Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

THERE is no place for terrorism in a civilised world

The way of the beast
By M.S.N. Menon

THERE is no place for terrorism in a civilised world. It is the way of the beast. Remember, the world had to destroy Hitler. He believed in terror.

The world has changed since then. We are less gullible to ideologies and promises. The age of innocence is over.

Today a new scourge is out and about—Islamic terror. What is Islam’s grievance against the world? That Muslims were not allowed to rule over the world for ever.

What did Islam achieve in the world in those long years? Very little. In fact, the world was devastated by violence. For seven centuries, Islam held sway in India. With what result? Nehru laments that the Muslim rulers did not set up even a good college! But they destroyed the two great Buddhist universities of Taxila and Nalanda!

On Muslim rule in India, this is what Nehru writes: “The people of Central Asia who invaded India were fierce and merciless. Having conquered a new country, they knew only one way of keeping it under control—the way of terror.” Terror has become a habit.

In contrast, in two centuries of their rule, the British discovered our past for us, restored our self-confidence, preserved our great heritage (the Muslims tried to destroy our past), gave us an educational system, a postal system, rails and roads, a judicial system and, above all, a democratic system of government. True, they exploited and ruined our economy. But no Hindu can fail to see the contrast between these two phases of his country’s tragic history.

The Islamists see the West as their inveterate enemy. Yes, the West destroyed the Caliphate. But it also liberated the Muslims from the tyranny of the sultans. What is more, it raised them to affluence from their nomadic existence. It was the West which brought the oil out of the belly of the earth. The Muslims could not have done that.

But the Islamists ascribe all the ills of the Islamic world to the ‘evil ways’ of the West. Even its best aspects—modernity, democracy and pluralism. They reject all the three.

The West, i.e. the Christian world—has its grievances against Islam. It began with the conquest of Christian holy places by Muslims. And, then, Islam threatened the religious and political freedom of European nations. The Europeans have not been able to live down their anger.

For fourteen centuries, the Muslims tried to convert the world into Islam, but failed. Why? Because it has no answers that other religions cannot provide.

All these explain the Western animus to the Islamic world. Like that of communism, Islam’s role in the world was to disrupt the normal growth of human societies. Hence the new prognosis of the clash of civilisations.

The attack on New York (9/11) was the first shot of the undeclared war of Islam against the West. The present attack on London (7/7) showed that the war is relentless. The conflict of civilisations has become real.

But, with all the advantages they possess, the terrorists have no future. They cannot take on the world if it gets organised. And it is getting organised. And there will be punishment as in Nuremberg.

Today, there are about 50,000 trained killers in the world. Musharraf, the Pakistan President, can no more control them. Nor can America. America is not ready to sacrifice its men. We are thus coming to realise that the war against the terrorists is a war of all. It has to be fought by all. If the war has not yielded any results so far, it is because it is led by America. America has too many interests to take care of. Pakistan is harbouring not only bin Laden but also most of the terrorists, including the Taliban. Musharraf cannot close the training camps. And America will not do anything to disband the infrastructure of terrorism because it is protected by the Pakistan army and the ISI.

The jehadis are desperate as is evident from their attack on London, a city which had allowed terrorism to make it its capital. The terrorists now use human bombs for maximum effect. Militant Islam is thus reaching its last phase of total violence. But, as they say, the gods make men mad before they destroy them. The Islamists have gone mad. It is time for Muslims to give up their fallen brothers.

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