69 million page views

Worldwide Islamic problem: why Muslims don't look inward?

Reader comment on item: Making Sense of Palestinian Logic

Submitted by Prashant, Jun 2, 2019 at 13:23

Dear Dr Pipes,

In your blog entitled "Making Sense of Palestinian Logic" you stated that Palestinian logic boiled down to blackmail. You also said that Palestinians behavior implied that they thought that Israelis were rich so they wanted to make Israeli miserable unless Israel gave Palestinians more money.
You are right but you do not go far enough. I think Palestinian problem is just a local manifestation of worldwide Islamic problem. Muslims all over the world suffer from a selfishly motivated victim mentality. Without looking inward and fixing their own societies, they choose to blame everyone around them. What is happening in Palestine is also happening in India. Indian Muslims are also more concerned about how Indian government is hurting their rights. Sign of self-criticism are significantly missing in the Islamic societies. I will look into Islamic culture and practices in the Indian context and connect it to what might be going on in Palestine. It might explain why common behavior for Muslims might appear to be illogical and/or like-blackmail for outsiders.

Books can be written on this topic but I will describe the behavior of Muslim intelligentsia in just one aspect of the recently concluded Indian elections. Since 2014 India has been ruled by the very nationalistic government of Narendra Modi. Modi's government has done a lot of good for the country and has attacked some core fundamental economic/social problems. In addition, his government has almost completely stopped the practice of minority appeasement. While previous government did everything to please and appease Muslims, Modi government does nothing. Nothing whatsoever! Modi administration's performance on economic front in the 2014-19 period has been subject to debate and interpretation. Not everyone likes Modi and --as is routine in many democracies-- around December 2018, Modi's government also appeared to be hanging with a very tenuous thread: in some state elections in 2018, Modi's party got a very serious drubbing at the hand of the opposition. Then in Feb 2019, Modi got a gift from Pakistan. It was a sad gift but a gift nevertheless.

In Feb 2019, our Islamist friends in Pakistan or somewhere else in dar al islam entered Indian Kashmir and used a local Muslim to ambush an Indian paramilitary convoy with 400 lbs of RDX. 40 innocent soldiers were killed by the suicide bomber. Modi took a tough stand and sent Indian planes to Pakistan to destroy some targets of military interests. The astute politician that he is, Modi used the rest of the election campaign to attack Pakistan and the terrorists. Indian public is tired of Islamic politics. They responded to Modi in droves and with unprecedented enthusiasm. What resulted was an electoral victory for Modi whose magnitude that has never been achieved in the history of humanity in many democracies. Exit polls proved that neither the polls not the elections were rigged or they were both rigged by exact same amounts! What was expected to be a close contest turned out to as one sided as there can be!

So what do the Indian Muslim intelligentsia did before and after the elections? No introspection. No admission of defeat. No grief. No Nothing. Perhaps because Allah clearly stated in Quran 5-33 that when it comes to defending Islam, war is the only right option, Indian Muslim intelligentsia did not talk about the stupidity and immorality of the murder of the 40 soldiers (without declaring a war). They also did not talk about the absence of democracy in the Islamic world. They did not talk about how Islamic world differs from others. They did not talk about how education, freedom, prosperity, democracy, openness or other such things can make Muslims happier. They did not discuss if Muslim women can help mellow down Islamic politics. Etc. etc. They continued with their Medina-esque taqqiya. I will tell you how and it might explain the microcosm that might be present in the Palestinian society as well.

India has a long tradition of poetry recitation. It is, to a great extent, adapted and adopted to the Indian context from Arabic and Persian sources. Though everyone likes Urdu poetry, best form of it is created by Indian Muslim Urdu poets. Urdu poetry mixes romance with irony and plays with words in remarkably beautiful ways. It does it so well that everyone likes it irrespective of religion, mother-tongue and political affiliation. And in Urdu poetry --as in all poetry-- allusion is a widely used technique: you refer to one thing while you mean something else. For example, you might talk about your devotion to God but actually you might be meaning your love for the beloved (or vice versa). Listening to Urdu poetry in India has taken the proportions of rock concerts of the west. In some ways, Islamic intelligentsia will be completely missing from the Indian life if it were not for the Muslim Indians who participate in the music, poetry, arts and cinema. Muslims in these fields attain unprecedented popularity, public following, and wealth. In most cultures people who get their fame and fortune from the masses of all hues will become secular trendsetters. But not in Islamic sections of India.

Tons of recent Urdu poetry is available on digital media and elsewhere. If you carefully examine this poetry you will find that hidden between the calls to God and to the lover, are the threats to Modi proclaiming him a liar without naming him explicitly. There are statements about how revolutions will come after the turn of the night or the turn of the year. There are statements suggesting that some tongues need to be cut. All this is so nicely and subtly hidden between poetic jewels that it cannot be proved and it is as intoxicating as wine. These tangential allisions talk about truth, fairness, revoluton, martyrdom and other good things (the kinds of things that leftists also speak and love). And, they might be addictive.

While democrats/republicans, conservative/liberals, men/women, the old/young in our non-Muslim societies debate all aspects of a problem from all sides, Islamic discussants leave one aspect aside: the Islamic aspect. The Islamic aspect is not debated, not questioned, not explored, and not reflected upon. It is just praised. Let me say it without mincing any words: This leads to violence, hypocrisy, and unfairness that so commonly prevails in the Islamic world and may be the microcosm behind universal Islamic suffering.

You say that Palestinian positions were illogical and they were like blackmailing for more money. I wish that it was so. I wish Muslims were interested in more money. Because then they would also be more interested in prosperity and peace. I wish Muslims were illogical. Because then they could be debated with and they could correct us or be corrected. But they are neither illogical nor blackmailing. They just work at a pedestal where Islam is beyond questioning and everything Islamic is good whether it is good or bad and everything non-Islamic is deficient in some way or the other.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Worldwide Islamic problem: why Muslims don't look inward? by Prashant

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)