Posts Tagged ‘Tavleen Singh’

Tavleen Singh’s lesson to Obama – By Ghulam Muhammed

June 8, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tavleen Singh’s lesson to Obama

Tavleen Singh’s article: Osama needs some more lessons in Islam, published in The Indian Express, is like the dropping of the second shoe, without which Indiawould not have slept that night. 

The resounding silence that could be heard all across the Indian nation, while the world tuned in to Obama’s speech at Cairo boldly and generously embracing Muslim world, was more painful in the backdrop of the most successful marginalization of Muslims in India

Tavleen Singh,. a writer famous for her thin skin as far as Islam and Muslims are concerned, was typical of the ultra jingoists, who could hardly breath, while world’s lone super power, had engaged the Muslim world so publicly and so passionately  and offering them a new strategic alliance for the peace of the world. 

The name of the emotion that gripped a section of the Hindutva elements was nothing but  sheer jealousy. 

How can they tolerate that the Muslims who had ‘brutalized’ the Hindu over centuries and now finally been successfully divided in three parts in the sub-continent so as to render them insignificant in the comity of nations, should be given so much attention, so much lauding, so much importance that bordered on virtual call for peace negotiation after a virtual defeat that stared the US in the face. And all because of a handful of al Qaida ‘terrorists’, who seems to have pinned down their mighty army in these God-forsaken lands!

What a sudden change of fortune. It was only yesterday, when India was in love with President Bush and America‘s Jewish lobby has been working overtime to favour India, in its quest to find a new strategic partnership with their country and a new set of close relationship with Israel, ensuring billions of dollars worth of defense rearmament. In this equation, India‘s own 150 million Muslim were so totally marginalized, as if they deserved to be punished for their crimes of the past.

So it was a nightmare for the likes of Tavleen Singh to finish watching the worldwide telecast of Obama speech without him mentioning neither India nor the Hindus, even once in his hour long love fest with Islam. For TOI Washington correspondence, it was a relief that Obama left out Kashmir in his speech.

Tavleen had to react by puking her bile and offering her unsolicited lessons in Islam to the untutored Obama. Indian Express site mentions that her diatribe was the most emailed article of the day. Doubtless she has legions of supporters, who felt just like her, dejected and ignored, if not betrayed.

However, this is the worst case of insecurity and inferiority complex being so blatantly displayed in India‘s English media. India need not have cringed. It is great nation and it has great destiny ahead, if only it comes out of its exclusivity shell.

In the event, the world will not ignore India‘s adverse reaction to Obama speech.India and Israel were the only two nations in the world that had come out against Obama’s opening towards Islam. Israel’s reasons are obvious; India’s reasons are still obscure to the world.

Indian Muslims are a far cry from the Osama brigade and even though they have been institutionally discriminated against and reduced to the worst of the lot, they have remained peaceful all throughout the last 60 years of Indian’s freedom from the British.

In the recent elections, they had reverted to tactical support to Indian National Congress, which came out with a manifestly large clutch of parliamentary seats that virtually enabled it to dictate its terms to coalition partners. Though all around the nation media and intelligentsia are openly mentioning how Muslim support to Congress has turned the tide for Congress, the arrogant Congress leaders have yet to find the courage to cultivate the magnanimity to acknowledge Muslim debt and offer them their rightful place in the political formations.

Now that Obama has shown a different mode of reassessing the Muslim world and Islam, Indian leadership is demonstrably peeved. Only reckless commentators are wallowing in their own grief and writing poison articles. That can not delay the morn that is bound to break out from within this dark night of bigotry and prejudice.

Indian Express did try to balance the reactions to Obama’s Cairo speech on Islam, by publishing the next article by Sudheendra Kulkarni, on the same page. It is remarkable, how a liberal turned Hindutvadi had gathered up the courage to call for a positive engagement with the Muslims, even to his own extremist Hindutva party which finds itself at a dead end while stuck in the rut of hate and prejudice.


Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


on, 8 Jun 2009


 Obama needs some more lessons in Islam

Tavleen SinghPosted: Sunday , Jun 07, 2009 at 0342 hrs IST




The day before President Obama set off to win Muslim hearts and minds last week, I had an interesting conversation about Islam with a Lebanese gentleman and his wife. I met them at a discourse by an ex-Buddhist monk who smiled a lot and talked of happiness. It was when he said that all religions were the same that trouble began. An Indian friend I was with pointed out that Indian religions did not urge believers to rush off and brutalise (or convert) the nearest unbeliever while Islam did. This made the Lebanese lady angry and she stomped off asserting that the Koran said ‘to each his own belief’.

Then her husband got really angry when the subject of women’s rights came up. He said the Prophet of Islam had given more rights to women than anyone ever. I pointed out that what was progressive fourteen hundred years ago may not be progressive today. Many Islamic countries continue to declare nine as the age of consent for girls because the Prophet’s wife Ayesha was nine. I drew his attention to the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia (the Prophet’s native place) and reminded him that 60 girls were burned alive in a hostel some years ago because the morality police would not let them out unveiled. This infuriated him. “What about Mumbai,” he said, “where they sell the eyes and liver of young girls. If you hit on Saudi Arabia I will hit on Mumbai.”

I recount this exchange to make the point that when it comes to winning hearts and minds, the exercise must happen both ways. It is not just President Obama who should be required to do all the ‘outreaching’; the Muslim world has its share to do as well. Why should Saudi Arabia be allowed to get away with funding virulent strains of Islam in countries like ours? Why should Pakistan get away with textbooks that teach school children about ‘evil’ Hindus and Jews? Why should Pakistan get away with releasing Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed?

What is the point of fighting the Taliban in Swat and Waziristan if you can release the man who created the Lashkar-e-Toiba? The organisation he created has been declared a terrorist organisation not just by us but by the United States. It has been responsible for terrorist acts on Indian soil, including the attack on Mumbai. By any standards, that makes Sayeed a terrorist. If Pakistan were serious about fighting Islamist terrorism, they would have charged Sayeed with the crime of starting a terrorist organisation. Even before Mumbai was attacked.

The jihad did not appear one morning out of a clear blue sky. It happened because of a system of education in most Islamic countries that perpetuates the idea that Islam is the best thing that happened to mankind and that pluralism is wrong in Allah’s eyes. As for us happy idol-worshipping types, we are doomed to damnation. This idea is in direct conflict with the Indian idea of ‘sarva dharma samabhaava’. But, it is more than just religion that is the problem.

The Islamic sense of grievance is now so confused that the Americans are blamed for ‘abandoning’ Afghanistan after the Russians were defeated. Now that they are back, they are blamed for interfering in Islamic affairs. In the Middle East the stated objective of the jihad is to obliterate Israel but if Israel attempts to resist this fate it is charged with being brutal to Palestinians. It may not be politically correct to say this but the truth is that there could have been a solution in Palestine decades ago if Yasser Arafat had not been corrupt and amoral. The peace treaty that nearly got signed when Bill Clinton was President was as good as anything President Obama will be able to deliver. Do Palestinians ask why it did not go through?

What saddened me most about President Obama’s speech was that without actually apologising for America’s mistakes he made it sound as if all the mistakes were on one side. It would have been nice when he mentioned American mistakes if he had mentioned a few made by Islamic countries. Pakistan ran a black market in nuclear bombs. Saudi money builds madrasas in Indian villages that poison our happy heathen atmosphere. The war with the United States was started by Osama bin Laden. India is under constant threat from terrorist groups that continue to be nurtured by the Pakistani state. The release of Sayeed is proof. And, the reaction of President Obama’s government is to give Pakistan more aid than ever before.

President Obama seems not to know that there are more Muslims in the Indian sub-continent than anywhere and that we lived in relative harmony till Saudi money started to fund Wahabi Islam.



Obama’s candour in timeless Cairo

Sudheendra Kulkarni

Posted: Sunday , Jun 07, 2009 at 0344 hrs IST

Barack Obama’s speech in Egypt on Thursday is quite simply one of the most important articulations by any world leader on the relationship between Islam and the West—indeed, between Islam and the rest of the world. The first sentence in his speech—”I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo”—is, outwardly, a tribute to the hoary civilisational past of the country and its capital. But the choice of the word ‘timeless’ also befits several themes and thoughts that flow through the speech like meandering River Nile. It is heartening to see the president of the United States approach many global issues, including issues that have created a problematic relationship between America and the Muslim community, from the standpoint of truth and justice. He made the Holy Koran’s injunction “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth” the touchstone of his speech and said, “That is what I will try to do—to speak the truth as best I can.” Like ‘truth’, the word ‘justice’ figured several times in his long, 5,802-word speech.


Obama’s choice of Egypt for delivering his much-anticipated address to the Muslim world, and his resolve to be candid and honest, reminded me of what the late Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt’s greatest novelist, said in his speech while accepting the Nobel Prize in 2006. “I am the son of two civilisations that at a certain age in history have formed a happy marriage. The first of these, seven thousand years old, is the Pharaonic civilisation; the second, one thousand four hundred years old, is the Islamic one¿Gone now is that (first) civilization—a mere story of the past. One day the great Pyramid will disappear too. But Truth and Justice will remain for as long as Mankind has a ruminative mind and a living conscience.”


Obama’s speech reached the heights of greatness because he recognised both the mortality of human beings and the immortality of the ideals that ought to guide the journey of humanity. “All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time,” he observed, and added words derived from the wisdom of the ages: “The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort—a sustained effort—to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.”


He seemed sincere in his soul-searching. “It is easier to start wars than to end them; it is easier to blame others than to look inward.” He almost admitted that America’s war on Iraq was wrong. Stating that his policy would be “Leave Iraq to Iraqis”, he added, “I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their territory or resources.” This is music to the ears of many fair critics of America. And so also is what he said on the other war that the US is engaged in. “Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there. It is agonising for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly and politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case.”


Obama is entitled to saying that “We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security.” But we in India will judge him and his administration on the basis of whether they address the root of the problem, which is that terrorists in Pakistan are, and have all along been, protected and patronised by its military rulers. If the US is entitled to worry about, and take suitable steps for, its own security because “al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11”, isn’t India, which has lost 20 times more people in attacks by Pak-based terrorists over the past nearly three decades, even more entitled to do the same? This is a question that Indians must keep asking our American friends. And it is also a question that India must be ready to answer on its own.


Obama’s Cairo speech covered a broad array of issues, from religious freedom to women’s empowerment, from the tensions between globalisation and religious-cultural identities to the need to move towards a nuclear weapons-free world. He was most impassioned on the imperative to end the Israel-Palestine conflict on the basis of fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of both sides. “Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.” I, a Hindu, await that day as keenly as any peace-loving Jew, Christian or Muslim.


I found two things missing in Obama’s speech. Firstly, he did not explore, even tangentially, the theological roots of religious intolerance and extremism. Secondly, he nowhere mentioned India in his descriptive, analytical or normative narrative. After all, India is home to the second largest Muslim population in the world. More important, in its own 1,400-year-old interaction with Islam, India has changed it in ways that would certainly interest Obama. And unlike Egypt, India’s pre-Islamic civilisation or spirituality did not simply vanish in this interaction. In talking about the “proud tradition of tolerance” in Islam, Obama says, “We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today.” Mr. Obama, if Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, presents a tolerant picture of Islam, it certainly has something to do with the civilisational and spiritual history of India.


(Write to:


Ghulam Muhammed’s Rejoinder to: Islamism is the main threat to India By Tavleen Singh

September 6, 2008


Friday, September 05, 2008


Ghulam Muhammed’s Rejoinder (embedded in blue italic text) to:


Islamism is the main threat to India


By Tavleen Singh


(Published in Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Mumbai, on Friday, September 05, 2008)


Nothing is more important in today’s world than a public debate on the growing threat of Islamism and its evil cult of death and destruction. It is a huge problem not just for us on the Indian subcontinent but in the whole world; so I am happy to talk about it any chance I get. And, because most Indian columnists are too politically correct to discuss the problem I get labeled anti-Muslim.


(You are merely parroting the neo-con Jewish line that they have fed to the western media. Islamism and terrorism were non-existent from world public discourse when the US-backed the so-called gullible ‘Jihadis’ were fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan.


Once US realised that Mulla Omar, who defeated the other two fighting forces of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Ahmed Masood in a long drawn civil war  and became the head of Taliban government of Afghanistan, was  not willing to  yield to their demands to allow oil pipeline project of UNOCAL to pass through his conquered territory, the US completely changed its strategy and resolved to throw out Taliban. As is the classis pattern developed by US and Israeli Zionists, before physically attacking and invading a country, they organise massive demonising propaganda against their target. They did it against Soviet Russia, when US President Ronald Reagan branded it as an ‘evil empire’. Taliban leader, Mulla Omar had visited US for negotiations with the US over pipeline project. But the negotiations fell through and Taliban became the no. one enemy of the ‘free world’.


If you know the whole scenario and are still brainwashed by US and Zionist propaganda, and willing to echo ‘his master’s voice’ by raising the bogey of Islamic ideology and terrorism, then you cannot escape being called a gullible soul.


It is people like you that fudge the difference between US/Israeli hegemonical worldview and an independent freedom loving secular democratic worldview, that fight phantom wars .Have gun will fight, have pen will write. They fail to exercise their own intelligence to judge the issues and events and feel cozy wrapped up in their cocoons of ignorance.


Islamism, even if at all be called an ideology driven political doctrine to conquer the world, how does that differ from several other world hegemonic doctrines? Why for India and you personally, a communist world, or a Zionist world or a Christian world order or even a Ram Rajya, is not a threat but Islam is the main threat?


Besides, in India, all religions and ideologies are free to profess and propagate as per freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. So by what yardstick you are discriminating against Islam.


If you are against Islam as a religion, and believe that religion should not enter public domain, how can you explain such a heavy intrusion of Hindu culture and mythology in state affairs so overwhelmingly dominating Indian polity, without any body declaring it as a main threat to India?


I would like to paraphrase your headline. In fact, it is bigotry that is the main threat to India.)


A debatable heritage


I bring up the subject this week because of a letter I received in response to my column last week on the death of the poet Ahmed Faraz.


The gist of that piece was that it was tragic that sixty years after independence we remained so colonized that Indians writing in English got all the credit and recognition while our best writers wrote in Indian languages and remained un-translated and ignored. Personally, I thought it was harmless bit of musing but it provoked a correspondent by name of Ghulam Muhammed to accuse me of not acknowledging Urdu as an Indian language. It was a bizarre conclusion for him to draw since nearly every writer I mentioned wrote in Urdu.


But, Ghulam Muhammed’s main purpose in writing his letter was to charge me with causing damage to ‘the Hindu-Muslim unity of the nation by her (my) warped line of communal writings’.


Happy to engage him I wrote back saying it was he who was guilty of communalism because he sought to link Urdu with Islam. It is because Pakistan did this when came into being that Urdu was replaced by Hindi in India and not given the importance it should have been except in Bollywood where it remains till today the language of Hindi cinema. It has been given renewed life by Hindi television channels who long ago abandoned AIR ‘shudh’ Hindi for Hindustani.


(Once Indian leaders agreed to the division of the country, why should they care how Pakistan is organising itself? Since Pakistan became an independent state, they had every right to claim Urdu or Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi, Pashto, Baluchi, as their national language. They chose Urdu for its wider acceptance. Where does religion come into the picture?


The main question for India that should concern us as Indian is, that once India had declared itself to be secular, how can it brand one of its own languages to be as non-secular or religious. India has no right to be communal on the pretext that Pakistan had become communal.


Besides, it is a historical record that Urdu lost to a casting vote by a person, less committed to secularism. Why Indian Muslims should be blamed for turning Urdu into something religious. It is the Hindus who forsake Urdu on communal grounds.)



But, it was not the piece about Urdu; it is about my ‘communal writings’. Ghulam Muhammed responded to my letter by writing a long, insulting letter which he circulated by –mail to everyone he knows.


It is too long to reproduce here but contact and I am sure he will send you a copy. He charges me with demonizing Muslims, while not speaking out against the ‘violence of the Hindutva kind’, of using my ‘poison pen’ to ‘succour and sustain the communalism of the majority’ and an ‘obsessive hatred of Muslims’.


It is journalists like me he says who will be responsible for the ‘disintegration of India’.


(I stand by my stand.)


These charges are made all over the world against anyone who dares raise their voice against Islamism. Writers far more famous than I have been killed for daring to speak out and some like Ayaan Hirsi Ali have been forced into permanent hiding because of their courageous stand against Islamism. Meanwhile, the popularity of Islamism among supposed moderate Muslims all over the world continues to grow as can be seen from the change in Islam that has come about in formerly liberal Islamic countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.


(Revival of religious fervor is directly related to world demonisation of Islam and Muslims after 9/11; which itself is widely reported to be an inside job. Muslims have every right to raise their voices against uncalled for and undeserved demonisation. Even overwhelming moderate majority of Muslims have now come to realise that anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim propaganda is political and ideological driven and are more vocal protestors against such Goebbellian propaganda. It is this backlash that has radicalize even liberal Islamic countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.)


Unwelcome change


In India we see the change everywhere. Liberal, moderate schools of Islamic thinking are losing the battle to those of the Darul Uloom variety who remain mired in the 7th century Arabia. Anyone who doubts this need to make a quick trip to the Darul Uloom’s headquarters in Deoband and see what it looks like and the kind of Islam it preaches to its students. It was the ideology preached at Deoband that gave birth to nasty organisation like SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India). There are those who defend SIMI on the grounds that the allegations of terrorism against their member remain unproven. Perhaps. But, what about their ideology that is based on the principle that the values of Islam have to be imposed on India and that such values that India cherishes like secularism and democracy are nonsense. Surely it is this kind of ideology that produces evil cowards who wander about the country killing innocent people in the name of Allah.


(Your charges against Darul Uloom and SIMI are baseless. Darul Uloom has been teaching the same Dars e Nizami syllabus since its inception over more than a century ago. It is the same teachings that motivated Darul Uloom elders to oppose the establishment of Pakistan. Nobody can deny except the ignorant, that Darul Uloom was in the forefront of India’s unity and it backed Indian National Congress to the fullest. How the same Darul Uloom now has become ‘the hotbed of terrorism’. Isn’t this the US propaganda that gullible scribes in India are slavishly following?


The connection between Taliban and Darul Uloom is most outlandish. When US had to fight young generation of the Afghan refugees that had fled to Pakistan during Afghanistan’s war against the occupying Soviet forces, they chose the common linkages in the syllabus that the Taliban had been taught in to denigrate all madrasas. Such stupid linkages can only convince either the ignorant or the bigots to believe that fault lies with Islamic teachings and not with the US forces invading a foreign country on false pretexts. Even after so many years, if Indian journalists are still harping the same old tune, without using their own independent judgment and intellect, it exposes their utmost ignorance and herd mentality.


The case of SIMI is still another example of dimwit commentators ignoring the state’s propaganda and demonising of Muslims, that had invented an enemy and indulging in their sadistic criminalities. Perfectly innocent people are arrested and tortured and the so-called liberals and secularists are keeping aloof, just because the victims of state terrorism are ‘Muslims’. Isn’t this communalism of the most glaring and obnoxious variety? Where are all human rights organisations? There is strong belief among Muslims that a Zionist advisory is most probable suspect of this copycat strategy to target Muslims in India..)


If saying this is ‘demonising Muslims’, I plead guilty. If stating that religion must stay out of public square is an attack on Islam, then I plead guilty again. Whenever Hindutva has raised its evil head I have attacked it in exactly the same words I use to attack the jihadis. And in the days of Bhindranwale I was among a small handful of journalists who openly opposed the fanatical Sikhism he was preaching. I was put on a hit list for my pains and continue to be on a Hindutva hit list so I must be doing something right.


Anybody who believes that the Islamism is not the main threat to the existence of India as we know it need only examine what has happened in Kashmir. Fifteen years ago the movement for ‘azadi’, was secular and the militancy did not have the hint of jihad in it. Today the ‘secular’ leaders of Kashmir have been forced to follow jihadis who have no hesitation in shouting Islamist slogans in public and making hatred for Hindu India known. They speak openly against ‘Indian culture’ and have turned Kashmir into a place where going to the movies is considered a sin. Islamism works ideologically and through terrorism. It has to be fought at both fronts…


(Before condemning Muslim reaction in Kashmir as well as in India, you must consider if Indian administration had been above board in its dealings with the Muslims. Some disgruntled could have taken to arms, but to treat such outlaws as being Jihadis is an affront to Islam. Unless it is excused as ignorance of Islam, both by the outlaws as well as their detractors.)




Ghulam Muhammed’s response to Tavleen Singh’s email:

August 30, 2008

Ghulam Muhammed’s response to Tavleen Singh’s email:

from Ghulam Muhammed <>    hide details  11:46 pm (4 minutes ago) 


to Tavleen Singh <>  


date Aug 30, 2008 11:46 PM  


subject Re: your communal letter  




Saturday, August 30, 2008




Dear Tavleen Singhji,




Thanks for your kind response to my kind of letter. You magnanimity is acknowledged.




You however did not reply to my accusation that you did not use the word URDU in your article, not even once, even though now you profess Urdu to be your language. I have been noticing this ‘benign’ or rather ‘malign neglect’ of URDU with your kind of journalists.




Again, when you presume, that since I am not from UP, Bihar, Punjab or Madhya Pradesh, Urdu is not my language, you yourself want to limit the majesty of Urdu language that has spread out all around the world and though it has been deliberately and communally banished from its own native place of northern India and Punjab, it has kept alive by the kind of people in India, whom you continue to detest, when you say Faraz does not need defenders like me. URDU is not a territory. It belongs to its lovers, be that from any religion, any region, any ethnicity, any caste, any status in life or any ideology. It is the bigoted who have slotted the most secular of languages in Indian history.




For your information, I am from Uttar Bharati parentage, with my mother language being URDU. I have studied in Urdu medium school till SSC. Still I am the last person to claim any exclusive rights on Urdu, in as much as it belongs to all its lovers.




You are right when you say that I am communal. I am proud to be a minority communal who is fighting the majority communalism. I am from a victimized minority and I need not apologise for my minority communalism.




You have every right to detest Islamism and Jihadism on the ground that they are guilty of violence. My charge against you is that you are not against the violence of the Hindutva kind, and have shown no inclination to oppose them as you so most vehemently oppose and condemn the supposed acts of commission and omission by Islamists. Yours is a one-eyed brand of justice.




You have dared me, not to give Urdu a religion. I firmly believe that that will be the death of Urdu. On the other hand, I have legitimate question to ask of you: why majority of Urdu-bashers are from one particular religion only — the extremist Hindutvadis? Why have you not come out publicly against those religionists who have for 60 years institutionalized active discrimination and demonisation of Urdu with the result that millions from three generation of even Urdu speaking people had been deprived of their favourite Urdu. Why Punjab turned the partition experience into communal divide and targeted Urdu as the ‘language of the enemy’. Was it not the religion that came into picture to distort and obscure the beauty of Urdu? Now I will dare you, Tavleen Singhji, to shun the religious prejudice and give URDU its due. Don’t bring religion into Urdu discourse.




If as you claim, Urdu is yours, how can any one take it away from you on the basis of religion? Your blame game is very spacious and convoluted.




It is the continuous demonisation of India’s Muslims, as the ‘other’, that has so poisoned the nation, that a big responsibility rests on people of your kind, to stop and ponder deeply, as to where you are dragging this nation. India is at the threshold of disintegration and the blame will entirely lie with the likes of you.




I will write with full sense of responsibility that your poison pen is one of the most virulent instruments to succor and sustain the communalism of the majority. Politicians had resorted to organise communalism for their vote bank politics, but journalists of your kind have given the divisive communalism a life of its own.




I hope you will realise the dangers inherent in your obsessive hatred of Muslims in general and accept the fact that India can only survive and prosper, when all its diverse communities are treated with equal respect, dignity and fairness. We have seen how great Mughal Empire disintegrated when it lost its goodwill with the people. At this point of time, India is in the grip of a tyrannical regime and I am among a vast group of people that feel you as a regular columnist are part of that tyrannical regime.




Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai








On 8/30/08, tavleen singh <> wrote:

– Hide quoted text –


Dear Mr. Ghulam Muhammed,


I usually do not reply to your kind of letter. I do this time only in the faint hope that I might help you understand that it isn’t me who is communal but you.


For a start Urdu. I am Punjabi and  have lived all my life in Delhi. Urdu is my language as much as Punjabi is. I think you are not from Northern India and so Urdu is not your language but when Muslims from across the Indian sub-continent claimed it as theirs they took it away from us whose language it really is. We should have fought for it sooner and we did not but if you are not from northern India Urdu is not your language.  Get that through your head.


After that ponder a little on your charge that I  have damaged Hindu-Muslim unity. Its true that I detest Islamism and jihadis of every kind and I think the world needs to deal as harshly with them as we would with other cowards who fight wars by killing innocent women and children in the name of some ridiculous god. I do not believe that religion has any place in the public square. Believe what you want to, worship who you want to but in your private space. I have attacked Hindus and Sikhs when they have tried to impose their religion on the public square and I will attack Muslims who do it. If that is communal I am proud to be communal.


But, please don’t you ever dare try to give Urdu a religion. If you know anything of this language or respect it even a little people like you should stay away from it. The last thing Faraz, God rest his soul, needs is defenders like you.




Tavleen Singh



August 28, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008


To: The Editor, Afternoon, Mumbai






This has reference to Tavleen Singh’s article: A literary interlude (Afternoon, Aug 28, 2008).


This is Tavleen Singh in all her communal glory. She writes a thousand-word article on the occasion of the sad passing of Ahmed Faraz, Urdu’s most loved poet during current times. She cherishes her chance meeting with him at New Delhi airport. She extols him for his gazals that is the rage of the gazal lovers all over the world. She mentions the names of Ghalib, Mir, Iqbal, Faiz, Saadat Hasan Manto, and Munshi Prem Chand. It is a tribute to her journalistic integrity that in full commitment to her brand of communal writing, she succeeds in completely avoiding the word: URDU.


Is Urdu so untouchable; so unmentionable?


The nearest she comes to acknowledge the existence of URDU as an Indian language, when she writes: It is sad that these wonderful writers are not translated into other Indian languages and their works are not taught in Indian schools. This is at best a backhanded acknowledgement that URDU is an Indian language.


It is time Tavleen Singh reflects how much damage she has done to the Hindu-Muslim unity of the nation by her warped line of communal writings. It is time she starts rebuilding the bridges that had been torpedoed.



Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


Khuda ke liye – leave us alone

April 14, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008


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,




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.