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Indian Question - Recommended Approach

Reader comment on item: When Conservatives Argue about Islam

Submitted by Singha (India), Jul 8, 2007 at 12:21

For long time, a big lie has gone on that muslims in India, under demcractic dispensation are moderate. Thomas Friedman has been a votary of the above view. Even when Bush visited India, he complemented Indian muslims citing that despite their significant numbers, not one Indian Muslim is present in Guantanamo Bay. Some western analysts genuinely appeared surpised that Glasgow bombers could be Indian Muslims.

(Muslims make up over 150 million in India; they are still a minority as there are over 750 million Hindus. ).

The above analysis is superficial and does not reflect the ground reality of Indian conditions. I am sharing herewith facts that highlight that Indian Muslims remain as much a Jehadi threat as is a Pakistani Muslim.

Background:

Hindu Civilisation is similar to antiquated Greek Civilization in its tolerance of various view points. In Hindu tradition, acceptance of different perspectives is encouraged. India is is a kaleadioscopic nation with myriad races and subcultures.

History of Islam in Indian subcontinent is very violent. In the regions what is Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islam was stoutly resisted. Lack of Unity and wooly eyed understanding of Islam were the undoing of te Hindus against Islam. Professor Will Durant's History of Civilization Part 1, covers this in detail. He says "The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within". Muslims confiscated Hindu lands, took many slaves, made Hindus pay Jazia (taxes imposed by muslim state on non-muslims) and razed down thousands of Hindu temples.

By engaging with them, over the centuries Hinduism and Hindu leaders made many efforts to reform Islam. Such initiatives invariably failed. The Mughal emperor, Akbar's initiative of eliminating Jazia was widely unpopular among Islamists. Ahmed Sirhindi, following the Naqshbandi Sufi Order ranted against Akbar and his policy of equality of men. Jazia was again imposed by Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. Islam could be kept under leash in India only by the the Hindu reformist Sikh groups in Western India who effectively organised sections of Hindus against Islam, and who could clearly see Islam as an intolerant ideology and muslims as oppressors.

Last attempt at Hindu-Muslim detente was made by Gandhi and his followers which too failed as Muslims set up a separate nation Pakistan in early 20th Century. Pakistan carried out ethnic cleansing its non-muslim population which has dwindled during the last 60 years from 30% to 3%. India following a Gandhian model refused to reciprocate Islamist intolerance resulting in continuing presence of Muslims whose population has gradually been growing. Muslim population proportion in India has grown from 9% in 1951 to 15% in 2001. Historically Muslims in Indian subcontinent have been even bigger fanatics than muslim arabs. Deoband, which provided the weltanschuang of Taliban is located in India. Most Muslims in India like in other nations, tend to place their muslim identify above their national identities.

Hindu intellectuals continue to hate Islamism with a vehemance that surprises outsiders who dont usually see the historic context. On account of millenium experience facing islamism and jehad, Hindu intellectuals understand Islam much better than westerners. It was not a coincidence that Indo-Israel and Indo-US defence collaboration got a significant boost during the rule of Hindu conservatives.

Recent Events:

The Anglo-Saxon powers had traditionally been supportive of Islamism. It is not that West was not exactly aware about Islamist problem. Churchill had written about the barbarian nature of Islam. This did not prevent him from being one of the sponsors of the Islamist Pakistan movement to divide India in 1940s. This was done in order to the spite Hindus that wanted to free India. British encouraged the Islamist Pakistan movement. The highly islamist pakistan movement highlighted the incompatibility of muslims to live in a secular set up and with the muslim difficulty of maintaining parity with non-muslims as equals. The west felt that as long as Islamist energies and Jihad can be channeled elsewhere, Islamism should be nurtured. They never anticipated what happens when Islam turns against them.

In India, its first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was an out and out pro-muslim person. Though by denomination a Hindu, Nehru had strong communist sympathies and was anti-West. Nehru used to be derisively referred to as the only nationalist muslim as most Indian muslims had supported Islamism and creation of Pakistan. In Nehru's cabinet, the important education ministry was handed over to Maulana Abul Kalam.

Nehru institutionalised anti-Hindu behavior in the Indian political set up that resulted in an attempt to lower confidence of Hindus in their traditions and tolerant culture. Nehru reformed Hindu law but refused to touch the Islamic civil law in India that originates from the Shariah. This makes it legal for a Muslim to have more than four wives.

Above developments had started bothering the Hindus. 1990s onwards, they eventually started consolidating themselves against Islamism. The consolidation was maximum in the border state of Gujarat, where the Hindus hit back in 2003 after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was torched by muslims. A traditional front line state against Islamism, muslims have fine tuned their terror approaches by taking on India.

The Hindu ethic which significantly mirrors protestant hard work ethic and a focus on education has resulted in Hindus making remarkable contribution in various professions in the west and also contributed to India's recent economic growth. Muslims from India subcontinent, both educated and uneducated (most are less educated) have made their marks in terrorism. Dhiren Bhanot, a converted Indian Muslim wanted to source Plutonium for Al Quaeda. The Doctors bombing Glasgow were from India. There remains a very influential support infrastructure for Islamism both in India and UK laying final nail on the bogus claim that Indian muslims are moderate. . The Hindu religious view point is also in conformance with renaissance values. Muslims on the contary indulge in criminal and terrorist activities more.

It was indeed a highly shortsighted act by United States, which got influenced by state department amateurs, and denied temporary US visa to Narendra Modi, highly dynamic leader of Gujarat state citing his actions curbing Islamism. America thus antogonised many Hindu conservatives that remain natural allies of America against Islamism.

What the West Needs to Do:

Stop Issuing Work Permits to Muslims - Not only to muslims from islamic countries like Pakistan, but also to muslims from nations like India, Malaysia and Singapore. Muslims can go to Arabia. If there is a need for people from developing nations such as India, West should issue work permits to Hindus especially to those communities such as the Brahmins who like the Ashaknazi Jews have a track record of high achievment.

India is the most important swing state in the war against Islamism and against Chinese hagemonism in Asia. West has realised this and the Bush Government especially has enhanced the engagement levels with India. What the West has not done and needs to do is to develop close and active ties with the Hindu conservatives, people with proven anti-Islamist credentials. Hindu and Indian values at their core are not very different from western values. What the west should not do is support evangelical and catholic christianist initiatives in India which would almost necessarily preclude effective collaboration with the Hindu conservatives most of who believe that Christianism though not to the extent of Islam still espouses medieval values.

Secularize Muslim nations if necessary using force. Reformation is not going to come from within. In the nations under Western control, Islam should be undermined. This can be done by providing secular constitution in Iraq and Afghanistan. The freedom to criticize mohummad and quran without fear and with fervor must be guaranteed. This should remain the key policy objective to achieve in countries like Saudi Arabia.

Muslims can lend a helping hand by advocating elimination of those suras from quran that advocate hatred and intolerance of non-muslims.

Even worse West has been issuing work permits to Indian muslims fairly aggressively. In fact US consulates in India, that issue highest maximum work permit visas in any nation include as their staff islamist muslim visa officers. American visa offices for example are usually staffed by officers that stay only for a short time, are untrained and can not effectively sift and take out Islamists.
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