Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife (A critical appraisal of Islamic faith, Indian polity)
Author: BS Murthy

Chapter 31
The Rift Within

Based on the finding of its opinion poll, The India Today (August 26, 2002) had averred that – “In the past six months communalism and Pakistan-sponsored terrorism have grabbed the national headlines. On these issues there is a definite Hindu-Muslim rift. Take the on-again-off-again Ayodhya dispute. On this issue, there seems to be a hardening of stand in favour of building a Ram temple immediately - 43 per cent were in favour six months ago, today it is 47 per cent. Even among Congress voters, 43 per cent want the temple now. Predictably, this is not a solution favoured by Muslims. Equally, support for the temple isn’t as enthusiastic in the South and East as in the North and West.

Likewise, while 70 per cent of Hindus regard Pakistan as an enemy - a rare expression of national unity - only 37 per cent of Muslims do so. Indeed, 49 per cent of Muslims have a rather charitable view of Pakistan as an estranged brother, a friend and a future ally. What complicates matters is that among Muslims who are aware, Mohammed Ali Jinnah is regarded as a hero, along with Mahmud of Ghazni and Aurangzeb. The weight of Hindu opinion treats these historical figures as villains.

These are worrying signs and pointers to the emotional gulf between the majority community and the most significant minority. Nor is this rift a persisting relic. The poll indicates that it is the youth (18 to 24-year-olds) that is more aware and belligerent than their elders. This raw, untapped energy is yet to find focus. A positive outlet may take India to new heights; in the wrong hands, it could plunge the country in civil strife. A divided India can swing either way.”

 But, this schism, the product of the Muslim religious expansionist credo that the All Knowing, the All Wise, Allah wished to avert by ordaining in the Quran thus: 

“And we never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them. The Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (4.9)

But the will of Allah was ignored by his faithful and forced his message in Arabic on the peoples of other tongues, thereby creating the conflict of interest that ‘the God’ had foreseen, and seemingly wanted to avoid. So, the penchant of the Indian Musalmans to glorify those as heroes of Islam, who had been inimical to the Hindus or had undermined the Hindustan, is un-Islamic for it was not the will of Allah but the making of those disregarding ‘believers’. So, during the ‘unauthorized’ Muhammadan expansion down the Quranic journey, the Islamic straight, but narrow, path began to lead the umma onto the narrower bylanes of bigotry. Hence, it’s for the Indian Musalmans of the day to ponder over this ayat that made their alien God’s’ intent clear, and try to pave the ‘right path’ in the Indian setting, albeit with the Islamic tar.

Whatever, when the U.S tasted the madness that is the Islamic fundamentalism on 9/11/2001, one Western social scientist wondered what it might take the Jews and the Hindus to live in the Muslim surroundings! Why it is for the Indian Musalmans to think whether that image is fine with them; they might as well ask themselves the valid question - instead of leading a harmonious life in the Indian society, how come they provoke the disinterested, if not docile, Hindu majority into a retaliatory mode?

Well, the Musalmans, obsessed as they are with growing beards and wearing skull-caps so as to accentuate their Islamic identity that is besides wrapping up their female ‘objects’ in unwieldy burkas from public ‘male’ view, don’t seem to care two hoots for what the ‘others’ think about their separatist as well as obscurantist mindset. But they might realize that their emotional attachment to everything Muhammadan makes them fish in the Islamic waters that wouldn’t survive on the lands of reality. Why, their inability to vibe with the cultures in which they live as minorities makes them blind to the beatitude of life out there right ‘here’, and if only they could see beyond their Quranic noses, they would realize that Islam is the only religion where the agenda of the founder and the aspirations of his followers were mutually exclusive.

Though the Muslims take pride in Muhammad, what they fail to see is that he was not all that great as he was made out to be, and contrary to the myths in the umma, he was as fallible as any other man. But the Islamic hitch is that the Musalmans get conditioned to see his frailties as the ideals and he the ideal man worthy of emulation. Thus it can be said that Musalman is a product of a faulty prototype, and it is there for all to see save the consumers in the umma!

In this regard it pays the Indian umma to analyze the phenomenon of Sathya Sai Baba, whom millions of his devotees, the world over, revere as an avatar of God, and experience his ‘presence’ wherever they are; a la affair Musalmans! Lo, that too without a scripture of his own, the swords of his faithful and the lure of the ‘spoils of war’ to spread his creed, the Baba attracts peoples of all faiths in today’s world, with the expectable exception of the Musalmans! Moreover, without any promise of an exclusive ‘thereafter’ to his devotees, he inspires them to indulge in self-less service ‘here’ to the humanity at large. Of course, like Muhammad, he too was reviled and faced calumnies, in spite of it all, and thus, it’s for the Musalmans to review their Messenger’s questionable achievements in the light of Baba’s monumental contributions.

Yet another Muslim fallacy is that none but them feel the like faith in ‘the God’, and it is for them to realise that as an overindulgent sweet tooth could be nauseating, so also their Quranic overdose would be debilitating. And making it a triple jeopardy for the umma  is its penchant to gloat over the prowess of the Islamic warriors of yore, who subdued much of the old world, coupled with their delusory wait in these adverse times for the advent of their Savior-in-Chief, who would paint the globe with the Islamic green! No wonder that the desperate Musalmans mistake a desperado Osama bin Laden or a demented Baghdadi as the upholders of Islam and the suicide vests of the deluded fidayēn as the Coats of Muslim Mail.   

Maybe a slight brushing up of the world history by the Musalmans, not just the Islamic victories of yore, unceasingly parroted in the Muslim mohallas – their cocoons of bitterness in the wilderness of dogma - might enable them to see the falsity of it all, which they insensibly made their article of faith. Better they come to know that the Christians of Abyssinia sheltered the early Muhammadans troubled by the Quraysh and the Hindu’s too didn’t chase away the Musalmans when they came to Malabar for trade.

When it comes to their misplaced notions about Hinduism, who were to tell them that the idols Muhammad was hell-bent upon breaking were those supposedly polluting the Kabah, and not the deities that inspire millions of devout Hindus in Bharat Varsha? Even after living for a thousand years in Hindustan, if the Indian Musalmans were to believe, as Mahmud Ghazni did, that the Hindus are idolaters, it speaks for their lack of awareness about the culture of their own forbears, well their pre-conversion ones. Oh, how these bigots ever shy away from accepting a Hindu prasādam from an acquaintance, so as not to pollute their Islamic palates being dreadful of deviating from the Quranic credo that is:

“O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you: they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but which their breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you the revelations if ye will understand.”

“Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden and unto forgiveness by His grace, and expoundeth thus His revelations to mankind that haply they may remember.” 

The Indian Musalmans might realize that these and many such Quranic injunctions exhorting them not to mix with the Jews, the Christians and the idolaters (poor guys who are denied even a capital ‘I’ in Islam) are but contextual for they were meant to address Muhammad’s compulsion to keep his meager flock together against their being poached by ‘the others’ in the formative years of his cult! Now that the faith got more than cemented in the minds of the Musalmans for so long now, and the umma too grew into the billion-believer size, would these Quranic exhortations still be valid? Certainly not for any but for the bookish bigots of the Xians included.

It is as well the Indian Musalmans realize that Islam is more than safe in Hindustan, in spite of its Quranic partition, and thus they might as well venture out of their ‘mohallas of faith’ into the nationalistic mainstream, as Hindus have no agenda for reconverting them into Hinduism. Maybe, it’s the problem of the political heads of India’s volatile democracy to herd their flocks into posh retreats, away from their poaching political opponents, and not of the mullahs of the numerous umma to keep the Indian Musalmans in the dark Quranic alleys. 

That apart, when his believers were far and few between, it was imperative for Muhammad’s Islamic cause not to lose its ‘productive’ fair sex to the cupids of ‘the other’ faiths. But would it be valid still, when Islam is the fastest growing religion ‘here’; moreover, it is not as if the Hindu men are itching to seduce Muslim women into Hindu motherhood. So, when an odd Hindu fancies a Muslim female, what for the Musalmans still treat it as a case of ‘Islam in danger’, and attack the hapless couple! Well, if the Quran erects Islamic barriers for interfaith love matches, the Hindu prejudice places hurdles to inter-caste marriages, and it is high time too that the caste panchāyats that kill the transgressing lovers are wound up with Godspeed, once and for all.

The way the Musalmans of the day feel about them is the replica of what Alberuni noted of the Hindus of yore gloating about them; they feel Islam is the most glorious faith, their conquests are the greatest ever, their culture is the best on earth, their architecture is the marvel of the world, so on and so forth. Maybe it is time that the Musalmans have a balanced view of their victories and defeats over the centuries, but in their desperation for the advent of a Saladin to subdue the hated infidels, they have reduced themselves into gloating over the Osamas, the Nasrallahs, and the Baghdadis as the modern-day Omars. Oh, what a fall! Though their methods are reminiscent of Muhammad’s realpolitik of ‘ends justifying the means’, it pays for the Musalmans to know that he was a pragmatist with a singular mission, while their new heroes are but bigots chasing un-achievable goals. After all, one must be a moron to aim at making the world a dar al-Islam now or ever, which Omar and Saladin, not to speak of Muhammad himself, failed to do so! Well, umma may yet aver that but for Maria’s charming distraction; Muhammad surely would have conquered the whole world on his own steam.

But the moot point is that the Musalmans even in these modern times tend to be out of sync with the changed realities of the life ‘here’, and that begs for answers. True, that quran, hadith ‘n sunna inculcate a sense of alienation in the faithful towards the kafirs but then how many Indian Musalmans would have read their translations even in Urdu, their very own tongue, leave alone the Arabic originals; hardly any. However, umma’s kids, mostly from its deprived quarters, would be made to imbibe its separatist credo in innumerable madrasas, and, in turn, they as grownups spread those biases from the masjids, madrasas ‘n mohallas that insensibly becomes the creed of the Musalmans.

If anything, the history of the Muslim marauds of Hindustan, pictured as Islamic conquests and the perceived glories of Mogul Empire, with exaggerated spread over it that gets the word of mouth in the mohallas. Besides accentuating the Islamic sense of separateness, all this inevitably inculcates a false sense of pride in the umma about the divinity of its faith and the valour of the faithful. Not only that, this vainglory manifests itself, like in the false bravado of the Pakistan Army - one Muslim is equal to ten Hindu soldiers – nevermind it was mauled every time it ventured to take on the Indian Armed Forces. As if on cue, the hotheaded among India’s Musalmans, like Akbaruddin Owaisi, the youger brother Asaduddin Owaisi, a Muslim foulmouth  politician from Hyderabad, boast likewise – “25 crore Muslims would need just 15 minutes without the police to show 100 crore Hindus who is more powerful”.

Moreover, the undying Muslim nostalgia for the Islamic heydays of yore in an otherwise gloomy scenario of the modern era of the Musalmans is evident, say, when it comes to choosing a foreign language as part of college curriculum; Muslim boys and girls invariably tend to choose Persian; and once when asked in a media survey, why it was so, the unwavering answer was, because it is hukummat ki jabān – the ruling tongue; well, Persian was the court language of the Moguls. It’s thus, far removed from the current realities of the world; Musalmans remain as fossils of royal frogs in the shallow Islamic wells of the past in their impoverished mohallas.

Thanks to the Quranic brainwash, poverty is not something that weighs the Musalmans down, as generally is the case with the rest of mankind, since for them life ‘here’ is but a ‘pastime’ of an enabling time to reach the ‘Hereafter’.

“Naught is the life of the world save a pastime and a sport. Better far is the abode of the Hereafter for those who keep their duty (to Allah). Have ye then no sense?” 

“Those who love the life of the world more than the Hereafter, and debar (men) from the way of Allah and would have it crooked: such are far astray.”

 Not only that, even when they venture out into the kafir arena, they wear their false sense of superiority on their sleeves notwithstanding their social or economic condition, and / or both. Nevermind their illiteracy, not to be mistaken with Islamic awareness, even their women tend to be overbearing with kafirs, which is exemplified in the way they evict ‘the other’ men from the reserved seats for women in the city buses, moreso in the Muslim dominant areas, for which trespass their well-educated Hindu sisters, for most part, would have remained mute spectators.

But the Hindu left-libs, who vouch for the Musalmans though there’s nothing of a left ideology in Islam and what’s worse, it suppresses every liberal outlook whatsoever is there. Nevertheless, as all these espy things Muslim through the myopic prism built with their Islamapologic glasses, so naturally they get the Indian Islamic scenario all wrong. Well, even though they harp on the Muslim backwardness, yet they desist from advocating secular education for the Musalmans; they shed secular crocodile tears over umma’s economic plight but dare not advise the faithful to trim the unsustainable size of their families; they subscribe to the alleged discrimination by Hindus against the Musalmans but shy away from reminding them about their Islamic hostility towards ‘the others’; they condemn, rightly so, any stray case of a Hindu roughshod over a Musalman or two Hindu, but whenever the boot is on the wrong Muslim leg, which is more often than not, they close their eyes and shut their mouth; they endorse the fact that India belongs to Hindus as much as it to its Musalmans but fail to condemn the latter’s averment that ‘Islam is above India’ and ‘sharia is over its constitution’, and this hypocritical exercise in Islamapologic chicanery goes on and on, and that has come to sicken the Hindus.

But what with the double squeeze from within by the mullahs and without by Islamapologists, needless to say, the umma stays as is where, and what is worse, some of them want it to be taken farther back to its medieval past. This about sums up the Islamic paradox for in these days even as ‘the others’ want to go forward, the umma has begun to crave to move backwards to its medieval origins of barbaric purity.

 

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