UN could Criminalise Ghettoisation -Abu Muaj
France may be the most visited country in the world for its architecture, food and fine arts but at the same time, it carries bitter memories of violence, division and broken promises. Sensible French people secreted cortisol hormone over the death of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk whom French police killed in a shootout on June 27. Grief is high among the bereaved relatives and deprived fellows of Nahel. These empathetic fellows took to the streets to protest against police excesses over the years. For the justice of the Algerian-origin hapless boy, they exercised their democratic rights. Demonstrations and street protests snowballed into riots, vandalism and looting.
Oxytocin, which is also called love hormone, may be secreted in the aggrieved neighbours and countrymen to take revenge for the unnatural death of their fellows during a conflict. In some cases, the conflict may be contagious, spreading among a community. The grievances over the death of Nahel spread across France and even crossed the country’s border.
Number of ghettos is in proportion to grievances
Ghettos are spreading across the globe and so are the segregation and suppressed grievances. From the West to the East, from the modern to the third world, ghettos are expanding and sprawling. The Black ghettos in American cities symbolise the accumulation of miseries of modern western societies. Gaza, West Bank and Jenin in Palestine, Shatila in Lebanon, Harlem, Fillmore and Chicago’s South Side in America are some of the ghettos which experience pent up feelings of deprivation of the people living in. Gaza and West Bank were ghettoised by Israeli Jews who had been earlier ghettoised by European Christian countries. The landlocked enclave, Gaza is called the world’s largest open-air prison. Some Indians, particularly minority Muslims are ending up in ghettos after the Gujarat massacre which left 2000 killed— mostly Muslim. In India, the country with the third largest Muslim population in the world, are finding shanties as their sweet homes were bulldozed by the Indian government. Cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Aligarh, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Delhi, Cuttack, Kozhikode and Bangalore saw a spike in Muslims living in cityside ghettos and slums which are segregated and neglected by the state authorities. Even in Myanmar, Rohingya Muslims are ghettoised. The followers of Islam are forced to leave their motherland and take shelter in the ghettos in neighbouring Bangladesh. Bihari ghettos in Bangladesh stand testimony to the riot in 1946 which preceded the redrawing of India and Pakistan maps in 1947.
According to the World Health Organisation, 280 million people in the world are depressed and depression is the ‘single largest contributor to the global disability’.
Currently, deprived people are ending up in poor suburbs across the planet. Calls for economic, political etc emancipations are being heard in the pockets of poverty. Whenever poor people are taking to the streets to protest against socio-political, economic and religious marginalisations, police forces are called out by regimes to charge batons and disperse the mob.
The more crises, the more the secretion of hormone cortisol. The more the inhabitants of ghettos suffer from mental health conditions, the more they become desperate for emancipation. Freedom becomes their dream because anger, depression, stress, frustration etc plague their poor neighbourhood. Their minds always look for a way forward rather than an escape from the state of slavery. They look for decent jobs and upward social mobility. Over the years, stress hormones like cortisol secrets and such a sad community, miffed by the failure to go out of ghettos, get stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty. Once the pent-up feeling booms, it looks for ways to bust. Finally, it bursts.
Policy of ghettoising the Jews by the Christendom backfired as it is inhuman, undemocratic, turning the community into a second-class citizen.
Similarly, ghettoisation of Muslim along with disenfranchising them must backfire. Rather the policy of freeing of Jews from ghettos by the Muslim world particularly by the Ottoman empire clearly yielded. When Ottomans started to expand, Jews from Spain, France and other parts of the world crowded into the Muslim world.
Because of Islamophobia, it is taking place in the modern world be it in Israel, Myanmar, India or France. As democracies across the globe are dwindling, so Muslim minorities are being deprived or in the process of deprivation in some countries like India and Myanmar.
Colonised Bangladesh and Algeria
A curious comparison between Bangladeshis in the United Kingdom and Algerians in France might stoke interest among the readers. Bangladesh was a British colony when Algeria was a French colony. Colonial masters imposed their languages–English by Britain in Bangladesh while French in Algeria. France kept Algeria colonised for 132 years while Bangladesh had been a British colony for 190 years.
Both the colonised countries are predominantly Muslim. France may be more imposing than its neighbouring Great Britain when it comes to the question of imposing language. Two-thirds of Algerians are fluent in French whereas only 10 per cent Bangladeshis are fluent in English. British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent ended in 1947 while the curtain fell on the French colony in Algeria in 1962. French collaborators like pied noirs, Algerians of European descent and Anglo-Indian were created in Algeria and then India. Both the colonial masters had to give visas to their collaborators, be they from India or from Pakistan.
France remains poles apart from the UK when it comes to the question of politics. Pakistanis, Indians and even Bangladeshis, who were under British colonies, have a strong voice in politics in the UK. Rishi Sunak, who is an Indian, is now heading the British government. Such a political scenario in modern and ‘democratic’ France is unthinkable as the country is Islamophobic. Politicians, including sitting President Emmanuel Macron, intoxicate the situation using anti-Islamic and narrow nationalist narratives to attain their political goals.
Enjoyment of undue privileges to pay off in future
Whoever, be a minority or a majority of a country, enjoys undue privileges is sure to pay for the enjoyment. The act of such abuse of rights may continue for some time but it will not last forever. The unjust enjoyment of decent employment and invasion into other’s space, rights and properties will surely cause grievances among the underprivileged, the deprived and the poor people.
l First, the mollycoddled community will lose its fan and friend base.
l Secondly, the privileged people will be despised by the underprivileged section of the society.
l Thirdly, sensation of antagonism and opposition will be pent up over the years.
l Fourthly, the marginalised people will end up rebelling if any opportunity pops up.
l Fifthly, they will look for a leader or organisation so that they can be united under the leadership of the person or party.
l Finally, if the leadership or platform is ready, the oppressed people will mobilise their opinion, ending up being as opinion builders. Thus, the leadership revolts against the regime in question.
Change to luck of the deprived Black or Muslim or Maghrebi ghettos may happen overnight or take time. It may be a curious case to know that there is no ghetto for Hindus or Christians or Jews in member countries of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Fifty-seven nations of OIC can’t be criminalized for ghettoizing non-Muslims. That’s why wherever the Ottoman Empire expanded Jewish citizens flocked there, being warmly welcomed by Muslims. So, the United Nations can criminalise ghettoisation and hold the countries accountable. Even the UN can prosecute the countries, which are ghettoising and segregating the minorities, in the International Criminal Court.