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The New Indian Express, issue front page apology for fake news about Muslim organisations

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Dear Annie Thomas,

Associate Editor, The New Indian Express

On April 9, 2017, your newspaper carried an article titled, ‘Caliphate radicalisation rising in India’ by Rakesh K Singh, in which some prominent Islamic organisations in India, have been accused of ‘radicalising’ Muslim youths in the country, who are in turn claimed to be allegedly joining terrorist organisations such as ISIS in ‘swelling’ numbers.

Your writer has indiscriminately taken the names of well-reputed institutions and organisations and has accused them of baseless charges of promoting terrorism and hate mongering, without furnishing any evidence to support his outrageous claims.

The list of the reputed organisations that are accused by your writer are:

Niche of Truth (Kerala),

Peace Educational Foundation (Kerala),

Jamiat-ul Muflihaat (Hyderabad),

Discover Islam Education Trust (Bengaluru),

Tauheed Educational Trust (Bihar),

Islamic Research and Dawah Centre (Mumbai),

Islamic information Centre (Mumbai)

Popular Front of India,

Jamat-e-Islami Hind,

Tamil Nadu Tauheed Jamat

Kerala Nadwathul Mujahideen

Your writer further claims that the affiliates of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) are still operational, and then without any logical sequence connects their activities to Popular Front of India, Jamat-e-Islami Hind, Tamil Nadu Tauheed Jamat, Kerala Nadwathul Mujahideen factions, and other Islamic organisations, all the time quoting an alleged “intelligence dossier”, without mentioning either its authors or the agencies behind it.

But your writer doesn’t stop there. Quoting again from the anonymous “dossier”, and perhaps in an evident display of his ideological leanings, he says that the “growth of Wahabism-Salafism undermines Indian Islam which is based on Sufi-Barelvi practices that so far have been the most effective counter to radicalization.”

Most of the organizations listed by your writer have had a history of working in the field of da’wah and education. Da’wah means “propagation of Islam”; the right to which the Constitution of India guarantees. Some of these organizations have been in the forefront in uplifting the social and political status of the Muslim community. And contrary to what is being concocted by your newspaper, we have been vocal against ISIS and the extremism promoted by other such terror outfits. It is so unfortunate that a well-reputed newspaper like your’s could allow such fabrications to be published.

Our questions to you are, “What is the evidence behind all the absurd allegations made against us in your article? And what is this “Indian Islam”? Who is its founder? Which book of revelation does it propagate? Who are its followers? Who is Singh or The New Indian Express to decide, what Muslims in India should follow, or not follow?

By concocting these outrageous lies against us, your writer is trying hard to divide Muslims between Salafis and Sufis to weaken the political strength of Muslims in India. And by publishing this vile and sickening article, you have resorted to yellow journalism.

Whilst you may view the article as an opportunity to boost the circulation of your newspaper and get hits to your website at the expense of facts and professionalism, we view your nefarious article as a clear example of creating negative public opinion against Islam and Muslims in this country.

We, the undersigned demand a front page apology from your newspaper, for concocting lies against Islamic organizations and for your failure to uphold your values of respect and integrity.

Note: A police complaint has been filed against The New Indian Express and its writer Rakesh K Singh  with Sri Praveen Sood, the Commissioner of Police, in Bengaluru

The copy of our complaint has been attested to The General Secretary, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, to Advocate Javed, High Court Lawyer, to The General Secretary, Karnataka State Minority Commission, and Moulana Ashraf Ali, Ameer-e-Shariat, Bengaluru.

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