Friday, September 29, 2006

Islam vs. Rest of the World

Will Hinduism be considered a violent religion because LTTE happens to be made of Hindus? Will all Africans be called barbaric race because certain Rwandans, Somalis, Sudanese, happen to massacre people? Will all Indo-China people be considered butcher clan because Khmer Rouge cropped everyone they didn't like? Yes, one can. As seen from recent trends across the world, Islam is termed a violent religion because some Muslims happen to be terrorists.

In different times of history different civilizations and religions behaved differently. How did Spanish behave when they encountered Native population in South America? How did Vikings behave when they entered the towns of Mainland Europe? How did Hindus behave when they heard that their beloved Prime Minister was assassinated by a Sikh? Each of them behaved quite barbarically. They had their time. The problem with history is that each civilization acted barbarically at some point of time or the other.

However, that doesn’t justify the actions of so called ‘Islamic’ terrorists, who conveniently use religion to further their actions. Yes, let’s all agree that there is a problem we are all facing- from different kinds of terrorists, Islamic (in different parts of the world), Hindu (India and Sri Lanka), Irish (quite inactive these days), and few others. But mostly the incidents that comes to mind are the activities of Islamic terrorists – because such incidents are more in number and widespread and also because media highlights them more than others.

To explain such incidents from a narrow scheme of things, one might explain the history from our perspective and find all faults with Islam because it is the most common element across many of these activities.

While another historian looking at the course of history from a broader perspective may conclude quite differently. This historian would see conflicts appear and disappear in different parts of the world each spanning hundred to two hundred years on an average. He would see Romans wiping out one culture after other through force, brutality and punishment [Roman Empire]. He would see a great Indian King invade and massacre different regions of the sub-continent to consolidate his empire [King Ashoka]. He would see a great horde from Central Asia descending on the world again and again to massacre people and burn cities to ground committing horrendous crimes against humanity [Chengiz Khan]. He would see Christians lining up again and again to reclaim the Holy Land and kill Muslims in the name of Crusades. He would see some more Christians cleansing their land of heretics- that include Jews, Muslims and other-kinds-of-Christians through Insurrection. He would also see Jews chased from one kingdom to another for nearly two thousand years by the same Christians. He would see bloody conquests in different lands made on the name of religion, race, culture, etc.

In the recent history, this historian would see White man commit the grave crimes on the name of ‘white man’s burden’ to rule more than half the earth [Colonial Period]. He would see another White Man going against all religions to put millions to death through his new and effective methods of killing and torturing people [Adolf Hitler]. He would see the Colonial masters relinquish their responsibility to give up the lands to native people by carving up nations leaving many natives unhappy. Then he would see two giants fight against each other an ideological war leaving behind a host lot of problems [Cold War]. He has looked at each culture, civilization, religion behaving differently at different times.

He would then look at the recent events that affected the Muslim world after the fall of Ottoman Empire. In one incident, for no crime of theirs, Muslims were asked to vacate their lands to accommodate a new set of people, that have come back to reclaim their ancestral property after two thousand years [recreation of Israel]. In most parts of the world, if you live on a land for thousand years it becomes yours- but not for Palestine. The world which committed the biggest crime of humanity hung its face in shame and in an effort to make amends pushed Palestine people away to accommodate the victims (the Jews).

In what is seen as a new world order, Hindus got their share of dignity through Indian Independence, Western Christians maintained their economic domination after two world wards, Orthodox Christians got their own nations in Russia and East Europe, African tribes were left on their own by the fleeing colonial masters, South Americans got their own nations by Simon Bolivar and Che Guevara, Asians carved their nations on the name of cultures and religions. The people who would be left behind most disheartened after this are certain sections of Muslims. And this historian would now see these people venting out their anger and frustration in different forms of protest- starting from mild criticism to outright terrorism and war.

While the world was dividing itself up into nation states after the era of kingdoms and empires, some of the Muslims got crushed, lost their identity or were left as appendages to these newly formed nation states. Discovery of black gold in Middle East has resulted in an intervention from the White Christian countries where in every democratic institution was suppressed to supplant them with dictators and kings who acted more as puppets of their masters in the West rather than represent their own people. Partition of India resulted in unresolved conflict which conflagrated time and again [in Kashmir]. West, in an effort to contain erstwhile Soviet Union during Cold War, used Afghanistan as the battle ground by promoting Islamic radicalism as the unifying factor amongst all kinds of Muslim people. When Soviet Union broke up to throw out many republics, some Muslim regions could not sever themselves to form their own identity and they continue to fight [in Chechnya].

In the new world order that came about after WWI and WWII, Muslims felt they were cheated out by everyone- the Christian West, the Hindus, the Russians, etc. They are disillusioned with their own representatives and their own leaders who seem to suck up to foreign masters. The only thing that came as a solace is their religion. In this religion and its teachings, they search for words of hope. In the words of Koran and its translations by religious mullahs they take refuge. In their religion they derive their strength to fight those who put them to shame, who razed their homes to ground, who put the rockets into the hands of their young kids, who put landmines inside and outside their towns, who take their freedom away from them, who used them in sectarian wars, who exploited them for their oil, etc. Now, they fight back. They fight back with the only weapon they have- their religion. And they participate in all kinds of protest- some show discontent, criticize, rally and strike, while few others terrorize, murder, kidnap, all in the name of that religion. Each of them, the mild protester to the rabid suicide killer has sympathy from this Muslim world. Every act of defiance, whether it is a strong speech at UN or a bomb blast at an embassy, is a way of venting out the frustration of this Muslim world.

While the rest of the world accuses the religion and its founders of spreading evil, the acts of defiance garner more support, even the moderates and liberal now join hands. While the world bombs them to smithereens (in Iraq and Afghanistan), it only makes them more resolute in their defiance. When the world quells and suppresses them every where in the name of ‘War on Terror’ the Muslim feels like a Jew of WWII being led to a concentration camp.

Our historian who is looking at this from a broader perspective concludes- “In the great war of twentieth century around 50 million people were persecuted by one nation race. Now, in the new War on Terror almost a billion people are persecuted by hundreds of nation states”. He wonders- “Ah! The Dinosaurs lasted for 300 million years. The ‘smarter’ Humans may not even last 100,000 years. I wonder if the next species would be ‘smarter’ than Humans. They may not last even a hundred years!”

I wonder if every intelligent species on other planets did the same when it came to its extinction- accuse each other and blast each other out into space instead of reconciling! No wonder we don’t seem to find intelligence anywhere else! May be, they were ‘smarter’ than us and hence might have knocked themselves out much sooner and much faster!

I have only one thing to say- Vent out all you anger and spew the venom and accuse each other, blast each other out and bomb everyone you don’t like. We don’t have much time left and you don’t want to waste it.


  1. Sujai,
    I once again appreciate your broader outlook towards things, which seems to be lacking in many including me. We ought to be biased in our thinking, fuelled by many things, but your posts have always proved that theory wrong. I appreciate your analysis and knowledge, not because you argue for muslims but its because you are rational!

  2. Good to see your thoughts on this topic.

    While Palestine and oil have been big reasons for the present problems, I don't really see how you can say that Muslims don't have their share of the world. From North Africa / Turkey to Pakistan, they do have their region.

    Though I might disagree with some points of yours, my idea is the same as yours basically. If you find time, check out my thoughts...

  3. Dear Sharique:
    Thanks a lot for your comments. Your words of appreciation and kind words give strength and hope.

  4. Randramble:
    I think 'some' Muslims do not have share of their lands. While Hindus in India and Nepal have their share, Hindus of Sri Lanka do not. Hindus of Fiji are in a 'cleft' country.

    BTW, we were great sponsors of LTTE in the early days. What happened later is a chain of political events leading to assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

  5. Sujai, we have seen that civilizations which possed power and zeal were successful in terrorizing and conquering the world. Now that the islamic nations in the middle-east possess lot of wealth from their black-gold reserves, they have been supplying enough support to islamic terrorism .There is no lack of religious zeal in muslims all over the world.
    Isin't this going to pose big threat to the world in the future?

  6. Dear Anonymous:
    Of course, it is going to be a threat. Those who believe it won't be a threat are living in a fool's paradise. The question is- How does one contain it?

    When cultures meet- because of globalization or trade, there is a tendency to go for war or for a long term partnership.

    Alienation breeds distrust, contempt, hatred, and xenophobia. Embracement reduces these.

    One cannot stop certain eventualities. By 2100, be assured that many nations, including many Islamic nations, will have Nuclear Weapon- how much ever one tries to bomb, invade or impose sanctions. Do you want to create a situation where in you live in harmony or live in a state of war?

    What are the steps towards providing that harmony?

    Today's youth of those nations are tomorrow's leaders. What kind of prejudices that youth is developing right now?

  7. This is the second post I've read on your blog-- first being the Hitler post-- and I am even more impressed by this one then the previous. You have an impressive ability to look from someone elses point of view, which, in my opinion is quite rare. And clear writting just makes it better.

    That's it, you are going on my Blogroll.

  8. Sujai:

    I was amused to read your one line conclusion of the modern world conflicts as:

    “In the great war of twentieth century around 50 million people were persecuted by one nation race. Now, in the new War on Terror almost a billion people are persecuted by hundreds of nation states”

    IN the 20th century where party A was pitted against numerous parties - you categorize Party A as the aggressor.

    However, in the new War on Terror, where Party X is pitted against numerous parties - you have very conveniently painted all the SUNDRY.. various parties as AGGRESSORS!

    Like you say Opinions are like assholes .. just as the "truth" farting out of those assholes!

  9. 15/03/07

    The article is unbelievably naive. To change Huttington slightly, it is a clash between civilisation and barbarism. I quote:
    Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."

    The author is Sir.Winston Churchill and he better informed politician and historian than any one else.

  10. Manjula:

    You quote Winston Churchill on Muslims. You may want to hear few more quotes from the same Winston Churchill.

    Churchill, speaking to an audience in London in 1930, claimed that if the British left Indian sub-continent, then "an army of white janissaries, officered if necessary from Germany, will be hired to secure the armed ascendancy of the Hindu”.

    Few months later, he said, "to abandon India to the rule of the Brahmins would be an act of cruel and wicked negligence". According to him, "India will fall back quite rapidly through the centuries into the barbarism and privations of the Middle Ages".

    Speaking in 1931, Churchill said:
    “At present the Government of India is responsible to the British Parliament… To transfer that responsibility to this highly artificial and restricted oligarchy of Indian politicians would be a retrograde act. It would be a shameful act. It would be an act of cowardice, desertion and dishonour. It would bring grave material evils, both upon India and Great Britain…”

    There’s more that might enlighten you:

    Churchill's opinion of Mahatma Gandhi in 1930:

    "It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the vice regal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor."

    And this is what he said of Indians:
    "I hate Indians. They are beastly people with a beastly religion."

    In 1943, when the question of grain being sent to the victims of the Bengal famine came up in a Cabinet meeting, Churchill intervened with a "flourish on Indians breeding like rabbits and being paid a million a day by us for doing nothing by us about the war."

    And this is what Churchill had to say to the suffering Jews of Nazi Germany:

    Winston Churchill argued that Jews were 'partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer' in an article publicized for the first time on Sunday. 'It would be easy to ascribe it to the wickedness of the persecutors, but that does not fit all the facts,' the article read. 'For it may be that, unwittingly, they are inviting persecution - that they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer,' the article said. The article added: 'The central fact which dominates the relations of Jew and non-Jew is that the Jew is 'different'.' 'He looks different. He thinks differently. He has a different tradition and background. He refuses to be absorbed,' it said.

    You quote from Winston Churchill as if he is a great historian. I have quotes you won’t believe- of what Abraham Lincoln said of Blacks and what other ‘Great’ British historians have said of Hindus.

    You write:
    The article is unbelievably naive.

    I say,
    I would rather be naïve than be plain stupid.

  11. I just read this article of yours. I appreciate your presentation.

    1. It is true that the muslims were given a raw deal after WWII. And the American propaganda makes many in India and all over the world believe that they have done a good thing. But we all know it is not true. Fighting for Palestine is right. But taking on to terrorism is not right. Let us not justify terrorism. There are hundreds of other ways to fight for Palestine. They should do it.

    2. Kashmir is not Palestine. What is their interest in it? Why is there such a gory fight over it? As a matter of fact, India has been supporting the Arab nations on Israel for half century but still why this anti-hindu feeling?

    3. The reason is just this. Muslims are basically violent people. They have been leading their life as conquerors and army guys. they are comfortable in that job. They want to do it even if there is no war. How else can they lead their life? Unless muslims take to normal life they will continue to harbour terrorists.

    4. Violence in Sri Lanka is supported by India and a number of western countries, specifically, canada. This support is on many occasions subtle and behind the screen. LTTE knows that they lost their support in India after the Rajiv execution. Unless every body walks the talk there will not be any peace in the world.

  12. A remarkable analysis indeed!

    Hindus got their dignity through India's independence, while muslims could not get it through Pakistan's independence -- and India is not even a Hindu state!

    Hats off to your imagination.

  13. As seen from recent trends across the world, Islam is termed a violent religion because some Muslims happen to be terrorists.
    But in your many posts here, you also paint Hinduism with the same brush based on the actions of a few extremists like VHP, Bajrang Dal etc. If you are arguing that Islam should not be termed a violent religion because of some Muslims, then you should state the same for Hinduism too, otherwise you will be termed as biased.

    LTTE: do they claim their religion or god or religious texts to validate their actions? I'm not much familiar with the conflict, but I think it's their ethnicity, and not religion that is the issue.


  14. Amit:
    You have gone overboard now. I never termed a religion violent, and I never termed Hinduism a violent religion.

  15. You seem to be venting contradictory sentiments in your blog. On one hand you are angered over media and public opining that Islam (not just some so called followers of Islam) has anything to do with terrorism. On the other hand you justify Islam being used/abused to propagate and conduct violence. I am a moderate Muslim and believe in countering this sad saga of ill opinions on Islam by helping the victims of terrorism. The bomb blasts in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad are making no progress for Muslims but only painting a evil colour for us. We moderate educated Muslims should stand up and fight for our image and religion to spread peace and love. Not justify revenge or violence.

    I am an Indian and a Muslim. I cringe when I see Indian independence is seen by some as a Hindu win. Lets leave twisting history and other facts for politicians.

    I like your response to Churchill quotes. Well said.

    Your constant bashing of other religions (Christian West and Hindus) is really not warranted to make your point. You are just provoking religious fanatic response which is what your blog was supposed to subdue, if I understand you correctly.

    Jai Hind

  16. Its strange, I see so many Muslims using the same crooked logic to justify their acts:

    (a)LTTE are Hindus and the UNA bomber was Christian. That doesnt make all Hindus and Christians terrorists. Hence Muslim terrorists dont mean that Islam is at fault. Right? WRONG.

    LTTE are fighting for political causes, the UNA bomber had his weird philosophy - their religion never instigated them to be violent. A serious Hindu tends to become a recluse and renounce the world, a devout Christian tends to become irritatingly polite.

    But Islamic Terrorists are like the phrase implies, driven by their religion. And that is a huge difference. They kill because Islam compels them to. They die willingly because of the 72 virgins in heaven. Their only reason for killing is Islam - making it a violent religion.

    (b) Muslim women cover themselves fully to prevent being raped. If a man cannot see the woman then he will not get aroused and rape. Right?


    Most rape victims are exploited girls or the result of a break-in. If the muslim logic is true then all westerners with their skimpy clothing should be raped in the millions on the road. In my country India women wear a revealing dress (Saree) but Indian men do not jump at them.

    Infact it is a fact that muslim immigrants are known rapists in France, Netherlands etc. Hence in tribal societies like those in Arab lands, the women better cover up. That does not apply to civilized countries though and Islam needs to catch up.

    Peace will come only when Islam modernizes. Till then it will be a cancer.

  17. As a historian, I find this piece to have no value whatsoever.

    History repeats itself because noone listens; the problem with Isalm is that it is an arrogant and ignorant rleigion at present. Sure, Christians have behaved bdly in the past as have Jews but that does not excuse the extremism cutting through the Islam faith.

    Finally, Churchill may have been a bit quixotic but he was a great leader; he once said: "The appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

    War is regrettably sometimes necessary to stop an evil and if the extremist Muslims cannot fast forward to the 21st Century I fear there may be trouble ahead...

  18. Ohhhhhh, wow!! Your so wise and have such incredible insight!! Your an idiot. Islam is violent, full of hate for all that is not Islam. The fathers rape and slaughter their own children. Pouring acid into their baby daughters throats, ears, eyes, nose vaginas

  19. A typical ignorant moron writes about a topic he has no clue.

    Islam has obliterated every civilisation it could overcome and continues to wage war against infidels as per unholy other Religion preaches the kind of hatred Islam teaches its loony followers.

    Even if 1% follow such madness its enough to destroy societies and thosands of life and harassment of other religions and people.

  20. It is very sad to know that people who do not understand even a single word of Qur'an giving their foolish views about Islam and questioning its preaching. I'll be obliged if someone give me just a single refrence in Qur'an which provokes muslims to terrorize non-muslims.

    The common false allegation put forth by critics and people who lack knowledge about Islam which is: "Why does Islam allow you to kill innocent people"

    Not a single place in Quran does it allow you to kill an innocent person. People will point fingers at verses, by taking them out of the context and historical background. When one analyse this and read the whol Quran, you will see that Quran never allows you to kill an innocent person. Neither did Muhammad did this, in any of the authentic Hadiths. In fact, the Quran makes it clear in:

    Surah Maidah 5:32:
    "On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land."


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