'Alarming glorification of terrorists...' BJP slams ex-Hamas chief delivering speech in Kerala's Malappuram
Organized by the Solidarity Youth Movement (SYM), the rally defended Hamas as a "resistance movement" and Meshaal as a "freedom fighter." The event featured a pre-recorded Arabic message by Meshaal and carried the slogan "Uproot Bulldozer Hindutva and Apartheid Zionism".
Khaled Mashel, the former Hamas chief, delivered a virtual address at a rally supporting Palestinians in Kerala's Malappuram. This event, organized by the Solidarity Youth Movement (SYM), sparked controversy, with the BJP expressing concerns about the "alarming glorification of terrorists". The SYM, To note, the youth wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, defended their position by labelling Hamas as a "resistance movement" and Khaled Mashel as a "freedom fighter."
At the Youth Resistance Rally, Mashel's prerecorded video address in Arabic was displayed on a screen under the banner "Uproot Bulldozer Hindutva and Apartheid Zionism." Although the organizers had initially announced that another Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, would virtually address the rally, he did not do so. Kerala BJP President K. Surendran expressed his concerns about this situation, describing it as "alarming."
Describing the situation as alarming, BJP President K Surendran took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to say, "Where is (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan's police? Under the disguise of 'Save Palestine' they are glorifying Hamas, a terrorist organisation and its leaders as 'warriors'. This is unacceptable." Surendran also sharing a photo of Mashel's virtual address.
The organizers defended Mashel's virtual participation at the event, highlighting the Palestinian Legislative Council's significant influence in Gaza and the West Bank, where they won 74 out of 132 seats in the last election.
According to SYM State President CT Shuhaib, it is not unusual for the leader of such an organization to speak at a Palestinian solidarity event in Malappuram. Further, he said, Hamas is neither an active nor a banned organization in India, making the presence of a Hamas leader at the event legal.
However, SYM accused the Sangh Parivar of attempting to stifle protests and voices by spreading false propaganda, aiming to label those supporting Palestine as terrorists and quell public protests against India's support for Israel.
It's worth noting that the IUML, a significant ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, organized a large-scale rally in Kozhikode to denounce the reported indiscriminate civilian casualties resulting from the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. Shashi Tharoor, who attended the rally as the chief guest, characterized the conflict as "one of the most distressing human rights catastrophes" witnessed in recent times.
Who is Khaled Mashel?
Khaled Mashel is a prominent leader and the former head of the Palestinian militant organization Hamas. He assumed the recognized leadership of Hamas in 2004 and played a key role in the organization's activities. Under his leadership, Hamas secured a majority of seats in the Palestinian legislative election in 2006. In 2012, he stepped down from his position as the leader of Hamas and is currently based in Qatar.