Yesterday, the Grand Mufti of Syria Ahmad Hassoun met with Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar. Several other Syrian diplomats accompanied the mufti on the trip to India & Kashmir which was coordinated by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), a government agency that does “cultural diplomacy”.
Just so we know who our man the Grand Mufti is: according to the Amnesty report on Saydnaya prison in Syria–part of Assad’s gulag where at least 13,000 political prisoners were hung–the doctors, prison officials, guards, & judges they interviewed said the mufti was one of those deputized by Assad to sign off on torture & execution. This is the guy that Stalinists claiming to represent the US antiwar movement met with, that Islamophobe Tulsi Gabbard met with, that white supremacist & anti-Semite David Duke met with, that fascists Vanessa Beeley & Eva Bartlett hang with & who Beeley calls a “genuinely compassionate & forgiving human being”.
The ICCR did not bring the chief executioner of Syria to India & Kashmir on a cultural exchange. They shuffled him around to legitimize the occupation of Kashmir, India’s persecution of Muslims, & its campaign against Rohingya refugees. It comes as no surprise that India collaborates with the most reactionary political forces in the world like Assad, Suu Kyi Netanyahu, Putin, Trump but isn’t it noteworthy that they use corrupt Muslim religious figures like the grand executioner to legitimize their violent campaigns against Muslims?
According to Kashmiri media reports, the executioner & India’s chief official in Kashmir discussed “the need to weed out the cult of violence from Muslim society” & “the need for inculcating values of peace, tolerance & coexistence among the younger generation.” See how that works? It is no longer persecution, occupation, & genocide but a Muslim “cult of violence.” This is to render dignity to stinking rotten claims that Kashmiris & the Rohingya people are influenced by ‘Wahhabi/Salafi jihadists’ trained in Saudi Arabia which they used to vilify the revolution against Assad’s dictatorship.
The Chief Minister invited the Syrian executioner & his delegation to visit Kashmir again & he extended an invitation for her to visit Syria. This relationship between India, Syria, & India’s representative in Kashmir bodes not well for the people of Kashmir, for Muslims in India, & for Rohingya refugees. But it necessitates collaboration between Kashmiris, Rohingya, Indian Muslims, Palestinians, Uyghars, & their supporters in the struggles against war, occupation, genocide.
(Photo of the executioner & chief minister from Kashmir Life)