I Don’t Get It

How anyone of any faith could justify this:

What is the appropriate public response to the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl? That the question even needs asking suggests the moral abyss into which Indian politics has fallen. Those most responsible: Hindu extremists who value ideology over basic human decency.

According to a police report, in January two men allegedly kidnapped Asifa Bano, a Muslim shepherd girl who was grazing horses in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. For the next seven days, six men, including a temple custodian and two policemen, hid the child in a temple, where she was drugged and brutalized. The men murdered the girl and tossed her battered body in a nearby forest.

All the accused are Hindus. Police say the motive was to terrorize the girl’s community of nomadic Muslim shepherds into fleeing and tilt the demographic balance of the area.

At first, the crime failed to catch the attention of the national media. This changed after marchers under the banner of an organization called Hindu Ekta Manch (Hindu Unity Platform) protested arrests in the case by state police. Two state government ministers from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party made public speeches backing the protesters. Local leaders from the opposition Congress Party also supported the protesters.

Over the past week, the Asifa story has dominated the headlines in India. Bollywood stars took to Twitter with the hashtags #JusticeForOurChild and #JusticeForAsifa. A crowdfunding effort for Asifa’s impoverished family exceeded its target in two days…

In the Asifa case, the defamers of Hinduism are those who march in support of alleged murderers under the banner of the faith, and those who try to deflect attention from the crime by pointing to rapes and murders in other parts of India.

The Hindus who stand up for the murdered child—including police investigators, lawyers, journalists and, yes, Bollywood stars—may not wear their Hinduism on their sleeves. But they do the faith proud.

I remember many years ago a Christmas message by Conrad Hilton – showing in every major religion their version of the “Golden Rule”.

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