It was Kafirophobia on the lines of Islamophobia that infected the Islamic society, particularly the Sunni-Wahhabi sect population. If Islamophobia is a disease, Kafirophobia too is a disease
Dr Pramod Pathak
Considered by all a majority of right-thinking (no pun intended) citizens of the world as “a sign of oppression of women” wearing hijab is actively abetted by none other than New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda is transporting secular New Zeland back to Arabia’s Dark Ages. While hundreds of thousands of oppressed Iranian women were protesting during “No Hijab Day” by burning their hijab openly on the streets of Tehran and elsewhere in Iran, clearly, New Zealand’s naive PM has no clues about what she is dragging the country into...
A view of the appalling attacks on Sri Lankan churches on April 22, 2019
In my last article in Organiser, I had exposed the duplicity of the class of pseudo-intellectuals in India in denying due credit to our armed forces sheer out of hate PM mindset. They accused the current government in arousing uncontrolled jingoism leading to the dark tunnel. For these pseudo-intellectuals, nationalism was a dose of narcotic. Then follows another dose of comparison of their and our Islamophobia by a Professor, who belongs to the class of the pseudo-intellectuals. His heart bleeds only for a particular minority. This time I feel compelled to name him, Apoorvanand, from Delhi University who was moved by the solidarity shown by the New Zealanders and Australians. They came out to sympathise with the victims of the massacre at Christchurch in New Zealand by an Australian citizen. He could feel pain on the face of PM of New Zealand and a sense of urgency and worry expressed by the Australian PM. It was unnerving for him that Islamophobia continues to run in our blood and days of the likes of Munshi Premchand and Ramdhari Singh Dinkar have passed. He is at pain for none in our country came forward to express solidarity when mosques were attacked in Bharat—Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, etc. and that we, the Hindus, of course, go without saying, happily accept the foreign currency they (Muslims) bring but would not share their loss. He made a very revealing observation, “In the West, there are people who work constantly to identify Islamophobia in all forms and demand action against those who promote it. In India, we have normalised it so much that if Muslims complain, they are unnecessarily touchy” (The Indian Express, March 22, 2019). His heart bleeds for the Muslim children who are mocked and bullied by classmates and that Saraswati Shishu Mandirs breed Islamophobia. He is sure, with the General Elections round the corner, there will be rounds of demonisation of Muslims to garner Hindu votes. Finally, the Professor diagnoses Islamophobia as a (social?) disease and the majority (read Hindus) have to get rid of it.
People pay their respects to victims of March 15 mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zeeland on March 16, 2019
One is surprised to see the learned Professor blatantly denying credit due to others of his tribe who have been holding candle marches, returning the Government awards and freely expressing views against anything dear to Hindus who do not believe in blasphemy. For them, Ram Mandir is anathema, archaeological excavations at Ayodhya by expert and globally recognised archaeologists like Prof. B.B. Lal which dated the site to around 1500 BCE, are fictitious. For them, it is befitting to honour the location of the 16th-century mosque-cum disputed structure claimed by the minority community and denying the millennia-old tradition of honouring and worshipping location just because it belongs to the majority community.
Attacks on Mosques and Madrassas
Learned Professor has simply ignored as to why over the last three decades or so it triggered the formation of deadly organisations like al-Qaeda, LeT, Islamic State, Boko Haram and host of others. Why frequently the mosques have been attacked and madrasas have come under scanner in several Western countries in spite of anti-majoritarian philosophy firmly taking roots in the post-WW II era? Why there was a dire need for the governments in several countries to take anti-radicalisation measures only for the Islamic communities in those countries? All these followed late in Bharat. As late as a few months ago, we gave protection to those who were openly advocating ceding Kashmir to Pakistan. Madrasas here came under the scanner of late. Until then all went well for these vocal advocates of humanity which for them existed for the minority only.
A young Iranian woman waves a white headscarf in protest of her compulsory hijab rule in Tehran
As early 2002, Gen. Musharraf, who Islamised the Pakistani Army was forced to close several madrasas in Pakistan as they had become hotbeds for breeding radicalisation among youth (January 8, 2002). Posters were on display in London demarking Sharia Zones set up across Britain, defying the British laws as they claimed to impose strict sharia laws (July 30, 2011). Pak Taliban worked in coordination with Islamist activists at major seminaries to attack the Capital Islamabad (April 12, 2014). Boko Haram, a terrorist organisation attacked a mosque at Kano, Nigeria, killing sixty-four people. Boko Haram, a Sunni jihadist organisation considered local mosque authorities as corrupt and self-serving (November 29, 2014) in turn branding them kafirs. The trail for bomb blasts at Burdwan led to Nalbari District in Assam where a top Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) activist was arrested. It was found that top JMB activists visited local madrasa to induct boys in their group (December 7, 2014). In the USA, the local Muslims felt that people were cursing while passing the Mosque in New York City (August 15, 2016). As a Pakistani editor, Khaled Ahmed, acknowledged, Jihad, as preached in madrasas in Pakistan, rendered Pakistani State powerless to defy Frankenstein of madrasas. Shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers resulted in the killing of six and eight wounded. It was attacked by a right winger nationalist youth (February 1, 2017). Suicide attack near the Holy shrine of Grand Mosque at Riyadh demolished a nearby building and wounding a dozen of people (June 25, 2017). Mosque at Finsbury Ark in London was attacked by driving a van in the Friday congregation (June 19, 2017). The instances of attack on mosques in the last decade or so can go on. The question the pseudo-intellectuals refuse to ask is why mosques are attacked by both diehard terrorist organisations and non-Muslims. It’s obvious. These have become breeding grounds for Kafirophobia.
Other trends were evident to people at large, but the pseudo-intellectuals were blindfolded. In Bengal, politics flocked to Muslim preachers (March 14, 2014) and Mamata Banerjee was actively coaxing minority turned majority in many districts, for votes. Maulana Abdul Ghani, a cleric, was sentenced ten years in jail over hate speech by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan (July 4, 2015). Officially appointed British Imam for Muslim jail mates was caught sending extremist literature comprising of misogynistic and homophobic (Kafirophobia) leaflets to the jails. These jails with large Muslim inmates had become conversion centres. Why in Bharat as well globally, the radicalised Muslim youth found ISIS more attractive than the local terrorist organisations (May 17, 2016) such that they sported shirts with ISIS slogans and flag in the remote village in Tamil Nadu. Madrasas funded by foreign countries along the Bangladesh border were breeding grounds for terrorism as per CM of Bengal Buddhadeo Bhattacharya (June 6, 2016). Al-Qaida of Indian Subcontinent issued a statement inciting Muslims in Bharat to launch lone-wolf attacks (July 4, 2016). Uttar Pradesh clerics were divided over the celebration of Independence day and hoisting the national flag in madrasas (August 13, 2017). Finally, we have Bharat Todo gang darling of these pseudo-thinkers. Has any of them at any time expressed concern about the happening listed above?
Radicalisation as Kafirophobia
As reported, Saudi Money was fuelling as large as 24,000 madrasas in Pakistan which has unleashed a “tsunami of money” to “export intolerance” (January 31, 2015). Intolerance towards whom? It was against non-believers, not of Islam in general but not belonging to the Sunni sect; to hate kafirs, dream for either their conversion or elimination. That’s what ISIS did over the period of Caliphate rule where the brutality of the extreme type was its strategy. The ISIS propagated Wahhabism as the basis for its very existence justifying brutality. It had an appeal all across the globe such that thousands flocked under the banner of ISIS. It was Kafirophobia on the lines of Islamophobia that infected the Islamic society, in particular, Sunni-Wahhabi sect population. If Islamophobia is a disease as defined by learned Professor and his ilk, Kafirophobia too is a disease, discussion and treatment of which is shunned by all of them. But that should not deter others to objectively think to overcome this disease, even if they may not be branded as intellectuals.
(The writer is a senior columnist and scholar of comparative religions)