Thursday, 30 September 2010

Triumphal Mosques And "Hindu Extremists"

"Hindu extremists"?

A court in India has said that a disputed holy site in Ayodhya should be split between Hindus and Muslims, but both sides plan to appeal. In a majority verdict, judges gave control of the main disputed section, where a mosque was torn down in 1992, to Hindus. Other parts of the site will be controlled by Muslims and a Hindu sect.

The BBC is in its usual fine form in its reporting of this story. Hindu activists are described as "extremists" and "right-wing", while Muslims are treated with kid gloves. And even worse, the article refers to the fact that "The destruction of the mosque by Hindu extremists led to widespread rioting in which some 2,000 people died", as if this was the sole source of the conflict, without ever mentioning the fact that the mosque was most likely originally built on the site of a destroyed Hindu temple that had already existed there.

But would we ever expect the BBC to provide its readership with honest information about the long, documented history - including in India - of Muslims building triumphal mosques on the holy sites of defeated is happening in New York today? Would they provide their readers with the history of the Muslim ruler Aurangzeb, who "Razed temples, built mosques on their foundations"? What about all the other temples forcefully turned into mosques? Wouldn't a responsible media outlet report these things for the sake of context?

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