Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The Pioneer Edit Desk
A professor loses his right hand
Sunday’s gruesome attack on a college professor at Muvattupuzha in Kerala for preparing a controversial question paper that allegedly ‘blasphemed’ Prophet Mohammed is proof of the ominous growth of Islamist terror in God’s Own Country. The police have confirmed that the perpetrators belong to the Popular Front of India, the Islamist resistance outfit formerly known as NDF, a source of ruthless operatives for the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba. The assailants cut the right hand of the professor at the wrist and threw it into a nearby compound. The message is clear: They will chop off the hand or head of anyone who writes anything against Islam or is critical of Islamism and the terrorist violence it breeds. Such actions can emanate only from a criminal mindset comparable to the one behind the Iranian fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the attacks on as well as murder of writers and film-makers. The attack was obviously well-planned and carried out in the presence of several people, which also demonstrates the demonic intent of the perpetrators of the crime. In brief, the Islamists’ action was an open declaration that they have nothing but contempt for the law of the land and do not fear the state.
The Popular Front, while offering the expected customary denial of responsibility, has sought to justify the attack by claiming that a huge conspiracy has been hatched against Islam in Kerala. They cite the example of some church-affiliated schools banning the headscarf to bolster their bogus claim. What makes the situation particularly scary is that Islamist leaders have warned similar incidents cannot be ruled out in the future. The ruling CPI(M), the Opposition Congress, and their allies have all condemned the gruesome attack on the professor, but that does not exonerate them of encouraging outfits like the Popular Front, Jama’at-e-Islami and Abdul Nasser Madani’s PDP to flourish in Kerala, known till some years ago for its peace and religious harmony. The CPI(M) has been in an electoral alliance with terror case-accused Madani and Jama’at-e-Islami while the Congress-led UDF is a recipient of the Popular Front’s support. Tragically, despite the overwhelming evidence, the two main political fronts are in denial mode and unwilling to admit that Kerala is fast turning into a hub of Islamism in the country: For evidence, consider the fact that majority of the culprits behind several of the recent terror strikes in India are from Kerala. The police alone cannot bring the criminals to heel; what is required is consensus among political parties and the commitment to stamp out extremism of the sort witnessed on Sunday. Unless this is done immediately, Kerala is headed for troubled times. Surely nobody wants that to happen.