Vishnu, Minarets, and Labelling

For those who of you not in the Twitter world, here’s a great illustration of why serious bloggers give a huge margin of humor and chagrin to the media. A certain Mr. Jaideep Kulkarni asked NDTV’s news anchor, Vishnu Som the following question:

@VishnuNDTV why should we care if they ban Minaret or a mosque. Does it concern us. does it affect us?

To which Vishnu Som replied thusly:

@jaideepsk Yes it does. It represents a fundamental threat to millions of Muslims in our country

To which the Acorn responded with a reasoned blog post. It’s superfluous to repeat the Acorn’s response here but it’s worthwhile to follow the great debate in the comments section of that post.

In the end, Vishnu Som didn’t really address the Acorn’s basic question:

Now, what you think of Switzerland’s decision is one thing. It is totally another to declare that the Swiss decision on minaret-building represents a “fundamental threat” to millions of Indian Muslims.

And on his Twitter timeline, Vishnu Som took the time-honoured route of resorting to labelling people who criticized his views.

Among other things, he frequently uses these words: “right wing,” “secular right,” and “agenda.” These would have probably been justified if his response addressed the Acorn’s question. Because it doesn’t, these terms become what they really are: labels. And it’s also a tad amusing to read that his response is a:

. reply to the right wing gibberish posted by Vishnu bashers on Acorn’s website. See at end of comments

Words have meanings, and characterizing the minaret ban in Switzerland as a “fundamental threat to Indian Muslims” will invite criticism. This statement will be true only if you assume that Muslims the world over are united only by their religion and owe no allegiance to their native country and/or the country they’ve adopted as home. However, in case of Islam, this is not an assumption, but a fact and is one of the main reasons why Islamism is such an urgent, global problem. Another recent example: the Danish cartoons controversy where Muslims worldwide were quickly organized into gangs that torched embassies in at least two countries. Vishnu Som’s statement makes sense only from this perspective.

It is not wrong or bad to feel kinship with people who follow the same religion. What is wrong is putting religion over nation. But then, years of Marxist-Left-liberal indoctrination especially in the Indian media has ensured that nationalism is itself a dirty word. As Vishnu Som assumes in his comment:

“Would you’ve been OK if your place of worship was banned in a country based on the premise that people of your religion are terrorists?.”

Agree. It isn’t ok. However, this gives rise to some questions:

  1. Why and how did that premise originate?
  2. Why have all terrorist attacks in the last 10 or so years been entirely carried out by the followers of Islam?
  3. What is the common motivating reason and/or ideology behind these attacks?
  4. Where does this ideology have its roots?

Vishnu Som says we need a “secular bent of mind” to understand his statement. I suggest commonsense and old-fashioned logic. Isn’t Switzerland specifically, and Europe in general entitled to feel jittery when it is routinely faced with

Rallies by radical Islamists, which were once rare, are now a common feature in European capitals with banners and placards denouncing democracy as the ‘problem’ and Islam as the ‘solution’.

How does Vishnu Som justify this?

It is also interesting to note the aftermath of every single Islamic terror attack. The investigations and the perpetrators themselves–if they’re caught–reveal the following commonal features the attack:

  • To instill fear and terror in the hearts of the Kaffirs
  • To spread the message of Islam
  • It was carried out in the service of Allah and Mohammed
  • The perpetrator(s) was proud of the holy deed
  • Similar attacks will follow till the kaffirs either convert or die

Our eminent columnists, intellectuals and thinkers around the world actually do a disservice by denying what the perpetrators themselves said! This is akin to what Marxist historians did by whitewashing Aurangzeb’s atrocities. The mighty Moghul, had he been alive, would have had their heads for despoiling his service to Islam.

But the likes of Vishnu Som completely ignore all of this and throw around words like “fundamental threat to Indian Muslims” so casually. When confronted with criticism, he resorts to labelling. One plausible explanation for his flippant labelling is the fact that Indian media folks have been pretty much insulated from direct criticism by the general public. An recommended way is to engage in debate and admit that you can, you know, be (gasp!) wrong. There’s really no right-wing conspiracy out to get Vishnu Som or anybody.

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50 comments for “Vishnu, Minarets, and Labelling

  1. abhi
    January 20, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    As I understand, Vishnu Som is saying that the decision of the Swiss to disallow minarets was guided by the assumption that all Muslims are terrorists, and hence it is wrong.Many qustions arise once you have said this.Unless they are answered no will agree to you.

    1)How will the Swiss react if Hindus decide to erect multiple towering temples, with saffron flags flying high ,all over Switzerland? Do you think they will be happy?

    2)If let us say, for some reason, thousands of Hindus turn to bombings, killing people, hating women and exploding trains, planes and buildings in the name of Lord Shiva, will you be equally enthusiatic in asking the world to not assume they are all terrorists, or will you start lecturing Hindus?

    3)What `omes first for Muslims – controlling terrorsism of their people, or spreading their faith?

    4)If Muslims dont stop with Switzerland, but with the amount of oil-money avaialble, say they want a mosque in every 100 sq meters all over the world, how will you respond?

    5)On what basis did you conclude that the feelings of millions of Swiss regarding thier homeland, come after the feelings of Muslims?

    6) Do you not see trhe irony of the situation?Does it not strike odd to you that in a fortress of democracy and freedom, values which you freely brandish now, something could have made ppl so much against the Muslims? Dont you think they are the offended party?

  2. larissa
    January 18, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    “The trouble with us in India is we haven’t understood that not only does Islam and, Christianity are Abrahamic but Marxism also is Abhrahamic.”

    Right on Marxism, totalitarianism stem from the same Abrahamic foundations, a flip side of the same coin, not to mention Freudian psychology, and Western atheism (as a perverse reaction to Abrahamism) as well. Many scholars have noticed this….

    As for NDTV have them disclose who really funds them? Maybe securing funding from sources was an issue resulting in what Vishnu said….

  3. dharm_jey
    January 15, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    One more thing :

    All Abrahamic faiths have this tendency to rewrite History for their survival.

  4. dharm_jey
    January 15, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Guys,
    it is surprisingly interesting to see this Vishnu guy in our amidst.

    Their channel and Mr James Roy were a fascination for me since “World This Week” days. However their dilution of Journalistic ethics and anti-India posturing nauseated me repulsively. I not only do not watch that garbage channel any more but also dissuade others from doing so too.

    Without getting into semantics let me enlighten our brethren with something useful information is understanding Vishnu Som and his unethical ilk:

    There is a dharmic view and there is an Abrahmic view of the world.

    Abrahmic:
    closed in views(intolerant), one book, one founder,MONOTHEISTIC, us vs them attitude, others are evil, justify use of violence against enemies, non-dialectic etc.

    Dharmic,
    open in view(atolerant), many books, many leaders but no one founder, polytheistic, everyone is worthy of worship, non-violence is worshipped as a virtue, dialectic in nature.

    The trouble with us in India is we haven’t understood that not only does Islam and, Christianity are Abrahamic but Marxism also is Abhrahamic.

    This understanding can go a long way in dealing with these retards. These guys think their ideology is supreme and could go to the extent of compromising national interest and security. They can sell anything.

  5. Thiagan
    December 26, 2009 at 8:14 PM

    27/12/09
    Dear Shri.Vishnu,

    You have posted a detailed comment in the site of Sandeep on Swiss ban on minarets. I do not agree with your stand and some of the points you have raised need special mention.

    “No, not at all. But what must be understood is that there is a palpable right-wing backlash against Muslims in several parts of the world … and I argue that the Swiss ban on minarets is part of that. This backlash, in its entirely represents a FUNDAMENTAL threat to Muslims not just in India, but around the world.”

    Why there is no similar backlash against other religionists like Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists? Because their intention is to integrate, be peaceful and productive sections of the host country and act accordingly. The Shrilankan Hindus are the most admired minority in small EU countries and it is Norway, who are championing their cause in the world forum; not the dhimmi Indian government. They are admired for their culture, education and seeking gainful employment and by their exemplary behavior; private and public. Sikhs opened their temple in Sweden and the locals participated in the function in a big way with flowers and later for the food festival. Aruna Sairam is the most popular carnatic musician in the small EU countries, with a sizable local admirers. How the muslims have fared? Violent and large demonstration on trivial things like Danish cartoons; not integrating and second generation muslims not learning French; creating small enclaves, a no go zone for the police and others and where shariaa and not the secular laws rule, there are about 250 no go zones in France and 150 in UK; being a mere 4% of the population and consuming 50% of the welfare payouts; getting no education and being unemployable. Now they have vandalized a British war memorial with the slogan “Islam will dominate the world” See how the muslims have taken over the streets of Paris for five time prayers and how Jews are the targets of attacks all over Europe. The list is long and you can see all the things they do to create an adverse image about the community in the site of Front Page magazine. Or in the site “gates of Vienna.blogospot . Indiscriminately increasing their population and the host community is fearing the emerging Eurabia and Londonistan. The ban is only a small signal that muslims are not wanted anymore and the existing ones behave or face consequences. There are three possibilities for Europe and UK: a) a modern and peaceful Islam appears and that can coexist with the majority; b) muslims take over Europe and the host population face the same fate Hindus faced in Pakistan and Bangladesh and are facing in moderate Malaysia. C) the ineradicable viciousness of the Europeans enters and solve the problem in its own way. So your stated position is clearly off the mark. It is the muslims who pose a great existential threat to the world. They themselves admit. See:

    ” We’re the ones who will change you,’ the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. ‘Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children. ”
    Read the position in Australia. During the civil war in Lebanon, out of sympathy, they admitted both Christian and muslim Lebanese. The Christian Lebanese have educated themselves and integrated well in the society. Two of them are the governors of provinces. See what muslims do:

    “Tension had been building for months as gangs of Lebanese swarmed on to Sydney’s Cronulla beach, jostling elderly patrons, abusing Australian families and threatening to “rape Aussie sluts” for wearing bikinis. They did not come to enjoy the beach ..they came to flout their disrespect for Australian culture and for Australian law and order.
    Matters came to a head the previous weekend when two young Australian lifesavers were bashed by a Lebanese gang.

    Following a series of text messages, 5,000 Australians turned up last Sunday at Cronulla determined to “reclaim the beach”. Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol, hot sun and turned the demonstration into a raging mob.

    Meanwhile the Lebs were planning a speedy retaliation. After dark, more than 40 carloads of Lebanese thugs descended on nearby Maroubra and indulged in an orgy of smashing car windscreens, jumping on car roofs, smashing shop windows and beating up
    anyone of Anglo appearance.”
    “And that question is this … “Would you’ve been OK if your place of worship was banned in a country based on the premise that people of your religion are terrorists?.”

    This is a stupid question. I am a Hindu and even the Communist China has given permission for the construction of Soumyanarain temple; we are the most treasured minority even in USA. We are the first highly educated and the second richest religious community. We make the request and it is accepted. Hindu terrorism is oxymoron and the rest is media creation. Of course they have demolished all the temples in Pakistan and Bangladesh; no secular has condemned the action.

    I don’t think I need to outline the many other ways in which innocent Muslims around the world are being scrutinised, targeted and made to abide by laws and legislation which seem to target them on the basis of their religion.”

    I agree all muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are muslims and the verses in the Book make them more suspect. Further statements from muslim leaders do not help. Anjem Chowdhry, a lawyer and a muslim leader declares in London that Britain belongs to the muslims and Buckingham palace should be converted into the Buckingham mosque. Islamic terrorists have struck 14,500 attacks since 9/11 and their earlier history is also extremely violent. They will subject to scrutiny and it is something they have invited upon themselves. Why seculars do never tell them that they should change their ways and come into 21st century?

    “ But, she has no hesitation at all in condemning the anti-foreigner scare mongering which has characterized political campaigns in a number of countries including Switzerland, which helps produce results like this”

    UN is an organization held hostage by OIC. Tell them to take up the case of Christians and Hindus in Malaysia.

    “……perhaps part of the generalisation that Muslims are universally terrorists or inclined to violence.”

    Why others are not subject to this sort of generalization? You are treated the same way you behave. See the case of Bilal Skaf. He is a Lebanese muslim and on landing in Australia as an immigrant, he started gang raping Ausy girls. He was caught and sentenced for twenty years prison term. Al Hilali, a leading muslim imam had this to say: Women not who do war burkha are uncovered meat; they invite rape and only cats will come eat. The generalization does not appear to totally incorrect. Do you want to see the list old and modern day jihad? Read this:
    “This phenomenon of Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the urgent, violent, repressive epidemic it is. Instead, journalists, academics, and politicians ignore it, rationalize it, or ostracize those who dare discuss it.

    In Australia, when journalist Paul Sheehan reported honestly on the Sydney gang rapes, he was called a racist and accused of stirring up anti-Muslim hatred.

    In France, in the banlieues, gang rape is now known simply as tournantes or ‘pass-around’. In most French prosecutions, the Muslim rapists state that they do not believe they have committed a crime…claiming the victim herself is to blame and accuse her of being a “slut” or a “whore.”

    The BBC pulled a documentary scheduled for screening in 2004 which showed how Pakistani and other Muslim men sexually abused white English girls as young as 11, after police warned it could increase racial tension.

    The number of rapes committed by Muslim men against women in the last decade is so incredibly high that it cannot be viewed as anything other than culturally implicit behaviour. It is overtly reinforced and sanctioned by Islamic religious leaders who blame the victims and excuse the rapists.” (source)

    “At the same time though … I cannot agree with the lack of respect for the Burka in France and indeed on the ban on minarets in Switzerland.”

    “Minarets are our bayonets, the dome is our helmet, the mosque is our barracks and the faithfully are our soldiers”. Turkey Premier Erdogan. So minarets are not religious symbols, they represent Islamic imperialism, by their own admission.

    Why respect burkha only; let us respect honour killings, circumcision, raping non muslim women because they do not wear burkha, child marriages, intermediate and muta marriages. You are indeed funny.

    “Davutoglu warned that the move could incite clashes on a global scale if sufficient measures are not taken.”

    This is the typical muslim response; do what we say, otherwise face violence. This is reason enough why they are treated differently.

    “Ahmed Rehab writes, “Cynics often deflect attention by pointing out human rights abuses in the Middle East or Asia. The West is right to call out abuses of freedoms in the Muslim-majority world, but it is wrong to pursue a campaign of reciprocity that betrays its own principles as a response.”

    Reciprocity of hatred. This is indeed an admirable theory for the aggressors. What about the victims? This is not secularism but dhimmitude. What is secularism? Debates in the Constituent Assembly were going on and the question of uniform civil code came. Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer, K.M.Munshi and Dr.Ambedhkar were supporting the motion; M.R.Masani, Hans Raj Mehtha and Rajkumai Amrt kaur also lent support. The muslim members were objecting the motion and were in favour of shariaa. A disgusted Sardar Patel said: ”I want the consent of all minorities TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. What ever may be the credit for having won a muslim homeland, please do not forget what the poor muslims have suffered…I respectfully appeal to the believers in the two nation theory to go and enjoy the fruits of their freedom and leave us here in peace.” That is secularism. Sardar died later and Nehru and his Marxist friends marketed dhimmitude as secularism; with no concern for the security for the majority.

    “ … I see Kashmir the way its seen by many many others … a fundamental geo-political struggle between India and Pakistan.”

    If five hundred thousand muslims have been driven out of say Gujarat, you will not see the problem in this way. You are so casual about it because the victims are the hindus and it is the muslims who have established the caliphate in the Valley, with secular support. Of course there is no space in Islam for other religionists.

    Political correctness is best defined as a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical socialist minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous non-enquiring media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

    Is Islam a religion per se. Read what they themselves say.

    “……..few of the sessions which I managed to attend talked about Islam and issues related to Britain’s large Muslim minority. I was shocked by the fanatic nature of some of the Muslim speakers. To be honest, there were some of the most extremist Muslim speakers I had ever listened to.”

    “One of the concepts a bearded Muslim speaker talked about, in a Liberal Democrat conference, mind you, was the Concept of the 3D Islam. This speaker was in his late fifties or early sixties and was probably from a of Pakistani or Indian origin. In his eyes, Islam was not just a religion. Islam was a religion (Din), a state (Dawla) and a way of life (Donia or life). And hence came his 3D vision or version of Islam!”

    It is not only a religion, but it is a complete political religious system. Religion is only the head; others are military, societal rules and regulations, finance, law. Seventy percent of the Book and Sunna are about the ways how to treat the non muslims. Religion is like the head; you allow the head, other body parts of the camel will follow and the traveller will be evicted from the tent. This is what happened in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Egypt and Iran; Buddhists, Christians and Persians were replaced by muslims. You know all this and but will not the Hindu majority, to protect the sanctity of your secularism and multiculturalism.

    This time all the left wing feminists joined together to support the ban; the women voted enbloc for the ban. See what they say:

    “If we give them a minaret, they’ll have us all wearing burqas,” said Julia Werner, a local housewife. “Before you know it, we’ll have sharia law and women being stoned to death in our streets. We won’t be Swiss any more.”

    Tatiana, a teacher who had previously voted for the left, was quoted in a newspaper as saying she would vote for the minaret ban as she could “no longer bear being mistreated and terrorized by boys who believe women are worthless”.
    You have summed up thus and my sum up is:

    1. The ban on minarets is wrong and unfortunate.
    > It is a clear signal that muslims either change or go back to their native countries. They can not make Somalia in Switzerland.

    2. It hurts the sentiments of Muslims all over the world.
    > Sentiments of muslims are hurt right from Danish cartoons and thousand one flimsy reasons. The world has neither time nor sympathy for them. They have made victimhood a stock in trade for making political profits.

    3. It represents a psychological, not physical threat to the beliefs of Muslims here. A psychological threat can still be a fundamental threat.

    > Muslims constitute a real existential threat to the non muslim world.

    4. There are striking differences between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.
    > Yes. It is the difference between civilization and barbarism.

    5. A campaign of reciprocal hate is unfortunate and wrong.
    > Hatred starts with the verses and violence with the founder.

  6. Thiagan
    December 23, 2009 at 5:55 PM

    Here is the site providing daily information on the cultural enrichment provided by the muslims in Europe, that the secular mafia supports.

    http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2009/07/cultural-enrichment-in-malmo.html

  7. Rajiv Chandran
    December 21, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    Here is a somwwhat more balanced reaction from (suprise) ‘The Chindu” Businessline. Seems the entire ELM is not up for sale – there is still some hope

    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/12/21/stories/2009122150520900.htm

  8. agusoke
    December 20, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    Dear Sandeep, There is a saying in kannada[I am sure that you know it alredy].- Kodade iro AMMA yavathu kodalla. Kodo MUNDEge enaagide?-Hindus who show enormous tolerance are KODO MUNDEs and should continue to remain so.And muslims are kodade iro AMMAs.They need not give anything but still are AMMAs. LONG LIVE SECULARISM!

  9. Arjun
    December 19, 2009 at 9:42 PM

    “I don’t think I need to outline the many other ways in which innocent Muslims around the world are being scrutinised, targeted and made to abide by laws and legislation which seem to target them on the basis of their religion”

    Is this guy on drugs ? The freedom and financial support Muslims get in western countries is way beyond any other religious groups do especially Hindus..They get so much welfare from the state and they still hate the state because its not islamic…If Muslims are getting bad publicity then its all down to their own behavior.. Terrorists attacks and other forms of extremism and inserting their religious identity (purposely in the West) is now a daily occurrence around the world and these third rate journalists are going about how Muslims are victims..Why don’t they ever talk about Hindus who are being murdered and raped in Bangladesh or having their temples being destroyed in Malaysia ..

    If he wants to talk about Minaret ban in Switzerland which is none of his business in the first place especially for some loser wannabe westerner amateur Indian journalist sitting in Delhi then he can go closer to home and go to the Indian state of Kashmir with an Indian flag pinned to his back and then lets see how many bullet holes he collects..

  10. December 16, 2009 at 1:55 AM

    Guys, did we forget that Vishnu Som belong to NDTV (Nehru Dynasty TV)….. Isn’t NDTV lavel with Vishnu Som is enough to know the real anti-hindu mentality?

    For Vishnu Som minaret ban in swiss is unfortunate BUT destroying or terror attack in Hindu temple is OK to him ……

  11. Thiagan
    December 15, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Vishu Shom

    Gala in Gaza and lock up your daughters. You are forcing the swiss to digest this. Crazy are the seculars.

    “Hamas sponsored a mass wedding for four hundred and fifty couples. Most of the grooms were in their mid to late twenties; most of brides were under ten.

    Muslim dignitaries including Mahmud Zahar, a leader of Hamas, were on hand to congratulate the couples who took part in the carefully staged celebration.”

    http://islammonitor.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3158:gala-in-gaza-or-lock-up-your-daughters-&catid=193&Itemid=68

  12. Thiagan
    December 15, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    “I personally accept what Ahmed Rehab argues when he says “Cynics often deflect attention by pointing out human rights abuses in the Middle East or Asia. The West is right to call out abuses of freedoms in the Muslim-majority world, but it is wrong to pursue a campaign of reciprocity that betrays its own principles as a response.”

    Is it your view that the muslims hold intellectual property rights for hatred and others are prohibited from entertining any hatred towards them? What you are seeking is not secularism and it is dhimmitude.

    Let us see the history of jihad.

    History of Jihad

    > The Jihad against Turks (622 – 634);> against Zoroastrian Persians of Iran, Baluchistan and Afghanistan (634 -651);> against Byzantine Christians (634 – 1453); > against Christian Coptic Egyptians (640 – 655); > against Christian Coptic Nubians, modern Sudanese (650); > against pagan Berbers , North Africa (650 – 700);> against Spaniards (711 – 730); > against Franks, modern French ( 720 – 732); > against Sicilians in Italy ( 812 – 940); > against the Chinese (751);> against Turks ( 651 – 751);> against Armenians and Georgians ( 1071 – 1920); > against Mongols (1260 – 1300); > against Hindus in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (638 – 1857);> against Indonesians and Malays ( 1450 – 1500);> against Poland ( 1444 – 1699);> against Germany (1945 onwards);> The Jihad Rumania (1350 – 1699);> against Russia ( 1500 – 1853);> against Bulgaria ( 1350 -1843);> against Serbs, Croats and Albanians ( 1334 – 1920);> against Greeks ( 1450 – 1853);> against Albania ( 1332 – 1853);> against Croatia ( 1389 – 1843);> against Hungarians ( 1500 – 1683);> against Austrians ( 1683);>

    Jihad in the Modern Age 20th and 21st century

    > The Jihad against Israelis (1943 – 2009 onwards); > against Americans ( 2001 onwards); > against the British ( 1947 onwards);> against Denmark (cartoon controversy onwards);> against Netherlands ( 2006 onwards);> against Filipino in Mindanoa ( 1970 onwards); > against Indonesian Christians in Malaku and East Timor ( 1970 onwards); > against Russians (1975 onwards); > against Dutch and Belgians (2003 onwards); > against Norwegians and Swedes (2003 onwards); > against Thais (2003 onwards); > against Nigerians ( 1965 onwards); against Canadians ( 2001 onwards); > against Latin America ( 2003 onwards); > against Australia ( 2002 onwards); global against the infidels ( 2001 ongoing);

    Psychological threat, my foot. The Europeans are living in mortal fear of the emerging Eurabia and Londonistan and how do you expect them to respect the muslims. Respect for burkaha; ha!ha!!ha!!! It is a symbol of servitude, as Sarkozi said. You should get the award for being the dhimmi of 2009.

    Secularism abadons the majority.

  13. Thiagan
    December 15, 2009 at 4:59 AM

    This is what VS says:

    1.. The minaret ban is unfortunate.
    2. It hurts the sentiments of Muslims all over the world.
    3. It represents a psychological, not physical threat to the beliefs of Muslims here. A psychological threat can still be a fundamental threat.
    4. There are striking differences between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.
    5. A campaign of reciprocal hate is unfortunate and wrong.

    “Minarets are our bayonets; dome is our helmet; mosques are the barracks and the believers are our soldiers”. Erdogan, PM, Turkey

    ” We’re the ones who will change you,’ the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. ‘Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children. ”

    Does any one believe, after this, Europe will permit the minarets? More is coming for burqua, circumcision, forced marriages and more EU countries are joining the merry wagon. Visnu, have you ever wondered why Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists are not treated like this?

    Vishnu, what you and other secular fanatics are attempting to enforce on the Hindu majoritity is not secularism; it is s dhimmitude.

    Hatred starts wih the verses; it is not recipraocal hatred; it is constructive retalliation.

    Damn with pschological threat, b******t; the followers represent a real physical threat to the non muslims. Eg. Maj. Nudul Hasan a Ft. Huddoo.

  14. Rash
    December 14, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    I read this news with amusement, when you want to know about a religion read without any third party mediation its religious books you will know the truth yourself. Indian scholars, leftist secularist tried to wash the entire history but indians who are willing to reach the truth are able to dig it out, isn’t it true “TRUTH NEVER DIES, IT STANDS Apart”

    Swiss did it right way, a right step, tackle the root cause before it becomes a venoumous snake, In Secular india, where secular media is not bothered about what is happening in ground except hindu bashing, it will be shocking to most of you on name of islam and christanity,
    Please read this and know the threat on islam is real:-

    Melvisharam: “Darul Islam” of Tamil Nadu

    An article by Chennai based senior journalist on Vijayavaani.

    The Supreme Court’s Order

    November 9, 2009 is a significant day in the religious, political and demographic history of India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular. The Supreme Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to consider within three months the representations filed by “Keel-visharam” (Lower Visharam) villagers for the de-merger of their Panchayat from the “Mel-visharam” (Upper Visharam) Panchayat of Vellore district and forward them to the Governor to act upon. The SC Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam also directed the Tamil Nadu government to communicate the same to Janata Party president Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, a respondent in the case.

    Islam, its concepts and character

    Before going into the facts of this important case, one needs to know the facts about the fundamental character of Islam and the Muslim community. This revolves around six important concepts – Ummah, Darul Islam, Darul Harb, Jehad, Taquia and Kafir – which are practiced and executed as per the Koran, Hadith and Sura.

    Ummah is an Arabic word meaning “community” or “nation”. In the context of Islam, ummahmeans the “Community of the Believers” (ummat al-mu’minin), and thus the whole Muslim world.

    Darul Islam is an Islamic term for the Muslim regions of the world under the system of divisions of the world in Islam. The term appears in the Quran in 6.127 as a name of Paradise. Islamic Nations fall under this category.

    Darul Harb is a term classically referring to those countries where the Muslim law is not in force in the matter of worship and the protection of the faithful and Dhimmis. For much of Islamic history, this is the preferred term used to describe non-Islamic societies, emphasizing various Islamic countries’ aspirations to conquer such territories and render them part of Darul-Islam.

    Kafir in the Islamic doctrinal sense refers to a person who does not recognize Allah or the prophethood of Muhammad (i.e., any non-Muslim) or who hides, denies, or covers the “truth”. Quran, Sura 2 Verse 256, asks them to take upon themselves the action of “Kofr” of all unjust idols, persons or powers. It is translated in English as “unbeliever,” “ungrateful,” or “obliterator,” and is seen as derogatory(Wikipedia on Kafir). People of other faiths are addressed as Kafirs.

    Jihad, an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. Jihad appears frequently in the Qur’an and common usage as the idiomatic expression “striving in the way of Allah (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)”. A person engaged in jihad is a mujahid, plural mujahideen. The four major categories of jihad are – Jihad against one’s self (Jihad al-Nafs), Jihad of the tongue (Jihad al-lisan), Jihad of the hand(Jihad al-yad), and Jihad of the sword (Jihad as-sayf). Islamic military jurisprudence focuses on regulating the conditions and practice of Jihad as the only form of warfare permissible under Islamic law, and thus the term Jihad is usually used in fiqh manuals in reference to military combat.

    The word “al-Taqiyya” literally means: “Concealing or disguising one’s beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of imminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury.” A one-word translation would be “dissimulation”. The Taqiyah doctrine is based on Qur’an 3:28: “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them”. Sunni commentator Ibn Kathir explained that “believers that fear for their safety from the unbelievers… are allowed to show friendship to the unbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly”.

    From the above, we can see that to convert the world into an Ummah, Muslims wage Jihad using Al-Taquiya against Kafirs to convert Darul Harbs into Darul Islam. This prompted Dr Prithipal, Professor Emeritus, Professor of Comparative Religion, University of Alberta, Canada, to observe: ‘Muslims will only live as an oppressive majority and turbulent minority’.

    Introduction to Melvisharam

    Visharam is a town in the ‘Arcot’ Assembly constituency in Vellore district. It has a considerable population of Muslims, who are largely concentrated in areas like Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Arcot and local Vellore as well. Initially, Visharam had two panchayats – Melvisharam dominated by Muslims and Keelvisharam dominated by Scheduled Castes (Adi Dravidas) and MBCs (Vanniyars). The panchayats were constituted in 1951. While Melvisharam had 17 wards, Keelvisharam had 4 wards. In 1996, the then DMK government, yielding to pressure of Melvisharam Muslims, merged Keelvisharam with it. Later in October 2004, the then AIADMK government upgraded Melvisharam as Grade-III Municipality. Later in August 2008, it was merged with Vellore Corporation.

    Melvisharam being a predominantly Muslim town, the Urdu-speaking community was quite wealthy with an economy largely based on Tanneries, while the SCs and MBCs of Keelvisharam were dependent solely on agriculture in the water-starved region. The merger of Keelvisharam with Melvisharam has brought immense difficulties to its people, who were forced to approach the courts due to the total indifference and arrogance of successive governments, Dravidian parties and self-styled Dalit and Vanniyar leaders. Dr. Subramaniam Swamy took up their cause, and there is now hope for permanent relief to the hapless Hindus of Keelvisharam.

    Melvisharam as Darul-Islam
    Journalist Puduvai Saravanan made an ‘on the spot’ investigative report way back in 2005. The Tamil magazine “Vijayabaratham” also published an investigative story on this.

    Only Urdu gets prominence in Melvisharam. In Municipal sessions, the Chairman and members discuss all issues only in Urdu. The Municipal Library contains only Urdu books, magazines and newspapers, and has very few Tamil newspapers, that too as a formality. The Muslim majority of Melvisharam speak Tamil only with strangers visiting the town. The only street with just 10 Hindu families is named “Tamil Street”! The names of all other streets and even the names of shops and other trade venues and business establishments are written only in Urdu.

    Melvisharam has “Abdul Hakim Engineering College”, “Abdul Hakim Arts & Science College”, and five schools run by “Melvisharam Muslim Educational Society” (MMES). A landmark is Masjid-e-Khizar whose minaret is 175 ft (53 m) high. In 2003 K.H. Group of Companies and Apollo Group of Hospitals set up the Apollo KH Hospital. Banks and other establishments are aplenty. But, it doesn’t have a police station! Everything is decided only by Jamaat (public – as told by Amjad Hussein, who runs a fruit juice shop).

    Keelvisharam is also called ‘Rasaththipuram,’ and since its merger with Melvisharam, the Panchayat election has never been conducted democratically. The local Jamaat decides the Chairman and Councillors and only they can file nominations. Nobody else can.

    In 2002, the four councilors of Rasathipuram were beaten black and blue by the other Muslim councillors and since then the people of Rasathipuram (four wards) have been boycotting the elections.

    The Melvisharam Jamaat had the practice of choosing an influential Muslim of the ruling party as Chairman of the Municipality. The proceedings of the Municipal session were never known to the Hindus. It is alleged that most times the sessions were conducted in wealthy Muslim homes and not in official municipal premises.

    While most of municipal jobs were given to Muslims, menial jobs like sweeping and scavenging only were given to Hindus (SCs and MBCs).

    K.L. Elavazhagan of PMK is the present MLA (Arcot) and hails from Keelvisharam. His father K. Loganathan was murdered in 1991. Though the murder was projected as ‘political rivalry’, it was learnt that the killer was saved and converted to Islam by an influential Muslim from Melvisharam. He is presently living with his Muslim wife leading a cushy life. (As PMK leadership was always pandering to minorities, Elavazhagan had no option but to toe the party line and couldn’t proceed against his father’s killers).

    On the banks of ‘Palar’ river in Keelvisharam, the SCs had their burial ground on poromboke lands, which was encroached by Muslims who built around 300 houses there illegally. The Melvisharam municipality named it “Sadhik Basha Nagar” and gave electricity and water connections and issued “Patta” for the owners (sic). A few Dalit hutments situated in nearby were not given power and water supply.

    The wealthy Muslims forced the SCs and MBCs to sell their lands for paltry sums and built Tanneries on those lands. The used water and wastage from the tanneries polluted the water resources of Keelvisharam, resulting in agricultural lands becoming infertile and useless. A few years back, the Jamaat issued an order that the lands (worth Rs.10,000/- per ‘cent’) in Keelvisharam must be bought at the rate of only Rs.1000/- per ‘cent’.

    The Melvisharam Municipality had passed a resolution to set up a “Waste-water purification plant” in the land (Survey 256/2 – 31.66 acres) at Rasathipuram which comprised a Cashew Farm and an open air temple with “Ganesh Murti” and “Village Amman Deity”, where Hindus (SC Dalits and MBC Vanniyars) have been celebrating Pongal and other festivals for hundreds of years. Due to stiff Hindu opposition, the Muslim Municipality couldn’t set up the waste water treatment plant, but they destroyed the Cashew farm worth 10 crore rupees completely and demolished the Ganesh Murtis. Representations to the district authorities fell on deaf ears. Now the Muslims are trying to encroach on this land in the guise of laying drainage systems. The Hindus are determined to save their land and temple. The only Ganesh Temple in Melvisharam is used as a store room by Muslims to store old equipments and worn out things.

    Hindus are allowed to run only ‘Saloons’ and ‘Laundries’ in Melvisharam. Many families in Keelvisharam roll beedi leaves for Beedi factories owned by Muslims of Melvisharam.

    Muslims are trying to settle in Keelvisharam and build Mosques there, to change the demography of the small Hindu area. Government schemes and concessions are not passed on to Hindus of Keelvisharam. Every facility (drainage, water supply, power supply, roads, etc.) is enjoyed by Melvisharam while nothing is passed on to Rasathipuram.

    The New Indian Express reported on 10 November 2009 that all Muslim functionaries of the Panchayat have denied all administrative and developmental facilities and even basic amenities such as drinking water to the four wards where Hindus reside. Adding insult to injury, when Hindus demanded their rightful share, they were asked to convert to Islam. Muslims of Melvisharam have discriminated against Hindus of Rasathipuram by violating Article 15 (1) of the Constitution.

    The Hindus (SCs and MBCs) of Keelvisharam have been oppressed for years and no Dravidian party bothered to attend to their grievances. All Tamil political parties have been acting like beggars for Muslim votes, showing scant regards to Tamil Hindus. Sadly, neither English nor vernacular media in the State bothered to report the problems and misery of the hapless Hindu victims of Islamic oppression. But for Dr. Swamy, journalist Puduvai Saravanan and magazine “Vijayabaratham”, the facts of a “Darul Islam” in Melvisharam would not have come out into the open.

    The legal course

    Subramaniam Swamy filed a PIL in 2007 in the Madras High Court, seeking a direction to the government to constitute the revenue village of Keelvisharam as a separate village Panchayat instead of being part of Melvisharam Panchayat (now upgraded as municipality).

    The High Court issued an order on February 5, 2007 saying that the various Melvisharam public grievances petitions and the demand for partition be considered by the Governor. The Tamil Nadu government, instead of abiding by the HC order, approached the SC against it through a Special Leave Petition, and on 16 January 2009, the SC stayed the HC judgment and issued notice to Dr. Swamy.

    Now disposing off the state government’s appeal, the Supreme Court directed it to consider within three months the representations filed by Keelvisharam villagers for de-merger of their Panchayat from the Melvisharam Panchayat of Vellore district and forward the same to the Governor to act upon.

    Conclusion

    Melvisharam is not the only “Darul Islam” in Tamil Nadu. Dr. Swamy says there are forty panchayats across the state in similar conditions: “In TN there are 40 Town Panchayats with Muslim majority and the minority Hindus there are living with the same Hobson’s choice or Catch-22. Hence, Melvisharam was a test case. With the help of VHP, I shall now visit all 40 Town Panchayats from Melvisharam to Thondi (Ramnathapuram) and see that the minority Hindus get their due share and are not harassed for conversion of their faith to Islam. So this judgment will trigger similar demands in all 40 Panchayats and lead to state-wide Hindu consolidation. That is Karunanidhi’s nightmare” (the ruling DMK tends to discriminate against Hindus for minority votes).

    Source :- http://thecandideye.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/melvisharam-%E2%80%9Cdarul-islam%E2%80%9D-of-tamil-nadu/

    Similar Incidents are happening by christiaN FANATICS ON THE NAME OF JESUS IN tamil nadu and Kerala, i have personally witnessed and seen this in tamil nadu, Jesus is on sale for Rs. 10000, promise for dalit quota, Job reservation, house and viisit christian colony in chengalpet , chennai, TN..If doubt read Kerala Haindava and find out yourself

    Jai Hind

  15. larissa
    December 12, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    Well the Swiss people were in support of it and the government listened to the people.

  16. December 12, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Sandeep, my comment is stuck in moderation. Please pass it. Thank you

  17. Kishkindhaa
    December 12, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    NDTV is an anti-national channel. This has been proven time and time again. It consistently takes the position of the monotheist colonizers who have wrought havoc in India over the past 1000 years and sought to destroy and defame the native civilization. NDTV consistently blames the Indic culture using all the familiar tropes. These bastards should not be let off lightly.

    The tamasha these jokers engaged in during Shankaracharya episode , Sadhvi episode, Purohit episode, Nuke Deal, pub incident, YSR drama, Sonia hagiography, Rahul hagiography, Ayodhya reporting, Modi reporting, Gujurat reporting, etc, is unpardonable. And now these jokers are trying to inflame muslim sentiment in India over the minaret issue. Promoting Ummah solidarity has proved very disastrous in the past. There really is no equivalence between heathen experiential traditions and imperialist cults (aka “religions”) masquerading as spirituality. The iconoclastic and genocidal record of Islam in India is very well known.

  18. December 11, 2009 at 10:28 PM

    Shri Som has actually solved the problem for himself and all of his detractors, including me.

    But does he realize it?

    He said – “A campaign of reciprocal hate is unfortunate and wrong.”

    Reciprocity implies reaction to prior action. Wrt the above statement, Muslims have acted and their action has generated a reaction. Simple.

    If reciprocal action is wrong then possessing a defensive mechanism is wrong. The only thing that transforms a defensive course into a pro-active offensive one (The Swiss example) is a “Threat Perception”.

    The fact is, the Swiss moved or were made to move; not because of “skyline” but because of a recognition of “threat”.

    What is most striking in Shri Som’s discourse is that he never tells us what campaigns he and his media buddies and influential liberal pals waged against Muslim clamp-down on non-Muslim worship in Muslim countries. No campaigns, no boycotts and no whimper of any sort except to agree that such persecution takes place.

    That must take courage and change things I suppose.

    Coming now to Shri SB’s post, I’d see the situation in Hindusthan thus -

    1. Muslims of this country are not immigrants. Therefore they cannot be deported anywhere else.

    2. However, the creed they practice is inimical to Hindus of various castes, tribes and groups. It is also inimical to small non-Hindu/non-Muslim groups in Hindusthan.

    3. So we are faced with a conundrum. What is to be done?

    a. I suggest we first recognize the facts and not be spiteful of Muslims for what they believe to be true.

    b. Let us treat them as they are – a Minority element in Hindusthan

    c. Let us be clear that a Minority is a Minority and so is different from the National society

    d. There is no other National society within Hindusthan except for Hindus of all castes, tribes and groups. I would include here those non-Hindus who have partaken of our land and do not threaten our culture and traditions in any way.

    e. Minorities must be allowed full play wrt their religious/social practices. I agree

    f. Therefore, let us allow for it. Let the Muslims be ruled by their Shar’ia – Civil and Criminal

    g. Their laws do not allow them to share power and make policy with Kufr, especially when the Kufr is largely ruling. We must acknowledge such sentiments and disallow Muslims in Hindusthan from from bringing corruption upon themselves. They must not share in Kufr power.

    h. Since they have been granted their religious autonomy, they need not anymore fear for their identity being threatened. That’s one more reason why they need not aspire to power.

    i. There is always the question of representation. This can be resolved by Muslims voting for Muslim leaders to parliament. However, these representatives will be representing only Muslims and not others/all in the Constituency. The non-Muslims from the same constituencies will elect their own representatives. These Muslim representatives will have no say in National policy, because they are not Nationals. Their legislation will be limited to civic laws.

    (perhaps a separate Shari’a set up can be issued for Muslim representatives)

    I don’t see a problem. Please help me find one.

    Furthermore, the reason why I use “Hindu castes, tribes and groups” is because it is time for our (real)Hindu elite to recognize that Hindu dharma is perceived through various and varied lenses by Hindus. Most of these are very simple and perhaps rough. These traditions must also be recognized as equally valid for those Hindus who practice them.

    Rituals, diet, traditions, practices are various and precious. There is nothing that disgusts or is taboo unless it goes against nature or destroys that specific Hindu culture and tradition.

    I take a recent example in the sacrifice to Devi Gadhimai. Several hundred thousand animals were sacrificed to the Goddess and lakhs of Hindus participated in this tradition.

    There were all sorts of protests by liberal Hindus and non-Hindus.

    One did not notice a squeak from the (real) Hindu elite against such protests and for the right of these Hindus to practice their tradition.

    It will be well for us to remember that along with lighting the lamp, is also our tradition to sacrifice an animal.

    The false notions of Sanskritization have only served to reinforce an even more pernicious perception that a Hindu is not a Hindu if he does not practice or like what the (real) Hindu elite likes or practices.

    When I say (real) Hindu, I mean those Hindus who do not hesitate to speak on behalf of Hindus and for Hindus. I argue for such Hindus broad-base their vision of Hindus.

    I have some thoughts on Caste and Varna. Perhaps some of the commenters here may have read it already. I’d like to hear your thoughts on those if possible.

    Thank you

  19. December 11, 2009 at 7:49 PM

    To understand the larger dimensions of what is happening in Europe it would serve well to read and link to these two blogs regularly.

    http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/

    http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/

  20. SB
    December 11, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Missing from this discussion is how Islam is inherently different from other religions.

    One needs to get away from the rhetoric and look at the actions of Muslims and the directions of their leaders over a larger time scale to get some idea.

    Muslims consider it their divine mission to spread Islam, ie. not merely content with practising their faith in private but to spread their religion by force, by stealth , or even by deception.

    It really comes down to the first basic question which I have kept asking ever since I was acquainted with Islam’s doctrines as they are: “How do you tolerate a person whose first creed is that he will not tolerate you ?”

    Much ink/pixel and energy can be saved by channeling our thoughts to this question. What really should be our attitude towards Islam ? Let’s think this over in all it’s details and then see whether minarets should be banned.

  21. Rajiv Chandran
    December 11, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    Hi Vishnu – thanks for your response. I shall endevour to clarify my position – and reply to you the best I can :

    1. About minarets and mosques : I would agree with you that the issue may be only notionally about minarets and also agree with hypocricy in governments articulation of thier positions. You have mentioned about “backlash against muslims” which too I agree is there. But without discussing the antecedents of this backlash – the fear and anxiety that drives it (and the very potent reasons behind it) – arent we presenting a one sided argument?

    2. Ban on a place of worship : I am disappointed that you did not further discuss this subject but I am glad you agree that it is not a ban on a place of worship especially considering the fact that you posed the following hypothetical question in your earlier clarification
    “Would you’ve been OK if your place of worship was banned in a country based on the premise that people of your religion are terrorists?”
    I will let the issue rest at that.

    3. Fundamental threat to many Muslims : One small observations – I am sure there may be many Indian muslims who would loath to associate themselves with extrenous issues which would potentially cause disharmony locally. Are we not doing them a great disservice by such willful association and wrongful attribution of hurt to however small a group of people ?

    4. Reciprocity of hate : I am glad to note your antipathy towards policies in middle east and other areas where discrimination against religious minorities and mistreatment of women are rampant. On the religious discrimination angle, I hope we can hear your opinions on such issues closer home – examples being – the decimation of hindu populations of pakistan and bangladesh, the ethnic cleansing in Kashmir, at least as often as issues in switzerland and france are being raised.

    5 religious and gender aparthied : I must plead ignorance of any thought-provoking works on the same by the mainstream (especially Indian) media. Maybe you can point me to the same.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rajiv

  22. Ram
    December 11, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    I am very happy to have an opportunity to write to one of the NDTV anchors, as Vishnu Som is visibly reading comments and replying. Leave this topic as it is one of the typical NDTV choices.
    As an Indian, I am very upset by the way the Trinity (NDTV, Times NOW and CNN-IBN) treats the Hindus and their sentiments. Also I am upset for the fact that the Trinity is throughly anti-BJP/anti -Sangh Parivar. By being anti-someone/something, I charge you (Trinity) of being partial and you are running unethical shows. You bring chosen audience who behave with the Sickular (I prefer to call your bogus secularism in this manner) mentality and run one-sided shows.
    You are openly siding with the Congress which says that it is a party for the Aam Aadmi. But I have never seen in any one of your shows, you bring audience from the Aam-Aadmi.
    Take for an example, the issue of Mangalore Pub incident – All along the episode, the BJP / Sangh Parivar was attacked being sponsors of such an incident which had no iota or trace of truth in it. Muthhalik is anti-BJP and he was very open and honest about it. You have all along portrayed in your shows that the Sangh was behind the incident. Anyway, the pub culture is not the Indian way of living and if women smoke in pubs and enjoy a drink, they can better migrate to western countries rather than spoiling the rest of the women in India.
    My request to you the Trinity – Media is one of the important pillars of a democratic country and I expect you to be reasonable, impartial and care for India as a whole and contribute to nation building instead of building a particular political party or an individual or a dynasty.
    I hate people like Prannoy Roy, Burkha Dutt, Sagarika, Rajdeep Sardesai, Shekhar Gupta, Arnab Goswami, Navika, Nidhi Razdan, Vinod Mehta, Vir Sanghvi to be particular as they are TOTALLY BIASED AND PARTIAL. I want to have this message from an ordinary Indian to reach the eyes and ears of the Trinity. I expect from responsible work from you guys.

  23. Rob. N
    December 11, 2009 at 1:28 AM

    And more importantly, Vishnu, the self-appointed mouthpiece of muslims of India should know that the reason the Swiss people may have voted is not necessarily hatred as he wants us to believe. It was more to preserve the native architecture, and skyline from being overshadowed by minarets. Has he ever been to London, or France or Germany to see to what great lengths immigrants can go to assert themselves?

  24. Rob. N
    December 11, 2009 at 1:23 AM

    Will someone inform Vishnu that the Swiss people have exercised their constitutional right? It may be news and an alien concept to Vishnu and tough to accept.

  25. Kaffir
    December 10, 2009 at 9:50 PM

    Mr. Som, pointing out YOUR patronizing attitude towards Muslims, of making a statement that “fundamental threat to Muslims” without doing any survey or talking to Muslims first to arrive at that conclusion, does not make my comment condescending. And if you have indeed talked to all Muslims of India before arriving at that conclusion, then please share the results of such a survey or methodology with us.

    As for using real name, when people like you in the media and politicians in India become staunch defenders of ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘freedom of speech’, then I will start using my real name. With examples galore – both in India and abroad (Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Taslima Nasreen, Theo van Gogh, Ravindra Kumar, Anand Sinha) – why should I unnecessarily risk my neck when I don’t have a fraction of the power/riches that the above-mentioned names command? I can make my point while using a pseudonym, and I see no reason why someone cannot respond to the argument/points I make. How will knowing my real name affect that logic/argument? Did it affect our discussion? No.

    So do YOUR job first, of being an uncompromising defender of ‘freedom of speech’ – as a media person, that’s right up your alley – and then you won’t have to ask any of us to use our real names in a debate.

  26. Sid
    December 10, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    Vishnu,

    Thanks. You reinforced my earlier understanding of Indian Secularism, which is, when faced with questions that you can not answer, accuse the opposition of communalism. Such a classic response:

    “Sid … I actually wrote out a long reply to what you wrote. Which I have now deleted. Because I think replying to anyone who speaks about people of another religion in the manner that you do is reprehensible.”

    So what is the long reply? Is there a chance I can see it? Or did you type “You are a Hindu Bigot” a thousand times and then deleted it? And what is the offensive manner I have spoken? What about the fire queen in your TV? The way she spoke about my religion is pretty acceptable, huh?

  27. S
    December 10, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    Mr. Som, this is a tip for you. The Swiss are absolute barbarians not just because of the recent ban on minarets, but also because they also had banned the adhan (call to prayer) in Switzerland. Your channel has not reported it that adhan over loudspeakers is banned in their country as well, and I thought I would pass the news to you. Do report it on your channel that I don’t watch. How is Prannoy James Roy ? Do you know who is editing his Wikipedia page ?

  28. S
    December 10, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    I had not seen the reply that Mr. Som wrote in answer to my post before I wrote my post above. I am posting an answer to Mr. Som right now.

    Mr. Som wrote -

    “Hi … I appreciate the tone of the debate here. And I will reply to as many of the points raised by all of you as I can. Also … wish all of you would identify yourselves in this debate … Its nice to know who I am addressing.”

    If I thought that it was safe to disclose my identity, I would. I have been stalked by an Iranian Jihadi and barely escaped with my life. I will not go into that story as that would be way, way O.T.

    Mr. Som wrote -

    Yes, most certainly I do. And that something I have addressed at length in my piece. How did you miss this:

    “I am not going to justify the whipping of women in Sudan for wearing trousers. Neither am I oblivious to the fact that workers in parts of the Middleeast (many from India) are treated like cattle and that non-Muslims are not allowed freedom to worship in the manner that they want. At the same time though … I cannot agree with the lack of respect for the Burka in France and indeed on the ban on minarets in Switzerland. ”

    Can you not connect the dots Mr. Som ? Or what is so obvious does not come across to you ? Can’t you comprehend that it is Muslims and Islam that are responsible for murder and chaos across the planet ? Why should the Swiss put up with barbaric people who believe that they are free to marry 9 year old girls because the founder of their religion, Muhammad, did so ? I am sorry if I come across as harsh, but the Koran is harsh. The life-story of Muhammad is harsh.

    Mr. Som wrote -

    “Answer to #2. Do you think that non-Muslims are entitled to some sort of sentiments ?

    ABSOLUTELY. See my answer above.”

    What answer ?

    Mr. Som wrote -

    “S asked: “What do you think of the physical nature of the threat that Kaffirs of India face when visiting Kashmir ?”

    My debate was on the Swiss minaret ban and what I see that being a part of (a fundamental threat to Muslims around the world). The issue of the treatment of minorities in Kashmir is NOT part of my debate. If you understand the thrust of my argument .. I do not condone the persecution of any community … I only argue that this issue (minaret ban) is part of a larger, historic clash of civilisations. ”

    Are you not able to understand that both Swiss Minaret ban and Kashmir are linked ? Do the Muslims in Switzerland behave differently from the Muslims of Kashmir ? Do you know the meaning of the word “Ummah” ?

    Mr. Som wrote -

    “S asked:Yes, there are striking differences between the Muslim and the non-Muslim worlds. Have you read the Koran or the life history of Muhammad, or the history of Jihad, not only in India, but in Europe and Africa ? Surely you are arguing after reading history.

    What exactly are you asking ?”

    I am asking you if you are aware of the bloody history of Jihad across Asia, Europe, and Africa. Do go through the sites below. Both sites are run by True Christians who are 100% saved, so you need not worry about Hindu Extremist propaganda.

    http://historyofjihad.org

    http://thereligionofpeace.com

    Mr. Som wrote -

    S wrote: “A campaign of reciprocal hate is wrong, but hate is essential for self – defense. If you cannot be bothered by history, let us just talk about the past 60 years – in the last 60 years, Muslims have carved out an Islamic Pakistan (both East and West) from Indian territory, these Islamic territories have been responsible for several wars against India, and now Muslims have literally kicked out the Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir Valley and are demanding independence. Something similar happened to the Serbians. Their country is facing the Islamic Jihad as well.”

    Lets be clear, I am no pacifist. I have covered defence for almost 14 years inclusive of 4 wars where I reported from some of the bloodiest places on earth. I recognise, on a case by case basis, why there is often a call to arms. However, I personally reject your stand that hate is essential for self defence. Historically, conflicts may have been premised on hate but actual military action is, more often than not, based on cool, calculated military decisions which may or may not work.

    I am awed by your experience and salute you for covering 4 wars (where exactly). Yes, the military fighting is based on calculated decisions, but unless there is a strong hate, as in self-preservation, involved, the will to fight is just not there.

    Mr. Som wrote -

    “Kindly tell us Mr. Som – do the Kashmiri Hindus have any right to live in their home ? Or do you think that another Islamic country out of Indian land is a good idea ?

    I firmly believe that Kashmir is an integral part of India. I don’t, however, see the Kashmir issue as being essentially based on a religious struggle. In having covered war in Kashmir (or linked to Kashmir) extensively (documentaries on 47-48, 65, 71, Siachen and Kargil) … I see Kashmir the way its seen by many many others … a fundamental geo-political struggle between India and Pakistan. Sure, many do argue that there is a religious undercurrent. I don’t entirely agree.”

    You don’t agree that there is a religious undercurrent when the people who have been murdered and chased out of their homeland are solely Hindus ? All I can say is – Brilliant, Mr. Som.

  29. December 10, 2009 at 6:59 PM

    Hi Rajiv … thanks for your views. I agree with a lot of what you say. Let me disagree with you on a few of your points …

    Rajiv wrote: “1. Let us firstly look at the idea of the alleged threat itself. The move was to ban minarets on mosques – not the mosques themselves. Also the swiss government has moved to reassure muslims who are primarily immigrants from Kosovo and Turkey that the vote is “not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture.” (nytimes). I wonder how this event leads Mr Som to conflate this to be “a ban on a place of worship”. This is factually incorrect. It is from this faulty line that the rest of his argument flows.”

    There is … as you have clearly pointed out … an out and out difference between a minaret and a mosque. But, as any number of people have pointed out … this debate is only notionally about minarets. Its about the larger backlash againt Muslims not just in Switzerland but also in other parts of Europe. And there is, I would argue, a fundamental hypocricy in the arguments of governments which speak, on the one hand, about protecting the rights of Muslims while contemplating a ban on veils or enforcing a ban on minarets. I think a lot of the imagery which we see coming out of Switzerland reinforces this argument. The poster which appeared in Switzlerland … showcased by the party pushing the ban on minarets … was hurtful and stereotyped. It showed minarets in the form of missiles with a burqa clad woman in front. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8297826.stm). According to swissinfo.ch, “The main poster, which shows a woman in a burka and a Swiss flag with minarets springing out of it, implies that “the Muslim minority living in Switzerland may represent a terrible danger.”

    Rajiv wrote … “2. Now assuming that this is indeed a ban on a place of worship ….

    Let me stop you right there … It is NOT a ban on a place of worship … as you, yourself have pointed out. Therefore, the rest of what you argue in this point doesn’t quite stand.

    Rajiv wrote: “However these generalizations permeate both sides of the divide. For example Vishnu Som imputes a homogenous global threat perception (siege complex) to muslims, he implicitly denies agency to Indian (or other indegenous) muslims to come to a nuanced understanding of the situation. How different (and how far exactly) is this position from the views of those – who he claims – view all muslims as terrorists ?

    I accept this. I do not and cannot speak for all Muslims in India. This was not the attempt here at all. While, I maintain the core of my argument still stands, I should have written “fundamental threat to many Muslims” instead of “fundamental threat to Muslims.”

    Rajiv wrote: “4. There was a mention of reciprocity of hate. In response one must state that no culture is duty-bound to accept the precepts of assumptions or another and has every right to defend itself. ”

    Absolutely. No culture is duty-bound to accept this line of thought though I personally accept what Ahmed Rehab argues when he says “Cynics often deflect attention by pointing out human rights abuses in the Middle East or Asia. The West is right to call out abuses of freedoms in the Muslim-majority world, but it is wrong to pursue a campaign of reciprocity that betrays its own principles as a response. ”

    Rajiv wrote: `Is it not hypocrisy to decry hate within one group of people while ignoring the same within another.’

    It, most certainly is hypocricy which is why I have written, “I am not going to justify the whipping of women in Sudan for wearing trousers. Neither am I oblivious to the fact that workers in parts of the Middleeast (many from India) are treated like cattle and that non-Muslims are not allowed freedom to worship in the manner that they want. ”

    Rajiv wrote: “Why is it that the media has consistenly shied away from naming the practices of the middle east – religious and gender aparthied – for what it really is , even while they fear and complain that Europe, India etc might be reverting to the same kind of medievalism ?”

    Disagree … there is plenty out there in the media on all of the above.

    Rajiv wrote: “The real problem here seems to be that the much cherished assumptions of leftist academia and media were trashed by a supposedly enlightened nation which chose to pursue it’s self-interest in disregard of thier views. This for the left is nothing short of the betrayal of the mythical and much vaunted “western secular” narrative. Sections of the Indian media are just following up on the chorus.”

    Rajiv, I am not following any chorus. Neither am I obliged to. I am merely arguing something the way that I see it.

    Thanks
    Vishnu

  30. S
    December 10, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    Poor Mr. Som. Can’t even answer valid questions. And what do you think about Muslims and Christians Mr. Som ? Because the holy Koran tells the Muslims that non-Muslims are Kaffirs (Infidels) and they are “sons of apes and pigs” whereas the holy Bible tells believers that non-Christians are “heathens” who are going to hell where they will be sodomized by demons for denying Jesus.

  31. December 10, 2009 at 6:24 PM

    Sid … I actually wrote out a long reply to what you wrote. Which I have now deleted. Because I think replying to anyone who speaks about people of another religion in the manner that you do is reprehensible.

    Vishnu

  32. December 10, 2009 at 6:10 PM

    “Kaffir” asked … “are Muslims around the world incapable of expressing themselves and articulating this threat that they need you as their self-appointed spokesperson?

    How am I their self-appointed spokesperson? How have you made this assumption. I am merely stating a persective and an argument, which, incidentally, is not original at all. How am I am spokesperson?

    Kaffir wrote: “When Muslims around the world can freely and violently express their feelings regarding the Danish cartoons controversy, why do you think they’d need you – a kaffir and an infidel?”

    Who said they need me ?

    Kaffir: “I guess you were paying attention, and figured out which side of your toast is buttered and who provides the butter, hence your illogical comments. ”

    Stop your agenda please. I have none towards you.

    Kaffir: “So condescending (towards Muslims) and disappointing, Mr. Som.”

    Now you speak for Muslims, right?

    Vishnu

  33. December 10, 2009 at 6:06 PM

    JK asked … “I have a simple question: You probably know what freedom Hindu men and women have in Saudi Arabia. Does that represent a fundamental threat to Hindus in India?”

    And my answer would be consistent … Yes … the denial of religious freedoms in any part of the world to any community could be perceived as a fundamental threat.

    But, JK … why restrict yourself to Hindus being denied rights in Saudi Arabia. Why not refer to Christians as well, or Buddhists or people from any other faith?

    Vishnu

  34. December 10, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    Hi … I appreciate the tone of the debate here. And I will reply to as many of the points raised by all of you as I can. Also … wish all of you would identify yourselves in this debate … Its nice to know who I am addressing.

    The answers to individual posters are being sent as separate posts.

    This one provides answers to what `S’ asked.

    `S’ asked … “Why do you think that the minaret ban is unfortunate ? Do you know that temples and churches and synagogues are forbidden in most Islamic countries ? Do you know for a fact that a Hindu cannot even pass Saudi customs if he/she is wearing a Hindu locket ?”

    Yes, most certainly I do. And that something I have addressed at length in my piece. How did you miss this:

    “I am not going to justify the whipping of women in Sudan for wearing trousers. Neither am I oblivious to the fact that workers in parts of the Middleeast (many from India) are treated like cattle and that non-Muslims are not allowed freedom to worship in the manner that they want. At the same time though … I cannot agree with the lack of respect for the Burka in France and indeed on the ban on minarets in Switzerland. ”

    Answer to #2. Do you think that non-Muslims are entitled to some sort of sentiments ?

    ABSOLUTELY. See my answer above.

    S asked: “What do you think of the physical nature of the threat that Kaffirs of India face when visiting Kashmir ?”

    My debate was on the Swiss minaret ban and what I see that being a part of (a fundamental threat to Muslims around the world). The issue of the treatment of minorities in Kashmir is NOT part of my debate. If you understand the thrust of my argument .. I do not condone the persecution of any community … I only argue that this issue (minaret ban) is part of a larger, historic clash of civilisations.

    S asked:Yes, there are striking differences between the Muslim and the non-Muslim worlds. Have you read the Koran or the life history of Muhammad, or the history of Jihad, not only in India, but in Europe and Africa ? Surely you are arguing after reading history.

    What exactly are you asking ?

    S wrote: “A campaign of reciprocal hate is wrong, but hate is essential for self – defense. If you cannot be bothered by history, let us just talk about the past 60 years – in the last 60 years, Muslims have carved out an Islamic Pakistan (both East and West) from Indian territory, these Islamic territories have been responsible for several wars against India, and now Muslims have literally kicked out the Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir Valley and are demanding independence. Something similar happened to the Serbians. Their country is facing the Islamic Jihad as well.”

    Lets be clear, I am no pacifist. I have covered defence for almost 14 years inclusive of 4 wars where I reported from some of the bloodiest places on earth. I recognise, on a case by case basis, why there is often a call to arms. However, I personally reject your stand that hate is essential for self defence. Historically, conflicts may have been premised on hate but actual military action is, more often than not, based on cool, calculated military decisions which may or may not work.

    Kindly tell us Mr. Som – do the Kashmiri Hindus have any right to live in their home ? Or do you think that another Islamic country out of Indian land is a good idea ?

    I firmly believe that Kashmir is an integral part of India. I don’t, however, see the Kashmir issue as being essentially based on a religious struggle. In having covered war in Kashmir (or linked to Kashmir) extensively (documentaries on 47-48, 65, 71, Siachen and Kargil) … I see Kashmir the way its seen by many many others … a fundamental geo-political struggle between India and Pakistan. Sure, many do argue that there is a religious undercurrent. I don’t entirely agree.

    Thanks
    Vishnu

  35. OverTheHill
    December 10, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    What happened to Murli’s Gilbert-and-Sullivan-like mockery of Som on Acorn? No takers yet?

    —–I can imagine a song from a musical with the refrain, “It’s nuanced, requires patience and a mind with a secular bent” (Murli)

  36. Rajiv Chandran
    December 10, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    One must appreciate the fact that Vishnu Som has not run away from debate or taken recourse to intimidation like some of his colleagues. Assuming honest intentions on his part, the points he raises can be answered by closely examining his argument.

    1. Let us firstly look at the idea of the alleged threat itself. The move was to ban minarets on mosques – not the mosques themselves. Also the swiss government has moved to reassure muslims who are primarily immigrants from Kosovo and Turkey that the vote is “not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture.” (nytimes). I wonder how this event leads Mr Som to conflate this to be “a ban on a place of worship”. This is factually incorrect. It is from this faulty line that the rest of his argument flows.

    2. Now assuming that this is indeed a ban on a place of worship let us examine it for it’s implications on the indian muslim. A fundamental threat to a belief can be an attack on the its basic tenets or most cherished ideas, symbols, icons etc, and/or denial of freedom and/or persecution of the practitioner. Assuming swiss muslims have been denied the right to practice thier religion would an indian muslim be justified in percieving it as a fundamental threat to him or his faith – especially in light of the fact that he continues enjoying and sharing in all freedoms available as the rest of his fellow countrymen.

    3. it would disingeous to state that there is no generalization of muslims and islam the world over, for they do exist, and at times political discourse could be guided by these stereotypes. However these generalizations permeate both sides of the divide. For example Vishnu Som imputes a homogenous global threat perception (siege complex) to muslims, he implicitly denies agency to Indian (or other indegenous) muslims to come to a nuanced understanding of the situation. How different (and how far exactly) is this position from the views of those – who he claims – view all muslims as terrorists ?

    4. There was a mention of reciprocity of hate. In response one must state that no culture is duty-bound to accept the precepts of assumptions or another and has every right to defend itself. In the interests of logical consistency if we deny that right to the swiss, must we not do the same to the middle east ? Is it not hypocrisy to decry hate within one group of people while ignoring the same within another. Why is it that the media has consistenly shied away from naming the practices of the middle east – religious and gender aparthied – for what it really is , even while they fear and complain that Europe, India etc might be reverting to the same kind of medievalism ?

    The real problem here seems to be that the much cherished assumptions of leftist academia and media were trashed by a supposedly enlightened nation which chose to pursue it’s self-interest in disregard of thier views. This for the left is nothing short of the betrayal of the mythical and much vaunted “western secular” narrative. Sections of the Indian media are just following up on the chorus.

    One of the problems with political discourse in India is that we have the secular establishment positioned both as a mediator and arbiter of relations between the various religious communities. Secularism is as much a problem as those it blames. People calling themselves secular may have good intentions – but they need to revisit and reexamine thier basic assumptions and the building blocks of thier regligious faith – for inspite of all high jargon – that is what secularism really is.

  37. Sid
    December 10, 2009 at 5:44 AM

    “All I have said is this …

    1. The minaret ban is unfortunate.
    2. It hurts the sentiments of Muslims all over the world.
    3. It represents a psychological, not physical threat to the beliefs of Muslims here. A psychological threat can still be a fundamental threat.
    4. There are striking differences between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.
    5. A campaign of reciprocal hate is unfortunate and wrong.

    Whats so terribly incorrect in what I write ?”

    Awesome and lovely!!! I mean only the last question. If you understood the answer, you had not bothered to write this response. I will come to it later.
    Let us come to your points:

    1. Yes, unfortunate but not wrong or unfair. A sovereign country held a vote and majority of the people have spoken. A decision is made. This may not be to your liking, but it is the country of the Swiss, not your or mine. Why do you gentlemen love democracy when it acts according to your wish and hate it when it goes against your wish? Did you ever hear of the term: freedom of expression? The term exists to describe a system that would protect the speech you do not like, not what you like. Journalism that is practiced in “let-us-hate-a-hindu-a-day” TV, does not care for the term.

    2a. Yes, it may hurt the sentiment. So if the sentiment hurts, then they may decide to avoid Switzerland travel or decide to store less money in Swiss accounts. Why is it necessary for the followers of religion of peace to “….incite clashes on a global scale if sufficient measures are not taken”? Given this quote, are you capable of assessing the level of threat against the Swiss population? Or the global population?
    2b. Did the gentleman you have quoted seem to be very peaceful? If it is alright to incite violence world-wide because Swiss have banned a religious building, how would you justify the condemnation of those who broke the Babri Masjid or went to riot demanding to create a temple? After all, that Masjid was built on top of our holy temples?

    3a. Psychological threat? Good one. I have already banned NDTV from my list of channels to watch. Would you ask P James Roy whether he was threatened or not?

    3b. Pakistani presence in our neighborhood is a psychological threat to me. Would you help me to convince the UN to move all Pakistanis somewhere else? Saudi ban on Gita is also a psychological threat to me. Would you write a petition to Saudi ambassador to abolish the threat? Or at least would you ask the senior fire queen on your tv to speak against the Saudi ban? Yes or no?

    3c. Democracy, as practiced in India, faced a fundamental threat when another group, believed to be Indians by some Indians, denied a recital of an old song believed to have inspired countless Indian freedom fighters. Would you suggest a motion against this decision? Would you speak against this decision in your TV program?

    4. Yes, there is. In Muslim world, there are “holy warriors” and supporters of “holy warriors”. In non-muslim world, there are supporters of “holy warriors”, cowards and people with common sense. The fact that you came here to Sandeep’s blog proves that you do not belong to 2nd category. Given your response, nobody would accuse you of having common sense.

    5. So when someone hates you, you should not hate. When someone slaps you, smile back. When someone kidnaps your women, just get married to another woman. Is not it what you are preaching? If someone hits you, it is alright to condemn the very guy who tries to hit back. Is that your point? Must be, given what you guys are saying in your TV, that is quiet evident.

    If Swiss found the construction of the building offensive or against their tradition, then it is just dominant public opinion. But if offenses can not be answered properly, then offenses just keeps increasing. Looks like a known pattern?

    If you still do not understand the answer to your last question, then go back to school. This time, try logic class instead of Dr. Sigler’s class.

  38. Kaffir
    December 9, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    =>
    This backlash, in its entirely represents a FUNDAMENTAL threat to Muslims not just in India, but around the world.
    =>

    And are Muslims around the world incapable of expressing themselves and articulating this threat that they need you as their self-appointed spokesperson?

    When Muslims around the world can freely and violently express their feelings regarding the Danish cartoons controversy, why do you think they’d need you – a kaffir and an infidel?

    Or when Muslims in India protested over reprinting of an article by Johann Hari and as a result, Ravindra Kumar and Anand Sinha were arrested? (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/editor-arrested-for-outraging-muslims-1607256.html)

    I guess you were paying attention, and figured out which side of your toast is buttered and who provides the butter, hence your illogical comments.

    So condescending (towards Muslims) and disappointing, Mr. Som.

  39. JK
    December 9, 2009 at 8:45 PM

    Vishnu,

    I have a simple question: You probably know what freedom Hindu men and women have in Saudi Arabia. Does that represent a fundamental threat to Hindus in India?

  40. S
    December 9, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    Mr. Som, though you have addressed Sandeep, since your answer is on a public and not a private blog, I reply to it as an average citizen of India. You have posted a lengthy reply at the end of which you summarize your post with core points. I shall address that summary. Here it is -

    “All I have said is this …

    1. The minaret ban is unfortunate.
    2. It hurts the sentiments of Muslims all over the world.
    3. It represents a psychological, not physical threat to the beliefs of Muslims here. A psychological threat can still be a fundamental threat.
    4. There are striking differences between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.
    5. A campaign of reciprocal hate is unfortunate and wrong.

    Whats so terribly incorrect in what I write ?”

    Answer to #1. Why do you think that the minaret ban is unfortunate ? Do you know that temples and churches and synagogues are forbidden in most Islamic countries ? Do you know for a fact that a Hindu cannot even pass Saudi customs if he/she is wearing a Hindu locket ?

    Answer to #2. Do you think that non-Muslims are entitled to some sort of sentiments ?

    Answer to #3. What do you think of the physical nature of the threat that Kaffirs of India face when visiting Kashmir ?

    Answer to #4. Yes, there are striking differences between the Muslim and the non-Muslim worlds. Have you read the Koran or the life history of Muhammad, or the history of Jihad, not only in India, but in Europe and Africa ? Surely you are arguing after reading history.

    Answer to #5. A campaign of reciprocal hate is wrong, but hate is essential for self – defense. If you cannot be bothered by history, let us just talk about the past 60 years – in the last 60 years, Muslims have carved out an Islamic Pakistan (both East and West) from Indian territory, these Islamic territories have been responsible for several wars against India, and now Muslims have literally kicked out the Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir Valley and are demanding independence. Something similar happened to the Serbians. Their country is facing the Islamic Jihad as well.

    Kindly tell us Mr. Som – do the Kashmiri Hindus have any right to live in their home ? Or do you think that another Islamic country out of Indian land is a good idea ?

  41. December 9, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    Sandeep … You have deliberately picked and lifted pieces of the two articles that I wrote and have misrepresented the core of my argument.

    People may or may not agree with my argument … but to do the cut and paste job you have done is shocking and completely unacceptable to me.

    The following are the two arguments for your readers:

    I have promised to clarify some of the remarks I made on my page http://www.ndtv.com/vishnu and here they are.

    I must confess … replying to the comments posted here … are bound to be counter productive since I don’t see the large majority of writers here able or willing to understand something so basic.

    Nonetheless … let me get to my first, evidently controversial statement … that the ban of minarets in Switzerland represents a fundamental threat to Muslims here in India.

    This is as easy to comprehend as it gets. No where has anyone suggested that this THREAT to Muslims means that a minaret-hating Swiss national will position himself in India to present a gun to the heads of Muslims.

    No, not at all. But what must be understood is that there is a palpable right-wing backlash against Muslims in several parts of the world … and I argue that the Swiss ban on minarets is part of that. This backlash, in its entirely represents a FUNDAMENTAL threat to Muslims not just in India, but around the world.

    How does this threat manifest itself? At several levels.

    Firstly … at a basic psychological level … many Muslims would ask the same question which I asked Acorn (and which was apparently `neither here nor there’). And that question is this … “Would you’ve been OK if your place of worship was banned in a country based on the premise that people of your religion are terrorists?.” I believe this is a valid point and I would hope that it would make a lot of your readers understand WHY Muslims would feel persecuted, many even here in India.

    I don’t think I need to outline the many other ways in which innocent Muslims around the world are being scrutinised, targeted and made to abide by laws and legislation which seem to target them on the basis of their religion. From additional scrutiny of Muslims in passport and visa applications to the French ban on religious headgear in certain places.

    But these are my views .. why not try and understand what others have to say … and remember, these are DIRECTLY linked to the basic argument that this represents a threat to Muslims all over the world, even Indians.

    According to an article in the Voice of America website … the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights deplores what has happened in Switzerland. According to Navi Pillay’s spokesperson, “The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has said she hesitates to condemn a democratic vote. But, she has no hesitation at all in condemning the anti-foreigner scare mongering which has characterized political campaigns in a number of countries including Switzerland, which helps produce results like this”

    According to Swissinfo.ch which interviewed Rainer Schweizer, a professor of criminal law at St Gallen University, “For most legal experts, the case is clear: The minaret ban runs contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. It contravenes both the clause in the convention on the prohibition of discrimination and the guarantee of religious freedom. There is hardly an objective reason why the minaret ban can stand up against the convention. That means that the ECJ in Strasbourg could one day severely reprimand Switzerland and force it to withdraw the minaret ban, which is now anchored in the Swiss constitution.”

    One can go on and on with this line of thought … the central point being easy to understand … the decision to ban minarets is regressive, its anti-Muslim, and violates religious freedom. As I have argued earlier, this is part of a larger wave against Muslims … perhaps part of the generalisation that Muslims are universally terrorists or inclined to violence.

    I cannot tolerate such a generalisation and cannot tolerate people who believe that to be the truth. And it is generalisations like this which represent a fundamental threat to Muslims in India and around the world.

    There is a second question I need to answer on the ban on non-Muslim places of worship in other parts of the world. I will reply to that later today hopefully.

    More replies when I can. After a point, I suspect the large number of you will assume you’ve got the edge in this argument based on your larger numbers. Shocked at the right-wing edge that this debate has taken to what seems, to me, to be an open and shut case.

    Vishnu Som
    Associate Editor and Senior Anchor
    NDTV

    Wow … as expected … there is an absolute torrent in the number of lengthy replies … and, as expected, I find myself deluged with the views of those who have not understood what it is that I have been trying to explain.

    I haven’t been spared personal attacks and I haven’t spared others as well. And, I suspect, there will be more comments targeting me once this is posted. So be it.

    Nonetheless, thanks to some here for the constructive criticism of some of the points I have raised. I think the central issue which I need to reflect on … in having been accused of hypocrisy … is on the nature of Islam itself in many parts of the world.

    Many have pointed out … in differing arguments .. that Muslim countries are far from being a haven of religious freedoms and that there has historically been a systematic persecution of religious minitories in parts of the middleeast. I suspect many readers here would expect me to defend that position.

    Let me assure you I am neither ignorant nor plain stupid. Its true Mr Murthy, its true !

    Like many of you here, I have studied about the history and the continuity of the clash of civilizations between the Muslim and non-Muslim world. As a former student of Dr. John Sigler, one of the finest Western scholars of the Middle east, I would be the last person to be in denial of the reality of socio-political systems in the region and indeed on the nature of Islam.

    I am not going to justify the whipping of women in Sudan for wearing trousers. Neither am I oblivious to the fact that workers in parts of the Middleeast (many from India) are treated like cattle and that non-Muslims are not allowed freedom to worship in the manner that they want.

    At the same time though … I cannot agree with the lack of respect for the Burka in France and indeed on the ban on minarets in Switzerland. To that end, I agree with the view of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who says the ban in Switzerland is reminiscent of sectarian wars of the Middle Ages. Accoding to Presstv (http://www.presstv.ir), “Davutoglu warned that the move could incite clashes on a global scale if sufficient measures are not taken.”

    While I don’t see a global war happening on the minaret issue, I do believe that what Davutoglu says fits in with my earlier argument … that this ban on minarets hurts the sentiments of Muslims around the world and in India and to that end, represents a fundamental threat to their beliefs.

    The fundamental challenge, as I understand it, lies in interpreting the dynamic between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world. To me, REJECTING extreme debating positions, no matter how extreme the subject matter, is the only way forward. And to that end, I agree with a post in the Huffington Post where Ahmed Rehab writes, “Cynics often deflect attention by pointing out human rights abuses in the Middle East or Asia. The West is right to call out abuses of freedoms in the Muslim-majority world, but it is wrong to pursue a campaign of reciprocity that betrays its own principles as a response. Western Intellectuals are wrong to turn a blind eye to such a farce when it occurs.” And that is precisely what many say is going on in Switzerland, a farce.

    I can already see my detractors licking their chops … Look at Som, they would be saying … pushed into a corner … he has taken a middle of the line position, looking to bail himself out of a hole. Not at all. I believe I have written the truth. In an explosive world hit hard by communal tensions … there can be no one right and one wrong. The battle of civilisations has been going on for centuries and the battlelines are quite clearly demarcated. The Swiss vote seems to give direction to this fundamental struggle in a modern-day context. Ultimately, who is to gain from this and who is to lose ? I believe there is no clear answer.

    I will, however, say … that the views I express here and on our website are mine. I have never and will never be under pressure from NDTV to write anything that represents a political of corporate dictat. Thats not how we operate.

    Acorn blew a simple debating point into this huge mess … through his initial post where he couldnt wait to see my elaborate points of view. You should not have done that.

    All I have said is this …

    1. The minaret ban is unfortunate.
    2. It hurts the sentiments of Muslims all over the world.
    3. It represents a psychological, not physical threat to the beliefs of Muslims here. A psychological threat can still be a fundamental threat.
    4. There are striking differences between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.
    5. A campaign of reciprocal hate is unfortunate and wrong.

    Whats so terribly incorrect in what I write ?

    Vishnu Som
    Associate Editor and Senior Anchor
    NDTV 4 days ago

  42. Augusto Pinochet
    December 8, 2009 at 8:11 PM

    I am a regular watcher of that trash news channel called NDTV, but Vishnu seems to appear as a sane and non-controversial guy when compared to that loudmouth Barka Dutt. His coverage of Indian armed forces especially couple of programs on Indian Soldiers in action during WWII were PRAISEWORTHY and excellent. But what prompted him to issue inflammatory statements such as the one posted in his Twitter regarding the Swiss minaret ban, I have no clue. Maybe he is trying to morph into Male counterpart of Burkha Dutt or seems to take the mantle of being the flagbearer of the so-called left leaning, liberal, Islamist fundamentalist loving intellectual. Sad to see the Indian journalism has plumbing to new depths and Vishnu falling victim to Barkha Dutt Flu, that relies only on sensationalism, irresponsible, and inappropriate journalism. News like this Swiss minaret ban are a proof of this…..what law was enacted thousands of miles away has become a handy tool for our crappy media to defend a religion better that any Islamic cleric and play sectarian politics with their own version of secularism. SAD….SAD….SAD

  43. Kishkindhaa
    December 8, 2009 at 7:35 AM

    He appears to be the latest dhimmi to come down the line. Probably, he picked this fight to prove his secular credentials to his employers or as a secular rite of passage. It is a indeed a very dangerous affair to promote pan-islamism and ummahness, given the horrendous record of this ideology around the world and especially in the “heathen” lands. But these NDTV fellows seem quite oblivious to the potential effects of playing Gandhi to any emerging Ali Brothers.

    Whether it is the Swiss banning minarets, the Europeans promoting Satanic Versus, or late western attempts at disposing the caliphate, it is always the Hindu which has to bear the islamic “reaction” (not that there isn’t independent Islamism in india itself). When some pastor in the west made a few remarks on the prophet, it was the Indian muslims who rioted killing a Hindu. Probably, the western backers of Pranoy James Roy’s Channel know that the repercussions will be limited to India and hence do not moderate the ummahphilia of their anchors. As long as only the dark heathens get killed and abused, who cares? It will at least buy time and space for the western master. This was also policy in the British Raj, with preferential use of the muslim in the colonial police and army.

    It is the task of indians to see the colonial dynamics behind such ploys and alert others.

  44. madhavan
    December 7, 2009 at 10:59 PM

    For Intellectuals to be approved in India, they should be leftists, Hindu whippers, Islam sympathisers etc. A lot of people in writing, media, arts, politics, human rights activities wear the costumes of secularism, tolerance, agnosticism, radicalism. It is not fashionable to speak out ‘I am a Hindu’ in public by a Hindu. Every Muslim and Christian declare proudly at every occasion their religion. For example watch the interviews with our film stars. See the difference in each ones attitude to religion according to their religion. So far never seen a Hindu celebrity saying he or she is proud to be a Hindu. Always the answer is evasive like ‘belief in a power’ or ‘think there is only one God’ etc. If somebody expressed Hindu feelings he is hurting minorities. If the minorities express their religion, it is their right of expression. Even renowned judges pass decrees, extolling the Hindu tolerance, as if they adorn their posts not for the law, but for tolerance.
    Hindus live for others, others live for themselves.

  45. N Shah
    December 7, 2009 at 6:57 PM

    PS: I dont tweet but I’d like to ask this new-PS-on-the-block whether he’d voice the same sentiments for Hindus when Goddess Saraswati was put on top of a double beef burger in an advert in Spain? and does he forget MF Hussain? Whats he got to say to that?

  46. N Shah
    December 7, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    Dont you know that the sure shot way to move up the ladder at N*** is to loft the ideals of (pseudo) secularism and chastise those who show even a bent of love for their country? Does he even love his name?

  47. Var
    December 7, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    whats befallen upon him? Raking up a issue which has nothing to do with India, or Indian Muslims for that matter!
    LOL It is clear Vishnu Som wants to be the next Bark-aaaa Dutt,…One never knows The Acorn may face a law suit now.

  48. anup
    December 7, 2009 at 2:30 AM

    It’s good to see people like Vishnu Som who aspire to be thought leaders being taken to task for their flippant, inane comments and consequently their double standards getting exposed.

    I happened to hear this interview with Arundhati Roy after the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist strike and was tickled when the interviewer referred to her at the end of the interview as a ‘political activist’ (and I thought she was a ‘social activist’ all along!). However what is not amusing is Roy’s comments. Isn’t there a legal recourse in India using which Roy can be asked to shut up?

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