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posted by: Vinamra Bharadwaj

“Muslims are bullies and Hindus cowards”, Mahatma Gandhi once said when a group of Hindus did not put up fight to protect their women assaulted by Muslims. What Gandhi said might be a generalization but it crept out from innumerable incidents happening in India before independence and has continued to happen post independence of India.

It is important to know about the demographics of Indian subcontinent. Indian subcontinent is currently home to more than 1/3rd of the Muslims. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh alone are having approximately 180, 180 and 150 million muslim citizens respectively. Of the 3 nations, Bangladesh and Pakistan have over 90% Muslims while India has a DOMINANT muslim minority (almost 15%). Not to ignore the fact that almost all of these muslims in the sub-continent are descendants of local communities who were converted to Islam by Arabic invaders either by force, by coercion, by deception or by self will. The remaining small population would be the descendants of Arabic/Persian/Turkish invaders, clerics etc.

The rapidly increasing population of muslims in a democratic setup like India triggers a phenomenon known as ‘Islamization’ which is the process of ending up the democratic system and bringing it under the proclaimed law of Allah (God) known as the Sharia. The unique factor common to muslim demands of implementation of Sharia in a particular democratic country is their population. When the muslim population exceeds a particular threshold, these cries grow louder and much more violent. The most dangerous thing which comes out is the growing intolerance wherein they take law into their own hands and start upsrings and threats to anything that is remotely perceived by them as ‘UnIslamic’ as has happened in India quite a few times. It wouldn’t be just to say that all Indian or even Pakistani muslims are fanatics and fundamentalists. There are moderate or extremists in any religion. However the grave issue lies in some of the aspects of Islam, especially the political ideology which is being funded and propagated by Saudi.

So let’s take a look at a few key religious ideologies which would have been the root cause of violent events in India and elsewhere

  1. Ummat-al-Islamiyah – This Arabic term, popularly known as Ummah means the ‘Islamic Supernation’. The only implication in simple words is ‘Unity of muslims’ across the world as if they were staying in a single country, governed by the same Quranic Laws with Allah as their only God. It is a communal word which segregates people into two classes: believers and non believers or muslims and non muslims. As per the muslims’ holy book Quran, Ummat is the best nationhood brought out ever by mankind. For the same reasons, those muslims across the world who believe in Quran would also believe that, this form of super country is above any country the humans have ever made. They go on to overlook the geographical setup of the Earth and perceive the whole muslim world as 1 country and naturally the laws of the supernation (Islam) should overrule that of any ordinary nation.
  1. Blasphemy – It is difficult to find the mention of ‘Blasphemy’ in Quran. Although Blasphemy, which means any irrelevant behaviour towards Islam, its culture, traditions, its God, its prophet; has been included in the Islamic Sharia Law. Any blasphemous act such as questioning the Holy prophet’s intentions, talking any ill about him, claiming to be him, drawing his picture, slighting him, finding fault with Quran or questioning, in short saying or doing anything which is forbidden amounts to Blasphemy and the punishment can vary from monetary fines to amputation to public execution. Just to quote an example,          on Dec 22 last year in Pakistan, a mentally unstable man was set on fire by an angry intolerant mob, just because they heard ‘rumours’ which may have been false, that the unstable man had burned a few pages of Holy Quran. Detailed story is covered here
  1. Fatwa – In Islamic faith, Fatwa is a legal opinion or juristic ruling which is binding for Shia Muslims and non binding for Sunni Muslims, The fatwa is issued by qualified muslim scholars popularly known as Mufti. Each region has its Mufti. Although many claim that a fatwa is non-binding and hence not very relevant in political scheme of things, there is a large number of muslims who take Fatwas seriously and cite them in aspects of life. Recently a Fatwa was issued in Kashmir, forbidding an all girls’ music band to perform because rock music was unislamic and women should not sing. Millions of ridiculous fatwas have been issued across the world and the defenders of Islam discredit them by saying it is non-binding. But the truth is that a large number of muslims tend to follow Fatwa. The all girls band stopped singing after the fatwa because it received death threats from Fundamentalists. Please see some of the controversial fatwas in recent Indian history.

More on Fatwas and their impact in India would be discussed in the coming articles but we now have a bit of information on what leads to this extreme intolerant behaviour of muslims, Hence we will shift our focus in highlighting some of the incidents that have occurred in the past few decades in India stemming out of Extreme religious intolerance.

  1. KP Exodus – One of its kind, Kashmiri Pundit exodus is one of the largest ethnic migrations in the world History where around 350,000 – 550,000 Kashmiri pundits were forcibly pushed out by Kashmiri terrorists in the name of Islam to other parts of India. The exodus took place in early 1990s after the terrorists started ethnic cleansing of these pundits, killing 1000s of them. They are now refugees in their own country. They used to form more than 95% of the Hindu Population in Hindu dominated Kashmir. One can argue that this drive was as a result of Pakistani agenda to change demographics of Kashmir valley so that any referendum to resolve the Kashmir issue would largely be in their favour. However Islamic terrorism in Kashmir is not just to give cause to a separatist movement but also an ideological struggle for complete Islamization of Kashmir. The local kashmiri muslims were bound to muslim terrorists by their common Islamic faith and much of the local populace provides logistical, moral and political support to these separatists. One needs to look how the once Hindu dominated region became a muslim majority region.
  1. Mumbai Bomb blasts – March 12, 1993 witnessed one of the most destructive bomb explosions that took place in the history of India. More than 250 people were killed and over 700 injured. The serial blasts were conducted by terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s group who is currently reported to have settled in Pakistan. It all started with fringe Hindu extremist organizations demanding the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. For starters, Ayodhya is to Hindus what Jerusalem is to Christians. It is the birthplace of Lord Ram in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Lord Ram is believed to be the incarnation of God as per Hindu mythology, hence the city is revered as a whole and it is believed that there used to be a magnanimous temple in the city of Ayodhya which was destroyed by muslim invader Babar in whose name a mosque was built there. Archaeological evidences suggest existence of a huge temple in the site where Babri masjid was built. While the mosque was demolished by fringe Hindu extremists, not a single soul was wounded, as their intention was to build the temple back and not hurt anyone. However as we know, how muslims react when blasphemy occurs, muslims across India started rioting and butchering Hindus who were not even involved in the demolition of the structure showing their high intolerance. This did not end here; even the Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh had to face the brunt. Well known Bangladeshi writer Tasleema Nasreem in her book ‘Lajja’ quotes how thousands of Hindus were slaughtered, raped, displaced and amputated in Bangladesh and hundreds of Hindu temples were destroyed in response to Babri Mosque demolition. Quite obviously the book was banned in many Islamic countries and Nasreem was issued a death Fatwa by an Islamic scholar as the traitor of Islam. The situation in Pakistan, another Muslim majority nation was even worse as it resorted to large scale ethnic cleansing of Hindus and forced conversion. Their daughters were mercilessly raped. In India, the muslims took law into their own hands and decided that every hindu was their enemy. Quoting from Sri Krishna judicial commission report on the riots, “From 7 December 1992 onwards there was a qualitative transformation in the situation. Large mobs of Muslims came on the streets and there was recourse taken to violence without doubt. The Muslim mobs appeared to have come out with the intention of mounting violent attacks as noticed from their preparedness with weapons of offence. There were violent attacks on the policemen in Muslim dominated areas like Bhendi Bazar and its vicinity. The jurisdictional areas affected were mostly Muslim dominated or mixed localities.” Hindus were also involved in retaliatory riots but they were from the fringe extreme groups, whereas from the report it suggests that the general muslim public and not any fringe extremist groups conducted the riots. For an event that took place in Ayodhya resulting in zero casualties, thousands of Hindus were slaughtered in other parts of the sub continent.
  1. Muslim Vandalism – September 15, 2012, a large muslim mass took to vandalism when a Quran with abusive comments scribbled in it was found in a train track. This might have been the work of a miscreant but again, muslim groups did not tolerate this act and considered it an insult to their supreme religion.
  1. Protests against Myanmar Genocide – On August 12, 2012, a 50,000 strong mob went crazy after calls of protest and wrecked havoc in Mumbai. The crowd went beserk and clashed with police. The unpatriotic rioters didn’t show any mercy to institutions of patriotism namely the Amar Jawan Jyoti (Lights of the sacrificed soldiers). Trouble also spread to other parts of India when a threatening SMS circulated in bigger cities of India urging muslims to execute people from North east origin who are of Asian ethnicity to avenge the deaths of Muslims in Myanmar (which possibly was a rumour) and the Assam riots. The SMS led to mass fleeing of both east Indians from cities with Muslim dominance to their native homes.
  1. Vandalism against American video on Mohammad – While America would have paid for the video on Mohammad, by sacrificing 2 of its countrymen in Libya over a movie made on Mohammad, India didn’t stay far behind. Violent protests erupted in many parts of the country. The most prominent of them happened in Kashmir wherein large scale muslim mobs started vandalizing Public properties in India, taking law in their own hands. The large crowds of muslims going berserk was too much to control.
  1. Attempt to Slaughter kids – A muslim mob went crazy when they saw an 11 year old kid playing with a damaged bunting which would have been left on streets by a muslim procession itself. Some muslims saw the kid and decided to execute him for supposedly insulting their religion. However timely intervention averted the mishap. But thinking of killing 11 year old kids reveals a particular kind of mentality.

While there are thousands of examples like this, the one thing common to them all is the large scale Muslim intolerance. They resort to violence in no time, and use the very fundamentals of democracy (freedom of speech and expression) to destroy it. It can be seen that anything remotely questioning their religion, their God, their faith or their prophet has had only one outcome; intense outrage. This idea of supremacism is extremely dangerous. Things get worse in areas were muslim populations are in majority and the minorities are the first to bear the brunt. The concept of Ummah might be Universal brotherhood, but muslims across the world use it as a tool to destroy non muslims elsewhere. One doesn’t wonder the violence in India against Indians over an American movie, or threats to Indians over alleged genocide of muslims in Myanmar (another country). European countries might not see such events on a frequent basis and hence consider these events to be fringe, but in reality it is a mundane activity for the intolerant muslims who choose not to hear the story from the other side or atleast a neutral side. What is more worrying is their growing political clout and sympathy from large sections of the Media. Sadly December 6, 1992 (demolition of Babri Mosque) is considered a black day in Indian democracy where not a fly was killed, whereas there is not even a remote mention of the subsequent riots or the bomb blasts which claimed several innocent lives.

In the next edition, we would focus on how it all began in the Indian sub continent, the history of it from 7th century through 18th century A.D.