Let’s call things by their proper name. What is continuing to unfold in Assam is soft Jihad. It isn’t an ethnic strife, much less a riot. It is soft Jihad not in terms of the scale or intensity of violence but because it is not explicitly unleashed by an Islamic state—or by an Islamic terrorist-superstar like Bin Laden—against a non-Islamic state. It follows a theological dictum from which emerged a time-tested pattern, which has been consistently repeated across both world history and geography.
I argue that:
- What we’re seeing in Assam is “Soft” Jihad.
- What we’re seeing in Assam has been seen in various parts of the world at various times in history with the same consequences.
- That the soft Jihad in Assam is primarily the consequence of a mixture of Islamic theology and its history, the geopolitics of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and a host of other related factors.
- That unless we have genuine, uncompromising political and military will, this soft Jihad will be replicated in other parts of India in future.
- That we have to stop it and stop it now unless we want to invite comprehensive disaster.
The Prophet of Peace Sets the Pattern
We need to begin with the first year of the Islamic Calendar or Al Hijra (the Islamic New Year) set at 622 CE. This year marks the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. Contrary to what’s mentioned in the Quran and/or Hadiths, Muhammad wasn’t persecuted in Mecca—he simply fled Mecca because the populace of Mecca thought he was a dangerous man who had delusions of being Godlike.
Medina then was primarily a society of Jews drawn from various tribes who were more receptive to Muhammad’s self-proclaimed Prophethood. This reception is not dissimilar to any pluralistic society, which welcomes and honours all forms of God. However, in a masterly political move, Muhammad and his band of followers gained their confidence, then betrayed and massacred them. The history of the Banu Quraizya tribe’s massacre at the hands of Muhammad is very telling—especially the Battle of the Trench or the Ghazwah al-Khandaq, celebrated widely as one of the spectacular victories of Islam.
In any case, Muhammad’s flight from Mecca to Medina is the earliest Muslim migration—where Muslims were in utter minority in terms of sheer numbers, ideology, power, and reach—which set the pattern for what was to follow—from the 7th Century till our own time. According to Koenraad Elst, the consequence of this migration
from the Medinese viewpoint was that the city lost its autonomy to Mohammed, who became its dictator and expelled or killed sections of its population.
Once he had Medina firmly under his grip, Muhammad rapidly expanded his power using every means at his disposal even if it meant that some of these means had to be invented on the fly by getting them as “revelations” of Allah. Soon, Mecca fell, and before long, he had the entire region of Arabia under his control.
Secure in his political and military power, Muhammad began to aggressively lay out his Dar-ul-Islam and Dar-ul-Harb ideas, nay, strategies. In brief, they included using every means possible to convert the whole world into a United Islamic World. Every human endeavour came in its ambit—military, political, economic, social, and individual. Needles, that also included the family. The only goal of every true Muslim was to live—and die, if necessary—to spread Islam.
Muhammad’s early defeats in Mecca taught him a valuable lesson—of biding his time pretending to be peaceful till he gained tactical advantage and then, to strike mercilessly when his time came. This is the answer to millions of people in today’s Europe and America’s who ask “why do they hate us?” Seekers of asylum and peaceful migrants never abandoned their Islam—once they were numerically strong, they began to prove that they were true followers of Islam.
The strategy of overwhelming a native culture with the sheer force of numbers is thus rooted in Muhammad’s own deeds, which later were codified in Islamic theology. Much has been written about the “progressive” and “modern” character of Islam because it allows for birth control. Indeed, all the four schools of Islamic law allow for birth control in one or the other form. However, this allowance was made because Islam cannot be separated from Muhammad, and because we can trace this allowance to an event in Muhammad’s life.
Mohammed’s men had captured women from Mecca in the raid on a Meccan caravan at Badr…intending to sell them back to their families for a handsome ransom, but asked Mohammed if they could use them for their sexual gratification. Considering that the ransom would go down if the women were not returned in their original condition, the Prophet told his men that they could freely go and rape them as long as they practised coitus interruptus (Arabic azl).
As much as this is telling on the character of Muhammad—that he condoned rape and slave-taking—it is a selective reading. Muhammad’s injunction of coitus interruptus occurred at a specific time and context: it was very early in his journey to full-fledged Prophethood. It happened on the occasion of the Battle of Badr, his first decisive victory against the Meccans. The subsequent Ahadis or episodes of his life based on which all Islamic law schools are derived, are unanimous in prohibiting birth control of any sort. This too, is rooted in an event in Muhammad’s life, specifically in his injunction issued after the campaign against Banu al-Mustaliq.
…the Muslims wanted to rape the hostages and asked Mohammed whether they should practise azl [coitus interruptus], but the Prophet replied… “It does not matter if you don’t do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.”
He followed this up with other prohibitions against birth control: knowingly marrying a sterile woman, non-vaginal intercourse, sterilization and voluntary celibacy. Indeed, Muhammad shrewdly laid down pronouncements that were explicitly designed to enlarge the Ummah. A couple of very telling verses that say that Muhammad variously enjoined thus:
“Marry women who will love their husbands and be very prolific, for I want you to be more numerous than any other people [Book 13, Mishkatu'l Masabih, a compilation of Sunni traditions by the 12th-century Imam Husain al-Baghawi]
In my Ummah, he is the best who has the largest number of wives. [Tabaqât Ibn Sa'd by Katib al-Wâqidî]
The Prophet’s Pattern Revived
This seeming contradiction between Muhammad’s Badr-injunction favouring birth control and his later injunctions opposing it is easily explained if one studies Islamic law. According to Islamic law, later laws invalidate earlier laws. The other historical reasons are that once Muhammad’s power became unchallenged and he saw rapid conversions to Islam, and even after his death, when Islam went on an unchallenged rampage of domination, the issue of birth control didn’t really matter. However, this changed in two areas. First, in India, the only place where it met with a fierce and permanent confrontation, something which continues till date. Second, in a post-Renaissance and colonizing Europe, which easily overran the Middle East. The latter event came as a near death-blow to Islam, which was till then enjoying centuries of unchallenged domination. It suddenly found itself subservient and worse, with no means to resist let alone revolt. This situation remains more or less intact even today. No matter what, Islam with its roots in the oil-rich Arabian region is militarily powerless against the West if push comes to shove. This is one of the primary reasons it has embarked on various strategies to take over the West from within. Of course, the fact that most Western democracies have lost their will to fight, have become corrupt and lazy and have been used to comfortable living, also helps Islam’s cause.
However, Muhammad’s idea of a permanent struggle—Jihad—to establish Islam on all of humanity is a stroke of visionary, if perverted, genius. The overwhelming-by-numbers idea, which was a minor issue in history, has now assumed threatening proportions. Nevertheless, it was still Muhammad who gave the idea. The thrust to using it is fairly recent.
Which brings us to the current geopolitical situation—the world over, Muslim nations are known for inequities of all kinds, and most “pure” Islamic nations are tyrannies. Islamic democracies are nothing but coup-a-day nations. Islam as a religion, especially in the post 9/11 world, is viewed with suspicion if not open hostility. The treatment of women under Islam is being increasingly subject to no-holds-barred and honest criticism. The fact that something as commonplace as women obtaining a driving license is the subject of a huge debate and angst in Saudi Arabia is also very telling. Most importantly, the whitewashing of Islam in the West with the active collusion of dishonest intellectuals and media houses simply bolsters these facts.
What these things point to is the fact that Islam is fighting for survival in the modern era. If women were granted driving license in the Mecca (pun unintended) of Islam itself, it’d open up other “outrageous demands,” a fact that goes against how Muhammad ordered women to be regarded and treated. For a more detailed exposition of these and other factors concerning Islam’s efforts for survival, this piece is highly recommended. Which is why the demographic route was espoused by and remains an effective technique of choice for several powerful Islamic organizations to ensure Islam’s survival and its continuing, onward march. In Koenraad Elst’s words,
in the present geopolitical circumstances, certain powerful Islamic organizations have added…a deliberate strategy of strengthening the position of Islam by multiplying its numbers. Though they do not have a monopoly on Islamic orthodoxy, they do influence Muslim collective behaviour to a substantial extent, especially in (what is to Islam) a frontline state like India.
In plain language, this “deliberate strategy of strengthening the position of Islam by multiplying its numbers” is known as the demographic siege, something I have witnessed first hand. It is the strategy that gives birth to what’s now widely-known as Londonistan. The fact that even an apologetic report like this one by the BBC uses the term “Muslim communalism” shows the extent to which this demographic siege damages society (to be sure, the BBC report completely whitewashes the aspect of demographic siege but leaves telltale clues as to the real problem).
There’s no doubt that the pattern that the Prophet of Peace set, and which was codified in Islamic theology, worked not just in Medina but provided the blueprint for much of what’s happening today in the name of asylum-seeking, multiculturalism, and accommodation and fair treatment of immigrants.
Continued in the next part.