Umar Khalid, Copyrights: facebook.com/RendezvousWithRashmi/
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New Delhi:

Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid was slammed by far-right-wing activists and some ‘progressive’ left activists for his twitter thread #ProphetOfCompassion. Umar’s tweets were in response to the recent Islamophobic trends, mocking prophet, that was being spread by far-right Indian twitter handles.

Responding to The Woke Journal, Umar Khalid said, “My thread was a response to an organised attempt by the far-right in India. To a very vile communal and dis-tasteful propaganda that they had released a few days ago, mocking Islam and insulting the prophet.”

This, he said was an attack on the dignity of Muslims, an attempt to denigrate Islam and sort of to “show the Muslims their place.”

“And that “place” is being shown on a daily basis be it through violence, lynchings, ministers felicitating lynching convicts, rabidly communal statements being made by even high-profile ministers, and this is an extension of the same where you openly start mocking,” he added.

Tweets and its context

In the first tweet in the thread, Umar wrote, “The Hindutva brigade is desperate to divide. In their hatred for Muslims & Islam, they are now openly abusing the Prophet. How do we respond? The life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) teaches us that the best way to respond to hatred is by love & compassion.”

This was followed by a series of tweets.

Explaining further the context of his tweets, Umar said, “Because the religion in question, that was being mocked is the religion around whom the most hate is being spread in recent times, which is why the police or authorities won’t intervene and stop it. So, otherwise if one does that with any other religious figure there would be an immediate police action. But here, in this case, you see the complicity of the authorities as well. I felt that in such a situation, one needed to respond to that.”

Responses

Soon after the tweets were released Umar was slammed by far-right and some ‘left’ twitter handles which had questioned his earlier atheist stance. Some of them could be read here:

Islamophobia, not a monopoly of far-right

However, the former student leader was more surprised by the fact that among those who criticised him were the people who identify themselves to be a part of the far-right spectrum. Umar responded to it through his facebook post stating that Islamophobia, definitely is not a far-right monopoly.

“Mostly people from the right got offended by my post. But some were people from the left or largely the anti-right spectrum,” he said.

When asked if it came as a surprise, Umar said,” Not exactly, these are debates that have happened earlier as well. But I was surprised by the fact that they were more offended by what I wrote than what the right-wing was doing. That was indeed a surprise.”

Solidarity

Meanwhile, many have come in solidarity with the former student leader.

“I am not disappointed by the poison that Hindutvavadi’s dish out. I expect nothing better from them. But I do wish people who claim that they are on the ‘left’ today, had a little more humility, and a little more curiosity, and a lot less arrogance. I hope that they will not forego an opportunity to introspect, learn, and not always be so sure of their own superiority,” wrote artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta.

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