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Hue & cry over Islam: Reason & justification

Hue & cry over Islam: Reason & justification

Author: Ramesh J Menon
Publication: www.indiainfo.com
URL: http://news.indiainfo.com/publicopinion/islam.html

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of hue and cry in India amongst Muslims and the secular bandwagon with regards to a few statements made by the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) regarding the minorities and the Quran. It seems the VHP wants the Muslims, more so Indian Muslims, to "re-interpret" the words 'kafir' and 'jihad' with respect to non-Muslims in India.

Perhaps, a "secular" person would ask a few questions about the VHP by now. What is that the VHP "want" from the minorities? Why are they "harassing" these people on such a regular basis? Can't they just leave them alone and live their lives? Why can't these "fascist" forces be tamed and brought to justice?

Good questions! And each of these questions is worthy of being answered. Nevertheless, to answer these questions, we have to understand what exactly is the VHP asking for. It is necessary to understand why these two organisations are making these statements. Is there any basis for the VHP to make these statements or are they just paranoid Hindu group or "fascist" nazis who hate anything other than Hinduism?

I would now dwell into these questions with a few quotes from the Quran and a few examples. These quotes and examples would help in understanding these issues.

Quotes from Quran 048.006 (Sura 48 Verse 6): "And that He may punish the Hypocrites, men and women, and the Polytheists men and women, who imagine an evil opinion of Allah. On them is a round of Evil: the Wrath of Allah is on them: He has cursed them and got Hell ready for them: and evil is it for a destination."

048.013 (Sura 48 Verse 13): And whoever does not believe in Allah and His Messenger, then surely we have prepared burning fire for the unbelievers.

Well, well! According to these two verses, I myself, am a very good candidate for both the fire and the hell, for I am a polytheist (at least by practice, if not by belief), and also do not believe in Allah nor His messenger.

Now, most people would ask me, "So what if this is what is written in Quran?" Don't you have stupid beliefs in other religions? I agree with them more than 100 per cent. A belief is a belief is a belief and every one as a human being is free to have his or her own irrespective of what rationale, or the lack of it, that belief has. But, this is only a part of my argument.

Now let me quote another verse from the Quran.

009.029 (Sura 9 Verse 29): Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Again, I am one of the people who meets the criteria to wage jihad against, for I do not believe in Allah, nor the Last day. Neither do I accept the "religion of Truth" nor will I ever pay 'Jiziya' with willing submission and feel subdued. I haven't quoted anything from the 'Hadith' yet, which would open the eyes of most people who are ignorant about Islam.

The problem does not end here. I could take Allah's curses and be ready for the blazing hell for my beliefs. Nevertheless, the real problem lies in the fact that the five pillars of Islam (Prayer, Zakat, Sawm, Haj and Shahadaah) stand on the foundation that the Quran and the Sunnah (the life of Prophet Mohammad) are indispensable and unquestionable.

Which means that anyone who claims to be a Muslim, has to be adhere to the foundations and the five pillars. Now you can understand, why Dr Rafiq Zakaria, a renowned Islamic "scholar and liberal", said that Dr A P J Abdul Kalam is not a "true" Muslim since he does not adhere to "all" the rules. Further, he reads the 'Bhagwad Gita', and hence, he violates the basic principle of Islam, that you shall not join anyone else in prayer with Allah!

Thus, these three verses from the Quran, and the fact that the Quran is unquestionable and indispensable, is what makes people like me and those in VHP worry. Because, if I am Hindu, who does not believe in the "True Religion" like myself, and will never submit to the will of Allah, things can get ugly. If the Madarsas, funded by Saudi oil money (many of them in the secular land of West Bengal), produce fodder for Jihad, people like me, will be in trouble.

One may accuse me of picking up lines from the Quran at random without looking at the "full context", which suits me to defame Islam and present it in a negative way. They could also argue that the word Islam itself stands for peace, then how can Islam preach all these things. And, that a few Muslims have interpreted the Quran wrongly.

Nevertheless, most people, even Muslims would be surprised to know that Islam means "Submission" to the will of God and not peace. If you think I am making things up, you can read 'Introduction to Islam' by Muhammad Hamidullah, (Centre Cultural Islamique, Paris, 1969).

The issue is not about people interpreting the Quran in different ways to suit their needs. The above quotes are totally unambiguous. Further, in almost all the trouble spots in the world, viz, Kashmir, Chechnya, Kosovo, Middle East, Philippines, East Timor, Nigeria and other African countries, what is the common factor? Islam. And what is the reason for these conflicts? Something nice to ponder about. Right?

So, when pilgrims headed to Sabarimala or to Amarnath are attacked by Muslims, or when the Muslims refuse to accept the 'Uniform Civil Code' and remain a nation within a nation, you can understand the mindset of the people who engage in such acts from the above arguments.

And, if the VHP asks the Muslims to reinterpret the terms Kafir and Jihad, under such circumstances, what wrong have they done? Is it wrong on part of an organisation with a huge base of Hindu followers, to ask a community, to reinterpret a few quotes from the Quran, which as I said, are, not only asking Muslims to consider the idolaters as worthy of hell, but also make sure that they make the life of an idolater a hell. I don't think there is anything wrong in such a demand. This is not fascism, but plain fact.

The secular bandwagon, does not have the courage nor the time to read the Quran and understand the VHP's point of view, as they are too busy in Hindu bashing. They are not willing to concede that these quotes I quoted are for real and there is a problem when these things are taught to kids from a very young age in madrassas. Sometimes, I get a feeling, that they are acting as paid spokesman for these groups.

It is high time the Muslims of India started to sit up and think whether they want to be always at odds with the majority community or whether they want to try and understand what the other side is talking about. To quote Lord Krishna from Bhagwad Gita, "The only constant in this world is change." So change your attitude and your interpretation of the terms 'kafir' and 'jihad' with respect to Hindus in India.

As the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) puts it, the security of the minority community lies in the goodwill of the majority community. And this is an excellent opportunity for the Muslims in India to gain some.

Note: The quotes were obtained by the author from the following Website: http:// www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/

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