Muslim Minorities are facing an Identity Erasing Situation

By Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef*

Every community has a distinct personality that is represented in its moors, cultural ethos, high civilizational values, and creedal system. Its worldview is also powerfully represented by its language, dialects, peculiar script, and—above all—its historical legacy of building style.

Muslims have had a profound cultural and civilizational influence on numerous former Muslim-ruled nations, demonstrated by the language, way of life, and architectural style that they have left behind. Many of their monumental and beautiful buildings are now counted as precious world heritage.

Colonial empires had previously made a concerted effort to eradicate the captured people, their cultural places, and their civilizational customs. After defeating the enemy, they would destroy their houses of worship, eliminate their cultural symbols—language, palaces, and castles, among other things—and would slaughter, enslave, imprison, or drive out the whole populace.  There are too many examples to cite from the history. Andalusia (Spain) is a classic case in this regard.

In the modern era, in the so-called “civilized world” colonial thinking remained the same, only tactics have been changed or in other words advanced. The modern colonial hegemonic mindset uses new high-tech apparatus in a more lethal way and with the utmost expertise. Their national or mainstream media play a major role in the game with its well-researched methods based on either total blackout or systematic misinformation and disinformation ,which as a huge propaganda tool creates a desired echo chamber among the audience.

The most recent example we have of identity erasing is Israel. This Zionist project is a sustainable endeavour for the Judaization of historic Palestine. The Quds City (East Jerusalem)and West Bank (Israelis prefer to call it Judia and Sumera)both have been a victim of robbing their Arab and Islamic character with land grabbing, renaming sites and neighbourhoods, building Jewish settlements as much as possible on occupied Palestinian land. Name changing or demolishing gates, and complexes, in the vicinity, and a perpetual excavation drive underneath the Aqsa complex with the pretext of finding out the whereabouts of the legendry demolished Solomon Temple. This is the ongoing saga of identity war imposed on Palestine with the brazen and open unwavering support of America and the West to Israel.

In India, we have Hindutva forces following the suit in the same manner.

It is regretted that more often the Indian judiciary is not compatible with its moral high grounds for which once it was so famous. For example, the judge of the special CBI court on September 2020 acquitted all the 32 Babri Masjid criminals accused in its demolition case and retired on the same day. Earlier, Supreme Court of India Judge Ranjan Gogoi also gave a contradictory verdict in favour of Ram Mandir instead of Babri Masjid (on which many law experts have serious reservations) and retired the next day. After that, he was made a member of the Rajjya Sabha (the upper house of Indian parliament). Is it just a coincidence? Or is there some other common sense indication?

One of the perpetrators of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, on that occasion, had said, “This legal victory has given us the courage to start a movement for the recovery of the mosque of Kashi(The historical Giyanvapi mosque) and the Shahi Iedgah of Mathura. The movement to seize numerous mosques, including the two mentioned above, has already begun, and local and even high courts are supporting it by accepting the filed cases in this regard, in spite of  the fact that the courts shouldn’t have accepted the cases in the first place ,given the 1991 Religious Places Act. With the exception of the Babri Masjid, the state is required by this Parliamentary Act to keep all religious sites in the same state as they were in 1991.

Qutub Minar (of Masjide Quwwatul Islam) Lal Qila (Red Fort) in Delhi, Taj Mahal in Agra and Char Minar in Hyderabad are also becoming vulnerable day by day. There is malicious propaganda about them that they represent an invading culture (read Islam) and that they were built either on the ruins of a Hindu temple or on the ruins of a Hindu Raja’s palace.  In the BJP-ruled hill state of Uttarakhand, the government secretly destroyed 4,000 mazars (Muslim shrines) on the pretext that the state is  purely Hindu Devebhomi (land of the gods) so it should be free of all other symbols. This heinous act has so far gone unnoticed, it was exposed only by the man himself, who was the main instrument for the state government to do it; Pushpendra kulshreshtha.


There are so many non-state actors in India today who are freely and vehemently advocating to cleanse the country of all Islamic historical cultural or religious sites. Pushpendra is one of them. Pushpindera a native of Aligarh who studied at Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh, having a mixed language flavour

of Hindi and Urdu and great oratorical skills has become a typical non-stop Muslim basher. That is why today, his meetings are held in major cities of the country, and millions of zealot Hindus flock to listen to this person who is a classical example of how to play with historical facts, making reverse

logical arguments. The firebrand anti-Muslim orator speaks and the crowd of emotional Hindus raise Muslim demonizing slogans. He brazenly advocates to wipe out all Muslim imprints and signs from Indian land. In a speech, he said, “I demand that the government change the Islamic identity of many buildings, cities, and symbols in a single day, just as the central government did everything on Kashmir in a flash and no sky fell,( the speaker is referring to the removal of Article 370 from the constitution, which placed Kashmir in a special category) Nothing will happen if it acts in this manner.” He advised the audience that from today all Hindus should write and call Bhagya Nagar instead of Hyderabad.”This will put pressure on the judiciary and the executive, the media will follow and we will win because we are in the majority,” he said, mocking the term “Ganga Jamni Tahzib” (composite culture)he negatively commented.

“Ganga is ours so also is Jamuna, as far as your Tahzib (culture) is concerned,

it went to  graze (meaning it is now doomed).

In the wake of the royal inauguration of the newly built (government-funded) Ram Temple (on the site of the former Babri Mosque), the Bharatiya Janata Party government secretly is ready to gradually strip all the historic monuments of their Muslim identity. In UP the firebrand Hindutva iconic chief minister Yogi Aditya Nath had robbed many cities of their Muslim identity. Allahabad was renamed into Prayaag Raj and Faizabad has been renamed as well. And now they plan to rob Aligarh of its name changing it into Harigarh, as BJP-ruled city municipality has passed a resolution of this effect and has sent its recommendation to the UP government to do so, it is only some days’ matter before they would change the name. In Delhi, one road which was called Aurangzeb Road has been renamed. There is a suggestion to rename Moradabad also again in UP.

Urdu is a language derived basically from Hindi its script is Persian and it is mostly enriched by Arabic and Persian languages and cultures. It is also wrongly perceived by the majority of the present ruling Hindutva dispensation to be a reminder of India’s Moghul Islamic past and is a signpost of a very rich composite culture so they have a grudge and special dislike towards this language, that is why after the independence of the country they deprived Urdu of its due right in the country for example they usurped the job market from its hands. Currently, there are no public Urdu schools in UP and Delhi, where Urdu was once born and developed.The young Muslim generation is totally out of touch with it. It is only Deeni Madaris (Islamic religious seminaries) who have been saving it from being put out.

*Research Associate with 

Idara Tahzibul Akhlaq AMU Aligarh

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