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Indian Muslims: Countering the hatred that has killed thousands

 

“Hatred always signifies the triumph of imagination over reality. The danger of hatred lies in the kind of intellectual and moral vacuum it tends to create and maintain among individuals and societies.”Leonidas Donskis ===> 15 years ago on December 6th, 1992, the world witnessed with horror the demolition of Babri mosque, and the killings that ensued continue to haunt politicians and non-politicians alike until today. Scores of innocent civilians and children were killed within those 3 gruesome days… Most who died were Muslims. The civilized world, both secular and religious, have ceaselessly discussed and argued since then regarding the causes that can lead societies to stoop so low…. Hindus contend that a temple believed to be the birthplace of their God “Rama” was destroyed by the Muslim emperor Babar hundreds of years ago and instead built a mosque at that site. To date, no such theory has been proven. However, Hindu fanatics and ideologues believing in that part of history found it necessary to start planning the mosque’s destruction many years before the actual incident. On December 6, 1992, they broke through whatever security barricades were in place and succeeded in their plans to destroy the Babri mosque. Until today, the case drags on to validate the findings of those who seem determined to prove their point and then to use that finding as a stepping stone to fuel and revive efforts to rebuild the temple… Gleaning from history, this can only mean more trouble… Thinkers and journalists on the other hand have been questioning whether India with 80% of its Hindu population should be classified as a secular or a religious state… One wonders at times whether people have been asking the wrong questions and seeking the wrong answers. After all, what does the killing of civilians has to do with a state being secular or religious? Does the existence of a religious state justify the killings of civilians and destruction by huge mobs of people? For that matter, does any religion permit such acts? One also wonders why finding whether there was temple at that site more important than finding the perpetrators of that unrest and mayhem that led to the killings of so many? Is that more important for a state’s existence in the civilized world? It has taken years and years to hold only a few of the many perpetrators accountable for those acts of violence. The fact is that whether a temple existed at that site or not was really not the reason why so many people continued to being killed for days after the incident that left Babri mosque in rubbles of stone. The reason for that gloomy day and many that came before and after that incident was the existence of plain old “hatred”. It’s nothing but hatred that has festered within the minds and hearts of a sect of those citizens who proudly call it “Bharat” or “India”. Clearly, such hatred does have its roots in historical events and one can not simply ignore those events. However, for a country to move on beyond these religious divides, it needs to address the causes that until today keep Hindus and Muslims at edge in many parts of India. The source of that hatred seems to have evolved over the years from realities of the past and religious differences to people’s own imaginative theories. And when unchecked, such imaginations can rise to very dangerous levels. Leonidas Donskis in his book “Forms of Hatred: The Troubled Imagination in Modern Philosophy and Literature” states that, when hatred starts “fighting the imagined monsters and evils….the more intense it becomes, and the more disconnected from that world its haters become.” He continues on to write that “Hatred always signifies the triumph of imagination over reality. The danger of hatred lies in the kind of intellectual and moral vacuum it tends to create and maintain among individuals and societies.” Islamic teachings do not allow this kind of a hatred. On the other hand, Islam not only discourages such hatred, but rather encourages peace, harmony and forgiveness… For those who may point to certain Muslims who have shown behavior unbecoming a Muslim, all we can say is that their behavior is un-Islamic… Simply put, Islam does not preach hatred… The last prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived his entire life as a tolerant, peace loving, and merciful human being. The world knows of the prophet when he visited the sick Jew lady even though she not only hated him but out of her sheer hatred used to throw filth and trash at him. On his triumphant return to Makkah after many years when he was forced to leave Makkah, Prophet Muhammad not only offered immediate shelter to children, women and old people, but also provided protection to everyone who would not fight his people and would seek protection in the house of one of the prominent Quraysh leaders, Sufiyan. Hind, wife of a renowned Quraysh leader, had not only killed Hamzah who was the prophet’s beloved Uncle but had mutilated his body by cutting his chest. When she quietly came to the Prophet and accepted Islam, the prophet did not say anything to her. Overly impressed by his behavior she said, “O Messenger of Allah, no tent was more deserted in my eyes than yours; but today no tent is lovelier to me than yours.” And examples are plenty of him and others who follow him until today. If Muslims and Hindus expect to live in harmony in the same country, they have to start addressing the feelings of hatred. Taking steps to get to know each other in a civilized manner more than cursing each other’s Gods would be a start. The bottomline is that when people know you, they are less likely to hurt you. The following statement quoted in New York Times about a Hindu woman in 1992 during the clashes that ensued Babri mosque destruction explains this point very succinctly. “These were not people that we hated,” said Geeta Goswami, a 26-year-old Hindu who on Tuesday cradled her son in her arms as rocks thrown by Muslims crashed against the crate planks of her home. “We want peace. These were people that we just never talked to. They were in their homes and we were in ours.” Surely, a food for thought for all minorities living in with the majority in any country. So, while India may have many priorities to advance itself in the nations of the world, it must manage its future risk by working to curb the hatred that until today continues to live in the hearts of so many. More importantly, Indians should discourage all politicians that fuel the fire of that hatred that in turn can set them back in the quest to become a civilized society of the world. For any comments and ideas to help minorities live peacefully in any country, scroll to the end of the page or go to the article main page by clicking here…. …….. 

 

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9 comments… add one
  • lujain

    Slm Alkm. My heart ached after knowing about this event that took place 15 years back. Never knew
    about it… thanks iqrasense! I think it’ll really take long for India to have its citizens live
    in peace and harmony, without hatred. The indian muslims should be more patient and try to show
    the hindus that they are kind people and that they’ve forgiven them and forgotten what they
    did 15 years ago, although it may be difficult. We muslims have to follow Prophet Muhammed’s
    (s.a.w)steps. We have to show the world the true muslim identity. Muslims have to be patient,
    kind, merciful, tolerant, etc. In this way we muslims will please Allah (swt)and follow our
    beloved Prophet’s (saw) teachings. May Allah bestow on us sabr, guide us to the right path and honor us with Jannah.
    Ameen.

  • Majority should start representing minorities if its a real Secular State, like Teesta Setalvad. Why should only a minority candidate represent his group. That itself indicates there is no secularism. There should be no bar in speaking for other communities if we really feel we are secular. Simple ! ask yourselves are we not humans ???

  • Mohammed Ahtasham ali

    True, hatred destroys peaceful living of communities and
    retards progress to prosperity of nations. The culprits are indian politicians who are ready to cash
    in on religious intolerance and are instrumental in any religious strife.The commen man is not bad, but being
    exploited by politicians of self-interest.

  • hidayah

    salam..
    i’m not an indian but right now i’m studying medicine in india.
    thanx for posting such article.i hope that it will open the eyes of everyone on how hatred will only create disaster.
    the babri tragedy really is something that should never repeat in the future.
    it’s kind of disappointing that the fact that muslims being oppressed and treated badly all around
    the world has never been really highlighted by the mass media.instead they keep on telling
    the world that muslims are terrorists.how ironic.
    islam is peace.
    and peace is all that we need:)

  • Segiru Sule

    This incident is rather unfortunate. I am using the present tense (is) because, the mosque is yet to be re-built. Anyone familiar with history will recall how mosques were destroyed and replaced with churches and cathedrals in Europe during the crusades. Today, are muslims expected to go and destroyed these churches and cathedrals because mosques once stood where they are now? All over Europe – Italy, Spain, etc once had magnificent and majestic islamic architetorial masterpieces – mosques and other islamic buildings. But during the European christian crusades, these islamic masterpieces were reduced to rumbles and churches took their places.

    Are muslims destroying these churches because mosques once occupied these places. When other religious groups engage in acts of aggression, nothing is said or written, but when muslims are provoked and they react, CNN, BBC and VOA and other western media will go to town and acuse muslims of terrorism and fundamentalism. It is no secret any more that the west hates Islam and muslims. They suffer from ‘Islamphobia’. Muslims however need to change tactics and engage more in intellectual supperior arguments and reasoning rather than aggression and quarelling.

    A Nigerian adage says “when a she-goat destroys a fence, nobody bothers, but when a he-goat does the same thing, there is trouble. When christians and other religious bodies react to issues, nobody cares, but when muslims are angered and they react, they are called names – terrorists, islamic radicals, fundamentalist, etc. They enjoy to provoke muslims, now is the time for muslims to change tactics and ‘disappoint’ them. Let us occupy a higher moral ground and shame them.

    The west are not comfortable with the growth of Islam, but there is nothing they can do about this. It is a devine phenomenon. While church attendances are declining in the west, muslims troop to mosques and serve their God. They are afraid of islamisation which is inevitable. Masalam.

  • Zohra Lasania

    Salams,

    I live in the U.S. but when the Babri was destroyed, I was in India. I had seen for myself the misdeeds of the BJP, communal
    and their evil designs. BJP is simply a very pro-Hinduism party, or rather a very anti-Muslim party.
    The sufferings that the Muslim populace of India had to go through on account of their misdeeds cuts a very sorry
    figure for the image of India as a secular country. India that boasts of democratic values, proved its hypocrisy when
    Muslims received no protection in the BJP backed riots.
    The reasons for this situation in India is very complicated. With a large pecentage of population below literacy level,
    it becomes very easy for the vested parties, to create mass hysteria in the name of religion. How could the poor
    illiterate discern the schemes of the politicians?
    Anyway, the BJP got support based on these very entiments, and came to power.
    But thankfully, they also got ousted, when people got wiser, and saw through their schemes.
    As for people, basically, they just want to live and let live.
    In the final analysis, it boils down to education.
    If all of India got educated, it would not let mischief makers like the BJP come to power.

    My two cents.

    Zohra

  • I have read entire article and the views on it posted so far. The views from Ms. Zohra Lasania from USA depict how less she knows about India. I don’t think one or two such incidents can determine the security or the future of Muslims in India. I join Sahir Ludhianvi the great poet, and the part of his poem quoted by no other than India’s former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee himself: ‘Wo waqt gaya wo daur gaya jab do quomon ka nara tha, Wo log gaye is dharti se jinka maqsad batwara tha, Ab ek hain sab Hindustani,Ab ek hain sab Hindustani,Yeh jaan le Pakistan, Haan jaan le sara jahan’.
    ‘Whenever they are told: ‘Do not spread mischief on earth’, they say: ‘Why! we indeed are the ones who set things right’. They are mischief makers, but they do not realize it.’— Qur’an Majeed: Al Baqarah: 11-12.

  • Althaf Abdurrabb

    Assalamu Alaikkum, Bismillah, “Innallaha Ma’a Sabireen” means “Verily, God is with those who have patience”.

    And it is basically lack of understanding of Islam properly by both Muslims and other Religious people which result in conflicts and hatred.

    This was the very reason why India was divided, and why India is still striving for more problems. We, as the citizens of India, have to nutralise the gains of bad politicians with our patience. Because they are the only people who benefit out of all such conflicts at the cost of the lives of fellow citizens.

    We as the citizens of India should stand united and make our country an example for all other countries to envy upon, when it comes to peace and prosperity.

    Althaf Abdurrabb
    Dubai

  • SANI MUAZU ABDULSALAM

    SALAM, I HEARD ABOUT THIS IN 1992, THOUGH I DID NOT HAVE THE DETAIL THEN, I
    THANK YOU FOR SUCH INFORMATION.WHAT HAPPENED IN INDIA COULD HAPPEN ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD.
    THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS A GROWING CONSPIRACY AGAINST ISLAM GLOBALLY.FORTUNATELY THIS
    GOES CUNCURENTLY WITH THE GROWTH OF ISLAM.ISLAM STILL REMAINS THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION
    IN THE WORLD.THE ONLY THING WE NEED TO START DOING OR IMPROVE ON IS
    REACHING OUT TO THE NON MUSLIMS BY WAY OF EXPLAINING ISLAM TO THEM
    SO THAT A BETTER PERCEPTION IS ACHIEVED AND PERHAPS WE MAY ABLE TO IMPROVE THE UNDERSTANDING OF ISLAM TO MANY AND THUS REDUCE HATRED. MAASSALAM.

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