Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Obama orchestrating from the same old Bush music sheet – By Ghulam Muhammed

March 27, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama orchestrating from the same old Bush music sheet

The adage that the more things change, they remain the same, is holding true with the US. With lot of fanfare about Change and We Can Change, Obama ignited hope not only in his own nation, but all around the world. Bush warmongering had touched raw nerves all around the world. America and Bush were the most hated words in world vocabulary. However, Obama’s public address today over his plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan, have dampened the hope for any change for the better. Obama asked a question: why US was in Afghanistan? His own answer to that simple question was as convincing about the presence of Al Qaida in Afghanistan and Tribal areas of Pakistan as Bush allegation of WMD in Iraq. Bush was not able to fool the world over his simplistic harangue over Sadaam’s non existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Obama himself does not appear to be convinced of the Al Qaida menace, while enunciating his plan to tackle terrorism that ‘threatens’ US and its allied countries in the world. The whole warmongering rationale is pat and stale. When he says: “I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda.” This is like chasing a mirage.

Of course, there are radicals in the targeted area. But Obama fails to understand that the radicals are radicalized mainly over US presence in the Muslim world and this presence is imperialistic, imposed and apparently unending. The more Obama will introduce and activate foreign presence in this quagmire, the more he will sink, possibly never to ever come out.

Obama’s cosmetic improvement in his laid out plan, stresses the addition of more reconstructive focus on US efforts to help common people in the region enjoy better living condition, so that they would realise how benevolent and well-meaning US stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan is. However, the more visual part that affects the psyche of the Afpak people is America’s high-handed hunting of Al Qaida, that not only kills innocent people, but is highly damaging to their self-respect, their pride, their national sovereignty. The time lag between US aggression and any future development that the measly 1.5 billion per year as promised will bring to the civilians is so pronounced that prima facie, the whole US effort is a non-starter. Besides, US aggression is planned to sow seeds of civil war in the region. That has its own dynamics. The US is digging a new hole to fill up the old hole. This brings out the un-tenability of Obama’s new plan.  Obama must strive to pacify both countries first. The more stress is on peace, the more distant will be the days of war on much larger scale.

Obama can and should change both Afghanistan and Pakistan in a new Marshall Plan like grand strategy but it can only be successful, if its forces disappear from the visible horizon and both nation’s national pride is restored. America’s constant obsession to identify its adversaries in terms of Islam and radicalized Islamism is most counterproductive and must be checked in real-time. America must make peace with Islam and make it an ally in bringing peace to the region. Islam is here to stay, and the sooner Obama can convince his adviser to change their strategies that has been focused through neo-con influences on fighting Islam and Islamists, the sooner he will win the hearts and mind of the people of the region.

Obama must change his music sheet.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 


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Exclusion of Muslims By Dr. J. S. Bandukwala

September 2, 2008

Exclusion of Muslims

 

 

By J. S. Bandukwala

The Prophet of Islam was aware of India, once remarking that there is a fragrant breeze coming from India. Islam reached India almost immediately after his passing away in 632. The long Western coast had trade links with the Arabs, much before the arrival of Islam. The Islamic injunction of fair and honest trading, impressed the local people. Many Arabs settled down in Kerala, marrying local women. Shia Sufis converted many Brahmins and Rajputs in Gujarat. Four hundred years later, invaders came from Central Asia. They were followed by Sufi Syeds from Arab lands, escaping persecution from the Abbasid Caliphs. The most prominent was Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti (1142 – 1236), preaching love of God , combined with equality, brotherhood and concern for the poor. Millions, particularly from the lowest strata of society, responded to his teachings, and that of other Sufis such as Khwaja Bande Nawaz in the South, Nizamuddin Aulia and Baba Farid in the North. The Guru Granth Sahib extensively refers to Baba Farid. The foundation stone of the Golden temple was laid by Mia Mir. Sufism had a tremendous influence on the Bhakti movement, producing such spiritual figures as Guru Nanak, Kabir and Mirabai. Today the Muslim population in South Asia is about 500 million. That is about one third of the world Muslim population. Almost all these Muslims have forefathers of local origin, who converted to Islam. A miniscule are of non South Asian origin. The discrimination against Muslims is rooted primarily in this conversion, mostly from Dalit and backward classes. Six hundred years of Muslim rule widened this gulf. The religious policies of Muslim rulers ranged from the most liberal Akbar to his ultra orthodox great grand son Aurangzeb. Frequently Muslim kings fought Hindu rulers, such as Maharana Pratap and Shivaji. In due course these kingly wars were viewed as religious wars between Muslims and Hindus, widening the communal divide. This historical twist fails to notice that Shivaji’s general was a Muslim, while the Mughal general was a Hindu. But perhaps the most vital factor was the upper caste resentment at the large scale conversion of lower castes into Islam. This is the genesis of the communal hatred we see today.

As the Mughal Empire weakened, Muslims comprised a small elite of Nawabs and zamindars. There was no middle class. Most Muslims were economically and socially backward. Conversion to Islam gave them a sense of equality and identity within a larger Muslim world. But it had no effect on their living standards. Islam was superimposed on the caste structure. The Hindu dhobi became a Muslim dhobi. But he still remained a dhobi. The caste structure of Hinduism became the jamaats of Muslims. Marriage was strictly within the jamaats. Often even burial grounds were on jamaat lines. This was against a basic feature of Islam that all Muslims were brothers, as witnessed in the marriage of the Prophet’s cousin Zainab with Zayd, a former slave.

The rise of the British saw Muslim elite lose political power. In their resentment they turned their back on anything Western, particularly the English language and science. They clung to a shadowy world of Persian language and culture, and to a princely lifestyle, they could no longer afford. A total lack of vision can be gauzed by their refusal to accept a British offer to open an English medium college. They demanded a Persian medium college. Around this time the British offered Hindus a Sanskrit college. They declined asking for an English medium college. Note the sharp contrasts in their responses. The 1857 mutiny ended Muslim rule. The British, replacing the Mughals, were especially harsh on the Muslims, who reacted by withdrawing further into their shell. Any attempt at an English education was strongly opposed and even declared as un-islamic. The great Sir Syed Ahmed, the founder of Aligarh was vilified and offered a garland of shoes. On the other hand Hindus responded most enthusiastically to Western education. Within a few decades there was a marked contrast between widespread Muslim poverty and decay, and a vibrant Hindu middle class. This Hindu awakening found expression in the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885. But the Muslims largely kept aloof. Sir Syed Ahmed was wary of antagonizing the British. His focus was only on the uplift of the community, and that required building bridges with foreign rulers. The religious divide soon became a political divide, with the partition of Bengal in 1905. Hindus opposed it strongly. Muslims favoured it, reflecting the nature of East Bengal, with Hindu zamindars and Muslim landless. After the First World War, Hindu aspirations for self government were turned down by the British. Resentment, led to harsh measures culminating in the Jalianwala Baug tragedy. This brought Mahatma Gandhi into the national limelight. Sadly this coincided with the British deposing the last Turkish Sultan, who as Khalifa was also the nominal head of the Muslim world. Indian Muslims reacted most strongly to this loss. The khilafat movement was born. Gandhiji sensed an emotional issue that would bring Muslims into the national mainstream. He offered Congress support for Khilafat. The result was a deluge of orthodox maulanas into the Congress, and the exit of its principal liberal figure Jinnah. The later was bitter about his eclipse from national politics. This bitterness contributed years later to the partition of the country. Equally important, Muslim leadership passed into the hands of maulanas, and it has largely remained so ever since. The khilafat movement died within a few years. But the damage had been done. Religion and politics were mixed in a deadly concoction. Moplah riots in Kerala followed, leading to the birth of the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS. Inspite of Gandhiji’s attempts to project Sarva Dharma Sadbhav, the two communities drifted apart. The end result was partition, with frightening brutalities and a migration of millions across the borders.

Gandhiji’s assassination and Nehru’s stress on science and humanism cooled the communal fires. But this social peace lasted barely fifteen years. With Nehru’s death, and the constant irritants of Pakistan and Kashmir, the Hindu Muslim divide widened once again. Electoral politics, vital to a democracy, was also the incentive to inflame communal passions. Caste politics with the coming of Mandal, threatened the BJP hold on its Hindu vote bank. In response the Ayodhaya movement was launched. The last twenty five years have been most difficult for Indian Muslims. They are under a constant physical threat and mental stress.

The situation is particularly grim in a state like Gujarat that has become a laboratory of Hindutva. My own house has been attacked four times, the last time in 2002 it was completely destroyed. My daughter and I just escaped certain death. I have been in prison three times. Post Godhra saw an elected Government sponsor the mass killings of Muslims. This had never happened before in free India. The poison goes beyond Narendra Modi. For years the Gujarati language media, would carry provocative articles against Muslims. Repeated requests to the Press Council to stop this yellow journalism had no effect. Gujarati intellectuals would write long articles on the need to civilize the barbarian trends in the Muslim community. This author made numerous public appeals to persuade top Gujarati religious figures to express remorse for the horrors of 2002, in particular the rape and killing of Muslim women using trishuls, while shouting Jai Shri Ram. There has been no response. Honestly I have often wondered what has happened to this society that once produced a Mahatma.

Politically Muslims have no voice in Gujarat. Although the Muslim population in Gujarat is about 10 %, the communal polarization is so deep that it is impossible for a Muslim to win a significant election. With the rise of Hindutva, Gujarat has not elected any Muslim to the Lok Sabha, nor has there been a Muslim Minister in Gujarat. Since the coming to power of Narendra Modi, most Muslim officers have been sidelined. In national perspective, the hatred shown by the Gujarat BJP towards Muslims has poisoned relations between Muslims and the saffron party. All over the country, Muslims tend to vote strategically such that the BJP loses. This has been exploited by other parties to avoid doing anything substantial for Muslims, other than talk about protecting them from the BJP. The Islamophobia of the BJP has hurt Muslims tremendously. It also puts a brake on BJP winning elections. More important it damages the democratic basis of our
country.

The situation could have been rectified substantially if the lower judiciary in Gujarat had been just and fair. Sadly case and after case against those accused in the post Godhra riots were thrown out, due to a deliberate sloppy police investigation, combined with Public Prosecutors appointed from the VHP. Even so notorious a person as Babu Bajrangi, who in a TV sting operation confessed to having slashed the pregnant Kauserbanu, to kill both the unborn and the mother, was granted bail by a High Court Judge. Later this same Judge was appointed on the Nanavati Commission to examine the causes of the riots. How can we have any faith in such a Judge? On the other hand the draconian POTA law was applied on about 270 people in Gujarat. Of these 269 were Muslims. Those arrested for the Sabarmati train burning, are languishing in jail for the past six years. The Government case is so weak, that it deliberately delays bringing it before a Court of law. Since the expiry of this law, the Gujarat Government has passed another POTA type Bill, which has not so far been signed by the President. It is called GUJCOC. It allows any confession made before the police as admissible before a Court of law. With the strong anti Muslim bias of the police force, one can well imagine the third degree methods that will be used to force any confession desired by the authorities. I just hope the President withholds his consent to this Bill.

The recent Ahmedabad blasts have been tragic. In Islam terrorism is strongly condemned in Surahs 5, 6, 17 and 25 of the Quran. Life is given by the Creator and it is sacred and no individual has a right, to take it away, except in the course of justice. To kill an innocent is a sin that will deserve double punishment from Allah. Tragically many victims of 2002 are filled with burning revenge. I urge these youth to look for justice in the majesty of Allah. But they must never hurt innocents.

History tends to divide. Geography forces us to unite. 150 million Muslims are spread over every state, district and taluka of this country. There is no alternative but to live in communal harmony with our 800 million Hindu brothers. Muslims must play their part in making a success of the idea of India. After all which country in the world can claim a Father of the Nation who laid his life for its minorities? Muslims must realize that all Hindus are not supporters of the RSS. India is secular because of these Hindus. We must do everything possible to win their goodwill. Without diluting our roots in Islam, we must make adjustments in our world view and our own life styles. One sad aspect is the decline in Sufi beliefs among Muslims. Sufism enabled a reconciliation of different philosophical and religious tenets in India. It brought Muslims closer to Hindus. Under increasing threat from Hindutva, Muslims have sought to reassert their distinct identity in appearance. They are also moving away from Sufism. In the process they are distancing themselves from those non RSS Hindus, whose friendship is essential for their own welfare. This may damage secularism in the country, and ultimately hurt the Muslims of India.

Muslims must emulate the gentler, warmer and nobler nature of the Holy Prophet: his integrity, his simplicity, his laughter with children, and his concern for women, the old and the sick. Somehow we have drifted away from the life of the Prophet. A society is judged by how it treats its women. Muslim men have not realized the psychological damage the practice of triple talaq does to women. It is a sword that hangs over every woman. The Quran refers to talaq in (2,226 / 232) and also (65, 1/ 7), with the clear stipulation that the process be spread over a period of about four months. This is to prevent any misuse by anger or pettiness. There is no mention at all of instant triple talaq. The Quran directs the husband to treat his divorced wife with dignity, honour and kindness. Horribly women are divorced on the telephone, or in a drunken state, or for not cooking the right type of meal. Tragically it is considered valid by our Muftis.

 


This is wrong in religion. It is also against all the tenets of human rights, and we must condemn the same. Similarly polygamy is mentioned in the Quran (4, 3) wherein a man is allowed to marry up to four wives. But it stipulates that they must all be treated just and fair. The very next sentence says that even if you try to be just, you will not be able to do so. This implies monogamy is the rule in Islam. Polygamy is permitted only under extreme conditions. In Islam a child is conceived when an egg meets the sperm. Allah gives it a soul. Hence Islam treats abortion as murder. But coitus interruptus was sanctioned by the Prophet. This method just stops the egg meeting the sperm. Then why do we oppose family planning, when it does the same work?

Hindutva has led to the impossibility of Muslims finding residential accommodation in most Hindu areas. This is very true of Gujarat. Strangely it is also true in cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai. The result is a ghettoisation, with Muslims forced to live in highly congested areas, with poor water supply, drainage disposal, bad roads and equally shabby public transport. I would urge Muslims not to complain. They should plan and develop their own areas such that essential facilities are provided. If necessary use community funds. Trees must be planted and properly watered. Cleanliness must be maintained. They must learn to use their electoral power to secure these rights. As an example the Juhapura locality in Ahmedabad has about 3 lakh Muslims, most of them migrants from riot prone parts of the city. Juhapura had no banks, as it was classified as a ‘negative rating’ by bureaucrats. We fought this issue for years, up to the level of the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the RBI. Friendly members of Parliament were persuaded to ask questions on the subject. Finally we succeeded.

Quality education is the highest priority of Muslims. That implies stress on English, Maths and Science. There has been a sharp rise in the number of Muslim students attending schools and college. Our focus must be on professional courses, such as engineering, management and medicine. That is the only way the Muslim community can come out of its present miserable state. I am totally against any form of reservation, which is ultimately a crutch that hurts the sound healthy evolution of a society. I am horrified at the mad rush for ‘backwardness’, and I pray my community avoids that pitfall.

At this stage it is best that Muslims stay away from power politics. The experience of the last sixty years is that Muslim leaders, who join political parties, do gain at a personal level. We have had Muslim Presidents, Vice Presidents, Cabinet Ministers and Governors. Sadly they are so scared of being branded communal that they just completely avoid the community. Muslims must treat the vote as a sacred power, and use it wisely and hopefully for the best candidate. That requires that the BJP come out of its hate Muslim politics. Hopefully that day will dawn. That will be the highest tribute they can pay to Gandhi who laid his life so we can usher in the idea of India.

August 7, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

 

WHAT A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE IN INDIA!

 

ON THE BASIS OF A POLICE OFFICER’S REPORT, A MUSLIM STUDENT’S ORGANISATION IS BANNED BY THE EXTREMIST HINDUTVA LEADER L. K. ADVANI, WHOSE OWN ORGANISATION HAS PLAYED HAVOC WITH PEOPLES LIFE. ADVANI HIMSELF IS TO BE PROSECUTED OVER HIS ROLE IN THE DEMOLITION OF BABRI MASJID AND THE MASSACRES OF MUSLIM THAT FOLLOWED. SINCE WHEN A POLICE OFFICER’S WORD HAS BECOME LAW OF THE LAND!

 

THIS POLICE OFFICER’S REPORT WAS NEVER JUDGED FOR VERACITY AND OVER THE ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF JUST FOUR INDIVIDUALS, THE THEN HOME MINISTER, L. K. ADVANI, BANS AN ALL INDIA MUSLIM ORGANISATION ON THE SPURIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF TERROR.

 

SUBSEQUENTLY, HUNDREDS OF SIMI MEMBERS WERE ARRESTED AND TORTURE FOR POSTHOMOUSLY BELONGING TO A ‘BANNED’ ‘TERRORIST’ ORGANISATION.

 

INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS SHOULD NOT BE A PARTY TO A WITCH-HUNT OF INDIAN MUSLIMS AND FOLLOW THE CRIMINAL ABUSE OF POWER BY THE BJP LED NDA COALITION GOVERNMENT OF THE PAST.

 

IT SHOULD DO JUSTICE. IT SHOULD NOT GET BROW-BEATEN BY FASCIST PARIVAR TO SUBVERT THE LAW OF THE LAND, IN LETTER AND IN SPIRIT.

 

GHULAM MUHAMMED, MUMBAI

 

 

 

 

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/MM/navigator.asp?Daily=MMIR&login=default

 

 

 

SIMI was banned on the basis of this officer’s report

   

SP SARANG AWAD

 

Then Deputy Superintendent of Police Sarang Awad’s report had revealed SIMI’s involvement in anti-India activities

 

DEEPTIMAN TIWARY

 

 

   The Delhi High Court order on Tuesday lifted the ban on Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The news shocked Sarang Awad, Superintendent of Police (Highway Patrol), the officer on whose report the Centre issued a notification banning SIMI under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in 2001.

 

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

 

The Nagpur police in 2000 had got information that terror elements were planning to blow up the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in the city. After explosives were found at the site, a hunt was launched to find the people behind the act.

 

   A breakthrough in the case came when the Jalgaon police headed by then Dy SP Sarang Awad in May 2001 arrested four men with explosives and subversive literature. On interrogation, they revealed that they were SIMI activists, and that one of them, Sheikh Shakeel Sheikh Annan, was the president of SIMI’s Jalgaon unit. They also revealed that before planting the explosives near the RSS headquarters, they had crossed the border at Kashmir and received training from terror outfits.

 

   Awad who was the complainant and investigating officer of the case said, “We found a lot of subversive literature in Urdu and Arabic urging Muslims to join a jihad. We also found a diary with names and phone numbers of people from across the border.”

 

   Police investigations also revealed that the operatives had exchanged emails with groups across the border. Later, many operatives who were involved in the conspiracy, were arrested from Kashmir and Delhi.

 

REPORT CAUSES BAN

 

After filing the charge-sheet, Awad made a report on SIMI’s increasing involvement in subversive activities, which was forwarded to the Union government. When the Union Home Ministry, then led by L K Advani, received the report, establishing SIMI’s involvement in anti-India activities, it issued a notification banning the organisation for two years. Awad said, “We established that the accused were active SIMI members as their bank accounts were receiving funds from the SIMI unit in Delhi and Bihar. We showed SIMI’s links across the border and its activities inside the country. We had shown how educated youngsters had been imparted training in making bombs. We had solid evidence which would stand in any court and that’s why most of the accused got convicted in the case.” Awad concluded by saying, “The outfit has been a big threat to our internal security — at least that’s what I found when I prepared the report.”

 

TIMES OF INDIA DOES IT AGAIN – VI : Has The Times of India, become ‘his master’s voice’?

August 4, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

 

 

TIMES OF INDIA DOES IT AGAIN – VI

 

Has The Times of India, become ‘his master’s voice’?

 

See how it picks up the new guidelines laid down by US States Department, hires a writer with a Muslim name but with famously known extreme Leftist orientations (check his writings), and gets a hatchet job on the so-called Muslim terrorists in India.

 

The article written by Mohammed Wajihuddin was published by Sunday Edition of The Times Of India, on Aug 3, 2008 under the title: ‘Don’t give KILLERS a halo’.

 

In nutshell, it vexes, on the use of terminology of Jihad, Jihadis and counsels Times readers in India and abroad, that by naming the Killers as Jihadis, they are giving some kind of religious halo, to the killers and it should be stopped.

 

Now read a quote from ‘Human Events’, a widely circulated US internet newsletter, in which Robert Spencer writes in his May 5, 2008 article: ‘No Jihadi here’:

 

Quote:

 

Last week, the State Department, the Department of Homeland security and the National Counter Terrorism Center issued new guidelines forbidding personnel from using the words “jihad” or “jihadist” in reference to Islamic terrorism and its perpetrators. A Homeland security report tellingly titled “Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims” explains that this initiative comes from a concern not to offend moderate Muslims. By calling the terrorists “jihadists,” American officials could be “unintentionally portraying terrorists, who lack moral and religious legitimacy, as brave fighters, legitimate soldiers or spokesmen for ordinary Muslims.” Using the term “jihad” may not be “strategic.” Why not? “Because it glamorizes terrorism, imbues terrorists with religious authority they do not have and damages relations with Muslims around the world.” American officials “should not concede the terrorists’ claim that they are legitimate adherents of Islam.”

 

Unquote—

 

(http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26256&keywords=No+Jihadi+here)

 

 

Now it is for all Indians to judge, if Times of India, like a bonded slave, following the dictates of US State Department, US Department of Homeland Security, has agreed to carry out a campaign on behalf of the US warmongers?

 

The worst part of Times of India brand of proactive journalism is to let his writer use quotes from obliging Muslim commentators, who are possibly unaware of the wider designs of Times of India’s collaboration with a foreign nation.

 

One is sure that liberals like Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Asghar Ali Engineer, A.G. Noorani, Dr. J. S. Bandukwala as well as conservative Islamic scholar, Maulana Abu Hassan Nadvi Azhari, would be the first to be objecting to any involvement with a US Government based effort to influence Indians one way or other. None of them is clearly in the pay of the US Administration. They may be critical of so many incongruities in Muslim world. However, all of them are on record condemning the US, for its illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The writer Wajihuddin had taken them for a ride, without giving full background to his motivation to follow the US line on how to deal with the Muslim at large through their deliberative change of official policies while he used their name and quotes to tailor his own agenda.

 

In his article Wajihuddin’s history starts with Syed Qutub, Hassan al Banna and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi.  Wajihuddin has failed to go back in history, when even in earlier centuries the imperialist powers had dreaded the very word of ‘Jihad’. British colonists supported Gulam Ahmed Mirza, the Ahmedi /Qadiani leader when he carried out his campaign against Jihad. British were most supportive of the ever increasing popularity of the earlier Tabligi Jamat movement, whose adherents toured every nook and corner of India, to exhort Muslims to strictly restrict themselves to prayers and shun Jihad, as any part of Islamic teachings.

 

It should not be surprising, that Wajihuddin/TOI has used the first title of the article as UNHOLY WAR. Since Wajihuddin has not bothered to write a single word against US war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be presumed that possibly he is convinced that President Bush is fighting a HOLY WAR in Iraq and Afghanistan and whoever opposes him, and that should include an overwhelming majority of world’s population, as clearly made out by a US poll, are in fact fighting an UNHOLY WAR against the US.

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

http://www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

 

PS: TOI’s article:

 http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/TOI/navigator.asp?Daily=TOIM&login=default&AW=1217769790390

 

 

UNHOLY WAR

 

 

‘Don’t give KILLERS a halo’

 

 

 

The Indian Mujahideen and others like them have shorn jihad of its moral and spiritual robe, says Mohammed Wajihuddin

 

 

 

 

   Two weeks ago, Zeenat Shaukat Ali, who teaches Islamic studies at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, screened Khuda Ke Liye, the widely acclaimed Pakistani film, for her students. During the subsequent discussion, many students asked Ali whether jihad, as the moderate Maulana Wali (Naseeruddin Shah) so passionately explains in the film, is not a war against infidels. “I am constantly asked whether killing of infidels and forced conversions are part of a jihad,’’ says Ali. “Every year, I give two lectures on jihad alone.’’

 

   That Ali’s students know so little about jihad is no news. Though this term is overused, no Quranic word has been more misinterpreted and misquoted than jihad and its derivative mujahid (one who undertakes jihad). Even those who bombed Bangalore and Ahmedabad last week chose to identify themselves as the Indian Mujahideen. Like their fellow travellers in Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Harkat-Ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), the Indian Mujahideen, if they exist at all, have conveniently misappropriated a sacred Islamic word for un-Islamic acts. Outside the Muslim world it is as loosely used—noted security experts, including B Raman, called the Indian Mujahideen among the “Indianised jihadis’’.

 

   “The word jihad appears 44 times in the Quran. Nowhere has it been used in the sense of a war,’’ says Islamic scholar Asghar Ali Engineer who has deeply studied the exact contexts of jihad in the Quran.

 

   Derived from the Arabic word ‘juhd’, jihad literally means to strive, to struggle. For war or battle, Engineer explains, the Quran has words like ‘qatal’ and ‘harb’.

 

   Engineer, like most Islamic scholars, both progressive and conservative, blames the media for loosely using the term jihadis for mass murders or terrorists. “Jihad is the media’s pet word today. Unknowingly or otherwise, the media gives the merchants of death a halo when it calls them jihadis,’’ he says. The brutal bomber is perhaps gloating when he is called a jihadi or a mujahid because that gives him a religious sanctity, elevates him to a pedestal he doesn’t deserve.

 

   If a “prejudiced’’ media has distorted terms like jihad and mujahid, Muslims themselves, especially the clergy, are no less irresponsible. Bhiwandi-based noted cleric Maulana Abu Hassan Nadvi Azhari accepts that the Muslims have failed to explain many things, including the concept of jihad, to the world. “Prophet Muhammad participated in 27 battles. But none of his warfare was offensive. He was forced to engage in battles where he had to defend himself and his then nascent community. This needs to be explained widely,’’ says Maulana Azhari, who trained at the Cairo-based famous Islamic seminary Al-Azhar.

 

   Maulana Azhari cites a classic example from the Prophet’s life where the founder of Islam articulated the importance of peace over war. On returning from a battle in Tabuk, outside Medina, the Prophet declared: “We return from the little jihad to the greater jihad.’’ “To engage in a combat is little jihad, but to fight the evils within, to overcome envy and spread peace is a greater jihad,’’ explains Maulana Azhari.

 

   Jihad was never the central tenet of Islam. It’s not even among the five pillars of Islam: Kalima (belief in Allah and His Prophet), namaz, roza, haj and zakat (charity).

 

   Jihad, even if it is used to describe conventional warfare for purely defensive purposes, can only be declared by qualified ulema (clerics), not by some misguided youths avenging real or imaginary injustices. “A war for territory like the Palestinians’ struggle to get their occupied land back cannot be called a jihad. That doesn’t mean the Palestinians don’t deserve their land,’’ says Vadodara-based scholar-peace activist J S Bandookwala who miraculously escaped the wrath of a marauding mob during the genocide of Gujarat 2002.

 

   Some scholars are worried at how a handful of hardcore political thinkers have hijacked jihad, denuding it off its spiritual and moral robe. Noted legal luminary-scholar A G Noorani has, through his writings, often opposed the so-called jihadis for misusing the ideal of jihad. After 9/11, a deeply anguished Noorani penned a slim book called Islam and Jihad where he named three personalities who misused jihad: Hasan al-Banna (1906-’49) who founded Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; Syed Qutb (1906-’66) who succeeded him on al-Banna’s assassination in 1949; and Maulana Abul-Ala Maududi (1903-’70) who founded Jamaat-e-Islami in Lahore on August 26, 1941. These ideologues propounded the theory that jihad could be used as a weapon to realise the dream of an Islamic State.

 

   “Maududi was opposed to the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan on the ground that nationalism was against the Islamic concept of the unity of the ummah,’’ writes Noorani. Interestingly, Maududi went to Pakistan after Partition. Noorani refers to Frederic Grare’s seminal book Political Islam In The Subcontinent which says: “He (Maududi) demanded a universal jihad, which he declared to be the central tenet of Islam. No major Muslim thinker had ever made this claim before.’’

 

   Decades later, a group of Maududi’s followers founded the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), now banned. “Jamaat-e-Islami distanced itself from SIMI when they deviated from the Jamaat’s principle. But anyone who fights injustice is a jihadi,’’ says Aslam Ghazi, Jamaat-e-Islami’s spokesperson in Maharashtra.

 

   Call them what you may, but don’t call mass murders jihadis or mujahideen.

 

TNN

mohammed.wajihuddin@timesgroup.com

 

 

July 31, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

 

 

 

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

 

 

Sushma Swaraj breaks the conspiracy of silence

 

 

 

Incensed by the blatant display of defiance, the serial bomb blast, however symbolic they may be, in the two BJP ruled state, within days of BJP’s humiliating defeat in Lok Sabha trust vote, when several of its own members, so famously committed to BJP/RSS Hindutva ideology, defected to UPA side, Sushma Swaraj public statement during a TV interview was long on coming.

 

 

She directly blamed Congress for the bomb blasts in Gujarat. According to reports she alleged that the weekend blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad were a conspiracy to divert attention from the ‘cash-for-vote’ scandal. She said: The blasts are a conspiracy to divert attention from the cash-for-vote scandal, claiming that the incidents took place just a few days after the government won the trust vote. With a note of finality she added: “These are not off-the-cuff remarks. I mean what I say.”

 

 

 

Coming from a front-ranking Member of Parliament of the opposition, blaming the ruling Congress party for organizing serial bomb blasts, in two highly industrialized states in India, where BJP is now ruling, it shook the whole political establishment in India. Fresh from the open resort to horse-trading in MPs switching over from various opposition parties, the blame of actually organizing bomb blasts in which Indian citizens were killed and injured is something Congress can hardly stomach lying low. It apparently showed how far the two major political groups have fallen apart in as much as both are blaming each other for high criminal acts of massacres of innocent people through mass murder devices.

 

 

 

However much it may be said, that while both the parties have gone over board in blaming each other, there can be no smoke without fire. Even though the outraged media, from Times of India to Indian Express, Economic Times, Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Free Press Journal, all wrote editorials on the appalling nature of Sushma charges, all their efforts to paper over the crimes of the past, could hardly be suppressed.

 

 

 

In fact, Congress has been widely known in Muslim circles, to be in active collaboration if not actually using RSS cadre, to organize communal riots, targeting Muslims all around the country, throughout the 60 years of independence and even during freedom struggle days. The Rajeshwar Dayal episode is all on record.

 

 

 

The Sushma Swaraj outburst is more credible, as Samajwadi Party has now joined Congress in the new bail out arrangement and the proximity of SIMI to Samajwadi Party who had lifted the ban of them in Uttar Pradesh when they were in power there, could be a new alternative to Hindutva cadre that Congress can now use as muscle power, whenever it may need them. It is this factor that is intensely galling to the BJP. It is the cry of the jilted.

 

 

 

For all practical purpose, the war on India that Narendra Modi, has spoken about has turned into a civil war and common people will be mute victims of the spectacular changes in Indian polity from now on, much more bloody, much more ruinous, much more divisive than India has seen in the past. As they say, chickens have come home to roost.

 

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

Muslims should think and vote regional – By Ghulam Muhammed

June 1, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

 

 

Muslims should think and vote regional

 

By Ghulam Muhammed

 

Karnataka election victory of BJP has started a media frenzy to predict the imminent doom of Indian National Congress. All sorts of calculations are projected to nail the point that Congress is sure to lose the next Lok Sabha elections and BJP and its allies will form the next government at the center.

 

The whole scenario points to regionalization of Indian politics. The national stature of Indian National Congress has been declining since the demolition of Babri Masjid and the Muslim voters’ rejection of Congress as their true friend and ally, in confrontation with Hindutva and RSS forces. Like Congress, Indian Muslims too had an all India presence and this factor had immensely benefited Congress to maintain its national presence and relevance. With each election after the imposition of PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh team on Congress and the nation, the all India presence is being challenged not by BJP as clear alternative, but more regional parties. States have realized that Congress and/or any other National party, is seriously handicapped in being responsive to the genuine needs of one or other state, while it has to look to other states clamouring for similar sops. The resulting deadlock, or indefinite postponement of vital decisions so crucial to individual states, damages the credibility or bona fide of the national party.

 

When a Raj Thackeray comes out with sons of the soil demand, mere platitude about national integrity would not suffice. The rat race in on! Some states have already got cozy niche in Central government, while others are waiting their turn as the next change of coalition equation.

 

Under such circumstance, Indian Muslims too should think regional. They should identify themselves with local strong groups, rather than the political parties with national ambitions, especially those with Brahminical leadership — like Congress, BJP or CPM.

 

The current TMM campaign to get old Nawab Masjid in Vellore Fort, open for prayers, shows how Congress being a national party, had to play divisive communal politics of the worst kind when ASI under central jurisdiction, finds it convenient to allow a temple and a church to be handed over to their respective group while refusing the same yardstick of justice for Muslims. The injustice is so glaring that Congress leadership just cannot defend its communal policy with any degree of reasonable excuses. This is a case of high crime of communal discrimination against Muslims. However, Congress worry is not confined to only Tamil Nadu. It is apprehensive that if it gives in now to the just Muslim demands in Tamil Nadu, that would become precedent all over India. Being a national party it cannot afford to lose its bigger constituency of Hindu communalists, while ‘appeasing’ the Muslims in Tamil Nadu. It is time, therefore, for Muslims to relieve the Congress of this onerous duty to be just and appear to appease the Muslims, and shift their votes to regional parties, with whom they can be in a better position to bargain. Let Muslims and Congress not be emotional about such a parting of the way; as it is in the best interest of the nation, that the straitjacket of pseudo-secularism that Congress is wearing, should no longer force it to deny justice and fair-play to the Muslims.

 

Muslims however, should be very very vigilant that they keep out of the dragnet of Brahmin formations. Each and every political grouping, if dominated by the high-caste, like even BSP should be summarily rejected. Muslims should only cooperate with OBC and Dalits and SC/ST, to the complete exclusion of the criminal gang of exploiters, that will not relinquish their stranglehold on levers of power and pelf, unless they are clearly, publicly identifies and ostracized, just as they themselves ostracized the Dalits and the Malechas.

 

Muslim organisations, like Jamiatul Ulama, Jamaat e Islami, Mushawarat, Milli Council together with regional Muslim organisations should openly go regional. The Delhi based Muslim organisations should be humble enough to cooperate and even accept the leadership of regional Muslim organisations, especially from South and East. They should together come out with their favorites in each state, right from the very beginning of the campaigns that are now in full swing.

 

The first order of priority is not to think that Congress is our only saviour. All Brahmins think alike. If Congress has its Babri, BJP has its Gujarat, CPM has its Nandigram. All such crimes should be punished at the ballot box and better take care of the ballot box rigging too.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS POSTED ON ‘INDIAN MUSLIM’ BLOGSITE

May 31, 2008

 

COMMENTS POSTED ON ‘INDIAN MUSLIM’ BLOGSITE:

 

Saturday, May 31, 2008

 

There is serious flaw in not considering within proper context, Maulana Maududi’s verdict on Muslims that remained back in India, after an ‘Islamic state’ is formed where their religion and their Islamic way of life was to be protected from the kind of discriminations that were the starting point of the demand for a separate state/province for Muslims.

 

MM was responding to a question, the notorious kind that journalists invariably ask, more for argument and less for information. MM’s sarcastic line of argument should not be interpreted to mean that he ‘advocates’ or ‘prefers’ harsh treatment of Indian Muslims by their new ‘Hindu’ rulers. He possibly was encouraging them to appreciate the quality of religious and social life they will enjoy in the new Islamic state of Pakistan and at the same time scaring them of the dire consequences of remaining back in ‘Hindu’ India. He was all for Muslims to migrate in the best tradition of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).

 

At that stage, neither MM not Maulana Israr Ahmed, could have imagined that India, at least legally as per its constitution, would not become a Hindu religious state; even though in practice it already had become a Brahmin dominated state. Religious freedom to some extant was available to Indian Muslims in British rule too. But the thought of British handing effective power to highly communalised Brahmin rulers of independent India, was naturally nightmarish to practically all Muslims across the board, in terms of new religious/political changes in the country.

 

In the event, even though India is still highly communalised, its legal system, its constitutional safeguards to a large extent, give Indian Muslims a fair chance to rise up and even govern the country, if they can play the political game according to the new rules of the game. If a US or Israel can organise and manage a peaceful ‘regime change’ without firing a single shot; who has stopped the Muslims to get their due in their own land.

 

The problem with Muslims and especially with the Indian Muslim in the context of present discussion is that they just do not have what it takes to assume the role of the leader of the nation or nations. A shift of focus from the clamouring about immediate bread and butter issues to the higher level of resolve to help humanity at large could possibly bring in much better results. Islam at this juncture has so much positive to contribute to the world, that it will be a big mistake if we the Muslims should squander our energy and intellectual assets to fight internecine one-upmanship.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

Indian Muslims <http://indianmuslim.in&gt; 

 

Maulana Maududi’s Terrifying Vision for Indian Muslims

 

Posted: 30 May 2008 06:49 PM CDT

 

Maulana Maududi’s estranged disciple and Tanzeem-e-Islami chief Dr. Israr Ahmed appearing on the Jawabdeh program of GEO television in 2005 made some startling remarks about Indian Muslims. According to a published report of the program in the liberal Daily Times he reportedly said the following:

 

 In an Islamic state non-Muslims would be second-class citizens. He said if India decided after that to declare all Muslims second-class citizens then that would be right too. He said Muslims had fought in India on the claim that they were a different nation. There was no harm if India considered its Muslims a separate nation.[1] 

 

Dr. Israr Ahmed’s lack of concern for the protection of the rights of India’s Muslims is hardly surprising when looked through the prism of the views of his mentor Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi. Both were comfortable with a possible political scenario in India where the nation’s Muslims were reduced to second class citizens.

 

In the often cited Munir Commission report Maulana Maududi emphatically said in reply to a query that he will have no problem if Indian Muslims were treated on par with the Malechas or “untouchables.”  He was asked the question, “If we have this form of Islamic government in Pakistan, will you permit the Hindus to base their constitution on the basis of their religion?” He reportedly replied, “I should have no objection even if the Muslims of India are treated in that form of Government as shudras and malishes and Manu’s laws are applied to them, depriving them of all share in the Government and the rights of a citizen. In fact, such a state of affairs already exists in India.”[2]

 

But the venerable Maulana later on denied making such a statement. In a letter to Dr. Nejatullah Siddiqi, he wrote:

 

There is a fair amount of distortion in things attributed to me in Munir Report. Actually, I did not say that Manu’s Dharma Shastra be introduced in India, and that I would concur with the treatment of Muslims as Mleccas and Shudras. In fact these were [Justice Muhammad] Munir Sahib’s own remarks which he attributed to me. His question was: “If you want an Islamic government, would you then agree if a Hindu government is formed in India, where Manu’s Dharma Shastra would be introduced.” What I had told him [Justice Munir] was that it is up to Hindus to decide what they wanted to do and what they did not want to do. They will not ask us what form of system they would establish. Our task is to work according to our belief and faith wherever we have the option. As to India , there the Hindus will do whatever they want to whether we agree with them or not.”

 

Despite the denial there are at least two other instances where the Maulana made known his contempt for Indian Muslims?  A booklet titled Jamaat-e-Islami Ki Dawat contains a speech made by Maulana Maududi on May 10, 1947. In it he says:

 

It appears now certain that the country will be partitioned. One portion of India will be given to the Muslim majority and the other will be controlled by the non-Muslims. In the first part (Pakistan) we shall mobilize public opinion to base Pakistan’s constitution on the Islamic laws. In the other part we will be in a minority and you (Hindus) will be in a majority. We would request you to study the lives and teachings of Ramchandra, Krishnaji, Buddha, Guru Nanak and other sages. Please study the Vedas, Puranas, Shastras and other books. And if you cull out any divine guidance from these, we would request you to base your constitution on this guidance. We would request you to treat us exactly on the lines of the teachings of your religions. We would raise no objections. [3]

 

Further evidence of Maulana Maududi’s disdain for Indian Muslims is evident from his following answer to a question regarding the permissibility of a Pakistani male citizen marrying an Indian Muslim female:

 

Answer: As far as I know the Quran’s derivative is that there can be no relations of inheritance and marriage between the residents of Darul Islam and Darul Kufr…From now on there should be no marital relations between Indian and Pakistani Muslims.”[4]

 

This shows that the Maulana not only disregarded the plight of Indian Muslims but also considered them unequal to Pakistani Muslims.

 

It is the good fortune of Indian Muslims that the founding fathers and the present rulers of   India did not heed the calls of Maulana Maududi or an Israr Ahmed. As it is the nation’s imperfect democracy has relegated the community to the most backward status. One can only imagine what would have been the scenario if a theocracy was imposed upon them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_4-10-2005_pg3_3

 

[2] Report of the Court of Inquiry …to Enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953. (Lahore: Superintendent of Government Printing, 1954), p.228. Cited in Dr. Omar Khalidi’s ‘Between Muslim Nationalists and Nationalist Muslims: Mawdudi’s Thoughts on Indian Muslims. (New Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies, 2004)

 

[3] Cited in S.E.Hasnain’s Indian Muslims: Challenges & Opportunities (Bombay: Lalvani Publishing House, 1968) pp.51-52.

 

[4] Mahnama Tarjumanul Quran, September 1951. Cited in Khalid Waheed Falahi’s Hindustan Mein Zaat Paat Aur Musalman.  p. 357.

 

 

There Are No Role Models – Indian Muslim suffer from a lack of leadership

May 30, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

 

 

TO: The Editor, The Times of India, Mumbai

 

RE: Leader article: There Are No Role Models – Indian Muslim suffer from a lack of leadership

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-3084012,flstry-1.cms#write

 

MJ AKBAR has erred in trying to search for a flesh and bones leader of Indian Muslims when he writes that there are no role Models.

 

It is ironical that when Irshad Haqqani, one of senior Pakistani journalists is writing in Urdu and his article is published in URDU TIMES Mumbai on the same day TOI published Akbar’s article, describes how Israel’s doughty Prime Minister Golda Meir replied to a Washington Post interviewer, as to how she made up her mind to order huge amounts of guns, missiles and planes for 1973 war with her neighbours? He asked: Whether it was a spur of the moment decision or an old calculated strategy, as her entire cabinet was against it, citing heavy costs. Golda Meir said, I found my reasoning from the career of Prophet Mohammed, about whom I had studied in my comparative religious study classes in student days. When the Prophet died, his wife had to sell his shield to buy oil to light the lamp. Still he had nine swords hanging on the walls. History does not record his poverty. His triumphs are legend. Golda Meir reasoned that Israel’s history will not record how poor and destitute the Jews were during those early days. Only our triumph will be remembered and copied.

 

With a role model like the prophet, who had inspired even the present day Muslim’s worst enemies, how MJ Akbar seems to be complaining that Muslims have no role model?

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

http://www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

LEADER ARTICLE: There Are No Role Models
30 May 2008, 0034 hrs IST , M J Akbar

 

 

 

Bollywood is the clearest mirror of popular perceptions, reflecting part of the truth even as it shapes other parts.

 

Truth, after all, is a set of fragments, some contradictory, some complementary. When and how did the Indian Muslim become an indelible part of the Bollywood underworld.

 

The arc of decline from the misty world of Nawabs in Mere Mehboob to the sentimental glitz of goons in Maqbool is a trajectory of shifting role models among Muslim youth.

 

Villains change on screen as necessarily as they shift outside the cinema hall. The three stereotype villains of the Fifties all belonged to upper Hindu castes.

 

There was the violent, exploitative Thakur, whether in a classic like the Dilip Kumar-Vyjanthimala Madhumati or a potboiler like the Dharmendra-Jayalalitha Izzat.

 

The scheming Brahmin, Narada, was a constant of mythologicals. The Bania moneylender, epitomised in Mother India, was the worst, leering at women and extracting wealth out of famine.

 

These were not single-dimensional images: there was also the noble, patriotic, generous Thakur syndrome, for instance.

 

Perhaps the most powerful symbol of Sholay was the armless Thakur, turned impotent in the line of duty. Eventually, happy-go-lucky vagrants destroyed the evil Gabbar Singh.

 

By 1976 the saviour had become a variation of the emerging audience. As befits the new corporate age, crime became more professional and sophisticated, and space between smuggling, business and politics narrowed.

 

Gradually, the Muslim became the primary face among the foot soldiers of the underworld.

 

A role model must merge contemporary compulsions and aspirations. The model for young Muslims in the 1940s was obviously Jinnah.

 

They were oblivious of the traumatic potential of partition, and were charred by the killing hot winds of 1947 and the Fifties. Nehru, rather than Gandhi (who they had rejected), became the new model as he began, gently, to restore their self-confidence and nurture some degree of security.

 

But the security was partial, and Nehru did little to reverse the marginalisation of Muslims from the economy.

 

The Sixties were the decade of despair. Desperation discovered a strange role model: Haji Mastan. In the disturbed, distraught and fragmented mind of Muslim youth of the Sixties, no one else seemed to be giving Muslims any jobs.

 

Since they had no faith in the white economy, and the white economy seemed to have no faith in them, they turned to the black economy.

 

Haji Mastan was so impressed by the support he seemed to get from the community that he even started a political party. It did not work because crime does not work.

 

What was the alternative? The elite had disappeared on the auction blocks of Lucknow and Hyderabad (pace Mere Mehboob); the professional middle class of the north had migrated to Pakistan in large numbers.

 

 

 

Muslims felt deeply betrayed by Congress politicians, with their litany of double standards. The anger sharpened during the politics of Babri Masjid: the Congress was responsible for everything, from the opening of the locks in 1948 to laying the foundation stone of the temple in 1989 to indifference while the mosque was destroyed in 1992.

 

The BJP was the perceived enemy, of course, but the BJP could not be accused of betrayal, because it had never been trusted.

 

In this vacuum, the hysterical mullah, or his counterpart, became the role model of the Seventies and Eighties. There is little point in naming the prominent among them, for they turned irrelevant as quickly as they ascended.

 

The demolition of Babri in 1992, the riots that followed and the bomb blasts of Mumbai in 1993 were a historical watershed.

 

You cannot be disillusioned if you do not entertain illusions, so there was no rise in bitterness against the Congress; but there was sudden disillusionment with the Muslim purveyors of rabid rhetoric.

 

The role model split after Babri. The overwhelming sentiment is for a new Sir Sayyid Ahmad, founder of Aligarh Muslim University, who argued that salvation lay in both English and the English, the emblems of progress and success.

 

This is not a revival of the politics of separation; Indian Muslims know that they are the chief victims of partition.

 

This is a revival of the culture of modern education. I have argued at every public forum, and in my writing, that this thrust will not achieve its full potential until the girl child gets an equal place in the Indian Muslim’s quest for modernity. If gender bias is not eliminated, Indian Muslims cannot enter the 20th century, let alone the 21st. The good news is that girls are being educated in far greater numbers than ever before.

 

But there was another role model lurking in a corner of the consciousness, born out of the belief that those who started riots against Muslims were stopped only because of the 1993 blasts.

 

The anger of the victim justified terrorism. This is a minuscule section, but it exists and has merged its fantasies with the Osama bin Laden phenomenon.

 

This is the wart that could poison the future. It will not be eliminated by arbitrary repression; but it can disappear with the assimilation of the community into economic growth and educational opportunity.

 

Fifteen years after the watershed moment of 1992, Indian Muslims have reached another crossroads. The overwhelming majority will travel the road towards progress out of nothing more complicated than common sense.

 

But there is a regressive minority within this minority. It needs as never before the leadership of a modern Sir Sayyid. History has offered a role, but there is no one capable of being model.

 

(The writer is a journalist and author.) 

 

 

 

Khuda ke liye – leave us alone

April 14, 2008

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

 

———————————————

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.

THE TIMES OF INDIA DOES IT AGAIN – IV

April 2, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

 

THE TIMES OF INDIA DOES IT AGAIN – IV

 

S. Balakrishnan is a senior reporter of TOI-Mumbai’s print edition. His career at the Times has been long and very opportunistic. He is not the one to carry any story on the basis of his considerable grounding in journalistic fundamentals. He is in effect, his master’s voice. Time and again over the last 20 years, especially after the Bombay Blasts, he completely identifies with some elements in Mumbai police circles that have some personal equations with the supposed masterminds of the Bombay Bomb blasts. The jugalbandi of criminals and police in any urban center, with ever increasing stakes in new developmental progress, is nothing surprising. Long before the 1993 Bombay Bomb Blasts, the very sinister nature of the nexus between the police and the underworld in the city of Bombay was virtually the talk of the town. With the bomb blasts, communal elements in the Police force had made the issue as the test of patriotism. As if the criminal infamy tied to Mumbai police’s reputation can be whitewashed with some kind of a badge of patriotism under cover of which they could sow the seeds of their criminal demonisation of a section of Indian citizenry while continue their nefarious activities. This was to gain power to thwart all attempts to bring the culprits in police force to book and to reform the whole system of policing that had the stamp of colonial ‘gora sahib’ mentality running into police interaction with the rest of civil society.

 

It is apparent that the Times of India has become a very convenient and potent tool in the hands of rank communalists to demonize Muslim citizens of India in its collective identity and to divide them into sects by sowing dissensions and divisions.

 

Besides, Balakrishnan’s short but very dangerous exercise in bringing Ahle Hadith school of thought into the mainstream of Muslim identities in India as something sinister appears to have direct links with the international demonisation of Salafi school of thought by proactive Jewish/Zionist movements in world media owned and directed by Jewish Media barons. Jews are formidable foes of Muslims and they are now bringing their fight onward into India and introduce a new element of division and strife that can only undermine India’s peace, security and social stability.

 

The Times of India has thus become an open tool to propagate a foreign agenda into India, without considering the implications of this exercise in media management and disinformation to the fragile peace and communal amity of the Indian society.

 

Not many people are aware that Salafi school of thought that is locally known as Ahle-Hadis have been at the forefront of India’s freedom struggle right from early nineteenth century. Their efforts can be dated to 1802, when Haji Shariatullah started a movement for reforms in Muslim polity and combined it with the opposition to the British colonial incursions that he wisely foresaw as the precursor to the disintegration of India’s native fabric of religious, cultural and social tapestry. His movement started first in Bengal which was the hub of British colonial conspiracies.

 

Mohsinuddin Ahmed Doodoo Miyan (1819-1860), son of Haji Shariatullah, carried forward the movement of social reform in conjunction with struggle for freedom from foreign rule. Their struggle coincided with the two famous Shaheeds, Syed Ahmed Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed, who raised an army to fight the British. From 1827 to 1831 they had many clashes with the enemy. At Balacoat, 300 were martyred. Maulana Wilayat Ali and Maulana Inayat Ali headed the Imarat to counter the British. However, the British used the same ‘divide and rule’ strategies that are now being initiated through the likes of S. Balakrishnan, and got Sikhs to join the fight with them to defeat the freedom fighters. Even a cursory glance over the history of India will convince the skeptics that western imperialist powers have always conspired by promoting divisions within India, by separating in the name of religion, castes, sub-castes, regions, languages and vested interest groups and getting their upper hand over the land and its people. India divided is India enslaved.

 

It is time the Jains and the Krishnans rise up from their stupor of power and pelf and reflect as to what is in the best interest of the nation and not fight the wars of the West on their own soil by creating strife within their own people. This is the most convoluted notion of patriotism.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

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