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Sheikh Saaliq

Sheikh Saaliq is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Sheikh Saaliq

1 city, 2 people — and India’s widening religious divide

By Sheikh Saaliq — April 19, 2023
AYODHYA, India (AP) — A deeply entrenched religious divide presents India with one of its biggest challenges: How to safeguard freedoms for its Muslim minority when a rising tide of Hindu nationalism is eroding the country’s secular underpinnings.

Clinging to ancient faith, India tribes seek religion status

By Sheikh Saaliq — November 23, 2022
GUDUTA, India (AP) — Tribal groups have held protests in support of giving Sarna Dharma official religion status ahead of the upcoming national census.

Indians embrace UK’s new Hindu prime minister as their own

By Sheikh Saaliq — October 25, 2022
(AP) — British people of Indian descent celebrated their new prime minister as a “proud Hindu," saying he did not shy away from embracing his faith and Indian culture.

In Kashmir, ‘conscious music’ tests India’s limits on speech

By Sheikh Saaliq and Aijaz Hussain — July 5, 2022
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A new musical tradition blends progressive Sufi rock with hip-hop in an assertive expression of political aspirations.

Hindu man killed as religious tensions boil in India

By Krutika Pathi and Sheikh Saaliq — June 29, 2022
NEW DELHI (AP) — Experts worry that the latest incident could worsen India’s religious fault lines that critics say have deepened since Hindu nationalist Modi came to power in 2014.

Arrest of Indian Muslim journalist sparks widespread outrage

By Sheikh Saaliq — June 28, 2022
NEW DELHI (AP) — Pratik Sinha, the other co-founder of Alt News, said Zubair was arrested without any notice from police, which is mandatory in the sections of law under which he was detained.

Muslim nations slam India over insulting remarks about Islam

By Sheikh Saaliq — June 7, 2022
NEW DELHI (AP) — The controversial remarks follow increasing violence targeting India’s Muslim minority carried out by Hindu nationalists.

Muslim properties razed in New Delhi after communal violence

By Sheikh Saaliq — April 20, 2022
(AP) — Officials say they are targeting illegal buildings and not any religious group. But critics argue this is the latest attempt to harass Muslims, who make up 14% of India’s 1.4 billion people.

India court upholds ban on hijab in schools and colleges

By Sheikh Saaliq — March 16, 2022
NEW DELHI (AP) — The high court in Karnataka state ruled the Muslim headscarf is not an essential religious practice of Islam, likely to further deepening religious tensions in the country.

Hijab bans deepen Hindu-Muslim fault lines in Indian state

By Sheikh Saaliq — March 15, 2022
UDUPI, India (AP) — The issue has become a flashpoint for the battle over the rights of Muslims, who see hijab restrictions as a worrying escalation of Hindu nationalism.

Farmer anger will test Modi as India’s ‘grain bowl’ votes

By Sheikh Saaliq — February 21, 2022
FATEHGARH SAHIB, India (AP) — New political players are vying to convert the farmers’ anger into votes, arguing that a new party is the only path to change.

In India, wearing hijab bars some Muslim students from class

By Sheikh Saaliq — February 8, 2022
(AP) — As more schools have begun implementing a similar ban on hijabs, the southern Indian state of Karnataka’s top court has stepped in.

Interfaith love a risk amid India’s Hindu nationalist surge

By Sheikh Saaliq — November 29, 2021
While interfaith unions between Hindus and Muslims are rare in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and other Hindu nationalists have forcefully decried what they call “love jihad.”

Interfaith love a risk amid India’s Hindu nationalist surge

By Sheikh Saaliq — November 29, 2021
BELAGAVI, India (AP) — Arbaz Mullah’s love story began, as romances often do, when he first laid eyes on the woman of his dreams, Shweta Kumbhar. Over nearly three years, their courtship in many ways resembled that of any other couple and they made each other promises to get married. But those secret vows would […]

Bowing to protests, India’s Modi agrees to repeal farm laws

By Sheikh Saaliq — November 19, 2021
(AP) — “At last, all of our hard work paid off. ... I salute the farmer brothers who were martyred in this battle,” said Rakesh Tikait, a prominent farmers’ leader.
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