Kanchan Gupta, in the Pioneerabout why it doesn’t pay to ignore and/or deny the real threat of Islamofascism, how it is similar if not the same, across the world.
The truth about Islamofascism
Coffee break: Kanchan Gupta
Although the immediate context of his argument was far removed from events in India, well-known Arab journalist Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid, in an article he penned four years ago, ripped the veil off the Muslim cult of denial, which is so adroitly preached by the clergy and naÃ¯vely practised by the ghetto, that the ummah and its faith have nothing to do with terrorism; that all talk of Islamist terror or jihad is no more than fiction propagated by Zionists and their patrons in the Christian West. “It is certainly true that not all Muslims are terrorists,” he wrote, “however, the majority of terrorists in the world are Muslims.” To drive home his point, Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid gave several contemporary examples: The men who held children hostage in Beslan were Muslims; the kidnappers who killed the Nepalese chefs and labourers in Iraq were Muslims; those who perpetrate acts of rape and murder in Darfur are Muslims…”. And then, with a flourish he added, “Osama bin Laden is a Muslim and most of those who carried out suicide attacks against buses, schools, houses, buildings all over the world in the past 10 years also were Muslims. What a terrible record — doesn’t that say something to us about ourselves, our societies and our culture?”
It’s no doubt a harsh indictment, but it’s not devoid of truth. Yet, every time there’s a terrorist strike and innocent people are killed, the instinctive response we get to see and hear is one of denial. What’s the proof that Muslims planted the bombs in Jaipur? What’s the evidence to blame Muslims for the bombings in Bangalore? What’s there to suggest that Muslims planned and executed last weekend’s bloodbath in Ahmedabad and botched up the plot to blow up Surat? These and other related questions make up the ummah’s refrain even as parents wail for their dead children, widows grieve for their dead husbands, and those who have been maimed and disfigured for the rest of their lives wonder whether it is really worth staying alive. As if to clinch their argument absolving their co-religionists of any blame for the ghastly bloodletting that has become common occurrence under the UPA Government’s watch, defenders of the faith triumphantly ask: Would Muslims kill fellow Muslims?
Yes, they would. Look at the slaughter in Iraq where more Muslims have been killed by fellow Muslims than by the invading forces led by the US Army. Look at the ease with which Muslim lives are laid to waste every day in Afghanistan by the blood-thirsty Taliban. Recall how a mentally challenged teenaged Palestinian boy was strapped with explosives by Hamas terrorists and then told to walk up to an Israeli checkpost and blow himself up by pulling the cord on the belt. The boy panicked as he approached the checkpost: He couldn’t remember the instructions and began to cry pitifully; the Israeli soldiers asked him to stand still and used robots to disarm him and defuse the beltbomb he was wearing. Recall also how a Muslim woman strapped her daughter, no more than a toddler, with explosives and asked her to go take chocolate from an American soldier who, while patrolling the neighbourhood, would handout goodies to Iraqi children every day. As the child reached for a Mars bar with her grubby hands, her mother, hiding in a doorway, pushed the button on the remote control. It is, therefore, not surprising that many of the victims of last Saturday’s outrage in Ahmedabad were Muslims, among them children. For the perpetrators of the crime, they are no more than collateral damage; like Mr Donald Rumsfeld, they would shrug their shoulders and say, “Stuff happens.”
Last week, this newspaper carried an article penned by Ms Hazel Blears, Britain’s Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, eulogising multiculturalism and how it has benefited her country. While British politicians with an eye to the immigrant community vote-bank are expected to trot out frothy stuff on multiculturalism, the fact of the matter is that it hasn’t really worked to Britain’s advantage. Ms Ruth Kelly’s assessment, that it has failed miserably, or Sir Vidia’s dismissive comment — ” What do they call it? Multi-culti… It’s all absurd, you know.” — is more accurate. For evidence, look at the findings of a new YouGov poll, conducted in 12 British universities on behalf of the Centre for Social Cohesion and published as ‘Islam on Campus’.
A report based on the findings of the poll, and forwarded to me by a reader of this column, says, “If ignorance and poverty are responsible for the growth of extremist views in the Islamic world, someone needs to ask Muslim students, privileged enough and bright enough to attend some of the United Kingdom’s best universities, why one-in-three of them endorses killing in the name of Islam.” Among the poll’s findings of Muslim beliefs are some revealing facts:
40 per cent want shari’ah in Britain for Muslims;
33 per cent favour a worldwide Islamic caliphate;
24 per cent think men and women are not equal;
32 per cent believe killing in the name of religion is justified;
33 per cent don’t think Islam is compatible with democracy.
The reason for this digression is not to provide an insight into the warped mindset of those who believe ‘Islam is the solution’ — much as Adolf Hitler thought he had found the ‘final solution’ to rid the world of Jews and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thinks god has willed him to complete Hitler’s unfinished task — but to highlight the danger posed by those who see nothing wrong with the fringe increasingly occupying the centre. The lib-left intelligentsia, whose criminal disregard of facts and aggressive peddling of fiction often persuades ill-informed and ill-intentioned journalists to suppress the truth, wants society to be tolerant of Islamofascism; to indulge the Muslim cult of denial; and, to gloss over incidents like serial bombings and suicide attacks. Those who refuse to do so are accused of Islamophobia.
Meanwhile, I wonder if the Prime Minister spent a sleepless night on Friday after reading about 12-year-old Rohan’s death in the morning newspapers. Rohan had suffered 70 per cent burns in last Saturday’s bombing of Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital, in which his father and the family’s sole bread-earner, Dushyant Vyas, was killed. Rohan’s younger brother, nine-year-old Yash, has suffered 50 per cent burns and is battling for his life. Rohan’s mother, Geetaben, is inconsolable, and understandably so: Her life now lies in tatters, her dreams have been shattered. Since public memory is notoriously short, it would be in order to remind readers that the Prime Minister had spent sleepless nights worrying about a certain Mohammed Haneef, accused of terrorist links, and the ‘plight’ of his parents.