Khuda ke liye – leave us alone

Monday, April 14, 2008

 

http://www.indianexpress.com/interactive/comment.php?id=296165

 

Comments on Tavleen Singh’s article published in The Indian Express:

 

 

Tavleen Singh is grossly mistaken if she thinks Khuda ke liye, is an attempt to paint Islam and Muslims in favourable colours. The director and scriptwriter of the film belongs to Left Liberal persuasion and had used slick ways to denigrate Islam, even while appearing to be  presenting a supposedly presentable face of Islam. The film is full of clichés, the attempt by the Mullah as played by Naseeruddin Shah, reels out the most outlandishly liberal interpretation of Sharia, which rightly or wrongly are not acceptable to the orthodoxy. The film was released in India, with the blessings of India’s so-called liberal Muslims who wish to ‘reform’ Islam from inside. I have no reservations with Tavleen’s brand of obsessive anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim propaganda. At least she is frank up-front. But the attempt by the Left liberals to promote a 3-nation unity of Muslims of the sub-continent in the vanguard of a new communist planning to unite the 3 nations of the sub-continent, all with Muslim populations joining the Marxist bandwagon, is highly suspicious, and deceitful. Not that Muslim would not like to join together to form a 500 million chunk joined together to gain their rightful place that was denied to them by the conspiracies of the Brahmins and British stooges. But to sell their Islam to the Godless Marxist political operators, will be at best a Hobson’s choice for the Muslims and they better beware.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai,

<ghulammuhamme3@gmail.com>

www.GhulamMuhammed.wordpress.com

 

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Posted online: Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 2316 hrs

The myth of moderate Islam

Tavleen Singh

This is not a column that discusses cinema, but this week I make an exception because of a film I have just seen, which inadvertently exposes the myth of ‘moderate’ Islam. I went to see Khuda Kay Liye not just because it is the first Pakistani film to be released in Indian cinemas since anyone can remember, but because I gathered from reviews that it was a reflection of moderate Islam. This is a commodity in short supply in the subcontinent as well as across the Islamic world, where supposedly moderate Islamic countries like Indonesia and Malaysia have transformed in recent times into places where women have exchanged mini-skirts and western influence for the hijab and a return to medieval Arabia.

Khuda Kay Liye is the story of a modern Pakistani family that is destroyed when one musician son ends up in the clutches of a bad mullah and the other ends up in an American prison cell, where he is tortured till he loses his mind. The Islamist son, under the influence of the evil maulana, coerces his London-bred cousin into a marriage she does not want and forces her to live in a primitive Afghan village so she cannot escape. He rapes her because the maulana instructs him to and gives up his musical career because the maulana tells him that the Prophet of Islam did not like music. And he becomes an involuntary mujahid after 9/11, fighting on the side of the Taliban government. This is a simple story of a young man misled in the name of Islam.

The other musician son’s story is more revealing of the flaws of what we like to call ‘moderate’ Islam. He goes to study music in a college in Chicago, falls in love with a white girl, and generally has a good time living the American dream until 9/11 happens. Then he is arrested, locked up in a secret prison in the United States and kept naked in a filthy cell until he goes mad. The message of the film, in its essence, is that Islam is a great religion that has been misunderstood and that the United States is a bad, bad country and all talk of freedom and democracy is nonsense. Alas, this is not how we infidels see things.

What interested me most about the film was that in seeking to show Islam in a good light, it accidentally exposes the prejudices that make moderate Muslims the ideological partners of jihadis. In painting America as the villain of our times, the prejudices against the West that get exposed are no different from what Mohammad Siddique, one of London’s tube bombers, said in the suicide video he made before blowing himself up. In the video, that surfaced during the trial now on in London, he describes himself as a soldier in the war against the West: ‘I’m doing what I am for Islam, not, you know, for materialistic or worldly benefits.’

In Khuda Kay Liye, the prejudices against India come through as well. The hero, when he lands in Chicago, finds that his future wife does not know that Pakistan is a country. When he tries to explain where it is geographically, he mentions Iran, Afghanistan and China before coming to India. It happens that India is the only country she knows and Taj Mahal the only Indian monument she has heard of. ‘We built it,’ says our hero, ‘we ruled India for a thousand years and Spain for 800.’ As an Indian, my question is: who is we? Those who left for Pakistan or the 180 million Muslims who still live in India? If we pursue this ‘we’ nonsense, we must urge the Indian Government to bring back Harappa and Mohenjo-daro and Taxila. And that is only the short list.

Let us not pretend that Muslims in India do not face hostility and prejudice. They do. But some of it comes from this idea that Muslims have of themselves as being superior because they ‘ruled India’ for a thousand years. The problem becomes more complex if you remember that Hindu fanatics also see Muslims as foreigners and use it to fuel their hatred.

If ‘moderate’ Muslims believe that the West is the real enemy of Islam and that the free societies of modern times compare poorly with the greatness of Muslim rule in earlier times, then there is little difference between them and the jihadis. As we infidels see it, the problem is that Islam refuses to accept that in the 21st century there is no room for religion—any religion—in the public square. Other religions have accepted this and retreated to a more private space. Islam has not.

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One Response to “Khuda ke liye – leave us alone”

  1. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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