One State Solution.

Is my honour your responsibility to protect? July 16, 2007

Whose honour ?

11 July 2007. Shraswasti, Uttar Pradesh.

A Hindu girl from one village elopes with a Muslim boy from another.

Next day, scores of Muslim women from the boy’s village are raped, made to parade naked…

Get the message?

If I choose to marry someone out of my own free will, as the girl who is a major did,

then the men from my community will be offended.So much so that they will go out of their houses and brutally rape (even minors).

Because their , not my , honour is at stake.And after brutally raping women from the ‘other’ community, their honour will not be harmed.

The disgust that prompted them to get offended does not come into picture when they will rape another human being.

Whose disgrace are we trying to safegaurd? All authorities and police remained silent in UP.The police, in fact are chasing the poor couple who are in hiding.

And in order to safegaurd another version of the same honour, the incidents will get hushed, and justice will never be done.

Whose honour is honour?

What about the pain that you inflict on someone else in trying to avenge some notion of morality?

Shame.Shame on us. On our silence. Shame on the media.On the police. On UP.On our State.

This event surprisingly does’nt find coverage in the news, because the journalists are too busy blaring accounts of terrorrism. None of this surprisingly qualifies as terrorism.

Or terror. I’m terrified.

Details about this case at Dhaiakhar, from the Hindi Blogosphere, here. The English blogosphere remains silent as of now.

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47 Responses to “Is my honour your responsibility to protect?”

  1. Johny Jagannath Says:

    Sometimes mainstream media conveniently ignores some incidents. Our Indian Media is becoming like the American Media, just hungry for tv ratings and neglecting real news.

  2. Johny Jagannath Says:

    I have to admit religion, in this modern world, is fast becoming a major problem the world over, just as it was through out our histroy. 😦

    But this time, it is a lot more serious because of nuclear weapons. The very survival of the human race is at stake. I always thought like these things happen only in the movies, but I thought wrongly!

  3. Vikram Says:

    hi,

    this is horrible, whats worse is how almost no one is reporting it. The TV channels running reports on how lots of hindu girls elope(or marry against their famiiies wishes) to muslim guys doesn’t help either. Unlikely as it may sound they do make it sound like this is part of some sinister plan.

    theres a lot of mistrust among hindus and muslims here, the partition (of India & Pakistan), our politicians, terrorism don’t help either. Then you have these riots happening which further ghettoize both communities. As long as both communities don’t mingle more, prejudices , sadly, will remain. That said, i think the situation is much better in cities, its the rural masses that get easily influenced by radical religious leaders & politicians. Education helps.

    I feel Its our responsibility as educated citizens of India to try and make sure that these prejudices don’t get passed on the the future generations.

    good thing u r doing with this blog… Atta-girl!

  4. […] in Shrawasti Published by bhupinder July 16th, 2007 in Human Rights, Women and Patriarchy. Raheema Begum writes on this under reported incident of mass rape in Shrawasti. A Hindu girl from one village elopes […]

  5. Indscribe Says:

    Ya. Except Rashtriya Sahara and Urdu dailies, no other newspaper has given it due coverage. There has been lot of tension in the area and politically also it has become a major issue in UP. Alas, the women are sufferers in such cases for no fault of theirs.

  6. Johny Jagannath Says:

    Somehow women are always the sufferers. Just about everthing from religious rules to regular everyday people, cause them suffering. And this is really sad. Educating people about treating women well is the only way out of this.

    IMO, schools in India should include a special curriculum on women in each class about ‘women’ and how to treat them etc. I think most Indian Men just don’t know how to behave with women. (That is my opinion only y’all.)

    I think textbooks in schools and a cirriculum on women plus tests and exams on these topics may bring about a positive change.

  7. Rahima Says:

    Finally , July 16th, News report by the Tribune News Service.While everyone else sleeps.Is anyone watching TV? what’s the news from there?

    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20070717/nation.htm#7

    Indscribe, thanks for your comment.Its really surprising that there’s no coverage of this incident online except the above report and Nasiruddin’s reports.
    And then they say that the Urdu media is being communal.In fact a lot of people will say don’t give this a communal flavour by saying Hindu or Muslim, but then you wonder why these incidents are hushed or under- reported.
    Could it be because women are under-represented in Mayawati’s UP? or could it be because the whole polity is communal ?
    and by communal I mean biased, and prejudiced and unfeeling.
    I’ve always felt that owning up to a certain belief or religion is not being communal.It’s taking responsibility and looking inward.
    In Gujarat,whenever I try to articulate a Muslim view-point it becomes communal.
    I think communalism is thinking ‘Us versus them’, not ‘Us and them, together’.There is a very very thin line between identity politics and communalism.
    I think, to be truly plural in our heart one must be truly spiritual.

  8. Rahima Says:

    And the other aspect, women.
    It took a whole month for a women’s panel to investigate and report crimes against women in Gujarat.Justice has not yet been done.It’s been five years.
    Women’s rights in our country are still locked in theory text books, and legal frame-works.
    These women will live these gruesome violences and will probably not find a listening ear.Will they ever know that they deserve justice?
    What are we as women going to do about the situation?

  9. Marise Says:

    I have no words to express my horror at what’s happened. I don’t know how I could help being so far from India, but I did find this study about the Gujarat massacre that may help shed some light on what can be done:

    http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/iijg/2003/

    Keep up the good work, yaar.

  10. Rahima Says:

    For all those in inter-community marriages and in support of inter-community marriages, there is a platform called Dhanak( http://www.dhanak.org.in).
    This forum also voices the concerns of people in inter-religious relationships.
    Via Jamal, at http://www.takingITglobal.org

  11. Phantom Says:

    Horrible!!!!! This is a serious, realy serious indictment on the entire hindu faith and the supposed secularity and tolerance spirit of India. Is this what we have stooped to?

    It is a travesty that amidst this whole hoo-haa of india shining, economic rollercoaster that is the indian metropolitan city……the rural sector is being so pathetically ignored, commercially, economically, politically, socially.

    To be, this behaviour by the hindu rapists is as abhorent as any. As a society we should NOT stand for this. As someoen in another post said, it is indeed a case of illiteracy and also perhaps poor economic progress. But above all, the legal system needs to be enforceable, otherwise we’ll continue to have idiots ruining lives of innocents.

  12. Johny Jagannath Says:

    I think the mainstream media fears that reporting of such incidents could trigger large scale communcal riots (in the nation). If we analyse these incidents we almost always end up debating religion. And we all know what happens if we debate religion.

    But we are getting there, sooner or later religion will be debated in the mainstream media, and things will only get uglier. 😦

  13. asiogroup Says:

    well it is 50 thousand year old rule on society.there allways have been problems between religions.mojority always give pains to minority.power is a thing which can make any man ,an animal.Moreover it just illitreacy.

  14. Rahima Says:

    Marise thanks a lot for that report.I could’nt look at it until now.And as always, I’m helplessly agitated.

    JJ, I think one of our biggest setbacks as modern Indians is that we don’t talk about religion.
    We dont analyse and speak about why someone wont eat meat and someone will go to the temple on Thursdays.
    I don’t think we can shy away from talking about religion anymore.

  15. Rahima Says:

    More news updates from the Gujarat ’02,Bombay ’93, Delhi ’84 community( http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=31082634&tid=2543851001361289957&start=1 ) on the orkut network, Rajesh Gajra( http://www.natant.org ) says

    The facts are sketchy as of now but below I provide links to three news reports on this matter. Editors of publications/TV newschannels having journalists in Lucknow and Shrawasti ought to tell their reporters to go to Sirsia village and ascertain more facts on this incident. If the incident did involve the rape of any woman in Sirsia then it represents one more disgraceful instance of how the political and justice system of our country exists by and large only on paper when it comes to protection of basic human rights of women and minorities.

    and one more news link if you can read through the google ads on this site is
    http://www.twocircles.net/2007jul14/muslim_women_sexually_attacked_paraded_naked.html

  16. Johny Jagannath Says:

    I agree Raheema, that this indeed is a setback. But we could risk facing large scale riots in the nation if we talk about religion. And if one thinks that this religious talk is absolutely required (in the country) then I guess we could deploy adequate security in all communally sensitive areas (in the nation) and do this “religious talk” without any fear of riots.

    Some may think like this is too much trouble for a “religious talk”. But then again that is the only way we can do this peacefully.

    Is this religious talk absolutely necessary now? I think it is. And CNN-iBN made an attempt at this. And it was a very brave attempt, I might add.

    A few weeks ago, after Haneef got detained by the Australian police, CNN-iBN ran a one hour chat show titled, “In the name of faith”, that dealt with jihadi terrorism and why more and more educated muslims seem to be taking this road. I have to admit the show quickly spiraled into a farce, because many audience members got angry by some questions related to jihad and they seemed like they were ready for a mini-riot in the studio. In the end, the lady that conducted the show recanted many of the points she made and sided with the angry (mob like) audience.

    At the end of the show she summarized that Jihad had nothing to do with Islam! Did that debate serve any purpose? Yes it did. It got CNN-iBN its ratings. Many issues with regard to ‘jihadi terrorism’ were just swept underneath the carpet. In the end nothing good came out of that debate.

    However, many religions have made changed or evolved over the years according to modern times. But some religions do not want to change or have not changed. It is this lack of flexibility that is a hurdle to meaningful debates on religion.

    But CNN-iBN gave it a shot, so I feel like we could have more such debates, this time around they will hopefully be meaningful.

  17. Rahima Says:

    It’s hard to have a peaceful discussion about religion because these things are about emotion and feelings.And people get offended because identity is always related to pride about one’s past/heritage…
    Why are educated Muslims taking this road? People are angry and angry people often do irrational things.
    But that’s the same argument that Modi gave when 2002 happened.
    It’s okay to get angry but it’s not okay to act under that impulse.Harmless people could get hurt, as it so often happens.
    That’s why you need a state that will address the needs of all its people.Not just a namesake democracy like we are.

  18. Rahima Says:

    people fight all the time, over this or that.But when you have a sustained campaign to annhilate everyone that does’nt speak your language then thats unfair.It’s inadmissible in a democratic state that governs on the basis of equal rights and representation for all its people.
    In this particular case, the couple are said to have been married.If the same sort of incidents happen then you can imagine what the inter-community relations will be like in the future.
    Having said that, I realise that I have had a big axe to grind about the Indian state.And its failed secular project, because it does’nt let me be.

    I see my own work as a form of Jihaad.But more supreme is the internal Jihaad , against oneself.Against acting out of entirely selfish and personal needs and interests.That is a battle I fight, treading the line between survival, politics and the spiritual.

    The problem with Jehadis, if I can comment from where I stand is that they are insulated from the modern world. And driven into an internalised image of their own oppression.

    They have been so alienated that they dont really expect anything out of the modern world.So they dont see the point in preserving a peace that they dont share with the rest of us.

    And even as I write this I write under the fear that it will be misinterpreted, because always, always, the mainstream is deeply suspicious. So even if my role is far from terrorism, I will be seen as one.What happens if I someday succumb to everyoneelses ideas about me?

  19. Rahima Says:

    But in Gujarat I feel like standing up and saying.I’m a Muslim, know me, so you’ll realise that you’ve been fed such lies.
    I dont have misconceptions about Hinduism, because I see it practiced everywhere.The thing is that modern Muslims rarely practice Islam, and those that do are branded extremist. So it’s a viscious circle.You supress an identity in a box of it’s own and then label it so that it never gets out of that box.
    My work is about looking within your own box.And then taking it apart to see what remains.And then doing all sorts of things with it.Rebuilding it, making it evolve,exploring it,connecting it…

  20. Johny Jagannath Says:

    Raheema: That’s why you need a state that will address the needs of all its people.Not just a namesake democracy like we are.

    JJ: Excellent point, yo. But this is not as easy as it looks.

    Raheema: The thing is that modern Muslims rarely practice Islam, and those that do are branded extremist.

    JJ: The chapter on Jihad needs to be debated and understood properly. This is where, things are usually going out of hand.

  21. More on Jihaad, from an Islamic perspective coming up, Insha Allah!

  22. Johny Jagannath Says:

    Screen: The thing is that modern Muslims rarely practice Islam, and those that do are branded extremist.

    I am not sure I agree with you on this. What you are saying could raise some eyebrows. IMO, a muslim that does not practice Islam is not a muslim at all.

    Oh okay, did you mean a modern muslims is only a ‘cultural muslim’ does not really practice Islam?

    Or, are you suggesting that modern muslims only practice a select few chapters in the Koran and neglect the rest that they deem unfit for the modern times?

    This sounds like trouble no matter how I look at it. 😦

  23. Johny Jagannath Says:

    An Islamic perspective on Jihad is a good idea. And how about Shariat? What is your opinion on Shariat?

  24. Johny Jagannath Says:

    I was reading my last two replies here, and I realized I may have unknowingly sounded a bit sarcastic or rude. I apologize if my posts are rude or sarcastic. That was not my intention, Screen. 🙂

    (I wish this blog had an edit option)

  25. Rahima Says:

    Not at all Saint, I’m very glad you ask, and I congratulate you on your interest.I appreciate the time you’re taking, and I hope that my answers do justice to the issues.
    ok.This calls for a whole book.I can refer many to you.
    And that will happen over time, if your interest sustains, but for the sake of this conversation,
    Shariat is the law that is derived from the Quran and the Prophet(peace be upon him)’s life and example.
    My opinion of the Shariat is that Islamic Law needs to be clarified and reformed according to the context that it is being interpreted in, but in ways that do not tamper with the basic and guiding principles of our faith.This is a complicated and daunting task that modern law has to set for itself, in matters such as usury, or multiple marriages or triple talaq.

    The next entry on the Labels narratives at http://www.whosebody.wordpress.com will be an attempt to involve Jihaad in the narrative of the Abominable eagle(Insha Allah!).Give me some time on it.

    Modern Muslims 🙂 we’re all trying. Is what I can say.

  26. Rahima Says:

    Heres some historical flesh to the terror problem by Dr Ram Punyani
    http://countercurrents.org/puniyani240707.htm

  27. Johny Jagannath Says:

    Screen, you should watch a documentary titled, ‘The God’s Warriors’ on CNN International which will be aired next month and is being created by a well known international correspondent called Christiane Amanpour.

    She earlier made documentaries such as “The Threat Within”, which was about radical islam in the UK.

    I hope her new documentary will talk about issues that we are dealing with her. If more and more new channels talk religion, we could work out a solution for the existing problems that we face worldover.

  28. Johny Jagannath Says:

    It is my opinion that some laws that are based on Quran or the Hadith may not be suitable for modern times. But muslims believe that the Quran was written for all times and therefore will it then be not be possible for a muslim to deviate even a little bit from the Quranic specifications?

    Is there room for such a deviation?

  29. whew thats a lot of debating on religion. as an atheist i have never been able to fathom why people are so passionate about religion. the concentration on muslim fanaticism is a construct of the western media. the christians and hindus are equally fanatical. only they do not use overt religious imagery like the muslims do. bush after all is conducting a jihaad in iraq and has 1000 military bases around the world to launch a few more. all the money being spent on this military build up could easily be directed to the betterment of the people. so if we start talking about the fanaticism of the corporate world with regard to its pursuit of resource guzzling development then we will find that the fanaticism of the muslims is not even a patch on it!

  30. by the way in commenting on the so called fanaticism of the muslims i forgot to speak about the original story of the rape of the women of sravasti. its really a shame that the media has not picked up this story like it should have.

  31. Rahima Says:

    Wrapping it up.(Although more comments are welcome)

    The media: Except for a Star News reporter there was’nt enough or any coverage of this incident.No reports on the internet except for Nasiruddin’s blogposts.Why?

    Religion:Inter-religious marriages, what is at stake?

    Women:Are women’s bodies the battle-ground for community pride?

    The Law and its enforcers: Why is there such a big gap between the law and its implementation.Why is our police so incompetent at carrying out the law and protecting the rights of women and oppressed minorities?

    Terror: Not all terrorism has to do with Jihaad.Not all terrorists hail from Pakistan.For those of you who like to think about it, here is the real scare.Narendra Modi might get elected again.

    And a positive developement, this is a report of civil society groups in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh protesting over the mass rape over an inter-community marriage.

    http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=246435

  32. Johny Jagannath Says:

    That’s a nice wrap, Rahi 🙂

  33. JEHAN ZEB Says:

    Police is partisan in eruptions of communal riots. This is the big terror when criminals are at free hand and the innocents are finding hide and seek. What? the religion does allow you to chose life partner with free well!
    When will we be free of as such terrorism?

  34. syed raafeuddin ahmed Says:

    mr. johny jagannath, the muslims can never deviate a centimetre from the holy book quraan. u are ignorant of the fact that all the laws of the holy quraan are eternal and valid, not only today but till the dooms day.
    riots like that of gujarat come and go and inshallah (allah willing) our india will remain a secular state and a state with lion heart. people like narendra modi and his likes come and go. they can never finish off muslims in india

  35. me Says:

    What about ghajani,ghori,tuglaq,Aurangazeb,Jinnah,razakars and perpetrators ransacking of culture,temples,tradition and monuments in Akhand Bharat, since 1000 or more years. The attack on beliefs??? Who started first and who will finish ???

  36. me Says:

    India will never forget those hurting incidents and history will never forget them and they will never find a place either hell or in heaven under whatever religious beliefs I assure damnly.

  37. me Says:

    History forgive or unforgive them, do they have secure place in hell or heaven under whatever religious practices, What about the wounds they created???
    Now a days people talking about JIHAD, terrorism so much but what do we call their tactics??? There needs to be a definite need for brain wash that can strongly affect the thought formation and process as well, then only anybody expect a good change.

  38. Screen Sifar Says:

    Dear ME ,

    Thank you for voicing your opinions.

    Islam in this subcontinent did not spread in the shade of swords.Most of the people in this subcontinent converted to Islam because they wanted a society which was casteless.And the work of preaching was done by Saints.I don’t know what kings had in mind when they went about destroying temples.I’m sure that spreading the faith of Islam was not the agenda.

    As we all know, there is no rhyme or reason, or limit to what a tyrannical ruler will do in the lust for power or money.Such thinking has no ‘religion’.

    Jihad is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to safeguard his belief, practice and way of life.
    In the modern world this has many implications.It should not be interpreted with a violence breeds violence angle.

    Our aim must always be to create a society which has equal growth, opportunity and freedom for all, and to put the atrocities of the past behind us.

    As for religion, that fight is one of minds, ideologies, differing views about life and the afterlife…

    Lastly, if we all start looking within ourselves, then we will probably stop this hollow process of defining ourselves on the basis of being what someone else is not. And therefore, we will fall out of the trap of if they do it , then so will we.

    This, as I’m sure you will agree, is what religion or dharma must tell us more about.

    “If you destroy our temples or mosques then we will not be silent about it, or if you kill a
    man then we will also kill.You marry a woman from my community so we will violate women from yours…”

    This kind of thinking does not get us anywhere.And sadly enough no side, Hindu or Muslim is free of it.
    This is also a tragedy of religion.

  39. me Says:

    What I exactly mean by referring those horrible techniques, jihad was there since long back. Modern Intellectual islamits are trying to just use Caste for their whateer activities to get support within India or else where in the world . Practicing Hindu dharma as defined in sacred books is pretty difficult let me tell you. Buddism was generated and spread across the world. There are different options are there who dont like caste. See the entire world is dependent on Astrology,nemerology,zodaic how do jihadi and their intellectuals expect that people dont have trust in caste and hindu system? This is all a kind of propagonda. very unfortunate
    hence I said unless and until there is a change in thought formation and processing it its of no use.

    Pl dont try to bring whatever to justify the wrong things. If this blog is to support jihad and atricities of the above said rulers and for that if you try to use Indian Caste as a piece of toold then its more wierd than anything else. Forget yoga and thought processing, I better suggest whoever all including jihad supportes to do a prayer (3 times or 5 times or whatever) daily at darga/mosque. Atleast radiation will form if the prayer is so powerfull and that will bring the desired change in the atmospehere and minds.

  40. Screen Sifar Says:

    I’m sorry about bringing up the caste issue, in retrospect I feel it was perhaps insensitive and being too simplistic.I apologise.The people who accepted Islam had their reasons, whatever they were,I cannot guess from what little knowledge I have.
    Sorry.

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  42. Anonymous Says:

    Screen, you dont have to apologize. I think you need to read this.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=401C6222-3668-4E4B-9824-D85A9D2B4B6A

  43. Screen Sifar Says:

    can you send the link again, it’s not proper.

  44. Johny Jagannah Says:

    Sorry Screen, I forgot to put my name on the previous post.

  45. Johny Jagannath Says:

    The link seems to have problems. But you can get it by Goolging “Islam’s Other Victims: India”. Let me post the contents here though:

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=401C6222-3668-4E4B-9824-D85A9D2B4B6A

    Islam’s Other Victims: India

    By Serge Trifkovic
    FrontPageMagazine.com | 11/18/2002

    Adapted from The Sword of the Prophet: A Politically-Incorrect Guide to Islam by Dr. Serge Trifkovic.

    The fundamental leftist and anti-American claim about our ongoing conflict with political Islam is this: whatever has happened or does happen, it’s our fault. We provoked them into it by being dirty Yankee imperialists and by unkindly refusing to allow them to destroy Israel. But two things make crystal clear that this is not so:

    1. The political arm of Islam has been waging terroristic holy war on the rest of the world for centuries.

    2. It has waged this war against civilizations that have nothing to do with the West, let alone America.

    This is why the case of Moslem aggression against India proves so much. Let’s look at the historical record.

    India prior to the Moslem invasions was one of the world’s great civilizations. Tenth century Hindustan matched its contemporaries in the East and the West in the realms of philosophy, mathematics, and natural science. Indian mathematicians discovered the number zero (not to mention other things, like algebra, that were later transmitted to a Moslem world which mistaken has received credit for them.) Medieval India, before the Moslem invasion, was a richly imaginative culture, one of the half-dozen most advanced civilizations of all time. Its sculptures were vigorous and sensual, its architecture ornate and spellbinding. And these were indigenous achievements and not, as in the case of many of the more celebrated high-points of Moslem culture, relics of pre-Moslem civilizations that Moslems had overrun.

    Moslem invaders began entering India in the early 8th century, on the orders of Hajjaj, the governor of what is now Iraq. (Sound familiar?) Starting in 712 the raiders, commanded by Muhammad Qasim, demolished temples, shattered sculptures, plundered palaces, killed vast numbers of men — it took three whole days to slaughter the inhabitants of the city of Debal — and carried off their women and children to slavery, some of it sexual. After the initial wave of violence, however, Qasim tried to establish law and order in the newly-conquered lands, and to that end he even allowed a degree of religious tolerance. but upon hearing of such humane practices, his superior Hajjaj, objected:

    “It appears from your letter that all the rules made by you for the comfort and convenience of your men are strictly in accordance with religious law. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by the law is different from the one adopted by you, for you go on giving pardon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion between a friend and a foe. The great God says in the Koran [47.4]: “0 True believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads.” The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all will consider you a weak-minded man.”

    In a subsequent communication, Hajjaj reiterated that all able-bodied men were to be killed, and that their underage sons and daughters were to be imprisoned and retained as hostages. Qasim obeyed, and on his arrival at the town of Brahminabad massacred between 6,000 and 16,000 men.

    The significance of these events lies not just in the horrible numbers involved, but in the fact that the perpetrators of these massacres were not military thugs disobeying the ethical teachings of their religion, as the European crusaders in the Holy Land were, but were actually doing precisely what their religion taught. (And one may note that Christianity has grown up and no longer preaches crusades. Islam has not. As has been well-documented, jihad has been preached from the official centers of Islam, not just the lunatic fringe.)

    Qasim’s early exploits were continued in the early eleventh century, when Mahmud of Ghazni, “passed through India like a whirlwind, destroying, pillaging, and massacring,” zealously following the Koranic injunction to kill idolaters, whom he had vowed to chastise every year of his life.

    In the course of seventeen invasions, in the words of Alberuni, the scholar brought by Mahmud to India,

    “Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people. Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion toward all Moslems.”

    Does one wonder why? To this day, the citizens of Bombay and New Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore, live in fear of a politically-unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan that unlike India (but like every other Moslem country) has not managed to maintain democracy since independence.

    Mathura, holy city of the god Krishna, was the next victim:

    “In the middle of the city there was a temple larger and finer than the rest, which can neither be described nor painted.” The Sultan [Mahmud] was of the opinion that 200 years would have been required to build it. The idols included “five of red gold, each five yards high,” with eyes formed of priceless jewels. “The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naphtha and fire, and leveled with the ground.”

    In the aftermath of the invasion, in the ancient cities of Varanasi, Mathura, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, and Dwarka, not one temple survived whole and intact. This is the equivalent of an army marching into Paris and Rome, Florence and Oxford, and razing their architectural treasures to the ground. It is an act beyond nihilism; it is outright negativism, a hatred of what is cultured and civilized.

    In his book The Story of Civilization, famous historian Will Durant lamented the results of what he termed “probably the bloodiest story in history.” He called it “a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within.”

    Moslem invaders “broke and burned everything beautiful they came across in Hindustan,” displaying, as an Indian commentator put it, the resentment of the less developed warriors who felt intimidated in the encounter with “a more refined culture.” The Moslem Sultans built mosques at the sites of torn down temples, and many Hindus were sold into slavery. As far as they were concerned, Hindus were kafirs, heathens, par excellence. They, and to a lesser extent the peaceful Buddhists, were, unlike Christians and Jews, not “of the book” but at the receiving end of Muhammad’s injunction against pagans: “Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you may find them.” (Not that being “of the book” has much helped Jewish and Christian victims of other Moslem aggressions, but that’s another article.)

    The mountainous northwestern approaches to India are to this day called the Hindu Kush, “the Slaughter of the Hindu,” a reminder of the days when Hindu slaves from Indian subcontinent died in harsh Afghan mountains while being transported to Moslem courts of Central Asia. The slaughter in Somnath, the site of a celebrated Hindu temple, where 50,000 Hindus were slain on Mahmud’s orders, set the tone for centuries.

    The gentle Buddhists were the next to be subjected to mass slaughter in 1193, when Muhammad Khilji also burned their famous library. By the end of the 12th century, following the Moslem conquest of their stronghold in Bihar, they were no longer a significant presence in India. The survivors retreated into Nepal and Tibet, or escaped to the south of the Subcontinent. The remnants of their culture lingered on even as far west as Turkestan. Left to the tender mercies of Moslem conquerors and their heirs they were systematically destroyed, sometimes—as was the case with the four giant statues of Buddha in Afghanistan in March 2001—up to the present day.

    That cultivated disposition and developed sensibility can go hand in hand with bigotry and cruelty is evidenced by the example of Firuz Shah, who became the ruler of northern India in 1351. This educated yet tyrannical Moslem ruler of northern India once surprised a village where a Hindu religious festival was celebrated, and ordered all present to be slain. He proudly related that, upon completing the slaughter, he destroyed the temples and in their place built mosques.

    The Mogul emperor Akbar is remembered as tolerant, at least by the standards of Moslems in India: only one major massacre was recorded during his long reign (1542-1605), when he ordered that about 30,000 captured Rajput Hindus be slain on February 24, 1568, after the battle for Chitod. But Akbar’s acceptance of other religions and toleration of their public worship, his abolition of poll-tax on non-Moslems, and his interest in other faiths were not a reflection of his Moslem spirit of tolerance. Quite the contrary, they indicated a propensity for free-thinking in the realm of religion that finally led him to complete apostasy. Its high points were the formal declaration of his own infallibility in all matters of religious doctrine, his promulgation of a new creed, and his adoption of Hindu and Zoroastrian festivals and practices. This is a pattern one sees again and again in Moslem history, down to the present day: whenever one finds a reasonable, enlightened, tolerant Moslem, upon closer examination this turns out to be someone who started out as a Moslem but then progressively wandered away from the orthodox faith. That is to say: the best Moslems are generally the least Moslem (a pattern which does not seem to be the case with other religions.)

    Things were back to normal under Shah Jahan (1593-1666), the fifth Mogul Emperor and a grandson of Akbar the Great. Most Westerners remember him as the builder of the Taj Mahal and have no idea that he was a cruel warmonger who initiated forty-eight military campaigns against non-Moslems in less than thirty years. Taking his cue from his Ottoman co-religionists, on coming to the throne in 1628 he killed all his male relations except one who escaped to Persia. Shah Jahan had 5,000 concubines in his harem, but nevertheless indulged in incestuous sex with his daughters Chamani and Jahanara. During his reign in Benares alone 76 Hindu temples were destroyed, as well as Christian churches at Agra and Lahore. At the end of the siege of Hugh, a Portuguese enclave near Calcutta, that lasted three months, he had ten thousand inhabitants “blown up with powder, drowned in water or burnt by fire.” Four thousand were taken captive to Agra where they were offered Islam or death. Most refused and were killed, except for the younger women, who went into harems.

    These massacres perpetrated by Moslems in India are unparalleled in history. In sheer numbers, they are bigger than the Jewish Holocaust, the Soviet Terror, the Japanese massacres of the Chinese during WWII, Mao’s devastations of the Chinese peasantry, the massacres of the Armenians by the Turks, or any of the other famous crimes against humanity of the 20th Century. But sadly, they are almost unknown outside India.

    There are several reasons for this. In the days when they ruled India, the British, pursuing a policy of divide-and-rule, whitewashed the record of the Moslems so that they could set them up as a counterbalance to the more numerous Hindus. During the struggle for independence, Gandhi and Nehru downplayed historic Moslem atrocities so that they could pretend a facade of Hindu-Moslem unity against the British. (Naturally, this façade dissolved immediately after independence and several million people were killed in the religious violence attendant on splitting British India into India and Pakistan.) After independence, Marxist Indian writers, blinkered by ideology, suppressed the truth about the Moslem record because it did not fit into the Marxist theory of history. Nowadays, the Indian equivalent of political correctness downplays Moslem misdeeds because Moslems are an “oppressed minority” in majority-Hindu India. And Indian leftist intellectuals always blame India first and hate their own Hindu civilization, just their equivalents at Berkeley blame America and the West.

    Unlike Germany, which has apologized to its Jewish and Eastern European victims, and Japan, which has at least behaved itself since WWII, and even America, which has gone into paroxysms of guilt over what it did to the infinitely smaller numbers of Red Indians, the Moslem aggressors against India and their successors have not even stopped trying to finish the job they started. To this day, militant Islam sees India as “unfinished business” and it remains high on the agenda of oil-rich Moslem countries such as Saudi Arabia, which are spending millions every year trying to convert Hindus to Islam.

    One may take some small satisfaction in the fact that they find it rather slow going.

    Serge Trifkovic received his PhD from the University of Southampton in England and pursued postdoctoral research at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. His past journalistic outlets have included the BBC World Service, the Voice of America, CNN International, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Times of London, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is foreign affairs editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. This article was adapted for Front Page Magazine by Robert Locke.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Serge Trifkovic received his PhD from the University of Southampton in England and pursued postdoctoral research at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. His past journalistic outlets have included the BBC World Service, the Voice of America, CNN International, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Times of London, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is foreign affairs editor of Chronicles.


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