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Muslim groups trying to contain radical elements in their community

August 20, 2008

The Indian Mujahideen (said to be a branch of SIMI) has created a vast underground terror network in India, much like the Naxals have. It’s unnerving to know that terror camps are not out there somewhere in the deserts of Afghanistan or the mountainous regions of Pakistan, but in the jungles of India. I had missed the news about a terror camp in the Wagamon forests of Kerala (not widely reported?) and now they are saying that terror camps have been discovered not just in Kerala, but also Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and one in Halol (outskirts of Vadodara) in Gujarat.

This news has had a devastating impact on the Muslim community, the vast majority of whom are peaceful. Their fears of harassment have increased and the recent well-publicised case where a group of Muslim tourists were turned away from Sardar Sarovar Dam dam just because they had Muslim names is a case in point. A fear psychosis has developed amongst the security agencies and because it is easy to distinguish Muslims from non-Muslims, they become targets.

I think it’s important that at least we the people are not suspicious of ordinary Muslims. The community is trying its best to contain the radical elements in their midst and there have been a spate of public meetings and rallies by various Muslim groups across India “denouncing terrorism and insisting that it has no relation whatsoever with Islam.” Quoting from the Indian Muslims site:

These have been widely reported in the Muslim press, but, barring the recently-held Anti-Terrorism convention held by the Dar ul-Ulum Deoband, they have not received any attention by the so-called ‘mainstream’ Indian press. The reason is simple: The ‘mainstream’ press rarely, if ever, highlights any positive stories or news about Muslims. It is as if only ‘bad’ news about Muslims is ‘good’ news for the ‘mainstream’ press.

The fatwa by Deobandi clerics (a highly influential religious group with links to religious groups abroad) is worth a mention. Thousands attended the conference and the main Muslim organisations and almost all the Muslim sects in India were represented. In this sense it was a historic meeting. The scholars declared that “the very idea of a terrorist glorying in violence and describing himself as a jihadi was denounced as an abomination.”
That’s an education for a non-Muslim because many tend to use the term “Jihadi” to describe terrorists.

In Hyderabad moderate muslims are taking concrete steps to deter the young from supporting terrorists.
Study centers are holding seminars and workshops for young people, particularly disgruntled youth. Any innocent young person picked up by the police and perhaps harrassed and tortured becomes a prime candidate for a terrorist recruiter and these are the people muslims groups are reaching out to and counseling. They provide information about the constitution, the law and human rights and help the youth to fight it out the the legal way. Plus, organisations like the All India Mujlis Tameer-e-Millat “have started monitoring activities of young Muslim men and women and warning their parents whenever they are found straying”. Young women and housewives are being informed about how their men can get caught in the terror web.

At such a time all Indians should stick together, Muslim or non-Muslim doesn’t matter.

(Photo copyrighted to me)

Related Reading: List of posts on terrorism in India

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51 Comments leave one →
  1. lallopallo permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:02 am

    Nita, you raised very important points. No doubt that muslim community has to bring it on themselves to educate non-muslims around the world about the goodness of Islam and dispel all negativity associated with it. Some of my best friends are Muslims and after knowing them, it pains me even more that how some people – which include people from all other communities- only focus on dastardly acts of certain fringe elements ( bin laden and co) to give a bad name to whole community.

    I too have Muslims friends and know what they feel. It’s terrible what they have to go through. – Nita.

  2. vivek mittal permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:10 am

    What is saddening is that local people are being found mastermind behind the terror attacks in the country and not the foreign nationals

    At times i’m surprised how come islam, a religion finds itself connected with terrorism..the reason may be that those from islamic background who conduct terror activities, link their acts with Islam…

    Suppose any other militant group say LTTE starts connecting their activities with the religion whatever they follow, their religion too may be maligned….

    So if tomorrow someone commits a crime using your community, either religious, sect, state etc, how are you to blame? If Raj T creates a ruckus and says he is behaving in a certain way on behalf of Maharahstrians, would you blame me because I am a Maharashtrian?? – Nita.

  3. Jayalakshmi permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:40 am

    Yes, it is heart warming to read your view on this subject. I lvie in Hyderabad, I have so many muslim friends and they go about their life peacefully.

    The media can do a lot to highlight the muslim voice against terrorism. The more media harps on that, common people will relate and understand the issues.

    thanks for being unbiased on a sensitive issue.

    Thanks Jayalakshmi. We in fact need a media campaign to enlighten people about the real nature of terrorists whom I believe use religion as a mask. They are not at all religious and have no idea about Islam. No killer of innocent people can be Muslim. – Nita.

  4. August 20, 2008 11:17 am

    People have forgotten that when Sikh militancy was at its peak, Sikhs too faced such a situation. When Asian Games were held in Delhi in 1982, Sikhs from Punjab were actually not allowed to pass through Haryana to come to watch the games because of fear of disruption by a few militants who were trying to sneak through. This quite naturally upset the patriotic Sikh community.

    So, ordinary Muslims will face similar difficulties due the activites of a few misguided individuals. They should not only take it in their stride but re-double their efforts to ensure that others do not fall prey to fundamentalist and terrorist agenda.

    That is one way of looking at it Vinod. But we cannot participate in injustice and should not watch it happening. I too have Sikh friends and all of them did not take it in their stride. Human beings can become victims of terror propaganda or become bitter and disillusioned. We are all but human and some people are weak and vulnerable. I have written a post on this here. – Nita.

  5. August 20, 2008 11:25 am

    You know, Nita, I’m a Muslim and from Hyderabad. It was immensely shocking to read last year that *locals* were perhaps recruited and had a hand in the bomb attacks that took place a few months apart in Hyderabad. It left me stunned and disoriented: locals? It left me asking: if they were locals, then who were they? how did they end up with terrorist groups? and most importantly, why????

    It is not surprising to read the article that you have linked to. No doubt people in the community are having the same reaction that I did, and are equally baffled as to who these ‘local youth’ are and why they’ve participated in these kinds of atrocities. The community has probably realized it has no choice other than to keep a close eye on their youth.

    I could go on, but won’t because a) this is a comment space, b) writing about these issues is upsetting and painful for me.

    One thing that frustrates me very much is that after every blast, the police seems to know which ‘terror outfit’ might have done it and has a list of ‘suspects’, but years go by without anyone being caught. I suppose they’re trying their best, but ‘investigations’ do take forever.

    Thanks for writing about it, Nita.

    Mummyjaan, your comment moved me a lot. I know about the confusion and sadness that has gripped the community. My heart is with you. God bless. – Nita.

  6. August 20, 2008 11:48 am

    Yesterday’s post at the Shobha De blog had a statement ‘Most muslims aren’t terrorists, but most terrorists are muslim.’ I was angered and I did give away my ire there. Maybe I would link her up to your post.

    A very good post. And I totally agree.

  7. August 20, 2008 12:00 pm

    Kris, I do not think highly of De’s analysis of current events and never read her columns. And do you know what Arundhati Roy, another novelist, said? She suggested an Azad Kashmir! She has no understanding of the Kashmir issue at all. I don’t know why she gets so much publicity. As for De, she has made a very insensitive statement. I am flummoxed as to why people read blogs of celebrities, unless they write about films, or their type of society.
    I firmly believe that we should not give any importance to views like this.
    I perceive all terrorists as criminals and when we see it that way we will realise that we have criminals and murderers and killers in all religions. “Terrorists” either do it for revenge (anyone of any religion can do it) or for a political agenda (again, nothing to do with religion). Just because terrorists use religion as an excuse that does not make them any less criminal and it doesn’t mean that other Muslims are to blame for it.

  8. August 20, 2008 1:24 pm

    My former mechanic and friend has used a hindoo name for almost the last one decade. He does it even though he is a Muslim simply because people would not deal with him enough if he uses his original name. This is the sad fact of a city where most people are not even bothered about who their neighbour is. Do terrorists really have a religion? If they do it is disturbing to note that the world’s worst terrorist organisation and perhaps the most successful one the LTTE is primarily Hindoo. The IRA was/is Catholic etc etc. It is the western media that came up with the term “islamic terrorism”. Why they never came up with terms like “catholic terrorism”? I do not believe terrorists are motivated by religion. They are just the tools of religious leaders perhaps. It is all about power at the end of the day, none of them would want anyone else to be the leaders except themselves if they ever become successful in their goals.

    Odzer, glad you agree that terrorists are not motivated by religion. I think they are motivated by hatred, revenge and a lust for power. However the reason there are no terms like catholic terrorism is that the terrorists don’t say they are doing it for Jesus. – Nita.

  9. vivek mittal permalink
    August 20, 2008 2:25 pm

    Nita

    i was trying to find out how Islam is being linked with terrorism..and there is now a common term called “Islamic terrorism”
    And i feel that’s because all those terrorists say they are doing it all on the name of Islam..

    If not then can you tell me how come Islam is linked with terrorism?

    Yes ofcourse, I am not denying that. But that doesn’t make it right. If zealots say they are killing people in the name of Islam, it doesn’t mean it is Islamic terrorism. Anyone can say anything but it doesn’t make it true!- Nita.

  10. August 20, 2008 3:29 pm

    1.It is now clear that local hands are equally or more involved than foreign hands in terrorist activities.
    2.Without money, these activities can not take place in this country. Pumping of fake currency to this country has to be immediately stopped by the government.
    3.Why educated and well to do people like Engineers, Doctors are involved in this ? Social backwardness, poverty are no more the reasons for terrorist activities.
    4.Human rights activists sympathize more for terrorists than the victims of terrorism.Why ?
    5.Every one has to realize that country is always above the religion.

    Well, I think many people are driven by hatred and this often arises when society rejects you. I personally have no sympathy for terrorists, or any people who commit violence, whether it’s the so-called Naxals or so-called terrorists because I don’t see violence as a solution. – Nita.

  11. August 20, 2008 3:50 pm

    @ Nita:

    Post on WP homepage :-)

    I have had many conversations with my educated, well-off, moderate to liberal Muslim friends about why their participation in containment strategies is so low as to be not noticeable. The reasons they articulate are so profound and, with a policy maker’s hat on, I would say, so nuanced that it becomes evident why no structured responses can be formulated against whatever falls under ‘Islamic terrorism’, especially if policy makers insist of crude labels like this one. It is worth a long, long article perhaps… [I realise my backlog of potentially serious posts is now growing 8-) but I may get a-round-tuit some time in autumn.]

    sound interesting. look forward to your post. crude label is the right phrase for this! – Nita.

  12. August 20, 2008 4:01 pm

    //glad you agree that terrorists are not motivated by religion. I think they are motivated by hatred, revenge and a lust for power//

    Very true. I think they use religion just as a weapon to increase their headcount.
    I mean when they say “war against america” what do they want? to kill everyone in America and take over the land? or when they kill innocent people in India or all around the world do they actually have a logic or cause to talk about?

    I think the their leaders would be sleeping in fivestar bunkers with all the luxury when young recruits are blown away by the bombs under their shirts.

    When many bunkers in Afganistan was raided the taliban leaders had all the facility with TV, satellite dish, hollywood movie cds, music, etc. and they were tormenting the people telling them even music was against Islam.

    Psychotics, all those who espouse violence as a solution to anything. Should be all locked up in an asylum. – Nita.

  13. August 20, 2008 4:53 pm

    i think this is shown in kudakaliye …i don’t understand why whether we are muslims or hindus should matter so much…Aren’t we all humans first?

    sure, but what about the inhumans? – Nita.

  14. wishtobeanon permalink
    August 20, 2008 6:18 pm

    It is scary to hear about local terrorist training camps.
    I am glad that some clerics have taken a stand against terrorism. The mass media in India need to highlight such news or any good news regarding minorities in India.

    Hopefully now that they know, they will do something, the security agencies I mean. – Nita.

  15. August 20, 2008 6:44 pm

    Dear Nita,
    There is not much doubt that majority of the Muslims are peace loving people. I too have grown up with many Muslim friends and many of these friendships are decades old. Other than a faction of its youth having the wrong type of heroes, it needs to be seen that there is an Islamic belligerence projected by a disturbing number. Many of the elders and local religious heads do not straight away come out with a denouncement when something nasty happens. The youngsters are often seen openly admiring ‘cult figures’. To drive home a point, nothing can happen in the Muslim community without the approval of the Islamic clergy, which often shuffles its feet, without much embarrassment. How many clerics have the regional mosques censured for being preachers of hate? Look no further than the barbaric London demonstrations following the Danish cartoons. Among the thousands of Moslem youth that turned nasty on the streets of London, each and every mosque in England was fairly well represented. It is indeed time for the international Islamic communities to have an honest introspection. There is nothing holy about highly flown banners of Moslem intolerance, showing little respect for the democracies they feed on. For an illustration, see the link-www.snopes.com/photos/politics/muslimprotest.asp

    It’s all very complex kopywright. However in India there wasn’t so much of a ruckus created because of the Danish cartoons. Also those who don’t participate in denouncing often suffer from a deep denial, it’s just too horrendous for them to accept it. I agree though that it’s absolutely incorrect to live in a democracy which allows freedom of speech and misuse it. Such people should be deported. – Nita.

  16. August 20, 2008 6:55 pm

    About Arundhati Roy and her comment on Kashmir. She is doing it to garner publicity. I was thinking if she was a muslim and she made a comment like that, the reaction of the press and public at large would be much stronger. We have political leaders like Lalu Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav who waste no time in defending SIMI in order to save their muslim vote banks. I have always believed that leaders like these are doing more harm to the muslim community than the so called communal parties.
    The media has to equally share the blame. The views of moderate muslims are not highlighted. The fundamentalists and their views are all over the print and electronic media. Recently during the debate over the trust move against the govt over the nuclear issue vested interests tried to make it a religious issue which is crazy. Muslims need energy as much as the Hindus do.
    It really hurts when young people take the communal line.

    But I don’t know why the media gives her so much publicity! About Lalu and Mulayam, they are anti-national! In any case I think anyone who is corrupt is anti-national and now they have proved it by their statements about SIMI. Also what upsets me is the same…young people being misguided. I read something very interesting while researching this post. That radicals (often in the guise of respectable people) go around preaching hatred, saying that the mainstream Indian hates Muslims and how badly Muslims are treated in India…I heard that in training camps this is what recruiters are told…exxagerate and dramatize! And unfortunately the Hindus who go around spreading hatred against Muslims (saying Islam is this and that) also disgust me. They think they are being nationalistic but actually they are the enemies of India because they are creating a divide between communities. – Nita.

  17. August 20, 2008 6:57 pm

    The header image is beautiful.

    Thanks. :) – Nita.

  18. August 20, 2008 6:58 pm

    It is unfortunate that innocent muslims are targetted by security personnels for regressive search, but I think the security folks are only doing their job and they need to make damn sure that a bomb doesnt go off in their premise while they are guarding. I am impressed that people of Islam are trying to educate the youth out of terror, that will definitely help a lot. If the youth get educated and get into a good career with some modern broad mindedness, it will help curb terrorism at grass root level.

    As for media, any bad news is a good selling news for them. People are partly blammable for this, why can’t they turn the channel around to watch something positive or peaceful? after all, the media reacts to ratings which is based on viewership.

    Well, I think the security forced do their jobs overzealously when it comes to Muslims. I mean if it is a suicide bomber, they usually try and not look Muslim and often take other names. They remove their beards etc. – Nita.

  19. vinay permalink
    August 20, 2008 7:28 pm

    I think comparing Naxals with Islamo Fascist groups is simply outrageous. Naxals fight for justice and they usually don’t commit suicide bombings to impose their fatwas or what ever.

    Am I comparing motives or the existence of terror camps? Please re-read my post. In any case I do not believe the Naxals fight for justice. But if you have an opinion on it, you are free to leave it on my naxal post. Thanks. – Nita.

  20. August 20, 2008 10:36 pm

    What really makes me sad is that the older generation still think that all Muslims are the same and you cannot trust them. Its just that terrorism changes face over a period of time and our thought change with that. We were doing the same with the Sikh community but thankfully that is over.

    I guess that’s true, the older generation has more conservative ideas about Muslims. But I think it’s more social than anything. If you look at older people they are more conscious about caste etc, and also tend to be more religious. But when it comes to seeing all Muslims as terror suspects, I am not sure whether it’s the older generation more than the younger. But you may be right, as these issues are linked. – Nita.

  21. August 20, 2008 10:37 pm

    Mazhab Nahin Sikhata apas Men Bair Rakhna
    Hindi Hain ham, watan hai Hindustan Hamara
    (Religion does not teach mutual enmity,
    We are Indians, and India is our homeland!)

    As my Hindi is only bambayya hindi I cannot get the poetry, but the thought is beautiful. – Nita.

  22. omegaboost permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:15 pm

    Islamic terrorist is all bullsh*t. 9/11 was an inside job, there is no such thing as some Islamic terrorist group who wants to destroy the freedom of American etc. All of what your hear and see on Islam through the media is all a psychological warfare, they are trying to make a war against Islam.

    If you know anything about Islam, then you should also know that the the word Islam is in the same group of word as salam which means peace. Islam and terrorist is an oxymoron.

    Omegaboost, I do agree that there is not such thing as an “Islamic” terrorist. However, 9/11 an inside job? Americans killing thousands of their own citizens?? – Nita.

  23. August 20, 2008 11:30 pm

    The congress pandering to muslim vote banks right since independence be it giving powers to
    aimplb or to overturning the Shah bano case verdict is what has caused more damage than the terrorists.
    Independence meant most well off muslims shifted to Pakistan leaving a partial vacuum in their intelligentsia successfully filled by the deobandis and bareilvis who call the shots.
    Vote politics of preferring the radicals over moderates and giving in to their demands has kept a large percentage of them poor, negative and radical in outlook.
    Lastly how reformed is Muslim law? Pakistan has more reformed set of laws for Muslims.(though not implemented fully)
    Hindu law was and is still being reformed by the courts and is no more in the hands of the religious elite… unlike in Muslims..

    Please do read what the draft that came out of the deobandi conference contained – it might just change the picture
    i had read the analysis by a well known indian express columnist and will post the link.

    Prax, radicals always make the demands and the moderates are quiet and I guess they don’t want to get involved, but that is true of all moderates. About Muslim law, yes I believe Indian Muslims have worse laws than in other Islamic countries and that is sad. – Nita.

  24. August 20, 2008 11:33 pm

    its sad that due to few people in a community the whole community gets a bad name ..
    its real bad…
    as for the news that those Muslim guys were,’t allowed i think thats quite stupid ..
    the guys who stopped them must be jailed..they are morons..

    Arvind, such incidents must be happening everyday, all the time! They are just not reported in most cases. – Nita.

  25. August 21, 2008 12:24 am

    Continuing , the moderates have never been able to create a space for themselves thanks to the rigid hold of the radicals over many institutions and decision making. The moderate Muslims still don’t have the power or the will? to challenge the radicals, look at Kashmir and how the moderate leaders have fallen in line with the separatists

    The way politics is playing things will get worse before they get better… thanks to all the laloos mulayams and the sucular politics
    The sad bit is good forward looking muslims suffer – and suffer sufficiently all because of a name and a beard!

    Lastly Terror is not just the realm of the poor , there are trained highly educated motivated and radicalized people who are being keymen in terror operations

    Outwardly they may be trying , many of them even sincerely but is it showing on ground ?

    read Talveen Singh’s
    The myth of moderate Islam
    http://www.indianexpress.com/story/296165.html

    Reading between the lines of Deoband fatwa
    http://www.indianexpress.com/story/279075.html

    Yes ofcourse terror is not the confined to the poor as hatred and bitterness are not confined to the poor. About Tavleen Singh, somehow I do not agree with most of her views, although I agree that she is very persuasive and very knowlegeable. She tends to go to the extreme. – Nita.

  26. ram permalink
    August 21, 2008 12:37 am

    on – nita on dinesh babus comment
    it is interesting that most terrorists/suicide bombers ready to strike will have read some version of the al quaeda manual and would have shaved their beard and try to blend in as much as possible – something they morally detest.

    And it is not only the terrorists many deeply religious muslims are trained to hate / suspect anything hindu or farsi right from childhood in the deobandi madrassas

    Amit some of the old timers fears stem from bad past experiences and hinduism has much suffered from the islamic conquests – never forget lessons from Prithviraj chauhan – gazni and gaznavi – not the missiles but the raiders.

    Though i agree broadly with u on some modern muslims – india has a clear and present danger from the islamists who have always intended to destroy hinduism and make India an islamic state… we dont have to look too far for that 1947 is always a reminder

    Ram, this teaching and brainwashing of the young to hate the other community is the bad thing. It happens amongst Hindus too, although in a more subtle fashion, as there are no madrassas. It happens at home. Unfortunately people who have not grown up with Muslims and have no good Muslim friends easily fall prey to the hate talk. Same thing applies to Muslims. I think we should do something to integrate our students in schools. – Nita.

  27. August 21, 2008 1:31 am

    Nita, even though I completely agree with the general sentiment of your post some of your statements need more justification I feel.

    Particularly when you say that the Muslim community is trying its best to contain radical elements within it. A few meetings and a fatwa or two does not prove this. I liked the idea from Hyderabad though, holding seminars and educating Muslims about their rights is very important.

    The situation of Indian Muslims is unique in the Muslim and minority world. They are the only extremely large Muslim minority in any nation. They are the only minority community in any nation that has close ties to two nation states that are enemies of their own nation. Not an easy position to be in.

    Well, you have slightly changed the meaning of my title. :) You said “trying its best” while I said simply “trying.” I am in no position to say whether the Muslims community is trying its best, even if it is. I do agree with you when you say that the situation of Indian Muslims is very unique and very complex. – Nita.

  28. vivek mittal permalink
    August 21, 2008 10:21 am

    When i heard Laloo Prasad and Mulayam defending SIMI…i was surprised first and then wondered how can they be bold enough to speak like that..They are traitors….and curse for our society…
    Politics has touched a new low in our country and we are largely responsible…the deterioration is evident from one example…Once Phulpur constituency in uttar pradesh was represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, and today is being represented by Atiq ahmed

  29. August 21, 2008 11:27 am

    Probably, the only time there was some semblance of unity between the two communities, was seen during the independence struggle.

    Partition saw that this utopian feeling was buried forever. It was very common then (and maybe even now) to hold the Muslims responsible for Partition and the manslaughter than followed it.

    This has become a heavy burden.

    What we see today is a deep set prejudice against Muslims. This extends to many areas and ranges from the subtle to being very open about it.

    On the opposite side is the ghetto mentality of the Muslims. In the face of serious negative perceptions, Muslims retreat further into their shell and religion becomes a comforting factor.

    It is extreme religiosity that has spawned desperate elements who feel taking revenge is the only way out and religion does sanction it.

    I believe that the fatwa against terrorism has come late in the day when probably these elements are no longer under the controls of their elders. These efforts at containing radical elements are too few and too feeble.

    They are, however, a step in the right direction and must be supported by the State and other groups or else they could just lose momentum.

    Many changes have to be brought in at various levels for this menace to be contained.

    I agree with you that Hindus have deep seated prejudices against Muslims and I find that many are openly so. About religion sanctioning it, I don’t agree. There is always something extreme in every religion (except perhaps Buddhism) and extreme elements latch on to it. however I agree that this apprehension that muslims have of being outcasts if they speak against the religion is the thing we need to worry about. – Nita.

  30. August 21, 2008 12:39 pm

    heres where our views dont meet
    agree with many of ur points but
    I think talveens analysis is more accurate because the situation on ground warrants it.
    I had a talk with a kashmiri pandit in leh and i got a good perspective of menality of many radicals…
    one needs to really study islam’s spread and origins and hindus are the old guard have good reason to be wary.

    Well, I guess she is an expert and I am just a layman and certainly not a political analyst. But as I said I don’t feel comfortable with Tavleen’s extreme views overall. I am aware of the extremist’s idealogy of Islam, but even Christianity has some extreme things…and I am sure Hinduism has too, but people have discarded the bad things (more relevant to the ancient times) and have moved on. So have moderate muslims, they don’t follow each and every line and take it literally. A few behave badly and it gives a chance for non-muslims to attack Islam. – Nita.

    P.S. Prax, we have to see the origin of terrorism, it’s in Saudi. It’s happened because of a repressive political regime and other extreme repression there. I firmly believe that terrorism is political in origin, and as Islam was their religion, they took it to ride in. Unfortunately places like Turkey and Malaysia which were fairly modern are now taking to this Saudi way of thinking, well to some extent. – Nita.

  31. August 21, 2008 1:54 pm

    Nita

    What I meant was that the desperate elements use the cloak of religion and justify their acts.

    I am no authority on Islam to suggest whether that religion does or does not justify such acts.

    I was restricting myself to these “desperate elements” and it is an open fact that religion is being used to justify their acts.

    However, it is important to go beyond the headlines and see the ground realities. There is a possibility that there is a groundswell of sympathy and secret admiration for these “desperate elements”. Such a situation is scary.

  32. August 21, 2008 5:27 pm

    Those lines were from the famous patriotic song Saare Jahan se Achha Hindustan Hamara by Muhammad Iqbal

  33. August 21, 2008 11:56 pm

    Well said Nita. This is not the time to spread hatred.

  34. August 22, 2008 1:09 am

    Neeta good write in defense of moderate muslims . Your assumptions that most Muslims are moderate and don’t adhere to concept of jehad is wrong , most of them are not planning to plant bombs but the fact is they have deep rooted hatred against India , just see what Shabana has said “that Indian Democracy is not doing justice to Muslim” now what kind of statement is that.

    It is not about muslim moderation or extremism but about how much do they feel part of India . Take the current case Hindus are fighting for some land so that we can perform rituals with comfort but how many Muslims have come forward and shown support to the cause compare this when US attacked Iraq Muslims have gone and meet President to condemn US behavior .

    Muslims are worried about Muslims some 1000 miles away in another country but when it comes to there neighboring Hindus they are closing there eyes.

    PS : You are free not to publish this comment.

    Veersh, you are talking of political parties who presume to represent Muslims. I don’t think that ordinary Muslims feel this. But then that is my perception. As for Shabana, I think she talks through her hat, unless she is talking about films. – Nita.

  35. August 22, 2008 11:35 am

    There s some justification in veereshs statement
    ordinary muslims dont have the liberty to think and all their thinking is done by their imam and mulla that is the problem – lack of proper education and rampant illiteracy and the daily fight for 4 square meals does that to working class people sometimes

    U are partially right in ur line of thought but did u know that the saudi kings were a small time clan and the alliance of ibn saud and al-Wahab produced the current sultanate that successfully split from the turkish.
    during the golden age of islam there were two lines of thought the Arabic and the Moorish
    The arabic were the most radical while the moorish were the most tolerant – the most developed of their times and almost at par with Indian and Greek civilizations and produced magnificent architecture like the alhambra palace.
    The defeat of islam in spain esp the Al-Andalus region via the conquests and internal strife has taken that the secular / tolerant islam has with it , and never has that style had mass appeal again. Yes there are the darvish and the rationalist poets like rumi and galib but heythey did never influence politics that much
    Do correct me if i am wrong

  36. August 22, 2008 11:40 am

    n Córdoba reminds most muslims of embarrassing defeat

  37. August 22, 2008 5:45 pm

    Neeta ,
    Ordinary Muslims think the same as Shabana , I am sure in most of people views even Shabana was “Ordinary Muslim” before she made that comment. Just visit blogs of the Muslims and you will find the answer , they all have sense of injustice due to Babri Masjid , Godhra et. al and think on same line.

    In most of the cases you will find injustice is there
    phrase for justifying everything but they fail to take notice of the history . There is more injustice done to SC/ST but none of them said that India has failed them .Look at the (congress) government policies and you will find that it has Muslim undertone to the point that Mr. Singh once gave first right to resources in India .Look at Kashmir an army personal can die defending the land but cannot buy land a gift by India to maintain “Kashmiriyat” . Look what Muslims have done to only place where they are in majority (Kashmir) they drove out or killed pandits (see this video http://www.newscrux.com/2008/08/05/secular-india-part-2/)

    Either muslims are tooo smart and knows that crying baby gets all the milk so are making lot of noise or they are tooo dumb and don’t know the facts.

  38. Ravi permalink
    August 22, 2008 8:14 pm

    I had lived in Hyderabad for 2 years and never been to Old city. I should say that I was brainwashed regarding my stand on Old city but not on muslims though. Thanks for your post deep down I have believed its not proper to generalize people from religion/race but region does matter..lol

  39. August 22, 2008 10:40 pm

    true…maybe we should make them extinct first? not by killing but by making them humans…hard work,but can be done :)

  40. August 24, 2008 4:15 pm

    For all you guys labouring under the delusion that Islam is a moderate religion by nature which has been hijacked by terrorists I recommend that you get a copy of Quran and read it word by word to understand what Islam says about the treatment of infidels and idolators and also about how women need to be treated. If you still think that Islam is a moderate religion God save you! ( I am a non-believer, BTW).

    No Muslim can read the Quran (provided they don’t distort its true meaning) and not be horrified by the cruel punishments that it bestows on infidels and non believers and women. No Muslim (with a conscience) can say that Islam is a religion of peace after reading the Quran and the Hadiths in its entirety.

  41. August 24, 2008 9:53 pm

    I’d also like to add that a good reading of Indian history will clear the doubts of the secularists. Sadly what we read in schools in the name of history was a diluted watered down version without any unsavouray aspects present in it.

  42. August 25, 2008 12:03 am

    Hi Nita,
    I Read your Blog in Google Reader, So usually don’t comment on Everything you Write, (as i use a low speed internet).
    but this post made me come to your blog and comment on it.
    I was have a Discussion on the Condition of Muslims in India, with my Friends.
    They all gave so many Proofs Where I had nothing to Say.
    Because they had less Knowledge on this Topic,( thanks to our Media).
    Thank you for writing this post, I have send this post to everyone who need to understand.

    Thanks Asif. – Nita.

  43. Avinash permalink
    August 25, 2008 6:40 pm

    Sorry to hurt anybody’s feelings . Didn’t intend to do so.
    Well Well….
    The most happening topic in the world, “Don’t treat every Muslim as a terrorist” !
    I fully agree with the writer. But if you can see the terror patterns around the world, there are some interesting points coming out
    *A entirely new group comes out and claims responsibility.
    *The suspect/criminal is not from a poor family.
    *The suspect/criminal is not an illiterate. Rather more learned than you or me. You will find he is a Doctor or an Engineer.
    *The turning point in his life would rather be the Godhara “Massacre” (Saying it as a massacre is a fashion now. Nobody speaks about why the train carnage was carried out in the first place without any reason !) or the US invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan.
    If a Muslim who is no where directly affected with the events happening in the Middle east or Kashmir or in any “God-knows-which” place, can blow his fellow citizen in Bangalore or Ahmadabad,give me one practical reason why should I believe a Muslim sitting just besides me.
    What is guarantee that he is not influenced by the same events and sitting there with a bomb strapped around his waist!!!!
    I know it’s a tricky situation. And that is what the terror minds exactly wanted.
    But can anyone help me out to identify the difference. Is it possible?
    All we need is leadership coming out from the Muslim community itself. Aka KPS Gill from the Sikh community who played a major role in elimination of the menace from Punjab. Because if a leader from the other community tries to do it, then he will be branded a anti-Muslim and make no mistake , there will be more blasts to condemn his action.

    The reason why nobody talks about the train carnage is because investigating agencies have shown it to be an accident. – Nita.

  44. Avinash permalink
    August 25, 2008 7:58 pm

    Woww Nita.
    Never knew that one could amass so many petrol and acid bombs on the railway “accidentally”. Never knew that a moving train would abruptly stop near a mob of 2000 “accidentally”.
    I am not justifying anything. I agree that what followed the train carnage was more gruesome than what provoked it.
    But what is more important is calling a spade, a spade. Its important that both communities understand that there has been wrong done by both parties here.
    And reverting to an cowardly act of blowing up hospitals and schools is not the way to go. And what is more pathetic is learned men getting into such acts and blaming the system for each and everything!
    The system gives you reservation in schools. But what can it do when you don’t study?
    The system gives you reservation in jobs. But what can it do if you are not learned enough?
    Is it the systems problem that a Muslim couple has more kids than it can support? Is it the systems problem that these kids end up doing menial jobs like mechanics and ice cream vendors and are the most vulnerable to terrorist ideas because of their economical condition.
    The community needs a serious rethink instead of blaming everything on the Indian system, the US and all other things.
    And I request you to please publish this comment, so that any sensible Muslim who reads this understands how fed up the world is with them.
    There is no denying that there are ignorant people in all communities and all societies, but they don’t try blow up everybody for their mistakes and their situation!
    Stop crying mates. Time for action. Remember we pass this way only once. Make the most of this life.
    -
    Avinash, I always prefer to believe the investigating agencies in this case, not an individual. No offense meant to you but unless you are part of the investigation and told me that you have personally know that the investigating agencies have lied or fabricated evidence, I am afraid I will believe them not you. And ofcourse I will publish this comment. Everyone should see that this is what people think. That they make up their own minds about such incidents. This is the tragedy of India today. Mob violence. They see something, decide who is guilty and then some extremists amongst them go ahead and loot and burn and kill. Today I myself don’t know what happened at Godhra, but if I have to choose, I believe the lesser evil, not because it is more comfortable for me, but because there is more evidence for it.
    Also you are going on about terrorisim. I don’t see where I have condoned terrorism. As I haven’t, please don’t address the comment to me. – Nita.

    P.S Please read this article which is a news report on this.

  45. Avinash permalink
    August 25, 2008 8:09 pm

    Oops…
    No offence meant. Sorry :)
    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers.

  46. Ramesh shah permalink
    August 25, 2008 11:50 pm

    no offence meant
    do u trust the investigating agencies ???
    how did the cbi deal with quattrochi?
    the commissions set up by laloo was solely meant to vindicate his stand.
    the supreme court has time and again come out and shown incompetence of these agencies
    In all fairness right since independence the congress govts have controlled both the police and the agencies… worse tell me how the investigating agencies investigated the sikh massacre in delhi on indiras death???

    Lastly the newspaper is hindu and highly biased and the writer praful badwai is a highly biased journo who no one will take seriously

  47. August 25, 2008 11:59 pm

    Nita ,
    Instead of referring to committee reports read the description of people inside the train
    http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/02/27/gujarat.survivor.ap/

    These committee are made by congress , Lalu et. al so that they can enjoy there power. Such committee reports are used by fanatics to plant bomb and justify them .

    Have you ever wondered why there is no committee on illegal immigration from Bangladesh , Why no committee to gauge the status of pandits , Why no committee to see what is being taught in madarsas , Why no committee to see from where all the money to madarsas is coming , Why no committee to see how demography in Assam is changing.

    It is due to such committee and “secular intelligent people ” that we are soft on terror and country is bombed.

    Veersh, let me assure you that I am not “secular” or “non-secular” as I find these terms political. I am completely apolitical. I have full sympathy with various causes, but unfortunately I have seen that in India people only understand extreme views. Which is to say that just because I or anyone else holds an opinion on one thing, it doesn’t automatically mean that this is an “idealogy” or a “belief” or “secularism” – my opinion is to the events of Godhra only. I do not know why that train caught fire, and still do not know, notwithstanding everyone’s persuasiveness. As I do not know, I prefer not to condemn anyone – Nita

  48. August 26, 2008 7:27 pm

    These are extreme times and extreme times require extreme thoughts and action … any moderation will make matter worse , to quote Geeta (not verbatim) … In the fight vs right and wrong one has to pick sides and cannot remain neutral as that equals helping the wrong.

    Pardon my language.

    PS: I am Veresh and not Veersh

  49. August 29, 2008 8:49 pm

    Hi Nita,

    I was not trying to justify any wrong. I am aware that the harassment faced by Sikhs in 1982 accelarated a series of unfortunate events of which we are all acutely and painfully aware.

    All I want to convey is that rather than getting overly sensitive and lose sight of the larger picture, Muslims should try to understand reaction – most of it out of fear and the memory of Partition – and not allow boys and men from their community to fall easy prey to elements who are trying precisely to exploit these sentiments. No one will gain.

  50. August 31, 2008 5:43 am

    Just stumbled upon your blog by accident…Saw the train photo….very arresting indeed. I read a few of your blogs and found myself hooked. After reading this post and subsequent comments, I feel that I have to write a few words and so….Most of the world (I am an Indian based in US and so forgive me for the Western thought of view) is (and has been) affected by “islamic terrorism”.

    I don’t feel that De is wrong in her statement about Muslims and terrorists. It’s like blacks and crimes in US. If you look at the stats, blacks constituent an overwhelming part of the prison population in America. Don’t get me wrong….I have nothing against Muslims…I have Muslim friends too (sounds like a cliche, doesn’t it?) For the deeds of a very small minority, a vast majority of Muslims have to suffer…That sucks….but that’s how the world works…Tough luck…

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