A group of ulema (religious scholars) came out heavily against terrorism on Saturday. Besides reiterating the Deoband fatwa against
terrorism-first issued at the seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in February last year- and repeated at many mammoth anti-terrorism rallies in the country since then, the clerics also declared suicide bombings as anti-Islam. (via 'Jihad and terrorism poles apart'-The Times of India).
The first step
On February 22nd, 2008, the Deoband Seminary, the most respected Islamic seminary in South and South East Asia, issued a anti-terrorism declaration at a huge public meeting attended by hundreds and thousands of people. This set up a new direction in Islamic social dialogue - where a non-establishment, Islamic theological group came out against terrorism. Subsequently, some other ‘liberals’ jumped onto this bandwagon.
And then …
Pakistan was sent on a cold turkey … by Saudi Arabia, China and the US. Pakistan has been forced to go to IMF which is prescribing a heavy cut back in defence spending.
But most interestingly …
As the 2ndlook post ‘Behind The Web of terror’, on December 17th, 2007, pointed out, the answer to the Pakistani problems in the North West tribal areas was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. On October 3rd, 2008, the Frontier Gandhi’s grandson was the target of suicide bomber. The terrorists are obviously worried that Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan’s sensibility may make a comeback.
Hopefully, this a new beginning for Pakistan …
History of Hindu Muslim Feud …?
For starters, you must consider the Hindu Muslim fight for the overthrow of British colonialism from 1857 War to 1947. The Deoband Seminary, Sheikh Abdullah were all popular Muslim leaders - who did not wish for or support the formation of Pakistan. Allama Iqbal (now the iconic figure in Pakistan) converted to the a very nascent two-nation theory after his stint in England - circa 1909. Poets like Sahir Ludhianvi moved from Pakistan to India. MJ Akbar’s family was another that moved from Bangladesh (then part of Pakistan) to India.
The two nation theory was a British creation - and remains a colonial legacy.
After 150 years, the dreams still lives - From 1857-2008
This is Mahmud Madani - head of Deoband Islamic seminary. Deoband seminary was set up after the 1857 War, as a religious institution to ‘escape’ British repression. A 75 years later, the Deoband school became famous during Independence due to its strong anti-Jinnah, anti-Partition stand. 60 years later, Mahmud Madani still talks about ‘our’ India.
His interview here lays out the land very clearly - without the pussyfooting around the issues. For all those in India, who are onto the Islamic demonization route, this should make them re-think.
In the West …
Sometime back, Nicholas Sarkozy reminded Manmohan Singh to take care of Christians in Kandhamal. Soon after that, the Pope came out and advised Christians that their faith came first - and their country and society later. What would happen in Ayatollah Ali Khameini told that to Mulsims in Britain, France and USA? Pope Benedict has confirmed the true intentions of the missionaries. Let us understand this for what this is - backdoor attempts to subvert Indian cultural fabric. Nothing less.
When Acharya Rajneesh ‘converted’ a few thousand Christians to his brand of beliefs (in Oregon, USA), he was picked up, packed out and sent back to India - on charges of ‘chemical warfare.’
India has 2.5 crore Christians - out of 110 crores. I would like to see how the EU would react if Indian missionaries went about converting 12.5 million Christians to Hinduism - or 7.5 million Christians to Hindus in the US! Russia has long persecuted the Hare Krishna devotees (spontaneous White Hindus converting White Christians).
For a beginning let them stop targetting Roma Gypsies for persecution.
Lowest levels of religious, ethnic, linguistic diversity,
The sight of the West, strutting as a protector of freedom on the global stage is a hoax. How can the West have a problem with Native American tribes (aka Red Indians) and the Aborigines - if there are none left. The West which has the highest levels of prison populations in the world - raucously reminds the world of lessons in freedom.
With One God, One Book, One Holy Day, One Prophet (Messiah), One Race, One People, One Country, One Authority, One Law, One Currency, One Set of Festival are the root of most problems in the world.
And this ain't the lowest …
A free online game has sparked outrage among Muslims, in Australia. A player has to kill as many Muslims as possible has sparked an uproar in Australia, with members of the community accusing the government and police of double standards in their efforts to stop the game.
Things will get worse - and I am not sure when they will get better.
The West can speak from both sides of the mouth - tell Indians to respect foreign missionaries who want to convert Indians to their religion - and the West can continue with this demonization of Islam.
This is freedom - from both sides. For the West.
Wishful thinking or ignorance
Actually neither. It is propaganda.
The West has the lowest levels of religious diversity - and the way they have dealt with it is simple - genocide. Native Americans in Canada, USA, Native Aborigines in Australia are excellent examples.
India however, is exactly - and unfortunately, the only country of its kind. No country offers the freedom of religion that Muslims have in India - including Muslim countries. Christians cannot proselytize with as much freedom (and arrogance) in any other country as in India.
That is inconvenient truth (for the West) Mr.Kaplan.
Modern day demonization
The Western campaign aimed at the demonisation of Islam has replaced the Jewish demonisation (Shakespeare joined in with his anti-Semitic Merchant Of Venice). Without taking responsibility for the destabilisation of the Islamic World by the liquidation of the Ottoman Empire after WW1 - perpetrated by Anglo Saxon countries and the French.
The problems in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East have their genesis in the cynical intervention by the West - in the last 150 years. These interventions have imbalanced traditional structures - and magnified problems. The US has turned Peshawar into a military arms bazaar. CIA created these Afghan Frankensteins - in pursuit of it own imperial competition with USSR.
What was earlier localized tribal infighting in the Pashtun areas, which could possibly have been controlled by a leader like the Frontier Gandhi, has now been internationalized. The resultant terrorist load on India is the highest.
The demonization of Islam is real threat to the peace and stability of this world. And it is an attempt to deflect Western culpability and responsibility for the present day ills.
Bush helped us forget …
Bill Clinton, arguably, would have become the US President for the 3rd time - but for bar by the US Constitution. And he is the one who facilitated the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia - and the Islamic demonization, which George Bush so successfully carried forward.
After the Iraq War and the Afghanistan quagmire, George Bush has become a favorite whipping boy - and people have forgotten Bill Clinton’s legacy - Monica Lewinsky apart. And Bill Clinton’s point man was Emanuel ‘Rahmbo’.
And who is Obama’s? The same ‘Rahmbo’. The more things change, the more they remain the same. I wonder how much, fiction inspires reality is based on fiction - which feeds on real life …
Look at Israel
You only have to look at a failed state like Israel, to understand where ‘false’ persecutions can take you. Where would Israel be - without US ICU support. It has been on ICU support for the last 60 years.