Pseudo-Secularism

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, November 05, 2008

Appeasing terrorists will not bring unity


In the year 2007 about 2300 Indians, mostly Hindus, were killed in terrorist attacks in India as against 13611, mostly Muslims were killed in Iraq, and, 4673 killed in Afghanistan. So under leadership of Manmohan Singh, India acquired the third rank in the world in 2007 on the Islamic terrorist toll list. During the last six months 47 bombings suspected to have been planned and executed by the Students Islamic Movement of India [SIMI] and its offshoot Indian Mujahideen [IM] in collaboration with the Bangladesh-based HUJI and Pakistan-based ISI and Lashkar-e-Toiba [LeT] were reported in seven major cities of India. The Islamic terrorism is no longer limited to J&K. It is now spread all over India— Agartala, Assam, Jaipur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Delhi, and Chennai. On September 26, 2008, Army killed seven Bangladeshi Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam [HUJI] terrorists in Basbari, Dhubri. During the NDA regime number of such attacks was far and few which has galloped under the UPA regime.

While discussing the Islamic terrorism there are four basic facts which, we Hindus, whether rightist or leftist, should not lose sight of. Firstly, jehadi terrorism is taking place all over the world so it is not a Hindu vs. Muslim issue but it is a Muslim vs. kafirs [all non-Muslims] issue. It is not due to Hindu-Muslim divide in India though it gets aggravated by this age-old divide. Jehadi Muslims pick up local issues just to increase their local acceptability, for example, Kashmir, Ayodhya, Gujarat riots etc in India, and, ‘unholy presence of kafir Americans on holy land of Saudi Arabian peninsula’, Chechnya, Israel-Palestine etc in the Arab world. In Islamic countries like Afghanistan, Algeria, Gulf countries, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia etc where there is neither the RSS nor the Bajrang Dal or the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, jehadi Muslims are conducting terrorist activities as in their eyes rulers of those Muslim countries are not “true Muslims,” or, those rulers are puppets of Christian states [such as USA]. In Pakistan Sunnis are killing Shias and vice versa.

Secondly, all Muslims are not jehadi terrorists but all Islamic terrorists arrested so far from Indonesia to the USA are Muslims, mostly Sunnis. The Al Qaeda is a Sunni organisation claiming to derive its ideological inspiration from the Deoband Islamic seminary located in western UP, India. Abu Basher, 26-year-old, arrested in connection with the Ahmedabad blasts, is a post-graduate of this Deoband madrasa and hails from Azamgarh. No wonder Al Qaeda has time and again denounced Shias as its enemy.

Thirdly, there are about 125 ayats in the Quran which some Muslims quote as Quranic sanction to wage perpetual war against kafirs, to justify violence against kafirs. The jehadis are waging jehad so as to convert the whole world into an Islamic state where nizam-e-mustafa and shariah laws shall prevail, and, where all kafirs including Marxist Hindus, pseudo-secular Hindus and other non-Muslims would have been subjugated and reduced to second class status of dhimmi with no human rights and, no free press and, where civil courts shall be subordinate to shariah courts. But there is a sizeable chunk of Muslims all over the world who do not agree with such Al Qaeda interpretation of the Quran, and they interpret the same ayats to mean waging war not against kafirs but against evils present inside one’s own mind. They interpret the same ayats for self-purification, i.e. jehad-e-al-akbari. Such Muslims are invariably denounced by jehadi or fundamentalist Muslims as ‘non-Muslims’ or ‘not true Muslims,’ and, they are, like kafirs legitimate target for killing by jehadis. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was also declared a kafir for advocating English education to Indian Muslims. There is ‘holier than thou’ war going on within the Muslim community all over the world. In India the Hindu samaj should come forward to help moderate Muslims win their war against fundamentalist Al Qaeda types.

Fourthly, leftist Hindus and Indian media till recently were boasting that Indian Muslims were untouched by the Islamic terrorism taking place in the West and whatsoever Islamic terrorism was taking place in India was not being done by Indian Muslims but by non-Indian Muslims sent by Pakistan. This myth has now been exploded by arrest of dozens of Indian Muslims hailing mostly from Azamgarh district of eastern Uttar Pradesh. On ground of bringing Muslim youth into national mainstream lest they become easy prey to al Qaeda recruiters, the Manmohan Singh government through the 15-Point Programme, the Sachhar committee and the Rangnath Mishra Commission concocted justifications to reduce educational, employment and economic opportunities of young Hindus by 15 per cent. This reduction is applicable to all categories of Hindus including SCs, STs, OBCs and Marxists. Arrest of homegrown Indian Muslim terrorists has shattered these premises of the Congress Party.

Another argument which is advanced to justify Islamic terrorism is that Muslim youth are driven to terrorism because of lack of modern education, no stake in the system, poverty, denial, deprivation, and discrimination practiced against them in Hindu India. This myth has also got shattered as all the perpetrators of the

9/11 bombing of the World Trade Centre, New York were neither illiterate nor poor. Jehadi terrorists in EU and in UK are educated and enjoy better life standards than that prevailing in countries of their parents. Islamic terrorists arrested in India have been found to be better educated than average Indian Muslims; they are computer engineers, mechanical engineers, medical doctors, post-graduate students, MBAs and even employees of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd [HAL].

On October 6, 2008, Hasan Gafoor, Police Commissioner of Mumbai, briefing about arrest of 20 suspects, all Muslims, told that many were well educated and one, Mohammad Mansoor Asgar Peerbhoy was a software expert in Yahoo India at annual salary of Rs19 lakh!

On October 4, 2008, Mohammad Surti a Congressman and a former Minister in the Gujarat government was sentenced to 20 years RI along with a dozen other Muslims for organising the 1993 bomb blasts in Surat. Was Surti a poor and deprived Muslim? On October 12, 2008 Jaleel Muhammed, a general secretary of Kerala Youth Congress alleged that president of Kerala Youth Congress, T. Siddique was a SIMI mole. Does it mean that on analogy to pseudo-secular demand to ban Bajrang Dal, the Congress Party should be banned being a party of persons convicted as terrorists?

So the hard fact is that Islamic terrorists are not driven to violence against kafirs by poverty but by their religious ideology which is put into their minds by mullah while teaching them Quran mostly in madrasas whether in India or in the EU or in the USA. One should remember that many terrorists arrested in India are in their twenties.

Jehadi Muslims often cite the following Quranic verses out of many as proof to justify their brand of Islam: Surah (II.39): “And (as to) those who disbelieve in and reject My communications, they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.” Surah (III.10): “(And for) those who disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah, and these it is who are the fuel of the fire.” Surah (III.12): “Say to those who disbelieve: You shall be vanquished, and driven together to hell; and evil is the resting place.” Surah (V. 33): “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.” Surah (IX.5): “So when the sacred months [Ramadhan] have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate [zazia], leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” Surah (IX.14): “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people.”

Mahatma Gandhi tried all along his life to bridge the Hindu-Muslim divide but he failed and all attempts made after the Partition of 1947 in this regard have so far failed because it is the following interpretation of the Quran which prohibits Muslims from befriending kafirs: Surah (III.28): “Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourself against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventful coming.” Surah (III.73): “And do not believe but in him who follows your religion.” Surah (al-Maida 5:51): “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.” Surah (IV.144): “O you, who believe, do not take unbelievers for friends rather than the believers; do you desire that you should give to Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?”

Till such interpretations are taught in Indian madrasas how can harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims develop and prosper?

There are many ayats [3.64], [4.116], [26.213] etc which make it an unpardonable crime [shirk] to associate any other god with Allah. So when Gandhians sing ‘Ishwar Allah tero naam’, ‘Ram-rahim eik hai, naam dharao du’ and ‘Krishna-Karim eik hai, naam dharao du’, ‘Kaashi-Kabaa eik hai, naam dharao du’ etc., they irritate and annoy fundamentalist Muslims who take these songs as direct insult of the Quran. More Gandhians sing such songs more wide they make the divide. If a Hindu sings these Gandhian songs associating other gods with Allah in an Islamic country, in all probability, he will make himself vulnerable to charge of blasphemy, put behind the bars and most likely get beheaded.

The above ayats of the Quran are also interpreted to prohibit a Muslim to support a kafir vis-à-vis another Muslim; therefore, police forces all over the world find it very difficult to get information from Muslim community on Muslim suspects. This shows scriptural basis why Muslims of Hyderabad, Jamia Nagar, Delhi and Azamgarh offered non-cooperation and resistance on one pretext or the other to police actions against Islamic terrorists. This is the reason Islamic terrorists get safe sanctuary in Muslim localities as bulk of locals shall not report about them to kafir police. Therefore police has to plant human intelligence in addition to electronic ones and the field officers should be exposed to intra-Islamic polemics. This subject of intra-Islamic polemics has been covered in more details in my book Vedic Equality & Hinduism.

Here lies the relevance of sane advice of Arif Muhammad Khan [The Pioneer, October 11, 2008] that the Islamic terrorism has to be fought on ideological plane too, a new strategy has to be worked out and that, the Al Qaeda interpretations will have to be banished from India. AG Noorani, a brilliant intellectual of India, in his thought-provoking article “The Koran and Muslims” [Frontline, July14, 2006] has made a strong case for modernisation in Islam. He pleads to free the Indian Muslim community from the clutches of obscurantist mullahs and ulemas. This can be done only by dialogue and debate, not by ban, not by legislation.

In India madrasas are the main places where Muslim youngsters are exposed to the Quran. Many Islamic terrorists have been found to hail from Azamgarh which has over 300 madrasas. So the Indian state must ensure that Al Qaeda interpretations of Quran spreading hatred against kafirs are not taught there to young Indians. Spreading hatred in madrarsas against any community is violative among others of Section 153A of IPC. Imams of mosques are paid by wakf boards which, in turn, receive money from the government out of taxes collected from we Hindus so they are civil servants subject to conduct rules. Therefore we Hindus have a right as well as duty to ensure that our money is not being used to spread hatred against us or to protect persons suspected by police to be terrorists. An amount of Rs 700 crore out of taxes collected from we Hindus is earmarked for madrasas this year 2008-09.

Till the September 13, 2008 blasts in Delhi, police had not been so active in getting at terrorists except a few foot soldiers here and there mainly because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been cautioning IPS officers against being pro-active in fighting Islamic terrorism by preaching them to avoid profiling any minority community while fighting terrorism. Prime Minister has denied a free hand to police officers in tackling terrorism. After 9/11 attack of 2001 there has been no terrorist attack in the USA because unlike Manmohan Singh, President Bush never gave such silly sermons to US police restricting their operational freedom.

On October 14, 2008, at the National Integration Council meeting Manmohan Singh said: “At the same time it is important that in trying to counter terrorism wrong methods and means are not adopted. Any impression that any community, or sections amongst them, are being targeted, or that some kind of profiling is being attempted should be avoided. The means are as important as the ends. This is vital, as otherwise it could lead to a major polarisation of society.” Addressing the annual conference of DGPs, PM had said in November 2006: “Wherever the police and security forces have handled such situations with sensitivity, they deserve our fullest appreciation. Our police and security establishment must remain steadfast in its commitment to preserve and protect communal peace and harmony.”

By giving such sermons to desist from profiling a community, he has openly accused Indian police of profiling Muslims and thus demoralised them. By such statements Manmohan Singh has himself put the Muslim community in focus. This Manmohan advisory on one hand has given encouragement to jehadi elements, and, on the other has discouraged police officers to be pro-active. No wonder India under Manmohan Singh is perceived as a soft state. No Hindu leader of prominence has singled out the entire Muslim community for being terrorist or being unpatriotic. It is Muslim leaders and Muslim organisations who allege that the Muslim community is being targeted, that there is Muslim-bashing, etc. It is thus self goal by Muslim leaders. It is thus the Prime Minister, seekers of Muslim votes and Muslim leaders who are communalising the fight against terrorism and in the process are giving bad name to the entire Muslim community.

Smt Zubeida Qureshi, mother of Abdus Qureshi, another terror suspect has proved to have much taller stature as an Indian than Mushirul Hasan or MJ Akbar when she openly said: “Hang my son in front of me if he is guilty.” [HT, Sept 18]. Unlike Hasan and Akbar she did not argue innocence of her son till he was proven guilty by a court.

Since only Muslims are members of SIMI and IM it is simple common sense that police could arrest/detain only Muslims and only those Muslims who fall within the zone of suspicion but this has caused a great amount of anger among GP [gulamiat pasand] Hindus who keep asking, why only Muslims are being arrested, why not some Hindus are also being arrested just to “balance.” It is this sick ‘balancing psychology’ which is forcing Sitaram Yechury, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Paswan etc to ask for a ban on the Bajrang Dal and the VHP though saner advice of MK Narayanan, NSA is that doing so will not be legally sustainable.

People like Amar Singh, general secretary, Samajwadi Party, MJ Akbar, many Muslim leaders and some GP Hindus have rushed to accuse the Delhi Police of framing ‘innocent’ Muslims’. Doubts have been cast on September 19 police encounter at L-18 Batla House flat of Jamia Nagar in which police Inspector MC Sharma and two terrorists [Atif and Shahid] were killed. Some suspected to be involved in the Delhi blasts were arrested and based on their interrogation a list of 13 suspects, all Muslims was drawn up by the Delhi Police. On Sept 24 Mumbai Police arrested five suspects all Muslims hailing from Azamgarh.

The very allegation that ‘innocent Muslims’ are being framed by police shows their total ignorance of Indian legal-administrative system and is therefore deliberate mischief on their part to obstruct police investigation: firstly, because it is the judiciary which determines the innocence or guilt of the accused, not the police. Secondly, police arrests/detains only those who fall within the zone of suspicion. Those accusing police of framing innocent Muslims are thus creating gulf between different sections of people on ground of religion and, creating disaffection towards public authority [i.e. police] and thus are creating new obstructions impeding pace of police investigation. So DGPs should examine merits of booking such mischief mongers u/s 153A and 186 of IPC. To invoke Section 186 courts have held that it is sufficient if there is any act obstructing the execution [here police investigations] of any act by a public servant [(1956) 58 Bom LR 1021].

It was most unfortunate on part of Mushirul Hasan, VC, to have rushed with tax-payers’ money to defend persons suspected by police to be terrorists. If he is so interested to defend terror suspects, he ought to have resigned first and used his private money to defend them. Teachers of Jamia Milia University have unethically started collecting funds for legal defence of its students [Zia-ur-Rahman, BA(Eco) and Md Shakeel MA(Eco)] suspected by the Delhi Police to be involved in terrorism. One state organ is standing up against another state organ in fighting terrorism and, thus, the Indian State under the UPA government is a divided house. Amar Singh was quoted [October 7]: “Shoot them if they are terrorists but if they are innocent then they should be given justice.” One may ask Mr Singh, Who will decide whether they are innocent, and, who will give justice to them”? Not the police, but only the courts can decide based on evidence collected by the police. Amar Singh should know that under Indian law no convict can be shot dead by the State so he is simply fooling the people by saying “shoot them”.

Communal violence in my view erupts as accumulated pent-up anger against propaganda by missionaries and mullah against Hindu gods which they unleash with a view to preparing ground for conversions. By getting Swamiji murdered Christians have self-invited wrath of Hindus in Kandhamal and by publishing Satya Darshini in Karnataka. General body of Hindus gets angry more by running down of their religion by missionaries and mullah than by conversion per se. The NDA Chief Ministers who want to avoid the predicament of receiving letters under Article 355 in which Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Orissa and BS Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister, Karnataka have landed should direct their DGPs to take firm actions against missionaries and mullahs u/s 153A and 298 of IPC as soon as they are reported to be running down Hindu gods and Hinduism. Such actions under existing laws would on one hand not allow build up of Hindu anger, and, on the other would get them rich electoral dividends.

The Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Congressman Moily has recommended adopting new tougher laws to fight terrorism but UPA ministers have been opposing new tougher laws. POTA or POTA-like new tougher laws and a federal agency to fight terrorism are the need of the hour. The UPA government has been soft on Islamic terrorists therefore those Hindu voters who wish to keep India free of such terrorism must not vote to the Congress Party, to Communist parties or to parties of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan, Mulayam Singh Yadav etc as Islamic terrorists enjoy their patronage. Terrorists are entering into India riding on warm shoulders of the Congress Party in Assam and the CPM in Tripura and in West Bengal.

If we Hindus want that we and our women and children should be safe in markets, on streets and in our temples we must vote out the UPA parties lock, stock and barrel in the coming elections. This is the surest way to save our children and ourselves from Islamic terrorism.

[The writer retired in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India in the Indian Foreign Service (1971 batch). He has served as Ambassador to Finland, Estonia, Jamaica, Tunisia and Tanzania and, as Consul General, Dubai and Birmingham (UK).]

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