Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Ager Islam
Six thousand Muslim clerics are set to gather in Hyderabad on November 8 to issue the “biggest ever fatwa” against terrorism. Organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, the country’s largest Islamic body, the meet will have muftis from all states condemning the propaganda that “regards terrorism as synonymous with jihad”. The Jamiat, along with the Dar-ul Uloom Deoband, India’s oldest Islamic seminary, had issued a similar fatwa on May 31, the first of its kind in the country. “The first fatwa was signed by only three muftis. This one will be signed by 6,000 muftis, which means the impact of this will be much larger and deeper,” Jamiat leader Maulana Mahmood Madani told reporters.
NewAgeIslam.com had welcomed the previous fatwa against terror, asked for introspection and suggested the need for going beyond statements and looking into deeper issues that inhibit Indian Muslims’ full integration into the Indian society. -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Ager Islam
6000 muftis to slap fatwa against terror
New Delhi, Nov. 3: Six thousand Muslim clerics are set to gather in Hyderabad on November 8 to issue the “biggest ever fatwa” against terror. Organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, the country’s largest Islamic body, the meet will have muftis from all states condemning the propaganda that “regards terrorism as synonymous with jihad”.
The Jamiat, along with the Dar-ul Uloom Deoband, India’s oldest Islamic seminary, had issued a similar fatwa on May 31, the first of its kind in the country.
“The first fatwa was signed by only three muftis. This one will be signed by 6,000 muftis, which means the impact of this will be much larger and deeper,” Jamiat leader Maulana Mahmood Madani said.
The move comes in the wake of arrests of several Muslim youths in connection with a spate of recent blasts.
“We want to tell the whole world that Muslims are much better in India than in any other country despite certain shortcomings. Muslims elsewhere or here should have no confusion about that. This is the message we want to convey,” said Madani. The Jamiat also plans to set up counselling centres in every district for Muslim youths who may “easily get carried away by sinister campaigns”.
Stressing its moderate position, Madani said: “It’s easy to spark hatred. But it will take years to calm it down.”
The November 8 meet will also issue a public declaration demanding a “strict anti-communal violence law”, uniform treatment of riot victims, reservation on the basis of population and implementation of the Ranganatha Mishra commission report that has recommended Scheduled Caste status for Dalit Muslims and Christians. Wary of the alleged “pro-American tilt” of the UPA government, the Jamiat will ask the Centre to come clean on its stand on Palestine and Iraq. “The blatant pro-American position taken by the government of late is being viewed by the community with suspicion. The government will have to make its position clear,” said Madani. Despite the accusation, the meeting should allow the Congress to breathe a sigh of relief. It has been facing flak from almost all leading Muslim groups for “targeting the community in the name of terror”. Some have even equated the Congress with the BJP, saying the parties were “two sides of the same coin”. But the Jamiat said it still had faith in the Congress’s secular credentials. “The Jamiat doesn’t endorse comparing the Congress with the BJP. The Congress, despite its many shortcomings, is considered a secular party by most Muslims,” Madani said.
Can Ulema save Muslims from Radical Islamism? We urgently need to introspect
By Sultan Shahin
We hope the request has been heeded and the present meet will lead to some genuine introspection. The ulema must come forward with visionary guidance for the Muslim community that will help them deal with their own inadequacies and enable them to lead the country on a path of harmony and prosperity rather than remain a community of whiners and grievance-mongers as our leaders have turned us into. It is this whining and constant grievance mongering and spinning of conspiracy theories that is also leading our youth on the path of terrorism. Let us recognise that and act to stem the tide. Blaming others is easy, but let us choose the difficult path of setting our own house in order and setting an example before the country.
Indian Muslims have shown they stand against terrorism, but do the ulema have the necessary vision to save them from the ever-expanding web of radical Islamism that is spawning terrorism across the country? How can we complain against our intelligence agencies discriminating against us, as the ulema in Deoband did so vociferously, if we support the massive discrimination routinely practiced against Hindus and Christians and Jews in Muslim lands? In the eyes of Islam stopping people from praying in the worship places of their choice is the worst possible crime. How come when we are in a minority we want all the human and religious rights, but the moment we are a majority of even 51 percent in some country, we declare the country to be Islamic where other religions have little right. What in Allah’s name is Islamic about this attitude, asks Sultan Shahin in this widely reproduced and circulated essay.
Can Ulema save Muslims from Radical Islamism?
Deoband: Nudged by persistent and growing identification of Islam and Muslims with terrorism at the national as well as global levels since September 9, 2001, Indian Muslim clerics of all hues finally came together to pronounce an unequivocal fatwa against terrorism of all kinds. In an event organised by Dau-ul-Uloom, Deoband, 6,000, heads of madrassas from across the country along with the heads of organisations sponsoring their institutions, joined hands despite their sectarian differences to say with one voice that terrorism of all kinds was against the peaceful principles of Islam and to exhort Muslims to stay away from such dastardly activities as in Islam even the killing of just one innocent person amounted to the killing entire humanity.
The sleepy town of Deoband, 140 kms east of Delhi, famous around the world primarily for hosting this premier Muslim religious educational institution, the Darul Uloom, came alive on February 25, with tens of thousands of Muslims, clerics and ordinary souls, streaming in from all over the country, to support the historic anti-terrorism declaration that the Muslim religious community was about to make in a rare display of unity across the otherwise widening sectarian divide. The Deobandis, Bareilwis, Wahhabis, Ahl-e-Hadees, in short the Sunnis of all hues were all there. The Shias had already participated in another get-together organised by Jamia-ul-ulema for the same purpose in Delhi over a year ago at a smaller level.
What exactly they said is important and needs to be quoted at some length before one tries to judge its significance. The Declaration announced: "This All India Anti-Terrorism Conference attended by the representatives of all Muslim schools of thought organised by Rabta Madaris Islamiah Arabia (Islamic Madrasas Association), Darul Uloom Deoband, condemns all kinds of violence and terrorism in the strongest possible terms."
As a prelude to this declaration, the convention stated: "Islam is the religion of mercy for all humanity. It is the fountainhead of eternal peace, tranquillity, security. Islam has given so much importance to human beings that it regards the killing of a single person the killing of entire humanity, without differentiation based on creed and caste. Its teaching of peace encompasses all humanity. Islam has taught its followers to treat all mankind with equality, mercy, tolerance, justice. Islam sternly condemns all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism. It has regarded oppression, mischief, rioting and murdering among severest sins and crimes."
All schools of thought
More significant than this and indicative of the mood and inspiration of the conference was this exhortation: "Moreover, this All India anti-Terrorism Conference attended by the representatives of all schools of thought appeal to all Muslims to continue, as they always did in the past, their loyalty towards the dear motherland and love and respect towards humanity. It appeals to them to fully understand the present alarming situation, the gravity and intensity of the time, and feel the pulse of the present world so that they might not be employed as tools of evils by anti-Islamic or anti-national forces. It appeals to them to live with dignity and pride being faithful to the country, to keep full trust in their leadership"
Stressing the same point, Maulana Marghoobur Rahman said in his presidential address: "Love of ones land is a part of our faith, and so, we, the members of the madrasahs, disapprove of any attack on our motherland and we will work against any terrorism in the country."
Admirable sentiments indeed! And need of the hour. Statements and exhortations like this have been made in the past, and even by the same people who were present on the dais in the convention. But never before had they come together as representatives and heads of their organisations to say the same things jointly and repeatedly in their speeches that continued throughout the day in front of a gathering of several hundred thousand Muslims who hold them in high esteem. That this would have an impact on the thinking of the entire community goes without saying. Regardless of the ulemas varying and indeterminate levels of scholarship, the vast Muslim masses, many of them illiterate and uneducated, do look up to them for guidance in matters of religious interpretations. That Islam is opposed to killings of innocents is no news to any Muslim, howsoever ignorant, but that he could get involved in terrorist events even by default, just because he was not careful or alert enough, is something he does need to be told and who better to tell him this than the ulema he trusts in matters of faith.
Based on intelligence reports, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan has pointed out several times that hundreds of terrorist sleeper cells lie dormant in various parts of the country, presumably deeply buried as ordinary people living in Muslim localities. These or some of these could be activated at any time of their choice by forces inimical to Indias national integrity and jealous of and hostile to our secular practices. It would require a truly alert Muslim community, more than any other section of the country to thwart their ambitions.
Listening to speeches after speeches in the day-long conference, I could not fathom if the ulema fully appreciate the danger Indian Muslims face from the cult of global Jihad that goes in the name of Islam, in fact calls itself true Islam or real Islam and considers those who are not with it as expendable. It cannot be easy for a Muslim to go to a mosque and blow himself up along with scores of other innocent religious-minded and practicing Muslims who had gathered in a mosque for prayers.
If this is happening with sickening regularity in the land that was a part of our own country not too long ago, it would be foolish for us to consider ourselves immune from the fast-spreading contagion. Such events were unimaginable even in Pakistan until the 1980s. In fact it is only in the last decade or so that it has become routine. I recall visiting Islamabad in early 19990s and listening to people there talking about the killing of an Imam of a small local mosque with shock and disbelief. I visited the offices of Sipah-e-Sahaba in Karachi and spent an evening in an atmosphere of pleasant bonhomie with likeable people, without even gathering a hint that soon they were going to become known as remorseless killers. Clearly it doesnt take long for things to change when vested interests start misusing ideology to turn genial people into monsters.
Whether or not the ulema at Deoband and other Indian seminaries realise this, Jihadism is an ideology in its own right. It has nothing to do with Islam, as the ulema pointed out, quoting chapter and verse from the Holy Quran and Sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But it approaches Muslims in the garb of true Islam. It misinterprets the verses of Holy Quran and concocts Hadees (Saying of the Prophet) to prove its point and entice the unwary. A fabricated Hadees may appear ridiculous to the knowledgeable but present that to a gullible, trusting Muslim who loves the Prophet more than his life and it may affect him differently.
Ulema must answer: Is Jihad against India superior or is this a fabricated Hadees?
One Kashmiri Jihadi organisation, for instance, quotes a so-called Hadees, according to which the Prophet called the Jihad against India as more worthwhile (afzal) than any other Jihad. Now anyone who knows anything about Islam, the Prophet, the demands of the times he lived in, or who has read the most highly regarded Bukhari or Muslim compilations of Hadees, in which the Prophet is said to have mentioned India only once in an entirely different context, would immediately dismiss this as ridiculous, but apparently there are some who are not doing so.
There is evidence that some of our youth are beginning to get radicalised under the onslaught of this global Jihadist cult. Let us hope that the ulema are aware of this and their exhortation would have a salutary effect. There clearly is need for more such conferences in different parts of the country. But the ulema will do well to confine themselves to the subject of terrorism and its dangers to the Muslim community and to the need for alerting the Muslim populace to enable them to face the Jihadi onslaught which clearly is going on at a subterranean level. Grievance-mongering, government-bashing, even Sangh-whacking, a favourite pastime of many of our leaders and even ulema, can wait for another occasion.
Saving Muslims from radical Islamism
Major political parties and the media have done well to welcome and applaud Daul Uloom Deobands latest effort to protect Muslims from radical Islams endeavour to wean them away from their traditional moderate stance. Though individual scholars from Deoband as well as other groups that were present there have been saying much the same thing in almost the same words for quite some time, this is the first time that institutions and organisations like Darul Uloom Deoband, Jamiat-ul-Ulema, Jamaat-e-Islami, Ajmer Sharif, Ahl-e-Hadees, etc. have come together to denounce terrorism in very clear terms and call it against the postulates of Islam.
Without detracting from the wisdom and significance of the ulemas (Islamic scholars) latest endeavour, however, I would like to make a few quick points.
While the media, particularly print, and the mainstream political parties have done well to highlight the main message, the ulema themselves did not maintain their focus on the historic and ground-breaking work they were doing. Any one who attended the conference can be excused for thinking that this was no more than a run of the mill conference that Muslims periodically hold to air their grievances against the government of the day and demand fair and equitable treatment. Several ulema managed to fire themselves up with their rhetoric against the discrimination Muslims face from intelligence agencies and security services hardly a suitable tenor for a session that was billed as a seminar and an occasion for introspection and brainstorming.
As a result, at least some of the message got lost and others got distorted. For instance, very few newspapers have reported that the seminaries have now decided to maintain their finances in good order and transparency. They will now be able to tell how much money they are getting, from where and how this is being spent. As private organisations they are not obliged to do so. But they have decided to respond to frequent allegations of financial irregularity and funding from abroad. The ulema get plenty of other opportunities to rail against the government and communal forces of Hindutva. But for several ulema, denouncing terrorism as unislamic was just a necessary chore. They revelled in the opportunity to denounce and challenge those who trouble Muslims and hurt their religious sentiments.
Introspection completely missing!
Introspection was completely missing. While the ulema complained bitterly, for instance, about Talibanism being ascribed to Deobandi teachings and stressed that it was not so, no thought was given to the question as to why was Talibanism considered Deobandi or what could Deoband do in terms of changing its curriculum to distinguish itself from the Pakistani Deobandi schools.
To give a concrete example, the Taliban or Al-Qaeda version of Islam is clearly distorting the theory and practice of Jihad in Islam. Jihad has a much wider significance in Islam, but in the sense of Qital (fighting) that too in defence, it was permitted to Muslims 14 years after the advent of Islam and God explained and gave reasons for this landmark permission in Surah 22 verse 39 in these words: "If God did not check one set of people by means of another there would surely have been pulled down temples, churches, synagogues and mosques in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure. God will certainly aid those who aid His (cause)"
In his exegesis, A Yusuf Ali, one of the best known and revered translators and interpreters of the Holy Quran says: This was the first occasion on which fighting in self-defence-was permitted. (22.39) 2817. To allow a righteous people to fight against a ferocious and mischief-loving people was fully justified. But the justification was far greater here, when the little Muslim community was not only fighting for its own existence against the Makkan Quraish, but for the very existence of the Faith in the One True God. It affected not the faith of one peculiar people. The principle involved was that of all worship, Jewish or Christian as well as Muslim, and of all foundations built for pious uses. (22.40)"
It is thus the religious duty of the Muslims to fight to protect the Faith and worship houses of all religions. But while we Indian Muslims are mourning the demolition of one mosque 15 years ago, do we shed any tears, even make a single statement bemoaning the routine destruction of temples in Pakistan and Bangladesh. And this while India is the only major non-Muslim majority country where not only there is no discrimination in our right to build and run tens of thousands of mosques and madrassas but also the Muslims are allowed to run their personal life in accordance with their understanding of their religious laws. Does the fact concern us that Saudi Arabia does not allow the tens of thousands of Christians and Hindus living there the human right to worship in their own churches and temples, even though the Quran asks us to fight on their behalf for that particular right?
Religious duty to protest injustices against minorities in Muslim lands
Have we ever done our religious duty to protest these injustices? No, in fact the one Muslim lady, Taslima Nasreen, who protested in Bangladesh and highlighted the plight of Hindus, has become a hate figure for us. She should have been our hero. She is doing what the religious leaders should have been doing. Instead we love to persecute her. Our political and religious leaders try to beat her physically and we either applaud or keep quiet.
How can we complain against our intelligence agencies discriminating against us, as the ulema in Deoband did so vociferously, if we support the massive discrimination routinely practiced against Hindus and Christians and Jews in Muslim lands? In the eyes of Islam stopping people from praying in the worship places of their choice is the worst possible crime. How come when we are in a minority we want all the human and religious rights, but the moment we are a majority of even 51 percent in some country, we declare the country to be Islamic where other religions have little right. What in Allahs name is Islamic about this attitude?
Our Ulema should be different from Taliban
There are many such questions on which the ulema would do well to deliberate and come up with answers that distinguish them from the Taliban and al-Qaida. If they dont, nothing can stop the world from associating Deoband and other religious seminaries from the terrorist organisations that are spreading murder, mayhem and chaos in the world.
Ulema need to rethink some fundamental questions
Obviously, Ulema need to rethink some fundamental questions guiding Muslim-Hindu relationship. But the question is: Do they have the necessary vision to save Muslims from complete marginalisation?
i dont mind repeating myself in saying that Deoband has certainly made a noble effort to discredit Taliban and al-Qaeda theories and practices that link Islam with terrorist acts. That even Jamaat-e-Islami was a party to the Deoband Declaration agasint Terrorism is particularly heartening. Alongside Syed Qutub of Egypt, the J-e-I founder-ideologue Abul Ala Maudoodi is considered one of the two gurus of present-day Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. Similarly significant is the presence and approval of Ahl-e-Hadees and other Salafi sects. Barailvi schools that represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the sub-continent are in any case more inclusive and broadminded. So the supporting message of the Sajjada Nasheen of Ajmer Sharif was no surprise at all. It was a great sight, watching the ulema (Islamic scholars) of different sects sitting together on the same dais and not denouncing each other as Kafir.
Rethink some very fundamental religious issues
However, this is not enough and by itself it will not provide the Muslims with much relief. The ulema in India have to rethink some very fundamental religious issues that govern Muslims relationship with the majority Hindu community. Take for instance the question of whether Muslims should treat Hindus as Ahl-e-Kitab (People of the Book, i.e. followers of one of the 1,24,000 prophets who came prior to Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him) or Kafir (deniers of the existence of God). The first Arab Muslim general to deal with Indian Hindus was Mohammad bin Qasim, who is something of a revered figure for many Muslims. When he conquered Sindh the question of Muslim-Hindu relationship arose for the first time. A committee of ulema then decided that Hindus should be treated as Ahle-e-Kitab, as they largely believe in the oneness of God, treat their idols as a way to reaching God rather than gods by themselves and their scriptures have unmistakable passages which are almost identical to the teachings of the Quran. Obviously Hindu avatars have to be treated as Gods messengers who brought the message of God just as other Islamic prophets have, though it could not have been preserved fully due to the antiquity of their period and the lack of facilities in those ancient times.
Why treat Hindus as semi-Ahle-Kitab?
Muslims are asked to have close social relations with all Ahl-e-Kitab. But that did not happen in the case of Hindus despite the religious verdict. Probably an Arab sense of racial superiority completely unislamic by all accounts came in the way. (By the way it is this Arab racism and its confrontation with Persian sense of superiority over Arab Bedouins that is also responsible for the bitter Shia-Sunni divide.) So they developed a system in which while they would make friends with, sit together and dine with Hindus, they would not allow inter-marriages, although Islam allows Muslims to have marital relationship with communities that come under the category of Ahl-e-Kitab, with the life-partners maintaining their separate religious identity, belief and practice. So the ulema have basically devised for Hindus a new category of semi-Ahl-e-Kitab something that has no sanction in the Quran or Hadees. In this they would allow Muslims to maintain close social relations with Hindus but not allow them to go for marital relationship.
And Christians as full Ahl-e-Kitab?
Like the class of ulema itself which has no sanction in Islam, this category of semi-Ahl-e-Kitab is an innovation that has done much damage to the Muslims. The excuse is that Hindus engage in idolatry despite their scriptures calling for non-duality (advaita) or unity of God. But if that is such a major or even relevant issue, how and why do they treat Christians as full Ahl-e-Kitab, though Christians treat Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as the son of God, which amounts to ascribing physical attributes to God, and actually worship idols of Jesus and Mother Mary.
Not that one has any problem with treating Christians as full Ahl-e-Kitab. As a matter of fact almost all the people in the world are indeed Ahl-e-Kitab. The Holy Quran tell us that many prophets have been sent before Prophet Mohammad to all corners of the world and no prophet was sent without revelations (which are later collected as in the case of Quran as a Book). Arabia was probably the only part of the world where there were people who could be called Kafir as they had not yet been blessed with a Prophet till then and that is why the last Prophet was sent there. So in a religious sense the Muslims should stop calling any community Kafir and start using the word Kafir as Urdu poets do to describe their beloveds.
Many similar fundamental questions that the ulema need to resolve
There are many similar fundamental questions that the ulema need to resolve if they want to lead the community to a peaceful and prosperous life in the country and the world. The holding of this anti-terrorism convention and the presence of such a diverse group shows that the Muslim religious leadership has indeed got the message that the Muslims are quite worried at the drift of events that are alienating them from other communities in India as elsewhere. Deep and sincere introspection and broadmindedness is called for.
Extricate Islam from Arab follies, prejudices and racial supremacism
One of the most important and urgent requirement would be to extricate Islam from Arab follies, prejudices and racial supremacism. We Indian Muslims must realise that we are the inheritors of a glorious 5,000-year old civilisation. There is no reason why we should go by the interpretation of Arab Bedouins and desert tribes who had no history of any intellectual or artistic pursuit beyond writing some romantic poetry. I am not trying to replace Arab racial supremacism with an Indian one. We have no problem accepting the message of God coming to us through any voice box. Prophet Mohammad was an exemplary person the like of which the world has never seen. He was a spiritual master who rose to the position of a Prophet and at the same time a consummate statesman who remains unmatched in history. This is acknowledged by many objective observers of world history from all communities. So we accept the Muslim holy book without any reservation or prejudice.
But why should we also accept as Islamic the way Arabs ran their politics after massacring the entire family of the Prophet is beyond my comprehension. How can we allow ourselves to be guided by the interpretations of a people who accepted Yazid, the killer of the Prophets family as a Khalifa and allowed him to found dynastic politics in Islam whose USP is equality of all souls and no superiority of one person over another on any ground except that of piety. Barring some exceptionally gifted individuals Arabs continue to be mired in pre-Islamic Jahiliya (age of ignorance) despite 1400 years of interaction with Islam. This is not at all to belittle any community or race. But we Muslims tend to forget our glorious heritage. If we need to develop our understanding of core Islamic values like, say, unity of God, where do we go? Of course, to our ancient Islamic scriptures and writings that we Muslims tend to dismiss simply as Hindu religious literature.
The Quran does not elaborate and explain many essential points presumably for the simple reason that it has all been done before and those books are available. If you want to use your intellect, as per the repeated advice of the Quran, to understand wahdaniat, oneness of God, for instance, there would be no better pace to go than what are now known merely as Hindu scriptures, though they are as much our scriptures as theirs. Our history did not begin with Mohammad bin Qasim as the world history did not begin with the advent of Prophet Mohammad, though many Muslims tend to behave as if that were the case. We were a very advanced people much before that. We have been blessed with many prophets before Prophet Mohammad and Islam asks us to give them the same respect as we accord to our beloved Prophet.
While Deoband 2008 gives us hope, one cannot but wonder if the ulema indeed have the necessary vision to lead the community at such a sensitive juncture. We will have to engage in some tough debates and take some hard decisions, if we are to save our community from total marginalisation in the country and the world, at least partly caused by the ulema’s own ill-conceived decisions flouting the spirit of Islam.
Please also see:
Text of the Deoband Declaration
The following is the text of the Deoband Declaration at All India Anti-Terrorism Conference organized by Rabta Madaris Islamiah (Islamic Madrasas Association):
Darul Uloom Deoband, on 17 Safar 1429 H = 25 February 2008 Monday
Chaired by: Hazrat Maulana Marghoobur Rahman Sahib,
Mohtamim Darul Uloom Deoband & President of Islamic Madrasas Association, Darul Uloom Deoband
Islam is the religion of mercy for all humanity. It is the fountainhead of eternal peace, tranquility, security. Islam has given so much importance to human beings that it regards the killing of a single person the of killing the entire humanity, without differentiation based on creed and caste. Its teaching of peace encompasses all humanity. Islam has taught its followers to treat all mankind with equality, mercy, tolerance, justice. Islam sternly condemns all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism. It has regarded oppression, mischief, rioting and murdering among severest sins and crimes.
This All India Anti-Terrorism Conference attended by the representatives of all Muslim schools of thought organised by Rabta Madaris Islamiah Arabia (Islamic Madrasas Association), Darul Uloom Deoband condemns all kinds of violence and terrorism in the strongest possible terms. The Conference expresses its deep concern and agony on the present global and national alarming conditions in which most of the nations are adopting such an attitude against their citizens especially Muslims to appease the tyrant and colonial master of the West, which cannot be justified in any way. It is a matter of greater concern that the internal and external policies of our country are getting heavily influenced by these forces. Their aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan but also in Bosnia and various South American countries have surpassed all the records known to human history. Contrary to it, our great nation has always been known for impartiality and its moral and spiritual values. Now the situation has worsened so far that every Indian Muslim especially those associated with madrasas, who are innocent with good record of characters, are always gripped by the fear that they might be trapped by the administrative machinery anytime. And, today countless number of innocent Muslims are spending their lives behind the bars and are forced to bear many intolerable tortures. And, those spreading terror, attacking police stations, killing the police in broad daylight and showing illegal arms are roaming about freely with no effective and preventive steps being taken by the government to check their acts of terrorism and violence. This partial attitude has put a big question mark on the secular character of the government posing great threats to the country. Therefore, this All India Anti-Terrorism Conference strongly condemns this attitude and expresses its deep concern on this partiality of government officials and declares its continuous joint struggles for domination of law, justice and secular system.
This conference strongly demands the Indian Government to curb those maligning the madrasas and Muslims. The administrative machinery should be demanded to conduct impartial investigations in activities disturbing public peace in the country and to punish only those found guilty. It also demands to free the accused if he is found innocent and punish severely those officials who accused him of crimes of terrorism. No person of any particular community should be suspected without solid reasons. In short, the government agencies must fulfil their duty justly without any prejudice and bias so that real peace and security may prevail in the country.
This All India Anti-Terrorism Conference appeals to all intellectuals, writers and media persons to independently and honestly analyze the national and international affairs and avoid to biased and partial attitudes.
Moreover, this All India anti-Terrorism Conference attended by the representatives of all schools of thought appeal to all Muslims to continue, as they always did in the past, their loyalty towards the dear motherland and love and respect towards humanity. It appeals to them to fully understand the present alarming situation, the gravity and intensity of the time, and feel the pulse of the present world so that they might not be employed as tools of evils by anti-Islamic or anti-national forces. It peals to them to live with dignity and pride being faithful to the country, to keep full trust on their leadership, render full support to Islamic madarsas which are valuable assets of the Muslim Ummah, spend their lives in the country following Islamic Shariah and teachings with full confidence. They should always remember that most important things are Islam and practicing it, and, hence, their prime focus should be on enriching their lives with good deeds and noble manners as, in fact, worldly situations deteriorate because of non-practice of Islamic teachings.
Need for holding state-wise conferences against terrorism.
This meeting of working committee of All India madarsas association feels necessary to hold state-wise conferences as it held this grand conference in view of the existing situations. The present situation of the country demands the joint and constant efforts being made to denounce terrorism, biased and discriminatory attitudes of the government against the Muslim community. It needs such conferences to be held in the major places of all the states. This meeting appeals to Darul Uloom Deoband to act as a leader in this direction.
Issued by: Central office, Islamic Madrasas Association
Please also see: http://rethinkingislam-sultanshahin.blogspot.com/
Other reports and interview with Maulana Mahmood madani
Muslim clerics to gather for brainstorming in Hyderabad
Nov 6th, 2008 | By Sindh Today
New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) From the shootout in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar to Palestine, thousands of Muslim clerics will discuss an entire gamut of issues facing the community at a two-day conference over the weekend in Hyderabad.
Many participants Thursday boarded a special train, Sheikh-Ul-Hind express, also known as the train for national integration and peace, from the Uttar Pradesh town of Deoband for Hyderabad to attend the Ijlaas-e-aam (congregation of all) on Saturday and Sunday.
The meeting, to be attended by representatives of all prominent Muslim organisations, has been called by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
â€œIt is in line with the tradition of the Jamiat that this call has been given to discuss the issues related to the community. Prominent among them are terrorism and profiling of Muslims done in the name of terrorism,’ said Qari Usman of the 150-year-old Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband.
Other issues that will be discussed are the implementation of the Sachar Committee report (which dealt with the social, economic and educational status of Muslims), the Ranganathan Mishra committee report (which recommended reservation for Muslims in education and employment) and some international issues like Palestine and Iraq, he added.
The Sep 19 shootout in Jamia Nagar — in which two suspected terrorists that police said were behind the Delhi serial blasts were killed along with a police officer — and the demand for a judicial probe could also be included in the resolutions adopted at the two-day meet.
Conferences like these are the best way to attract the attention of the government towards the problems of the community, said Mujtaba Farooq, general secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. India is home to the third largest Muslim population after Indonesia and Pakistan.
This would put the pressure on the ‘government to take necessary steps to address the issues’.
There have been similar congregations held recently.
On Oct 14, the Shahi Imam, or chief cleric, of the Jama Masjid in Delhi called an all India meeting in the wake of the Jamia Nagar incident.
In May, about 15,000 Muslims from across the country gathered at Delhi’s Ramlila grounds to take a pledge to fight terrorism.
Before that, in February, a major congregation of Muslim clerics was held by the Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband, where a fatwa condemning terrorism was issued.
‘Deoband has a history of being a nationalist seminary. This can be judged from the fact that its first graduate Maulana Mahmood Hasan established a government in exile in Kabul with Raja Mahender Pratap during India’s struggle for independence. The (special) train is to send the message of peace as well from the community,’ said Qari Usman.
Jamiat demands riot Act
Thursday, November 06, 2008 02:46 IST
Islamic body wants Centre to deal sternly with those indulging in rioting
The Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind is concerned over continuing communal violence across the country and is all set to demand a separate Act to deal with those indulging in communal riots. The Jamiat's national conference in Hyderabad, on November 8 and 9, will take up such issues apart from those related to the community, Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind leader and Rajya Sabha MP Maulana Mehmood Madni told KV Ramana. Excerpts:
The Jamiat has been talking about national integration for quite some time. What does it want?Communal violence is the key issue for us as there are forces that are trying to divide the country. People are being beaten up, driven away and burnt. This is of concern.Can you be specific?We are seeing people trying to terrorise whole communities on the basis of region they come from, be it Bihar, Bengal, North or South India. Issues like Maratha and non-Maratha are coming up. The government should deal with this situation firmly and there is a need for a comprehensive Act to punish such people who indulge in communal violence. You mean Raj Thackeray should be booked under terror Acts ?No. I am not naming anyone. But, they should be dealt with firmly. Though people like you say that terrorism has no religion, don’t you think the accused are always identified with a religion? Our stand is clear. There are some insane people who indulge in some acts and they should not be linked to any religion. Hindus are peace-loving and so are Muslims. Ideologically they can never become supporters of any terrorist act. The insane should not be seen as belonging to any religion.What about the cross-border terrorism?It’s the government’s duty to deal with cross-border terrorism. If it is not doing its duty, it’s their failure. Terrorism is one subject that can be dealt only through a holistic approach. Every stakeholder should be involved in the process.
alking about national integration, do you see some threat to the fabric now?Yes. Some people are trying to disturb it.
What are the issues that form your agenda for Jamiat’s conference in Hyderabad on November 8 & 9?There are many. Focus will be on national integration, communal harmony and on opposing terrorism. There will be a public meeting as part of the conference on the last day (Nov 9). Shri Shri Ravi Shankar will be the chief guest and Swami Agnivesh is attending. We have invited prominent leaders from all communities to address the congregation on the issue of national integration and challenge of terrorism and communalism. Leaders of other Muslim organisations such as Jama’at-e-Islami Hind and All India Muslim Personal Law Board have assured their participation. We are also running a special train, Shaikhul Hind National Integration and Peace Express, from Deoband to Hyderabad. What are you expecting from the conference?This platform would help integrate the people of the country. After holding discussion with various organisations and eminent people, we will design a declaration. email@example.com
Posted by collective at April 28, 2008 12:04 PM
Dear Mr. Sultan Shahin,
Individuals think within the framework in which they were educated and the framework in which they grew up. The Ulema have limited religious educational background and restricted life experience as children and young adults. Their efforts to understand outside world is hobbled by the world in which they grew up. To expect them to think outside the box is our folly. They will not change by themselves. Change is sometimes forced upon people due to external circumstances. It can be financial, physical or psychological. In the case of the Ulema financial circumstances have been taken care of by the Saudis and rich Arabs, and millions of poor Indian Muslims who give them donations from what little they earn. The physical needs of the Ulema are met by their living within four walls of their madaris. Currently they are affected by psychological circumstances which is their fear that the Government of India's crack down on Jihadi movement will affect them. The conference on Terrorism was organized because fear is gripping the Ulema that they will be swept in the onslaught against terrorism and they will lose their livlihood. The conference declaration is the best they can do.
The Ulema have one advantage over secular Muslims. Poor Muslims who are the larger part of the community listen to them. Their declaration against terrorism will be heard by that group of Muslim community.
The question of removing Jihadi cells from the midst of Muslim community is difficult because it is reaction to political actions of the BJP rather than religious basis of fighting the non-Muslims. These other external causes are not in the control of the Ulema. The riots in Malegaon, Gujarat affected the whole community then it found that Muslim youth were arrested and tortured by the Police all over India. Ulema cannot solve this problem. This problem is created by the Government of India and it is for the Government to make police and security forces attend classes in which they are taught interfaith relations and respect for other religions. I live in the USA. Here the FBI and local police undergo training to understand cultural and religious behaviour of minorities which is different than that of the white Anglo-Saxon majority.
What the Ulema can do and must do in the end is to learn to live in the modern world with science, technology, philosophy and logic. Unless they do that they will not be able to communicate with Muslim youth which is slowly getting educated and out of bounds of their influence.
Posted by: Mohammad Imran on April 28, 2008 04:34 PM
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:58:22 +0530 [11:58:22 AM IST]
From: ghulam muhammed
To: sultan Shahin <Editor@NewAgeIslam.com>
Subject: A running thread of deep saffron - By Christophe Jafferlot - The Indian Express
A running thread of deep saffron
Posted: Jan 29, 2009 at 1107 hrs IST
The people behind the Malegaon terrorist attack fell into three categories — Sangh parivar cadres, army men and old Savarkarites. The first person to be arrested by the police, Pragya Singh, was a sadhvi and former ABVP leader. A second group of the accused comprised army men, retired or not, related to the Bhonsle Military School (BMS). Major Ramesh Upadhyay, a former defence services officer was arrested first, but the key figure was Lt Col Prasad Purohit, who had approached Upadhyay when he was posted at Nasik as liaison officer. Purohit and Upadhyay imparted military training to young activists — including bomb making — and were instrumental in getting arms and explosives.
Most of the training camps took place in the BMS, which had been directed by Rtd Major P.B. Kulkarni between 1973 and 1988, andwho had been associated with the RSS since 1935. In fact, the Bajrang Dal organised training camps in the BMS (Nagpur) as early as 2001. The five accused mentioned above were all members of Abhinav Bharat, a Pune-based movement initiated by Purohit in June 2006, whose working president was Ramesh Upadhyaya but whose president was none other than Himani Savarkar, V.D. Savarkar's daughter in law, who also headed the Hindu Mahasabha.
The people, the places and the modus operandi are revealing of the continuity that underlines the Hindu tradition of terror, harking back to V.D. Savarkar. The young, revolutionary Savarkar had created the first Abhinav Bharat Society in 1905. The movement drew its name and its inspiration from Mazzini's 'Young Italy', but was also influenced by Frost Thomas's Secret Societies of the European Revolution, a book dealing mostly with the Russian nihilists. The movement was dissolved in 1952, but ten years back, just before finishing his term as Hindu Mahasabha president, Savarkar had created the Hindu Rashtra Dal, another militia whose mission was to impart military training to the Hindus in order to fight the Muslims, Gandhi's followers and the Mahatma himself. This movement cashed in on the work of the same institution — the Bhonsle Military School, started in 1935 by B.S. Moonje, another Nagpur-based Savarkarite, after a European tour which had exposed him to Mussolini's Balilla movement.
Like the Abhinav Bharat of today, the Hindu Rashtra Dal attracted Hindutva-minded Maharashtrian Brahmins — especially from Poona — who found the RSS insufficiently active. Some of them also had connections to the British Army.
Nathuram Godse and N.D. Apte, the two main architects of Gandhi's assassination, are cases in point. Godse thought that RSS strategy contented itself with "organisation for the sake of organisation". The Hindu Rashtra Dal, by contrast, organised training camps where volunteers learnt how to manufacture bombs and use guns from bicycles and cars. The key instructor was N.D. Apte who had served the army as Assistant Technical Recruiting Officer. In this capacity, he could use the War Service Exhibitions — which were intended to attract young Indians to the army — to initiate Hindu Rashtra Dal members into the art of modern arms.
The Hindu Rashtra Dal's terrorist agenda culminated in the assassination of Gandhi, who had already been a Savarkarite target before — in 1934, they threw a bomb in Poona Municipal Town Hall where Gandhi was making a speech against untouchability.
While today's Abhinav Bharat belongs to an old tradition harking back to Savarkar and even Tilak, the new element here lies in the implication of one serving officer of the Indian army. Certainly, any institution can have a black sheep. But was he that isolated? He has already named other officers who would have been his more or less passive accomplices and his colleague, Upadhyay, who once headed the <Mumbai unit of the BJP's ex-servicemen cell. The BJP, indeed, inducted ex-army men in large numbers since the 1990s. After the BJP came to power in 1998, two dozens ex-servicemen more joined the party. This inflow of ex-army men may reflect the increasingly communal atmosphere of the institution. In December 2003, a survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies for Tehelka, one of the first among army men — and probably the most comprehensive — showed that 19 per cent of the soldiers interviewed felt that the army practised some religious discrimination — and 24 per cent of the Muslims among them shared this view.
Instead of distancing itself from the Hindu terrorists, as it had done in the 1940s, this time the Sangh Parivar has decided to support the Malegaon accused. Bajrang Dal chief Prakash Sharma declared that "policy makers should be worried if the Hindus were taking to arms because of the government's skewed approach to war on terror" and admitted that the Bajrang Dal was running training camps too "to boost their morale [the Bajrang Dal's members]. The country wouldn't get its Abhinav Bindras if there were no armed training for the youth".
In a way, the RSS, with the Bajrang Dal, has created a buffer organisation to handle the dirty work that the Sangh was earlier obliged to do itself — work similar to that of the Savarkarite organisations, whether they are called Hindu Rashtra Dal or Abhinav Bharat.
The writer is a political scientist and South Asia specialist at CERI, Paris
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 02:49:45 -0600 [02:19:45 PM IST]
From: Manoj Padhi
Subject: Re: Obama Must Prosecute Rumsfeld for War Crimes By Matthew Rothschild - January 27, 2009
Since when Animal torture has become a crime ?
Terrorists are considered Animals in India and when dogs get mad, we shoot them. Any amount of torture is permitted.
Must read and forward links
Hope, the following humorous letter written by Don Rumsfeld to a terrorist sympathizer will open your eyes..
I endorse this and if you do , please send a brief comment..
Taking Care of the Guantanamo Detainees
A person wrote a letter to the White House complaining about the
treatment of a captive taken during the Afghanistan war. Attached is a
copy of a letter they received back:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C. 20016
Dear Concerned Citizen:
Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of
the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo
My administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was
heard loud and clear here in Washington.
You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens
like you, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining
Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers"
program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this
new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your
Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for
transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next
Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be
cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your
letter of admonishment. It will likely be necessary for you to hire
some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to
ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with
those you so strongly recommended in your letter.
Ahmed's meal requirements are simple, but we strongly suggest serving
meals that do not require utensils, particularly knives and forks.
Also, these should be "one-handed" foods; Ahmed will not eat with his
left hand since he uses that for personal matters.
He generally bathes quarterly with the change of seasons, assuming
that it rains, and he washes his clothes simultaneously. This should
help with your water bill. Also, your new friend has a really bad case
of body lice that hasn't been completely remedied. Please heed the
large orange notice attached to your detainee's cage: "Does not play
well with others."
Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your
sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will
help him overcome these character flaws.
Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural
differences. He will bite you, given the chance, but his rabies test
came back negative, so not to worry. We understand that you plan to
offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is
extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human
life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We do not
suggest that you ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga
group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices
from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items
locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except
sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property.
However, he will be eager to assist with the education of your sons;
have available for their use several copies of the Q'uran.
Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like
you, who know so much, keep us informed of the proper way to do our
job. We think this watching over each other's shoulder is such a good
way for people to interact that we will be sending a team of federal
officials with expertise in your line of work to your place of
business soon, just to help you do your job better. Don't be concerned
that they have the power to close your business, seize your property,
and arrest you for any violation of the 4,850,206 laws, codes,
regulations and rules that apply to your profession. They're really
there just to make sure you're doing everything the proper way. That
is what you wanted, right?
Well, thank you for this opportunity to interact with such a valued
member of the citizenry. You take good care of Ahmed - and
remember...we'll be watching.
Cordially...Your Buddy, Don Rumsfeld
On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 1:14 AM, ghulam.muhammed <<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Obama Must Prosecute Rumsfeld for War Crimes
By Matthew Rothschild, January 27, 2009
If I were Donald Rumsfeld, and what a horrible thought that is, I wouldn't be traveling abroad any time soon. And I might be out looking for a disguise here at home.
Because Rumsfeld stands before the world as an unindicted war criminal for ordering torture while he was Bush's Secretary of Defense.
No less a figure that the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture said on CNN Monday that "Rumsfeld clearly authorized torture methods." The Rapporteur, Manfred Nowak, said the United States has an "obligation" to investigate this, and he has passed his recommendation on to the United Nations.
The smoking gun is a December 2, 2002, directive Rumsfeld issued that ordered sensory deprivation, stress positions, isolation, and the use of dogs on prisoners.
He also admitted hiding at least one detainee from the Red Cross, which violates the Geneva Conventions.
And, according to Seymour Hersh, he set up a Secret Access Program "that was given blanket advance approval to kill or capture." Summary executions constitute a war crime.
Plus, he had "command responsibility" for those under him who were doing the torturing. If he knew about war crimes and did not try to stop them, he's also guilty of a war crime.
"Rumsfeld was intimately involved with the interrogation of a Saudi detainee, Mohamed al-Qahtani, at Guantánamo in late 2002. General Geoffrey Miller, who later transferred many of his harsh interrogation techniques to Abu Ghraib, supervised the interrogation and gave Rumsfeld weekly updates on his progress. During a six-week period, al-Qahtani was stripped naked, forced to wear women's underwear on his head, denied bathroom access, threatened with dogs, forced to perform tricks while tethered to a dog leash, and subjected to sleep deprivation," <Marjorie Cohn reported for Alternet.
The evidence against Rumsfeld has been on the table for years now.
Back in 2005, <Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said there was prima facie evidence that Rumsfeld was a war criminal.
And Amnesty International said that if the United States didn't prosecute Rumsfeld, then foreign governments should. "If anyone suspected of involvement in the U.S. torture scandal visits or transits through foreign territories, governments could take legal steps to ensure that such individuals are investigated and charged with applicable crimes," Amnesty International USA said.
More recently, the general who investigated Abu Ghraib concluded that the most senior Bush administration officials committed war crimes.
"There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," Retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba wrote, in the preface to a report by Physicians for Human Rights last year. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
Taguba believes that Bush himself could be brought up on war crimes. "The Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture," <he said, in the preface to "Broken Laws, Broken Lives."
Finally, the <Senate Armed Services Committee released a report late last year that implicated Rumsfeld in the abuse of detainees.
"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there," it said. He also "contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity, and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq."
So why is this man allowed to walk free?
To show that we're a country of laws, to show that we respect human rights, to show that we oppose torture, Barack Obama must instruct the Justice Department to prepare an indictment against Donald Rumsfeld.
And failing that, it'll be up to some courageous foreign government to nab this fugitive from justice.
From Ashok Chowgule
To: Sultan Shahin <Editor@NewAgeIslam.com>
date 29 January 2009 15:26
Understanding the Muslim Mind
Author: Dr Omar Zia
Publication: Islam Watch
Date: January 29, 2009
29 Jan, 2009
Continuing with my last topic of evolution, or lack thereof, in a Muslim mind, let me give you three real-life examples of how I observed Islam’s toxic effect on the mind of Muslims and how, in my view, they will effect the world around us in the foreseeable future.
1. Mind of a Sri Lankan Muslim
Two years ago while travelling through Sri Lanka I befriended a taxi driver in Colombo.
He was a young devout Muslim from a family of ten: two aged parents and eight grown-up children. He was the youngest member of the family born and bred in Sri Lanka. From my chats with him during several excursions in the city, I pieced together a detailed picture of the conditions and aspirations of Muslims in Sri Lanka.
Muslims constituted only 7% of the population in Sri Lanka. This boy of 22 knew that. He told me in a meaningful way that non-Muslim Sri Lankans are too cautious when it comes to raising a family. They worry about the education and upbringing of their offspring too much; for that reason, birth-rate amongst non-Muslims is quite low. Muslims in Sri Lanka, on the other hand, believe that Allah will provide everything and do not care how many children they have. This boy was prophetic. Current Muslim population of Sri Lanka is listed as 9% according to many guide-books.
Upon my enquiry as to how he got along with his non-Muslim neighbours, he praised them for their placidity and then complained that he found it quite annoying that Muslims had to take their cowardly neighbour religious sensitivity into account and slaughter animals hidden from the public eye. He assured me that as soon as Muslims were in ascendancy in his country, which, he was sure, would happen in his lifetime, one of the first laws to be passed will be sanctioning of slaughtering of animals in the open, like in any Muslim country. While visiting Hindu temples with me, he proudly informed me that Muslims never allow non-Muslim Sri Lankans to enter mosques, as they were unclean. He was also quite sure that if allowed, Muslims being the worthy fighters and jihadis, can sort out the Tamils within a very short time.
In order to understand better the Muslim society in Sri Lanka, I even accepted his offer of a cuppa at his house towards the end of my stay. All that I had heard from this young ‘time bomb’ proved absolutely certain. Indeed, the visit proved even more shocking: the rest of his family members appeared even more radicalized and angrier at their majority countrymen. I felt absolutely horrified at the prospect of what is in store for the affable, but oblivious to danger, non-Muslim Sri Lankans.
2. Mind of my young, ambitious nephew
On my last visit to Pakistan, my 18 year nephew visited me and implored to arrange a visa for him to go to England. He was close to completing his schooling but was quite despondent of his future prospects in Pakistan. I explained to him that even though I will endeavour to help him all I can, the final word would rest with the British consulate and it would be his academic records, which, in the end, would decide his fate. My motive was to inspire him to study harder as he seemed quite lacking in knowledge for his age. I also told him that he would have to supplement his studies in England with menial jobs. He seemed absolutely comfortable with that news.
As I was once analyzing a disturbing verse from the Quran (9:29), he arrived. I decided to test him on his humanity and asked if he had ever read Quran. He proudly replied that he had, several times, but only in Arabic and therefore did not understand any of it. I explained the verse to him and asked for his thoughts on this fascist verse. Without any hesitation, he responded that he absolutely believes it is correct. Upon my flustered query as to how can he think of subjugating or killing his hosts in England, he replied to my astonishment that once Islam has overwhelmed England, this verse would become mandatory and Allah’s deed must be carried out. I couldn’t help but feel awed at the corrupting power of Islam.
3. Mind of my educated, progressive, and nonreligious Muslim brother
The third incident, which I wish to relate, came soon after the above incidence during a dinner chat with my progressive, highly educated and largely non-religious brother. I was lamenting to him at the Taliban’s tactics of usurping power in Pakistan. He coolly informed me that Taliban are good people except that they have interpreted Islam wrongly and all true Muslims harbour a Taliban within them. Much shocked at this statement, I asked him to show me what part Taliban had misinterpreted from the Quran. Noticing that he was attempting to change the subject, I persisted and asked him if he had read the Quran with the understanding of it meaning. Not surprisingly, the answer was a somewhat embarrassing "NO".
After the dinner, I asked him to bring out his translated copy of the Quran. He did not possess one. What he luckily did have though was a functioning computer in his son’s room. I persuaded him to sit with me and I got out the verses which were being used, with proof and through their own mouth by Osama, Naik, Israr and many other unabashed fascist nuts. I showed him ahadees, which corroborated those verses from the Bukhari and Muslim collection. I could almost hear his Islamic world collapsing inside him and heard his heartbeat rising. I knew that I was very near to my goal of making him see the truth. It was just seconds away when all of a sudden he almost toppled the monitor and got up in a rage screaming that it was all western propaganda. He started an incoherent, and increasingly alarming, tirade against the Jews, the West and America and eventually blamed me for being an instrument in the hands of some Western think-tank. Suffice it to say that I left his house with a heavy heart that there is little no hope for a peaceable future for our globe.
Dr. Omar Zia is a Pakistani-born ex-Muslim.
World’s Greatest Showman
Ali Sina on Zakir Naik: A review of The Qur’an and the Bible in the Light of Science
By Ali Sina 2006/06/12
In 2000, a televised debate between Dr. William Campbell representing Christian view point and Dr. Zakir Naik representing Islamic view point took place.
Pakistan Daily Times wrote:
On December 7, 2005, a TV channel (QTV or Al-Noor) showed a debate between William Campbell and Zakir Naik, which showed the other side of the polemic. In the past it was Zakir Naik trying to prove other religions wrong; this time it was William Campbell rebutting his arguments.This was fair enough. If you don’t want your religion criticized don’t do it to other religions. When Dr. Campbell criticized Muslims for claiming scientific discovery in the Quran one had to listen.The TV channel took a fair decision, but when Dr. Campbell began cutting close to where it hurt, the program was suddenly taken off in favor of na’at. If this was done out of fear it was not a good decision and showed Dr Naik in a bad light. (Later news is that Dr Naik won the debate.)
Muslims are convinced that Dr. Naik won that debate. In fact once you watch the video, unless you know the Quran and Islam fairly well, this is the impression that you get. Dr. Naik was so confident and so boisterous throughout the debate that anyone watching would think the same.
Or did he? I went through this debate and have analyzed the talk of Dr. Naik paragraph by paragraph. In this paper I have shown that Dr. Naik misrepresented every statement he made on the Quran. There is not a single claim that Dr. Naik has made about the Quran being miraculous or scientifically accurate that is true.
I have entitled this paper, World’s Greatest Showman, because after watching his performance, in my opinion, it describes him best. Dr. Naik is a magician. Magicians make you believe they cut people in two, make objects disappear and reappear and make rabbits come out of an empty hat. But in reality none of that happens. The ability of the magician is to make you believe in things that do not happen. Dr. Naik uses a different kind of tools to perform his magic. He uses words. He can make his audience believe in things that are not true. In this paper, I am going to show his tricks and what he uses as setup to make things look differently. By the time you finish reading this paper, you'll be able to detect them too. But that is not all. Since all the Muslims use the same tricks, although not with the same proficiency of Dr. Naik, you'll be able to detect their tricks too.
A good magician is dexterous and his moves are swift - so swift that they are hard to detect. However, if you replay his acts and watch then in slow motion, or even frame by frame, you may be able to catch his tricks. This is what I have done with Dr. Naik's talk.
This paper will eventually be available for free download and also in a printer friendly format. It may even become available in a book format. I hope all those who have seen the debate between Dr. Campbell and Dr. Naik and were swayed by Dr. Naik's showmanship read this paper to see how he deceived everyone. Anyone who has seen or heard Dr. Naik owes it to himself to read this paper. He rehashes the same things in all his talks. Here, the tricks of a master magician are exposed. Read it and pass it on.
There is no doubt that Dr. Naik is great. One must acknowledge the merits of his opponent. His greatness is in his ability to twist the truth. He is dexterous with words and has an excellent memory for remembering the verses of the Quran. If he was a lawyer and I was a criminal, I would want him as my attorney.
You can watch the debate by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page while following the transcript in the following pages. When it comes to my responses, you can click on pause and read what I have written.
I say it with all certainty that this paper demarks the end of Dr. Naik's glory and will bring down his empire. Once his fans read this, it would be as if a balloon is punctured. They will see through his veneers of lies and chicanery and his tower of cards will crumble. The proof is overwhelming. Many of them may write to him asking him to respond. Dr. Naik will not because he cannot. Perhaps he would come with silly conditions like he did before, asking for a face to face debate or demanding that I organize a conference attended by 10,000 people, or raise the reward of $50,000 dollars that I am offering to anyone who can prove me wrong to one million dollars. Most likely someone else will respond saying Ali Sina is not important for Dr. Naik to waste his time on.
These are of course lame excuses. There is nothing one can say in a face to face debate that one cannot say in writing. The problem of a face to face debate is that one can play 'magic' and fool the audience, while this is not possible in a written debate.
17:81 Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish."
When this verse was first proclaimed (when Muhammad conquered Mecca) it was anachronistic because then it was Falsehood that had taken over the Truth with force, treason and tricks. Finally, thanks to the Internet, this violent force has become helpless and Truth is reemerging. You can say that verse was false when uttered. But ironically, it was prophetic because it is very true today. Today Truth is back with vengeance and Falsehood is bound to perish.
If you want to contact Dr. Naik, here is his email: email@example.com
Where are the Maulanas? Give a reply to this!
Sex In Paradise
By Ali Sina
When the popular CBS documentary program '60 Minutes' aired the interview with a Palestinian terrorist who claimed that those who blow themselves killing many Israelis will go to Paradise and receive 70 houris, Muslims were outraged and as Joyse M. David on August 23, 2001 reported they claimed that the story of 70 Houris promised to those who fight and die in the name of Allah for killing the infidels is ‘fabricated’.
Davis writes: “The documentary by reporter Bob Simon examined the militant Islamic organization Hamas, which has claimed responsibility for dozens of suicide bombings against Israel. Muslim leaders charge that the report presented false stereotypes of Muslims and defamed their religion.”
She quotes the Muslims “scholar” Dr. Maher Hathout a member if the Islamic Center of Southern California, who said, "There is nothing in the Koran or in Islamic teachings about 70 virgins or sex in paradise. This is ridiculous, and any true Muslim knows that,".
I agree with Dr. Hathout that this is ridiculous, but I disagree with him when he says that there is nothing in the Quran or in Islamic teachings about the 70 virgins or sex in Paradise. If Dr. Hathout is truly an Islamic scholar he should have at least read the Quran. There are several references to the houris in Quran with details. Because I know Muslims always say that their critics quote “out of the context” I am going to quote the verses of the Quran speaking of the houris with the preceding and succeeding verses.
In Surah 44, Muhammad first describes the hell quite vividly.
43 Surely the tree of the Zaqqum,
44 Is the food of the sinful
45 Like dregs of oil; it shall boil in (their) bellies,
46 Like the boiling of hot water.
47 Seize him, then drag him down into the middle of the hell;
48 Then pour above his head of the torment of the boiling water:
49 Taste; you forsooth are the mighty, the honorable:
50 Surely this is what you disputed about.
After giving this dreadful description of the hell and the tortures preferred by Allah the Prophet promises lots of goodies to those who became Muslims.
51 Surely those who guard (against evil) are in a secure place,
52 In gardens and springs;
53 They shall wear of fine and thick silk, (sitting) face to face;
54 Thus (shall it be), and We will wed them with Houris pure, beautiful ones.
In Surah 52 there is another description of the heaven and hell:
17 Surely those who guard (against evil) shall be in gardens and bliss
18 Rejoicing because of what their Lord gave them, and their Lord saved them from the punishment of the burning fire.
19 Eat and drink pleasantly for what you did,
20 Reclining on thrones set in lines, and We will unite them to large-eyed beautiful ones.
21 And (as for) those who believe and their offspring follow them in faith, We will unite with them their offspring and We will not diminish to them aught of their work; every man is responsible for what he shall have wrought.
22 And We will aid them with fruit and flesh such as they desire.
23 They shall pass therein from one to another a cup wherein there shall be nothing vain nor any sin.
Amazingly this paradise promised by the holy prophet satisfies even the paedophiles.
24 And round them shall go boys of theirs as if they were hidden pearls.
Also in Surah 76:19 Allah promises fresh youths to Muslim men.
And round about them shall go youths never altering in age; when you see them you will think them to be scattered pearls.
Again in Surah 56 the Prophet gives the glad tidings of the paradise to his followers and says:
59 And besides these two are two (other) gardens:
60 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
61 Both inclining to blackness.
62 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
63 In both of them are two springs gushing forth.
64 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
65 In both are fruits and palms and pomegranates.
66 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
67 In them are goodly things, beautiful ones.
68 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
69 Pure ones confined to the pavilions.
70 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
71 Man has not touched them before them nor jinni.
72 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
73 Reclining on green cushions and beautiful carpets.
74 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
75 Blessed be the name of your Lord, the Lord of Glory and Honor!
In Surah 56 , there is promise of houris as well as youths that never age for the gratification of Muslim men.
11 These are they who are drawn nigh (to Allah),
12 In the gardens of bliss.
13 A numerous company from among the first,
14 And a few from among the latter.
15 On thrones decorated,
16 Reclining on them, facing one another.
17 Round about them shall go youths never altering in age,
18 With goblets and ewers and a cup of pure drink;
19 They shall not be affected with headache thereby, nor shall they get exhausted,
20 And fruits such as they choose,
21 And the flesh of fowl such as they desire.
22 And pure, beautiful ones,
23 The like of the hidden pearls:
24 A reward for what they used to do.
I believe this should suffice to prove that not only Allah promises "virgin houris" to the righteous Muslims but also “never-aging boys” as white as pearls.
There are also several hadith that confirm sex in paradise. Hadith are the sayings of the Prophet. The following are few of them
Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 402
Narrated Abdullah bin Qais:
Allah's Apostle said, "In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner of which there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them. And there are two gardens, the utensils and contents of which are made of silver; and two other gardens, the utensils and contents of which are made of so-and-so (i.e. gold) and nothing will prevent the people staying in the Garden of Eden from seeing their Lord except the curtain of Majesty over His Face."
The modern Muslim apologists try to present Islam as a religion of peace yet it is not hard to find many hadiths that call for war and promise great rewards in the other world and in this one to the Mujahid who takes the arm and fights for Allah.
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 46
Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The example of a Mujahid in Allah's Cause-- and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause----is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty."
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 48
The Prophet said, ... "Paradise has one-hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His Cause,
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 72
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet said, "Nobody who enters Paradise likes to go back to the world even if he got everything on the earth, except a Mujahid who wishes to return to the world so that he may be martyred ten times because of the dignity he receives (from Allah)."
Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba: Our Prophet told us about the message of our Lord that "Whoever amongst us is killed will go to Paradise." Umar asked the Prophet, "Is it not true that our men who are killed will go to Paradise and their's (i.e. those of the Pagan's) will go to the (Hell) fire?" The Prophet said, "Yes."
The Hadiths like these abound and there are also many verses of Quran the glorify Jihad (holy wars). As it is clear these wars were not defensive but were offensive wars. See how Muhammad prepared his followers to attack the lands that had nothing to do with Islam.
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 48
Narrated Khalid bin Madan:
Um Haram informed us that she heard the Prophet saying, "Paradise is granted to the first batch of my followers who will undertake a naval expedition." Um Haram added, I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Will I be amongst them?' He replied, 'You are amongst them.' The Prophet then said, 'The first army amongst' my followers who will invade Caesar's City will be forgiven their sins.' I asked, 'Will I be one of them, O Allah's Apostle?' He replied in the negative."
Therefore it is safe to say that the essence of Islam is expressed in the following hadith.
Bukhari V. 4, B 52, N 73
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abi Aufa:
Allah's Apostle said, "Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords."
More articles from Ali Sina can be found at www.golshan.com and http://free.freespeech.org/rationalthinking
Zakir Naik: Promoting Terrorism
By Ali Sina
I found the following paragraph in irf.net, the official site of Dr. Zakir Naik. This is what he teaches to his students:
“5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist
Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent people.”
Dr. Naik claims that the anti-social elements that need to be terrorized by Muslims are the criminals, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. But isn't it the job of the police to go after the criminals? The police is trained and is paid to catch the criminals. His job is not to terrorize the criminal but to enforce the law. Those whom he catches are not criminals until proven as such in the court of law. As far as the police is concerned they are suspects. He must catch the suspect using minimum force and use force only if necessary. He must respect the human rights of the suspects. As long a the suspect is not convicted in a court of law, he remains innocent.
Who gave the authorization to Muslims to take the place of the police, the court, the executioner and terrorize people whom they accuse of crime? Don't we have a penal system to deal with these matters? Should citizens take the law in their own hands? This is in itself against the law. What this doctor is ostensibly proposing here is anarchy. We have a whole structure set in place to deal with criminals. Under what law average citizens can assume the role of the entire legal system? This is insanity!
Furthermore, in every non-Islamic country the rate of crime among Muslims is much higher than the average population. France has a high rate of crime confined mostly to it’s Muslim population. In Netherlands the rate of the crime has jumped 11% in just one year and it is exclusively because of Muslims. In an article published in Times, Lahor, April 2001, Khaled Ahmed reported that the crime rate among Pakistanis in UK "is higher than in any other community. Fully 2 percent of the prisoners rotting in British jails are Pakistanis, the highest for any one community." In Australia raping the white girls by Muslim youths has become a national problem. What are the excuses of these Muslim rapists? That "in Islamic countries girls don't dress like this!"
It would be naïf to take Dr. Naik's justification of terrorism by its face value. What this snake-oil salesman actually means by anti-social elements are the non-Muslims and those who resist conversion. According to him I would be an anti-social element that have to be killed. Have I committed rape, theft or any crime? I and people like me are considered anti social because we speak our minds and Muslims can't handle that. Are Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasrin anti-social elements? What about Theo Van Gogh? Was he an anti social element?
After glorifying and justifying terrorism and hyping his students to become terrorists, making them believe this is a divine mandate and a wonderful thing to do, Dr. Naik will then explain to his foolhardy alumni that "shirk is worse than killing" and the unbelievers are worse than thieves, dacoits, rapists and murderers. Therefore it is incumbent upon Muslims, to instill terror in the hearts of non-Muslims and kill them wherever they find them. To determine their innocence or guilt it is enough to ask them whether they want to convert to Islam or not.
Ironically, since according to the Quran, these non-Muslims by rejecting Islam have committed the worst crime imaginable, their property can be stolen and their wives and daughters can be raped. Thus Muslims who joined Dr. Naiks school to fight the dacoits, BECOME the dacoits, the criminals and the thugs.
See also The World's Greatest Showman
Dear all Readers
My aim was never to hurt anyone's feelings or break any one's heart, but i felt there should be all types of answers to the comments posted by the editor , including mine. I have not taken any serious note about the comments against me. If my words hurt anyone's feelings or break any one's heart, i am sorry for that & take all my comments back except those where i say that Quran is relevant till eternity. not because of the fear of being procecuted by any human, but because of the fear of Allah, i dont want to bring his anger upon me by hurting someone's feelings or breaking their heart. I might be right or wrong about my ideas , but i must not write degraded comments about any person or any country as all of this is the creation of Allah. I say sorry to all the readers for hurting their sentiments, and from now onwards will not write any comments on this site.
Sorry again to ever one & Goodbe
Are you simply stupid or demented? Or doing PR work for the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba? In fact, if my memory is serving me right you once advised the Editor of this website Mr Sultan Shahin to join Lashkar-e-Tayyaba; so one should assume that you yourself have already done so and maybe even work for them. Why else would you be looking for recruits for them and spreading canards like 2, 50, 000 Kashmiris having been killed by Indian security forces. Maybe as a Kashmiri you know better. But I live in the midst of Kashmiris too and have never come across this figure. No Kashmiri says that, except that maybe the Punjabi Lashkar-e-Tayyaba people say that in their bid to brainwash our young people.
You castigate Mr Sultan Shahin for using an honorific like Hazrat for Sri Ram and Sri Krishna. I must say I was also stunned for a moment when I came across this usage for the first time. It was certainly very bold on the part of Mr. Shahin to do so. But then it became clear to me after a moment of deliberation that he was simply trying to make a point by doing so. If we Muslims do truly believe in respecting all prophets equally, and we have no choice in the matter as the Holy Quran itself asks us to do so, then why should we not use the same honorific for all prophets?
But apparently it is too much for people like you, Fayaz to accept this. No wonder communal relations in India are so bad. Many Muslims consider Hindus beneath contempt, though they don't generally express their contempt as openly and as brazenly as you are doing by denigrating the editor of this website for using a honorific for Sri Ram. But then come to think of it we use Hazrat for the most illiterate and ignorant of mullah and maulvis. Not just Hazrat, indeed we use even Maulana, a term that should really be used only for God, because it means My Lord. It would not be unusual to hear even the most ignorant mullahs being addressed as Hazrat Maulana. I suppose one is not elevating Sri Ram too highly by calling him Hazrat. You may not know this, of course, but Allama Iqbal Rahmatullillah caled Sri Ram “Imam-e-Hind". And Sri Krishna, of course, is, as I understand, even more highly esteemed by our Hindu sisters and brothers than Sri Ram. And how come you also have a problem with the term Mahatma Budha?
As for Kashmiris and Indian security forces, I must add that, while there is no justifying atrocities on innocent populace by any army, we should remember that all security forces in the world behave more or less the same way. Best is to try and not invite them. If there was rigging of elections in Kashmir, Kashmiris could have taken the constitutional route of fighting that with the help of other political groups or human rights groups, etc. in India. There are plenty of them and they do quite creditable work. If you pick up the gun you are inevitably inviting the wrath of armed forces on you.
Your Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Fayaz belongs to Pakistan. Do you remember what Pakistan did to East Pakistanis who had not even picked up any gun; they were simply demanding that the results of a free and fair elections organised by the Pakistan Army be implemented. What did the Pakistan Army do? Killed between one and three million people, its own citizens and co-religionists. All Muslims. Figures of rapes too run into millions. The killing was targeted; mostly educated Bengalis got killed selectively from university and college campuses and hostels, etc.
It's a good thing, Fayaz, your parents did not migrate to Pakistan. You might have then known what the Pakistan security forces did to Muhajirs in Karachi. And, of course, the less we talk about what they did to Baluchis the better. This is not at all to defend what the security forces do. No sane person would do that. Not least a woman. But this is what they do. Better not invite them in the first place. However your figure of 2, 50, 000 Kashmiris killed is simply outrageous. Only Lashkar-e-Tayyaba manuals must be using that to indoctrinate Muslim youth and send them to Hell.
It’s a good thing also – you seem quite lucky in a way – that Indian intelligence people don’t monitor newspapers or websites like this one. If they did, they might have had a question or two for you to answer.
One last point! I have been wondering for some time and discussing among friends why the editor of this website never responds to your calumnies, though you seem to address him and him alone, no matter who writes what on the site, and in the most disgraceful way imaginable. The consensus is that he probably believes in the adage “ Jawabe Jahilan bashad khamoshi.” But a thought crossed my mind today: he probably also thinks “Jawabe Pagalan bashad khamoshi”. Be that as it may we are lucky to have a website on which there is hardly any monitoring and readers are free to read articles on subjects that interest us Muslims, particularly of the South Asian sub-continent, and comment freely. But let us not abuse this process.
A note for the Editor: Maybe I am contradicting myself here, but I suppose a certain amount of abuse is inherent in any freedom. So please don’t take away this freedom on account of Jahilan and Pagalan like Fayyaz. I particularly value the freedom to compose the way one would like and it’s quite funny to see some people express their anger or angst in the way they compose their comments. No other website I know gives this facility.
Dear Sultan Sahab,
How about starting a thread/discussion on this????????
The Rajinder Sachar Committee finds that the Muslim community in India is deprived and neglected, and makes far-reaching recommendations. MUKHTAR KHAN/AP
Poor Muslims of India & Rajinder Sachar Report - 1
Poor Muslims of India & Rajinder Sachar Report - 2
JUSTICE RAJINDER SACHAR, who headed the committee.
Rajindar Sachar was the Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi
Sach kahte hain Sachar [Right said Sachar]
Except for the likes of Osama Bin Laden and his supporters; and people like Dr.Zakir Naik who endorse his ideology with statements like "Every Muslim should be a terrorist" and "If Osama is terrorising America I am with him", Muslims by and large the world over have always condemned terrorism in all its forms, be it the torturing and killing of his own people by Saddam Hussein and the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds or the killing of innocent Iraqis at the hands of the American troops now in Iraq.
Terrorism is different from Jihad. Islam has been the one of the biggest victims of terrorism in the form of Yazid 1400 years back, when he fought against and killed Imam Husain, the beloved grandson of Prohet Muhammad (SAW), in the battle of Karbala. The difference between Jihad and Terrorism is the same as that between the ideologies of Imam Husain and Yazid respectively.
It's nice for Muslims to get together and issue a fatwa against terrorism. It's however not enough. Inorder to send a clear signal to the world community, Muslims need to explicitly oppose and disassociate themselves from all those practicing, preaching and promoting the radical Islamic ideology of the Osamas and the Naiks of this age, we live in. Only then will we be taken seriously. Fatwas and statements alone will not suffice.
Hindu Terrorism / No one speaks about it ---- 2,50,000 Muslims killed in kashmir mostly young innocent men. Killed inside their homes / on the roads / in army camps / in indian jails .
Govt records show only 35000 dead.
Thousands of people Missing , no where abouts .. Govt is tight lipped .. Imunity to Army & police for killing Kashmiri Muslims. No cases filed, Thousands of Displaced kashmiri people for fear of being killed & economic Crush reasons caused by the Indian arms & the politicians.
A sense of fear is among every kashmiri who lives there.
One retaliation from a muslim is terrorism. & if a generation of innocent people is wiped by the govt it is accepted world wide & in this largest democracy as a Love towards Muslims. & muslims like Shahin sahib give a full lecture on terrorism. Every rebellion has been considered terrorism .
Why are muslims joining terrorism in India--
Take a look since 1947 --Roits against muslims which shows ultimate hate & barbarism & after that no action from the Govt & the law enforcing agencies against the roiters, but after the roits arresting & torturing thousands of muslim youth for stone pelting who try to save themselves & their families from the roiters. with no security people are bound to take actions which they deem fit can protect them.
HINDU TERRORISM : IS IT AN ANSWER TO ISLAMIC TERRORISM? [JB]
For kind perusal,
Terrorism: Theirs and Ours By Eqbal Ahmad
(A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998)
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Jewish underground in Palestine was described as “TERRORIST.” Then new things happened. By 1942, the Holocaust was occurring, and a certain liberal sympathy with the Jewish people had built up in the Western world. At that point, the terrorists of Palestine, who were Zionists, suddenly started to be described, by 1944-45, as “freedom fighters.” At least two Israeli Prime Ministers, including Menachem Begin, have actually, you can find in the books and posters with their pictures, saying “Terrorists, Reward This Much.” The highest reward I have noted so far was 100,000 British pounds on the head of Menachem Begin, the terrorist
ARTILCES BY EQBAL AHMED.
Islam and Politics
Religion in Politics [Dawn, 31 January 1999]
Profile of the Religious Right [Dawn, 7 March 1999]
Book Review: Kanan Makiya, Cruelty and Silence:War, Tyranny, Uprising, and the Arab World [The Nation, 9 August 1993]
Islam and Politics [The Islamic Impact, eds. Y. Haddad, B. Haines and E. Findly, Syracuse University Press, 1984]
HINDU TERRORISM : IS IT AN ANSWER TO ISLAMIC TERRORISM?How many of the Muslims and Hindu organisations believed when I first raised the issue of possible emergence of Hindu terrorism as an answer to Islamic jihad? Not many were willing to buy that story. But it is true. Do you think that the militant among the Hindus would ever keep quite when the Muslims youth, though misguided, were on rampage with their series of bombing in city after city? It was not to be. There was a growing disenchantment and anger among the Hindus particularly the militant organisations like VHP and Bajrang Dal, known militant faces of the Safron Brigade, against serial bombing and killing of he innocent people. The world woke up to know that it was true when Sadhavi was first arrested for her alleged role in the Melagoan blast. The ATS of Mumbai police looked into this angle when six prayer going Muslims were killed when they were about to break their Ramazan fast in Melagoan. This town and Modasa was chosen by the militants because it was largely inhabited by Muslims. The blasts were shrouded in mystry as earlier there were blasts in Delhi at the same time. The attention was easily diverted to Indian Mujahideen, who were until then carrying out the blasts and two of their accomplices were killed in Batla House encounter near New Delhi. The suspicion grew, when more people were arrested including a Hindu Lt. Colonel and possibilities of other military personnel involved has not been altogether ruled out.Hindu terror has finally arrived openly for the first time. The arrest and subsequent interrogation of Sadhvi Pragya Singh, an Army officer and others for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts of 2008 indicate the growing involvement of rightwing Hindu activists in terror acts.
While the concept of 'Hindu terror acts' was relatively new, the fact remains that the first signs of Hindu terror came to the fore as way back as 2006, when a bomb went off while bombs were being assembled in a Hindu activist's house in Nanded, Maharashtra. But the police refused to look into this angle for they had no inlink to it and according to them they were not in their radar. The matter was hushed up. Had they taken notice of it and made arrests as they did now, the subsequent blasts would have been averted.
During a narco-analysis test carried on those arrested in that incident, confessed and threw more light on how some Hindus decided to execute terror strikes, their modus operandi and the source of funding. Two of the accused have spelt out in detail the reason for them taking the terror path, and investigating officers say the causes were very similar to the one being attached to the recent Malegaon blasts.
Manoharrao Pande, one of the accused in the case, said they were trained in handling explosive devices. He also said one of the persons, Himanshu Pande, who died while assembling the explosives, was a master at it. He said all terror attacks that occurred in the Marathwada region, including in Jalna, Purnea and Parbhani, were planned by Himanshu.
The explosives, he said, were stored in a gym and the same was brought by Himanshu from Pune. Like Muslim terrorists were receiving funds from Saudis,some Hindu groups mobilised funds from locals. Pande said they had collected Rs 45,000 for making bombs and a minor part of this amount came from the money earned by the gym. He also mentioned that some right wing Hindu outfits and local political leaders supported them.
Another accused in the same case, Bhanurao Vithalrao Choudhary, during his narco-analysis test spelt out the motive behind carrying out terror strikes in the country. He said the bomb that exploded by accident in Nanded was actually meant to target a mosque at Aurangabad the next day. He, too, mentioned Himanshu, saying the latter was the one who told them they needed to fight Muslim terror.
Choudhary said Himanshu was perturbed by the fact that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim had got away unpunished and hence revenge had to be exacted. According to Himanshu, Dawood was responsible for the Gateway of India blast in 2003 which killed many. Sanjay said the motive behind the attacks that were planned by them was to safeguard Hindutva by targeting the Muslim population in the country.
Aleem Faizee, social activist working for the Malegaon blast victims, said during investigation the police recovered a map depicting the Aurangabad mosque. Worse, the cops also found fake beards and Muslim outfits. The intention was to plant bombs under the guise of a Muslim to mislead investigators into believing that the bombs were planted by Muslims.
Interestingly, the statements given by some of the accused arrested in connection with the recent Delhi blasts mentions that their leader, Riyaz Bhatkal, had told them the blasts were being undertaken only to avenge the Mecca Masjid blasts which, he believed, were undertaken by some Hindu outfits to shift the blame on Muslims.
According to Faizee the recent developments in the Malegaon case and the revelations by the two accused raised a doubt regarding the perpetrators behind various other blasts that rocked the country. It is now clear that there was considerable scope for the rise of Hindu terrorism as an answer to Muslim terrorism. All along police has been suspecting the hand of Muslim youth in each and every blast as they were quick to make some arrests hours after the blast. This in fact emboldened the Hindu activists, as they felt that they can carry out any attack without being caught or noticed by the public/police since the entire blame would go to Indian Mujahideen. The greatest mistake done by the police was to look the other way when two of the Hindu activists were killed while they were assembling bombs in a house in Nandad, Maharastra. When pressed, the police argued that the Hindus activists were not in their radar for the present. Now the whole or majority of the blasts in Ahmedabad and subsequent recovery of unexploded bombs in large numbers in Surat and elsewhere point to the involvement of Hindu activists. There is every possibility of greater conspiracy against Muslims, taking advantage of the so called Indian Mujahideen owning responsibilities one after another. According to Faizee, the blasts that need to be probed are: Parbhani blasts of November 21, 2003.Jalna blasts of August 27, 2004. Jama Masjid blast in Delhi on April 14, 2006, Mecca Masjid blast, May 18, 2007, Ajmer blasts, October 11, 2007. Modasa blast, September 29, 2008. Malegaon blast, September 8, 2008.An impartial investigation into some of the earlier blasts would reveal that there were other players than Muslims involved in these blasts.
Muslims writers, politicians, writers and journalists of repute have been counselling the Muslims about the danger associated with the youth of their community being involved in the serial blasts. These writers have been quoting extensively from the Holy Quran and hadits that Islam does not teaches voilence and that voilence begets violence. True it was but the recent revelation of Hindus involvement and the Hindu outfits working in tandem would put all these writers on the back foot as they now have to eat back their words. Here I am not trying to justify or support the dastardly acts of violence carried out recently. It was horrifying experience and the killing and mouning of the innocent does not in any way justified whatsoever may be the reason and cause. Since, the mood and involvement of the Hindu activists have been made now after the arrests of Sadhvi, it is now upto the Muslims intellegentsia to press for inter-religious dialogue so that such recurrance of violence or blasts could be averted. Mere condemnation of terror or issue of a joint fatwa would not help but an action to dissuade youth from joining the radical organisations that was responsible for misguiding the youth of the Muslim community. The local vigilant committee in each and every Mohalla mosque is necessary to drive away these jamats from preaching such radical views. It is the duty cast upon each and every Muslim parent to see that their youth are given modern education, whether boys or girls and they are dissuaded from joining such radical groups. Charity begins at home indeed.