On the 15th August, the government in India’s Gujurat state freed 11 Hindu men who were serving life sentences for gang-raping a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, and murdering several of her family members, including her three-year-old daughter during the 2002 anti-Muslim genocide in the state. Bilkis was five months pregnant when she was attacked by the men who also smashed her daughter’s head with a rock in front of her, killing her instantly. Her mother was also raped. The convicted Hindu rapists were garlanded and fed with sweets as they stepped out of the prison and returned to villages nearby Bilkis’s current residence, leaving her fearing for her life and safety of her family.
The Gujurat government, ruled by the Hindu Nationalist anti-Muslim BJP party of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, released the men on the same day that India celebrated 75 years of independence, where Modi was delivering a speech urging Indians to respect the dignity of women. The symbolism of freeing these Hindu rapists on this day, clearly aimed to send out a message that Muslim women were exempt from protection by the Hindu state and that immunity for those who murder Muslims and dishonour their women is the future that the Muslims of India should expect under its extremist nationalistic Hindu rule. Indeed, various Hindu monks and Hindutva leaders have called publicly for a genocide against Muslims, while in April this year, a Hindu head priest in Utter Pradesh delivered a speech to a large rally outside a mosque in the town of Khairabad, threatening to kidnap and rape Muslim women.
This is justice Hindutva style, where murderers and rapists of Muslims are rewarded with freedom and those guilty of spreading venomous hatred towards Islam and Muslims are given a free hand to operate openly, sowing division and violence. Meanwhile, the homes of Muslims accused of defending their communities against the onslaught of Hindu mobs, are bulldozed by the authorities as in Madya Pradesh. Today, Muslim women and girls in India live in fear of attack and the violation of their honour, knowing that the perpetrators of these crimes will be treated as heroes and with impunity, and that there is no entity that will protect them from harm or that will grant them justice for the horrific crimes executed against them by the enemies of Islam. Furthermore, Western governments who are quick to throw lies against the Shariah and Islamic rule, accusing it of oppressing women and robbing them of their rights, openly embrace Modi and his regime for financial gain and are silent about travesties of justice against women such as Bilkis. It illustrates that their concern for the wellbeing of Muslim women is feigned, and that all talk of women’s rights is simply a tool employed to push their secular, anti-Islam agendas amongst Muslim communities.
The value that Islam affords to the protection of the honour of a Muslim woman is unparalleled. It is a value for which our beloved Prophet (saw) banished a whole Jewish tribe, Banu Qaynuqa from his state in Madinah due to their abuse of a single Muslim woman and the violation of her Islamic dress. It is a value for which Islamic leaders under the Khilafah of the past fought wars and opened lands to protect and defend, as seen by the actions of the 8th century Khalifah al-Walid bin Abdul Malik who mobilised a formidable army, led by the great Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim to rescue some Muslim women who had been imprisoned by the oppressive Indian Hindu King, Raja Dahir; and the actions of the 9th century Khalifah, al-Mu’tassim bi’llah, who sent a huge army to rescue a single Muslim woman in Amuriyah, Turkey who was captured and abused by the Romans. Indeed, justice, protection and guardianship for the mothers and daughters of this Ummah will never be established without the return of the system of Islam, the Khilafah (Caliphate) based upon the method of the Prophethood which genuinely stands for their interests, defends their Deen, cares for their wellbeing and is the embodiment of justice. The Prophet (saw) said:
«الإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَمَسْؤُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ
“The Imam (Khalifah) is a guardian, and responsible (and will be questioned) for his subjects.”
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
7 Safar 1444 – Saturday, 2ns September 2022
No: Ah / 006 1444