Tag Archives: Islam

Demand for Prophet Mohammed Bill Amidst Rise of Ex-Muslims

By: K Sahadev

Muslim religious groups like Raza Academy and Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat Board and Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) have reportedly pressurised the Maharashtra state government to introduce ‘Prophet Muhammad Bill’. The aim is to bring an act to stop blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and religious figures of all religions.

As per a report in the Times of India, though the bill is promoted as the ‘Prophet Muhammad Bill’, the draft bill prepared and submitted to the government has been titled ‘Prophet Muhammad and Other Religious Heads Prohibition of Slander Act, 2021’ or ‘Hate Speech (Prevention) Act, 2021’.

A group of Muslims in Mumbai has decided to fight provocative and blasphemous posts videos and cartoons through the legal route. Instead of hitting the streets and adopting a confrontational approach, they will counsel youths not to get violent and find remedies within the constitutional framework. Floating a legal cell under Tahaffuz Namoos-e Risalat Board Protection of the Honour of the Prophet Board, the group held its first meeting at Islam Gymkhana on 13 Feb and decided to counter blasphemous and provocative posts and videos in a peaceful and democratic manner.

It has often been seen that Muslim youths get agitated over blasphemous and provocative posts and hi the streets and clash with the police. This results in arson, rioting and then arrests and harassment.

In the recent past, there has been no instance of anyone making derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed, why this demand is being made? Could it be due to the rise of ex-Muslims in social media?

RISE OF EX-MUSLIMS:

Till recently, critical analysis of Islam in Youtube/ Social Media was done mostly by Western scholars and ex-Muslims from Syria like Wafa Sultan who is now living in USA. Later on couple of Pakistani expatriates living in countries like USA/Canada/Europe started their own Youtube channels and started expressing their views / life experiences. Few of the popular channels are:
1) Haris Sultan
2) Dr. Fouzia Rauf ( Saraswathi Dasi)
3) Amina Sardar ( No Love for Islam)
4) Mahleej Sarkari.

In India, one of the earliest ex-Muslim YouTube channel was that of Pandit Mahendra Pal Arya, a Muslim cleric who converted to Arya Samaj. Youtube Channels like Jaipur Dialogues, Neeraj Atri conducted discussions on various aspects of Islam. Neeraj Atri has produced around 50 videos in a series labelled Islam for Dummies. In addition to discussions based on Quran/ Hadees with Sri Shankar Sharan evoked lot of interest and following. Simultaneously these channels started hosting Indian ex-Muslims. This paved the way for Indian ex-Muslims to open their own Youtube Channels. Few of them are:

1) Dystopia to Reason
2) Ex-Muslim Zafar Heretic
3) Azad ground ex-Muslim
4) Indian Ex-Muslim Sahil
5) Kali Dasi (Sarah Khan)

These channels started sharing their experiences of ex-Muslims – their life as Muslims, how they became ex-Muslims, reaction of family/society and life after leaving Islam. One of the channels started a series labelled ‘Islam se Insaniyat tak- story of ex-Muslim’ where ex-Muslims share their life experiences.

ARRIVAL OF ‘SACHWALA’:

The quality of discourse in these channels underwent big change with the arrival of an ex-Muslim who calls himself ‘Sachwala’. According to him, from age of 10, he has undergone education in Madrassa and passed many examinations on Islam. He also had a passion for calligraphy. Later on, he went and worked in Saudi Arabia for around 18 years and there he acquired further in-depth knowledge of the Quran, Arabic and its various variants like classical Arabic. As he delved deeper into Islamic literature, the more he was convinced of various fabrications and interpolations. An article in Hindi on him Equipped with in-depth knowledge of Arabic and Islamic literature, he appears in various ex-Muslim YouTube channels with a specific question where people are invited to prove the same through Quranic verses alone. Some of the topics shook the basic foundation of Islam itself. A few of the topics are:

1) Prove that Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed
2) Is not taking of slaves, sex with slaves and sale/purchase of slaves by Prophet Mohammed against humanity?
3) Are declarations of Quran (Bayanat) against communal harmony?
4) Why should I be punished if Allah guides and misguides?
5) Is the present day Mecca the same as the one described in Quran?

These live debates which question the very basic structure of Islam last 3-5 hours and several Muslims come forward to put forth their point of view on above topics. It is worth noting that most of the callers are ordinary Muslims or those who are presently studying in Madrassas. None of the callers are well known figures of Islamic theology or scholars of Islam. Undoubtedly Sachwala has made a deep impact in the online ex-Muslim and Muslim community.

In channels run by women like Kali Dasi or Amina Sardar, women discuss how they became ex-Muslims, torture at hands of family members/ husband. While some have become Hindus after leaving Islam, many remain atheist.
In the course of various debates/ shows, many ex-Muslims join the discourse and they express their desire to discuss their own experiences with Islam. The hosts then include them in their ‘Islam to Insaniat’ series. Quite a few ex-Muslim women from India/ Pakistan who are now living elsewhere are also coming together and are on the verge of starting a separate ex-Muslim women’s channel. With Urdu being understood both in Pakistan and in India, these channels are having an impact in both countries.

EX-MUSLIM WOMEN DISCUSSING IN YOUTUBE LIVE:

In addition, the free and easy availability of the Quran in several languages, Hadees in English, books written by Ali Sina ( Understanding Mohammed ) etc. have spurred a big debate on Islam, its founder Prophet Mohammed, various wars fought in the course of the expansion of Islam, enormous suffering of humanity at the hands of Islam. Massacre of innocents in wars led by Prophet Mohammed, the capture of women and children as slaves particularly the battle with Banu Quraiza and capture of one of the wives of Safiya as a slave are being heard for the first time by Muslims. The marriage of 6-year-old Aisha with 54-year-old Prophet Mohammed is cited by women ex-Muslims as a prime motivator for leaving Islam.

It can be safely concluded that as critical analysis of Islam or open criticism of Prophet Mohammed in cyberspace has spurred Islamic clerics to put forth the demand for a Prophet Mohammed blasphemy law. Unable to counter threadbare discussion of Islam and Prophet Mohammed, through traditional methods like street protests, threats to life, Islamic clerics want to silence these channels through legislation. Such a demand was made in Pakistan and the Pakistan- Punjab assembly passed a resolution in May 2020 to this effect. A similar demand is being in India now.

(Author is Research Associate at ‘Center for South Indian Studies’, Hyderabad)

Partitioned Freedom – 5

(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 1” from this link – 1)
(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 2” from this link – 2)
(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 3” from this link – 3)
(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 4” from this link – 4)

Part 5

The Khilafat misadventure was not without consequences. It had set a trend, both in the Congress as well as the League. For the League, it was more demands, and for the Congress, more capitulation.

Moplah Rebellion:

The Khilafat movement had led to massive violence in the Malabar Coast of Kerala when a local leader, Variankunnathu Kunjahammad Haji declared himself as the Khalifa and also designated two tehsils as ‘Khilafat Kingdoms’. He instigated his followers against the British. The rebellion, famously known as the Moplah Rebellion or the Malabar Rebellion, was launched on August 20, 1921, and continued for four months.

Taken aback initially by the unexpected aggression of the local Muslims called the Moplahs, the British returned with greater force and brutally suppressed the rebellion. All its leaders, including Haji were arrested. As the British were suppressing the rebellion, the Moplahs turned their ire against the local Hindus, blaming them for not fully supporting the Khilafat cause. Houses and temples were destroyed, women were dishonored, and people were forcefully converted or burnt alive. The atrocities committed by the Moplahs shook the conscience of many leaders, including Dr Ambedkar and Annie Besant. While Annie Besant vividly described the brutality against the Hindus, especially the women, Dr. Ambedkar minced no words in condemning the massacres by describing them as ‘blood-curdling’ and ‘indescribable’. Gandhi’s close confidant C. Rajagopalachari was so distraught by the cruelty of the Moplahs that he shot off a letter to Gandhi stating that “the atrocities of the Moplahs have made men, women, and children lose faith in the concept of Hindu-Muslim unity completely”.

However, strange was the Congress reaction. When the AICC met at Ahmedabad in December 1921, the entire effort seemed directed towards downplaying the atrocities by the Moplahs. While the Servants of India Society led by Annie Besant reported that over twenty thousand Hindus were forcefully converted to Islam, the Congress claimed that as per their information, only three people were converted. The Ahmedabad session of Congress witnessed intense tussle between the Congress and League members over the Moplah incidents. All that could be said in the resolution was that the Congress “…is of the opinion that the…disturbance in Malabar could have been prevented by the Government of Madras accepting the proffered assistance of Maulana Yakub Hassan”.

Describing the events at the session, Swami Shraddhanand, a senior leader, wrote: “The original resolution condemned the Moplas wholesale for the killing of Hindus and burning of Hindu homes and the forcible conversion to Islam. The Hindu members themselves proposed amendments until it was reduced to condemning only certain individuals who had been guilty of the above crimes. But some of the Muslim leaders could not bear this even. Maulana Fakir and other Maulanas, of course, opposed the resolution, and there was no wonder. Nevertheless, it was most surprising that an out-and-out Nationalist like Maulana Hasrat Mohani opposed the resolution on the ground that — the Mopla country no longer remained Dar-ul-Aman but became Dar-ul-Harab and they suspected the Hindus of collusion with the British enemies of the Moplas. Therefore, the Moplas were right in presenting the Quran or sword to the Hindus. Moreover, if the Hindus became Mussalmans to save themselves from death, it was a voluntary change of faith and not forcible conversion—Well, even the harmless resolution condemning some of the Moplas was not unanimously passed but had to be accepted by a majority of votes only”.

All this for the sake of keeping the League as a bed-fellow. When Gandhi too downplayed the incident by commenting that the Moplahs were ‘brave and God-fearing, and were fighting for what they considered as religion, in a manner which they consider as religious,’ even Dr Ambedkar could not help but express his despair. He decried saying ‘Mr. Gandhi was so much obsessed by the necessity of establishing Hindu-Muslim unity that he was prepared to make light of the doings of the Moplas and the Khilafats.’

Vande Mataram (‘Partitioned’):

After the Khilafat and the Moplah rebellion, the Muslim League’s price went up further. It started insisting on rejecting the essential symbols of national unity as a price for its support to the Congress. The first to come in the League’s crosshairs was the song Vande Mataram. It became a regular practice since 1905 to sing it at all the important Congress events. But the League members in the Congress started raising objections to it.

The AICC sessions were held in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh in 1923. Maulana Mohammad Ali was presiding over the Congress. Senior leaders, including Motilal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sarojini Naidu, Sardar Patel, and Kasturba Gandhi, were present along with over twelve thousand delegates. Gandhi was in prison and hence could not attend.

Like in the past, Pt. Vishnu Digambar Puluskar, a Hindustani musician from Maharashtra, was there to sing the song at the inaugural. When Pt. Puluskar climbed the dais to sing Vande Mataram, Mohammad Ali raised objection saying that singing the song would hurt the sentiments of religious Muslims. Seeing the silence of the leaders present on the dais, Puluskar took it upon himself to challenge Mohammad Ali and went ahead with its rendition. Mohammad Ali, in protest, walked away while the song was being sung. It may be worthwhile to mention here that on many earlier occasions, the Ali Brothers and other League leaders used to rise together with other Hindu and Muslim members of the Congress when the song was sung. The objection at the Kakinada session was thus more a part of the enhanced bargaining than a genuinely religious issue. To placate the League members, Congress introduced Mohammad Iqbal’s famous song ‘Saare jahan se Acchha – Hindustan Hamara’ in its sessions. Yet, the opposition to Vande Mataram continued.

In 1937, when the elections were held for the Provincial Councils, the Congress formed governments in several of them. The controversy over Vande Mataram was raised once again when the proposal to sing the song at the commencement of the sessions was opposed. A ‘committee’ had to be constituted to review Vande Mataram. Rabindranath Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were made its members. The committee recommended that the song be truncated and only the first two stanzas be sung.

The national song was partitioned in 1937 to appease the Muslim League. Ten years later, the nation was partitioned.

(To continue)

(Courtesy: The article was originally published in Chintan, India Foundation on August 17, 2020).

Kerala Slides Into Medieval Intolerance

It should be realised here that the Nehruvian secularism and Marxism pampering fundamentalists is not mere vote bank politics. They both have ideological affinity to political Islamism and institutional Christianity. It is not uncommon for Muslim leftist intellectuals to become ideologues of Islamist movement when the latter becomes powerful. As early as 1942, a Muslim member of the central committee of the Communist Party of India asked its Muslim members to join the Muslim League in Punjab. One should understand that it was not opportunism. It is more because of the intuitive understanding of the synergy between Marxism and political Islam as totalitarian movements, which while making use of the existing freedom of speech for their expansion, strangle the same when they get their hands on power.

In Kerala too the same phenomenon got repeated. EMS Namboodiripad (1909-1998) carved out Malappuram district, after an explicitly communal demand made by the Muslim League, which would have disastrous consequences for not just communal relations within the state but also, over the decades, for national security itself. In 2006, the same year Kerala banned the movie Da Vinci code, Frederick Forsyth made an insightful observation on Kerala in his Al Qaeda-based thriller, The Afghan: “Once a hotbed of Communism, it has been particularly receptive territory for Islamist terrorism”.

In 2016, Kerala would notoriously lead other states in cases of radicalised Muslims being recruited for ISIS. Read More at Swarajya

3 From Telangana Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS

The Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested three people from Nagpur airport for trying to join Islamic State (IS), according to media reports.

“The three men were planning to join ISIS. The three men are from Telangana and have been handed over to Telangana ATS,” said Maharashtra ATS in a statement.

This week, three Mumbai youth were suspected to have joined ISIS, but were traced near Pune. Two former Indian Mujahideen members are also suspected to have joined ISIS. A 16-year-old Pune girl was also on her way to join the group before being apprehended.

Read More at Source DNA India

Hindu Resistance to Muslim Invaders – Excerpts

PUTTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Hindu society owes it to its own survival in the present and to the prosperity of its future generations to repudiate this perverse version of India’s history, and to put the record straight so that no one dares divorce Hindu spirituality from Hindu heroism, Hindu nation from the Hindu homeland, and Hindu culture from the national culture of India. Hindu saints, sages and scholars in general and Hindu historians in particular have to come forward to do their duty towards their society and culture and to pay homage to their ancient heritage. Hindu Dharmashãstras have enjoined upon every Hindu to repay according to his or her capacity the rishi-riNa, that is, the debt we owe to our seers and sages, by passing on to the next generation the Veda and the Itihãsa-PurãNa, that is, the spiritual and cultural vision of Sanatana Dharma and the historical tradition of Hindu heroism. In the present situation, that is perhaps also the best way to repay thepitri-riNa, that is, the debt we owe to our forefathers for the protection, preservation and perpetuation of our great Hindu society and its continuously creative culture.

Scholar and historian to repay the rishi-riNa in an ample measure is Dr. Ram Gopal Misra whose  monograph is titled ” Indian Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders Upto 1206 A.D”., Anu Books, Shivaji Road, Meerut city, 1983. The book has been reprinted in 1992.

The present thesis, writes Dr. Misra in his Preface, is an attempt to provide a connected account of the prolonged and sustained efforts made by Indians to stem the tide of early Muslim invaders. The political and military resistance was spread over more than five and half centuries till its final collapse in northern India in the last decade of the 12th Century A.D. For long, historians have emphasised merely the ultimate collapse of the Indians, ignoring completely the resistance offered by them. It is a fact of history that such sustained resistance as encountered by the Muslim arms in India was not faced by them in any other land conquered by them. The Indian resistance had another facet, which was the outcome of the resolute determination of the Indians to preserve their religious and cultural identity. While country after country, from the straits of Gibralter to the banks of the Indus, witnessed the rapid Islamization of their individual cultures, even Northern India managed to survive as a predominantly heathen land even after five centuries of Muslim rule

Dr. Misra’s monograph is pertinent not only to a past period of Indian history but also to our situation at present. The lessons which this learned study draws for us can be ignored by us only at our own peril.

Firstly, it highlights Hindu heroism in the face of an inveterate Islamic imperialism. Such heroism has seldom been seen in the annals of any other people. Read with the record of similar heroism in a later period and in a continued struggle with the same foe, the story can help us correct the current notion that Hindus have always been, and continue to be, a race of lily-livered cowards who have invariably run away from every contest. The notion has become prevalent not only among the non-Hindus but also among the Hindus themselves due to a wrong teaching of Indian history over a long period of time. Hindus have to revive and re-affirm their old tradition of heroism. They have to make it known to all concerned that they are not going to tolerate those forces and factions which question the independence and integrity of their country, nor remain passive towards those elements which are trying to temper with the Hindu character of their homeland in the name of Secularism, or composite culture, or minority rights, or some other subversive slogan.

Secondly, it presents an authentic portrait of Islam as a political ideology of aggressive and tenacious imperialism which will not stop at any means or methods in order to achieve its ultimate aim – the conquest of all non-Muslim lands and the conversion of all infidels (non-Muslims). Islam has legitimised in the name of its godling, Allah, and from the mouth of its prophet, Muhammad, not only a permanent war against the unbelievers but also the plunder, slaughter, and enslavement of all those who get defeated in war, or allow themselves to be subverted otherwise. Hindus have been misled, mostly by their own intellectuals and political leaders, into believing that Islam is also a religion as good as or, in some respects, even better than their own Sanatana Dharma. They have to realize and correct this mistake before it is too late. So long as Hindus entertain the false belief that Islam is a religion and that Muslims are a religio-cultural minority, the so-called communal problem will never be solved.

Coming to serious and scholarly explanations of Hindu defeats, Dr. Misra deals, first of all, with the defects of the political system of the Hindu states and observes that disunity among the Hindu states was not a very material cause of these defeats. No doubt the Hindu states were for ever engaged in internecine conflicts among themselves but such quarrels were a common feature of the Middle Ages everywhere and more so in Central Asia. If such almost intermittent struggle among the Muslims of Central Asia did not prevent them from expanding their rule over other lands, it is useless to blame Indian rulers internecine struggle for their ultimate collapse.It may be added that in spite of their disunity, not a single Indian state ever sided with the invader, nor failed to put up a resolute resistance in its own turn.

Also, Dr. Misra does not agree with the thesis that Indians at that time lacked national consciousness, love of country and pride of freedom.  He writes: That Indians were fully alive to the dangers of foreign invasion and their love of the country was equally matched by desire to fight for it, is a reality that can be substantiated. Each wave of Muslim invasion created a profound stir among the Indian states and they often pooled their resources to meet the aggressor. He cites evidence of at least four confederacies formed by Hindu states during this period. The evidence is not a Hindu concoction but has been culled from the accounts of medieval Muslim historians.

More on the resistance is in the book below

Excerpts from the book – Heroic Hindu Resistance to Muslim Invader

Coming to the real causes of Hindu defeats, they can be summarised in a few points below :

REAL CAUSES OF HINDU DEFEATS ( IN SOME BATTLES )

Dr. Misra lays his probing finger on the real factors which contributed to Hindu defeats during this period. The very first factor, according to him, was the lack of a forward policy vis-a-vis the Muslim invaders.In his own words, What the Rajputs really lacked was a spirit of aggression so conspicuous among the Muslims, and a will to force the war in the enemys dominions and thus destroy the base of his power.

Secondly, a forward policy could not be pursued in the absence of a strong central government for even the whole of northern India which could think and act for the whole country. As a result, The Rajput rulers found it difficult to look beyond the territorial limits of their own kingdoms and their regional interests pushed the national issues into the background. Compared to a strong central authority, the various confederacies organised by the Rajputs proved to be patch-works which came apart either under the impact of military defeat, or as soon as the immediate purpose of stopping the enemy had been served.

Thirdly, the military organisation of the Rajputs was inferior as compared to that of the Muslims. The Rajputs depended mainly on feudal levies assembled on the spur of the moment. These feudal levies with no unity of training and organisation, coming together at the last moment, fighting under the leadership of and for their individual leaders, could not be expected to beat back an enemy united in purpose and organisation and acting as on coordinate unit.A medieval Muslim historian quoted by Dr. Misra said so in so many words: A commander with a heterogeneous army consisting of soldiers – a hundred from here and a hundred from there – cannot achieve anything. An army with so varied and so many component elements has never been able to achieve anything great.

Fourthly, The cavalry and mounted archers of the invading armies gave them a decisive superiority over the home forces. The Indian rulers too maintained cavalry units. But the Arabic and Turkoman horses were much better adapted to warfareThe second strong point of the Turkish military machine was its mounted archery. Their deadly arrows easily covered a range of eighty to hundred paces Reference to archery among the Indian armies after the age of the epics is conspicuous by its absence.

Lastly, the strategy and tactics employed by the invaders on the battlefield proved decisive in their favour. Indians failed to keep pace with the developments of military strategy taking place in Central Asia before the advent of Islam. The Arabs and Turks perfected them Besides, the traditional Rajput chivalry looked upon the battle as a ritual or a tournament for displaying their fighting skill and swordsmanship under well-recognised rules of sport. Did not Manu, the ancient law-giver proclaim A battle was ideally a gigantic tournament with many rules: a warrior fighting from a chariot might not strike one on foot; an enemy in flight, wounded or asking a quarter, might not be slain; the lives of enemy soldiers who had lost their weapons were to be respected; poisoned weapons were not to be used; homage and not annexation was the rightful fruit of victory. The Arabs and the Turks, on the other hand, knew no rules and waged a grim and ruthless struggle to destroy their enemies. Feints and sudden attacks, manoeuvering under the cover of darkness and pretending defeat and flights, keeping a large reserve to be used only at critical moments – all these took the Indians by surprise and crippled their fighting capacity. The Indians never tried to take advantage of their enemy’s weakness and perhaps considered it unchivalrous to do so. Such magnanimity on the part of Indian kings was a sure invitation to disaster against a ruthless foe who recognised no moral or ideological scruples in the pursuit of victory. 

SAPPERS AND MINERS OF ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM

Muslims had two more advantages in addition to their aggressiveness and superiority in the art of warfare. During this long period of Indian resistance, observes Dr. Misra, the infiltration of Arabs, and later on the Turks, continued almost unabated into India, both through armed invasions as well as through peaceful migration from Central Asia. The Hindus, true to their catholicity of religious outlook and rich tradition of tolerance, never obstructed the peaceful immigrants and even zealously granted them security and full religious freedom The greatest Chishti saint of India, Shaikh Muinuddin Chishti, came to Ajmer just before the battles of Tarain and was able to attract a number of devoted followers. It is all the more remarkable that this Hindu tolerance towards the Muslim merchants and mystics should have continued even after the invasions of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. As Professor Habib points out, the far-flung campaigns of Sultan Mahmud would have been impossible without an accurate knowledge of trade routes and local resources, which was probably obtained from Muslim merchants. The same can be said to hold good about the invasions of Muhammad Ghori or Qutbuddin Aibak. The sufis were working not only as the spies of Islamic imperialism but also as deceivers of gullible Hindu masses.

A BROTHERHOOD OF BANDITS

Secondly, rich plunder acted as a good supplement to the religious zeal of the Muslims. The Muslim practice of dividing the spoils of war between the leader and the soldiers might have encouraged the soldiers to follow their leaders through thick and thin. The Hindu soldiery had no such incentive. Hindu religion and culture forbade such beastly motives for bravery. But this was the very basis on which Muslim brotherhood had been organised from the very beginning. In its behaviour towards non-Muslim societies, it has always been a brotherhood of bandits.

These are the lessons we have to learn from the history of the period surveyed by Dr. Misra if we want to deal effectively with the new wave of Islamic aggression which is now trying to engulf us from within and without. Islam is still far from being cured of its self-righteousness. Its inborn imperialist instinct is impelling it towards a truncated India which it feels and finds to be an easy target. Let us not be taken in by the howls of contrived grievances which the spokesmen of Islam in India have started hawking in increasingly hysterical voices. In the history of Islam this has always been a prelude to predatory action. Hajjaj had hawked some grievances against Raja Dahir on the eve of equipping an armed force more formidable than any that had ever been sent against Sindh. The Pirpur Report of the Muslim League was only a preparation for the demand for Pakistan.