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07 Dec 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com
Muslim response to Mumbai terror in sync with the national mood, but what is wrong with our intellectuals?

  

By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

December 07, 2008

From the very moment it became clear that the terrorists who attacked India recently in Mumbai were Pakistanis, Indian Muslim anger against Pakistan and the godfathers of terror in that county has been expressing itself in a variety of ways.  They are particularly angry that these marauders have been maligning the fair name of Islam and its image as a religion of peace. They seem to instinctively understand that Indian Muslims’ peaceful co-existence and continued integration in the national mainstream is not in the interest of Pakistan’s permanent establishment. It negates the Two-Nation Theory on which their country is ideologically based. They keep trying - and, fortunately for us, failing - to instigate communal violence on any pretext that may become available to them. They did that in the aftermath of Bombay riots in 1993. Dawood Ibrahim-organised serial blasts took 250 civilian lives and caused 700 injuries alongside massive economic disruption but India refused to fall in the Pakistani trap. Our country is displaying the same commitment to secularism now and thanks God for that.

Muslims recognise the reasons behind Pakistani desperation to attack our secularism, our tolerance and national cohesion, our growing prosperity. India presents a complete contrast to their divided house, virtually every ethnic community seeking to secede, every sect bent upon destroying every other sect, killing its members in as large numbers as possible. Only the day before yesterday a Sunni suicide-bomber killed 20 Shias in a mosque in an event that has become routine in that country. Hence the Mumbai Muslims’ refusal to bury the Pakistani dead in their graveyards, refusal to mourn the loss of Babri Masjid on December 6 this year, which has become an annual event, a sort of another Muharram since 1992. Muslim fury at a clear Pakistani attempt to foment wider violence against them resulted in their participation in large numbers in fellow-citizen’s efforts to show solidarity with the families of those who had died in the latest invasion of our territory – 40 out of 172 killed were Muslims – and condemn the barbaric atrocities while paying homage to those brave policemen and commandos who laid down their lives in the service of nation.

But as we open the Urdu newspapers on 6 th of December, we find the editorial pages recycling the same material they keep doing every year on this Moharram II day, the same bemoaning of the “shahadat”(martyrdom) of the Babri mosque, without explaining how can bricks and mortar become “shaheed”-  will they go to Jannat, one naturally wonders. You won’t  find any of these newspapers ever bemoaning the “shahadat” in Saudi Arabia of Islam’s holiest shrines and greatest heritage buildings, that were living proofs of the historicity of many events in Islam’s and Prophet Mohammad’s life (PBUH).

Then you find Rashtriya Sahara reproducing historian Amareesh Mishra’s conspiracy theories about Mumbai terror being the work of Israeli and Hindu Zionists’ handiwork. You open your mailbox and find several Muslims enthusiastically lapping up Mishraji’s theories and circulating them. Just sample one sentence of what a widely-circulated e-mail by convenor of the Mumbai-based Muslim Intellectual Forum, Firoze Mithiborwala, reads: “As far as the terrorists who attacked Mumbai are concerned, they are in all likelihood… controlled by the American CIA, the Pakistani ISI and the Israeli MOSSAD.”

As Zulkif Manzoor, a Ramanujan Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore has been quoted in The Hindustan Times as saying: “Such poisoned opinion has only helped to strengthen prejudices (against Muslims).” Clearly our intellectuals are forgetting that Amareesh Mishra is a Kanyakubaja Brahmin and can say what he will, but we can’t, not at this time.

Now does this mean that we are second class citizens; we don’t have the same rights as Brahmins or others? No it doesn’t mean that at all. We are and have been free to express ourselves in whatever way we will; our newspapers have been spreading venom for long - part of the reason why we have alienated ourselves to a certain extent from some sections of society and also injected cynicism in the minds of some of our youth. Mercifully, not many non-Muslims read Urdu newspapers. More mercy, not many of our own youth read Urdu newspapers either; that would have poisoned their minds beyond redemption perhaps.

We have been free and have misused our freedom to the hilt. What is different this time then? Well, as theatre personality Amir Reza Khan explained in a NDTV discussion, right now WE ARE AT WAR. And this war has been declared by a country inhabited by fellow-Muslims and not only in our name but also in the name of our religion. They have been posing as saviours of Indian Muslims and practitioners of Islam. Rules of the game are different in a war. We do, therefore, need to wear on our sleeves not only our patriotism but also a few verses of the Holy Quran preaching peace and opposing violence. As actor Shah Rukh Khan pointed out in his interview with Barkha Dutt on NDTV, it is not only Muslims in India, but all over the world who are being called upon to explain that Islam is not a religion of violence.

To those who love to spread conspiracy theories here is one that is more grounded in reality and common sense. Backed by US Imperialism, Christian crusaders and Israeli Zionism, Saudi Arabia has for decades been damaging Islam, not only destroying Islam’s heritage buildings, but also spending billions of dollars to spreading a view of Islam that says that Muslims should not only kill all non-Muslims but also those Muslims who do not believe in this murderous version of Islam. Like the known enemies of Islam from the time of the first crusades, this Saudi Islam believes that Islam spread with the power of the sword that the Prophet and his successors wielded. Now use your imagination and you can easily surmise what the Crusader, Zionist game is in protecting the Saudi regime and promoting Saudi Islam, even after 9/11, while they destroyed the only bastion of secular and tolerant Islam in the Middle East, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, on a manifestly false pretext, and turned it into a Saudi or Iranian version of sectarian and intolerant Islam.

Fortunately the common Muslim understands the need of the hour that some of our intellectuals and journalists do not. I would appeal to Muslims to continue to walk the extra mile in condemning the Mumbai attacks and distancing themselves and their religion from Osama bin Laden’s or Hafiz Saeed’s version of Islam that has spawned Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and similar scourges.

URL:

http://www.newageislam.com/islam,terrorism-and-jihad/muslim-response-to-mumbai-terror-in-sync-with-the-national-mood,-but-what-is-wrong-with-our-intellectuals?-/d/1043

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COMMENTS
Aamir Mughal

RE: India presents a complete contrast to their divided house, virtually every ethnic community seeking to secede, every sect bent upon destroying every other sect, killing its members in as large numbers as possible. Only the day before yesterday a Sunni suicide-bomber killed 20 Shias in a mosque in an event that has become routine in that country. on a manifestly false pretext, and turned it into a Saudi or Iranian version of sectarian and intolerant Islam.[Sultan Shahin]

Dear Sultan Sahab,

Background is as under:

"QUOTE"

Excerpts from a book:

“The Khomeini revolution in Iran already bolstered the confidence of the Shias, and they were not about to take Sunni dictates in religious matters lying down. Hard-liners among Sunni, for their part, felt that such dictation was their right, and those on the extreme right of the Sunni spectrum simply cut the Gordian knot by taking a position that, correct or not, Pakistan had a Sunni majority and as such it should be declared a Sunni Muslim state in which Shia should be treated as a minority. Since achievement of this holy goal would likely to take some time, some of them decided that the interregnum ought not to be wasted. Thus in 1985 they formed Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASS) – an organization piously dedicated to ridding the country of the nettlesome presence of the Shias by eliminating them physically. Later, when they realized what the organization’s acronym meant in English, they changed the name to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).”

“The zealous emissaries of the Iranian Revolutionary Regime started financing their organization Tehreek-e-Nifza-e-Fiqah-e-Jafaria (TNFJ – Movement for the Implementation of Jafaria Religious Law) and providing scholarships for Pakistani student to study in Iranian religious seminaries. For the Zia regime though, the problematic issue was Shia activism leading to a strong reaction to his attempts to impose Hanafi Islam (a branch of Sunni sect). For this he winked to the hard-liners among the Sunni religious groups in order to establish a front to squeeze the Shias. It was in this context that Jhangvi was selected by the intelligence community to do the needful. It is also believed that the JUI recommendation played the decisive part in this choice. The adherents of the Deobandi School were worried about Shia activism for religious reasons anyhow. State patronage came as an additional incentive. Consequently, in a well-designed effort, Shia assertiveness was projected as their disloyalty to Pakistan and its Islamic Ideology.”

“In a few months, Saudi funds started pouring in, making the project feasible. For Saudi Arabia, the Iranian revolution was quite scary, for its ideals conflicted with that of a Wahabi monarchy. More so, with an approximately 10% Shia population, Saudi Arabia was concerned about the expansion of Shia activism in any Muslim country. Hence, it was more than willing to curb such trends in Pakistan by making a financial investment to bolster its Wahabi Agenda. According to Vali Raza Nasr, a leading expert on the sectarian groups of Pakistan, the flow of these funds was primarily routed through the Pakistan Military and the ISI. It is not known whether American support for this scheme was readily available, but the Zia regime knew well that the United States would be glad to acquiesce, given the rising US – Iran hostility. However, some analyst believe that CIA funds were involved in the venture.”

Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army and America’s War on Terror By Hassan Abbas published by An East Gate Book. M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York, London England.

"UNQUOTE"

1 - Sectarianism and Sects - I

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-i.html

2 - Sectarianism and Sects - II

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-ii.html

3 - Sectarianism and Sects - III

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-iii.html

4 - Sectarianism and Sects - IV

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-iv.html

5 - Sectarianism and Sects - V

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-v.html

6 - Sectarianism and Sects - VI

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-vi.html

7 - Sectarianism and Sects - VII

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-vii.html

8 - Sectarianism and Sects - VIII

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sectarianism-and-sects-viii.html

Aamir Mughal

Now use your imagination and you can easily surmise what the Crusader, Zionist game is in protecting the Saudi regime and promoting Saudi Islam, even after 9/11, while they destroyed the only bastion of secular and tolerant Islam in the Middle East, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, [Sultan Shahin]

Dear Sultan Sahab,

Watch the photo below which is downloaded from US National Security Archive [Declassified US Govt. Document]  wherein Saddam Hussein receiving and shaking Hand with a very young Donald Rumsfeld [Then (in 1984) Ronald Reagan Special Envoy and during War on Terror  US Secretary for Defence and main culprit of Launching War on Iraq and also involved in Abu Gharib Prisoner Abuce Scam revealed by Legendary Journalist Seymour Hersh in New Yorker]

 

www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/

I will quote an excellent Indian Author Ms. Arundhati Roy on this Butcher Saddam Hussein who after the start of War on Terror became a Sunni Hero amongst Sunnis.

"QUOTE"

Never mind that forty years ago, the CIA, under President John F. Kennedy, orchestrated a regime change in Baghdad. In 1963, after a successful coup, the Ba'ath party came to power in Iraq. Using lists provided by the CIA, the new Ba'ath regime systematically eliminated hundreds of doctors, teachers, lawyers, and political figures known to be leftists. An entire intellectual community was slaughtered. (The same technique was used to massacre hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia and East Timor.) The young Saddam Hussein was said to have had a hand in supervising the bloodbath. In 1979, after factional infighting within the Ba'ath Party, Saddam Hussein became the President of Iraq. In April 1980, while he was massacring Shias, the U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinksi declared, "We see no fundamental incompatibility of interests between the United States and Iraq." Washington and London overtly and covertly supported Saddam Hussein.

Arundhati Roy

Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free) by Arundhati Roy Presented in New York City at The Riverside Church May 13, 2003 Published on Sunday, May 18, 2003 by commondreams.org

Read details in:

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/us-elections-republicans-or-democrats_5882.html

"UNQUOTE"

Muslims [Pakistanis included specially] should read some history [recent] and learn from their mistake!

 Historical Facts Muslims Forget so Conveniently

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/historical-facts-muslims-forget-so.html

Raja Muzaffar, Head of foreign relations, JKLF

from      Raja Muzaffar to            Sultan Shahin <Editor@newageislam.com>

date       7 December 2008 23:23

 

Dear Sultan Shahin Sahib

AOA

Eid Mubarak

 

I read your impressive analysis, I agree. I condemned the attack and my views were that elements in Pakistan are against the peace process. And if you remember I told this during my interview with you. We should expose those elements that damaged the peace process.

Raja Muzaffar

 

"From the very moment it became clear that the terrorists who attacked India recently in Mumbai were Pakistanis, Indian Muslim anger against Pakistan and the godfathers of terror in that county has been expressing itself in a variety of ways.  They are particularly angry that these marauders have been maligning the fair name of Islam and its image as a religion of peace. They seem to instinctively understand that Indian Muslims’ peaceful co-existence and continued integration in the national mainstream is not in the interest of Pakistan’s permanent establishment. It negates the Two-Nation Theory on which their country is ideologically based. They keep trying - and, fortunately for us, failing - to instigate communal violence on any pretext that may become available to them. They did that in the aftermath of Bombay riots in 1993. Dawood Ibrahim-organised serial blasts took 250 civilian lives and caused 700 injuries alongside massive economic disruption but India refused to fall in the Pakistani trap. Our country is displaying the same commitment to secularism now and thanks God for that.

"Muslims recognise the reasons behind Pakistani desperation to attack our secularism, our tolerance and national cohesion, our growing prosperity. India presents a complete contrast to their divided house, virtually every ethnic community seeking to secede, every sect bent upon destroying every other sect, killing its members in as large numbers as possible. Only the day before yesterday a Sunni suicide-bomber killed 20 Shias in a mosque in an event that has become routine in that country. Hence the Mumbai Muslims’ refusal to bury the Pakistani dead in their graveyards, refusal to mourn the loss of Babri Masjid on December 6 this year, which has become an annual event, a sort of another Muharram since 1992. Muslim fury at a clear Pakistani attempt to foment wider violence against them resulted in their participation in large numbers in fellow-citizen’s efforts to show solidarity with the families of those who had died in the latest invasion of our territory – 40 out of 172 killed were Muslims – and condemn the barbaric atrocities while paying homage to those brave policemen and commandos who laid down their lives in the service." [Sultan Shahin]

 

Interview with JKLF leader Raja Muzaffar, Head of the foreign relations committee of J.K.L.F. is available at:

http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=22

 

A.M.JAMSHEED BASHA, CHENNAI, INDIA

 

This is in response to Sultan Shahin's article, "Muslim response to Mumbai terror in sync with the national mood, but what is wrong with our intellectuals?"

 

Let me first comment on the email under circulation which revolves around historian Amareesh Mishra’s conspiracy theories about Mumbai terror being the work of Israeli and Hindu Zionists’ handiwork. I was also in receipt of this email. But I refused to read such bad stuff and I dismissed it immediately as a figment of imagination. What one failed to understand was the underlying conspiracy behind such a theory. He was not speaking out of love to Muslim cause but to ignite passions and create unrest among the Muslims against Hindutva forces. Besides,  he wanted to succeed where Pakistan failed to cash in. The Urdu Press, irresponsible as it is ever before, playing into the hands of such forces and writing such stuff that would raise the temperature of the Muslim youth. This is not the time to behave so irreponsibly when the responsibility of guiding the Muslim youth on a righteous path lies with such powerful media. Thanks for its low level circulation in the south, particularly Tamilnadu, the Urdu Press could hardly make any dent into the otherwise peaceful co-existence between various communities here in Tamilnadu. I cannot speak for the reaction from the responsible Muslim intellectuals to such reports emanating from such Urdu newspapers in northern part of India but one thing is sure that Muslim intellectual has a duty cut out for them to guide our youth aright. But as I understand they are not doing any service to the Muslim cause or to the nation at large. This is the pathetic state of the Urdu newspapers in India. Are they trying to ape the style of their counter part in Pakistan, is not clear. What is clear is that they are certainly playing into the hands of the divisive forces.

 

Mourning in Islam is haram and I have been saying this for a long time, no matter who does it. Whether it for so called 'Shadat' of Imam Hussein or 'Shahdat' of Babri Masjid, there is no justification for the Muslims to mourn such events of history. As for Babri Masjid is concerned, Sultan Shahin, has rightly asked the question that how could the structure of bricks and sand would attain martyrdom in Islam. Why Muslims are so oversensitive to an event which has no relevance in Islam or its followers. At the worst, the vandalisation of the Masjid by the insane karsevaks, could be termed as reprehensible act of insanity. Beyond that the Hindu press called it a 'national shame' and majority of the Hindus did not approve such actions and according to them what was the difference between the action of Aurangazeeb, the Moghul Emperor, infamous in history for his act of destroying temples and the Hindutva forces that aped him to carry on the same act of insanity when they destroyed and demolished the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya? As public memory is short, so they forgot the event. But for Muslim, the memory is strong and it is revived every year on 6th of December as an event to protest and demand its reconstruction in the same place. I for one who feel that Muslims have no business to make such a demand to reconstruct the mosque in the same place. "Masjid Wahin Banegi" is the slogan chanted every year and nearly 16 years have elapsed since the event took place. Such a demand is bordering on stupidity as this would never happen in future for two reasons. Firstly, the case is pending in the court of law for more than four decades and secondly this place is equally but emotionally important to Hindus, for they believe it to be the birth place of Lord Rama. In any case, it is an emotional issue that would certainly raise tempers and would not augur well for the Hindu-Muslim unity. But on the other hand, if Muslim proactively hand over the site for the construction of a Ram Temple on the condition that the Babri Masjid be reconstructed side by side, would be easily acceptable to the majority of the Hindus. This suggestion is on line with the existence of Mandir-Masjid at Srirangapattinam constructed by a true secular Tippu Sultan, which still stands today as a monument of secular credentials of a great Sultan, who refused to change the name of his capital Srirangapattinam after a Muslim name. Such people alone are revered in history. Will Muslims of India particularly Babri Masjid Re-building Committee take a leaf out of the life of Great Tippu Sultan and demonstrate large heartedness by donating the land voluntarily for the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya?

 

For Muslims of India, we do not need any version of Islam to follow than the one given to us by our beloved Prophet Mohammed PBUH. Who is this Osama or Hafiz or Ibne Wahhab and why should one follow their form of Islam, when the Quran and Hadits are before us in their original forms. It is the duty of the Muslim intellectuals to come out in open not only to condemn terrorism or related activities but also all those organistions that are spreading the hate in the name of Islam much to the discomfort of ordinary Muslims who are by and large believe in peaceful co-existence. Let us distance ourselves from the activities and preachings of these radical organisations. Not only that, we must also dissuade our children from joining such organisations in future. The best things we can do is to give modern education to our children and towards this end, we need to open more and more educational institutions without deviating from the path of Allah and Rasool SAW.

 

India's unity in diversity is the cynosure of all eyes and more particularly of Pakistanis. They are sure to keep India on a boiling pot all the time, since they promised to do so after the loss of East Pakistan in a one sided war in 1971. It is a great conspiracy to wage a proxy war with India with such sporadic terror attacks every now and then. Whether it is Govt of Pakistan or its official machinery is behind all these training camps of terror outfits, a detailed but thorough investigation alone would reveal. Till then, it is very clear that there are elements within Pakistan whether it is Dawood's D-Company or Jaishe Mohammed or Lakshare Taoiba, that they are out to destroy the social fabric of this country. The Mumbai carnage took India to the brink of war with Pakistan and that is what they wanted to keep the powder dry. Luckily, India refused to fall into their trap and the political leadership of this great country showed  great maturity and political sagacity in dealing with such a dangerous but ticklish situation. India weighed different options particularly in the wake of such public hysteria, ouotcry, anger and frustration calling for a firm and decisive actions. India is well aware of the danger associated with such actions and taken the recourse to diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. US, which is an ally of Pakistan in the war on terror, sent its special emissary in Condaleeza Rice to avert a crisis but to convey a strong message to Pakistan. Either Pakistan should act fast or US would do on their behalf. The President-elect Obama too cautioned Pakistan while asserting the rights of India to protect its internal security. The whole world joined India in condemning the dastardly and cowardly terror mayhem that left 200 dead and scores wounded. Those killed including people from Japan, US, UK, Germans etc., and thus it became an issue of all other countries. This time the enormity of attack was so huge that the world refused to buy any story emanating from Pakistan that the attack was carried out by non-state actors but they were Pakistanis. Can Zardari and company deny their nationality? The theory of CIA-Zionist conspiracy is nothing but a diversionary tactics being spread by vested interest and our Urdu press is joining in the orchestra to fan the fire, in the already heated atmosphere. These people never thought for a moment how it is going to help the already battered Muslim community in India. This is the height of their irresponsibility with which the Urdu press is behaving in India, which is very unfortunate. A good couself shall soon prevail over them.

 

I appeal to Muslims particularly intellengtsia to bahave responsibly in maintaining peace which is so vital to their own existence. It is to the great credit of the Hindu brethren that they refused to act emotionally against Muslim community for they were well aware that among the 195 killed 40 were Muslims including six members of a family awaiting to board the train to Patna. This is the greatness of the people of this country. They stand united in the hour of crisis, whether war or terror attack. We, the Muslim, salute the great spirit of the people of this country. It is our duty to express our solidarity with the people of this country. Not only that, we must delivere more to be secular first and last. We must also dismantle all such jamats and madrasas that are engaged in spreading hate campaign against other communities. Time and again it has been laid emphasis that Islam believes in peaceful co-existence. Allah is "Rabbul Aalamin" meaning the "Lord of the Univers" but Islam never said, Allah is "Rabbul Muslimeen" meaning He is the Lord of Muslims alone. All the people of the world to whatever religion they belong, are the children of the Lord of All Universes, that is, Allah. Hence it is our duty to love them as our own brothers and sisters. There is no place for hate in Islam. We, the Muslims of India have to live with our neighbours of different faith and we have to deal with them in our daily life including that of commerce. Are our merchants are selling to only Muslims or our Muslims are buying things only from Muslims? Are we constructing houses only for Muslims or for others? These are the questions we have to ask through introspection. We have to live here and deal with all sorts of people not based on one's religious faith but as human beings and equal partners. Respect their faith and in return they will respect your faith and religion. This is what is known as brotherhood and peaceful co-existence. It is happening for centuries and we, the Muslims of India resolve to preserve our unity with life. 

A.M.JAMSHEED BASHA, CHENNAI, INDIA

Ashok Chowgule

from        Ashok Chowgule

to            Sultan Shahin <Editor@NewAgeIslam.com>

date        23 December 2008 07:46

subject   Muslim response to Mumbai terror in sync with the national mood, but

 

Dear Sultanji,

Pranam,

 

RE your enclosed article

 

Given the fact that Antulay was mobbed, in favourable terms, when he went to a mosque near the parliament, how do you say that the Muslim response was in sync with the national mood?

 

Namaste

Ashok Chowgule,

(vice-President, Vishwa Hindu Parishad)

----

Muslim response to Mumbai terror in sync with the national mood, but what is wrong with our intellectuals?

 

From the very moment it became clear that the terrorists who attacked India recently in Mumbai were Pakistanis, Indian Muslim anger against Pakistan and the godfathers of terror in that county has been expressing itself in a variety of ways.  They are particularly angry that these marauders have been maligning the fair name of Islam and its image as a religion of peace. They seem to instinctively understand that Indian Muslims’ peaceful co-existence and continued integration in the national mainstream is not in the interest of Pakistan’s permanent establishment. It negates the Two-Nation Theory on which their country is ideologically based. They keep trying - and, fortunately for us, failing - to instigate communal violence on any pretext that may become available to them. They did that in the aftermath of Bombay riots in 1993. Dawood Ibrahim-organised serial blasts took 250 civilian lives and caused 700 injuries alongside massive economic disruption but India refused to fall in the Pakistani trap. Our country is displaying the same commitment to secularism now and thanks God for that.

 

Muslims recognise the reasons behind Pakistani desperation to attack our secularism, our tolerance and national cohesion, our growing prosperity. India presents a complete contrast to their divided house, virtually every ethnic community seeking to secede, every sect bent upon destroying every other sect, killing its members in as large numbers as possible. Only the day before yesterday a Sunni suicide-bomber killed 20 Shias in a mosque in an event that has become routine in that country. Hence the Mumbai Muslims’ refusal to bury the Pakistani dead in their graveyards, refusal to mourn the loss of Babri Masjid on December 6 this year, which has become an annual event, a sort of another Muharram since 1992. Muslim fury at a clear Pakistani attempt to foment wider violence against them resulted in their participation in large numbers in fellow-citizen’s efforts to show solidarity with the families of those who had died in the latest invasion of our territory – 40 out of 172 killed were Muslims – and condemn the barbaric atrocities while paying homage to those brave policemen and commandos who laid down their lives in the service of nation.

 

But as we open the Urdu newspapers on 6 th of December, we find the editorial pages recycling the same material they keep doing every year on this Moharram II day, the same bemoaning of the “shahadat”(martyrdom) of the Babri mosque, without explaining how can bricks and mortar become “shaheed”-  will they go to Jannat, one naturally wonders. You won’t  find any of these newspapers ever bemoaning the “shahadat” in Saudi Arabia of Islam’s holiest shrines and greatest heritage buildings, that were living proofs of the historicity of many events in Islam’s and Prophet Mohammad’s life (PBUH).

 

Then you find Rashtriya Sahara reproducing historian Amareesh Mishra’s conspiracy theories about Mumbai terror being the work of Israeli and Hindu Zionists’ handiwork. You open your mailbox and find several Muslims enthusiastically lapping up Mishraji’s theories and circulating them. Just sample one sentence of what a widely-circulated e-mail by convenor of the Mumbai-based Muslim Intellectual Forum, Firoze Mithiborwala, reads: “As far as the terrorists who attacked Mumbai are concerned, they are in all likelihood… controlled by the American CIA, the Pakistani ISI and the Israeli MOSSAD.”

 

 

As Zulkif Manzoor, a Ramanujan Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore has been quoted in The Hindustan Times as saying: “Such poisoned opinion has only helped to strengthen prejudices (against Muslims).” Clearly our intellectuals are forgetting that Amareesh Mishra is a Kanyakubaja Brahmin and can say what he will, but we can’t, not at this time.

 

Now does this mean that we are second class citizens; we don’t have the same rights as Brahmins or others? No it doesn’t mean that at all. We are and have been free to express ourselves in whatever way we will; our newspapers have been spreading venom for long - part of the reason why we have alienated ourselves to a certain extent from some sections of society and also injected cynicism in the minds of some of our youth. Mercifully, not many non-Muslims read Urdu newspapers. More mercy, not many of our own youth read Urdu newspapers either; that would have poisoned their minds beyond redemption perhaps.

 

We have been free and have misused our freedom to the hilt. What is different this time then? Well, as theatre personality Amir Reza Khan explained in a NDTV discussion, right now WE ARE AT WAR. And this war has been declared by a country inhabited by fellow-Muslims and not only in our name but also in the name of our religion. They have been posing as saviours of Indian Muslims and practitioners of Islam. Rules of the game are different in a war. We do, therefore, need to wear on our sleeves not only our patriotism but also a few verses of the Holy Quran preaching peace and opposing violence. As actor Shah Rukh Khan pointed out in his interview with Barkha Dutt on NDTV, it is not only Muslims in India, but all over the world who are being called upon to explain that Islam is not a religion of violence.

 

To those who love to spread conspiracy theories here is one that is more grounded in reality and common sense. Backed by US Imperialism, Christian crusaders and Israeli Zionism, Saudi Arabia has for decades been damaging Islam, not only destroying Islam’s heritage buildings, but also spending billions of dollars to spreading a view of Islam that says that Muslims should not only kill all non-Muslims but also those Muslims who do not believe in this murderous version of Islam. Like the known enemies of Islam from the time of the first crusades, this Saudi Islam believes that Islam spread with the power of the sword that the Prophet and his successors wielded. Now use your imagination and you can easily surmise what the Crusader, Zionist game is in protecting the Saudi regime and promoting Saudi Islam, even after 9/11, while they destroyed the only bastion of secular and tolerant Islam in the Middle East, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, on a manifestly false pretext, and turned it into a Saudi or Iranian version of sectarian and intolerant Islam.

 

Fortunately the common Muslim understands the need of the hour that some of our intellectuals and journalists do not. I would appeal to Muslims to continue to walk the extra mile in condemning the Mumbai attacks and distancing themselves and their religion from Osama bin Laden’s or Hafiz Saeed’s version of Islam that has spawned Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and similar scourges.

 

Sultan Shahin, editor, NewAgeIslam.com

 

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