway). The author lives up to every cliché of the ugly American who can neither pronounce nor spell a foreigner’s name and does not care. Once again- google this stuff.
Next on his peeve list is Gabbard’s opposition to HR 417 where she cited the timing (the resolution urged the US government to continue its policy to not grant Visa to Narendra Modi and largely held Hindus responsible for communal violence in India) of the resolution since it was introduced on the floor of the house the same time India was preparing for elections. Jilani says “her concern was that Modi’s electoral chances would be hurt by an honest look at religious persecution in India.”
Except she was not the only one.Republican house representative of the Congressional 39th district Ed Royce who was the chairman of the House Foreign Relations committee said of the resolution “H Res 417 weakens, rather than strengthens, the friendship between the US and India. The resolution runs counter to all the hard work that the American people, particularly those in the Indian American community, have done to improve the relationship,” Rep Gabbard was not even the only Democrat to oppose the offensive resolution. Eni Faleomavaega Jr. (note to Jilani- I spelled this one correctly, you can get Bhagwat right bud), American Samoan delegate to the House of Representatives who was a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific- which has broad jurisdiction for US foreign policy for the Asian region said he would not support the resolution and described it as “flawed”.
But then Royce is a Republican and Faleomavaega Jr is a man. And most of all none of them are Hindus. So Jilani will pretend they do not exist for the purpose of this discussion. Sounds to me that Jilani’s concern about Rep Gabbard is that she did not allow Modi’s electoral chances to be unfairly hurt by a “flawed” piece of resolution.
And that brings me to the origin of Jilani’s hatred of Gabbard. Rep Gabbard, is an American Samoan who converted to Hinduism as Teenager. In Jilani’s world where terrorists who fly planes in buildings are nothing but expression of extreme poverty, Hindus and Jews (he makes a reference to Zionist government) are the root source of evil. At the beginning of this article I talked about the anger liberals feel towards liberal women who do not buy their brand of liberalism. This anger ought to multiply many times when the woman in question chooses a religion that you have neatly pigeon holed as evil.
And how does he get away with it? Why, by using the magic word- Islamophobia, of course. In the new cowardly politically correct world exploited best by radical extremists, the baseless attack on a Hindu woman by a Muslim journalist cannot be called out for communalism because you would be immediately termed an islamophobe by him and other radical lefties like him.
The article in itself merits no rebuttal because of the lack of research and unfair representation. It makes no case of representing Rep Gabbard as a communal thug that it tries to make her. It even descends into ultimate cheap tactic- threatening Rep Gabbard in the last line of the article. But the trend it shows, the trend of Islamic terror apologists feeling confident of taking pot-shots at their ideological opponents and then hiding behind Islamophobia ought to worry you and me.
As Edward R Murrow mulled about Senator Joseph McCarthy in his iconic speech on free speech “The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully.”
Journalists like Jilani did not create this situation where attributing violence committed in the name of a religion will be referred to as Islamophobia. He is merely exploiting the situation (rather ineptly I may add, but still ) and if a young, idealistic legislator, one who chose to put herself in the harm’s way for her country becomes the casualty of this venomous brand of communal politics, why the liberals fully expect us to stand and do nothing. Or termed as Islamophobe.
Old ED was right, the fault indeed Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves.
Mayuresh runs a financial advisory business in Pune and is an avid marathon runner and reader. His novel ‘The Dark Road’ is now available on Juggernaut app here: https://www.juggernaut.in/books/657f2054995249e48c8a753040e01fb7