Radical Islam : Terror is the tool

Solutions cannot be found by putting the problems under the carpet.
Radical Islam : Terror is the tool

Radical Islam and terror will continue to feed on each other unless the leaders of the society get down to the business of unraveling the conditions which make educated minds irrational.

By Anand K Verma, Former Chief of R&AW

Time has arrived for the unspoken to be spoken i.e. Radical Islam is at war with India.

The objectives of the war are to destroy India as a nation, with a composite culture and multi-ethnic society and replace it with a phenomenon which began in an enclave in Saudi Arabia in the 7th century and has already enveloped a good part of the globe

Its spread so far is a proof of its inherent strength. In its historical march to its present expanse, it has destroyed empires, countries, religions, culture and people. It is continuously making inroads into territories where it was earlier unknown. Those who fail to comprehend its dynamics, do so at their own peril.

Radical Islam is what Prophet Mohammed is believed to have given to the citizens of Medina after his flight from Mecca. He outlined an ideology, couched in religious terms, from which an escape was next to impossible.

The ideology offered no accommodation except on its terms, ruled out all compromises, and demanded an allegiance with any violation of what was declared blasphemous, inviting instantaneous annihilation.

As Radical Islam spread far and wide beyond Mecca and Medina, often in the shadow of the sword, it did encounter powerful ideas which mellowed it and sometimes led to the emergence of new sprouts.

Sufi Islam was one such product which toned down the hard features of the original concepts and introduced new ones. Sufi Islam conditioned the Islamic mindset to the acceptance of co-existence with other cultures and religions. Although, principally, it was Radical Islam which made its first forays into India in the middle and early mid centuries, the one that settled down was not so Radical. Its core was impacted by Hindu philosophy, bhakti movements and new strains within it such as Deen-e-Ilahi of Akbar. The result was a broad based coexistence of Islam with all other religions in India.

The purists were not amused by what they saw as contamination of Islam. Their brigade was led by the contemporary Ulemas. The one who struck an abiding blow to Radical Islam was Shah Waliullah (1703-62), celebrated in history as a Muslim reformer or a hardliner. Waliullah held that the essence of the scriptures i.e. Koran, Sunnah and Hadith could not be diluted and the purpose of Islam must remain synchronous with the Prophet’s vision. Two generations later, Waliullah’s followers founded the Deoband seminary of theology. The seminary was not just a Madrassa for religious teachings but its instructions were inspired by a larger purpose of avenging the1857 defeat by the British of the Muslim empire.

The seminary was the first Mujahid enterprise in the country. Its part of themes remained the same throughout the later history, camouflaged cleverly through theological dissertations, disseminated through a network of Madrassas which quickly sprang into existence, primarily in Muslim heartlands of India. Unrestrained and uninterrupted supply of Wahabi funds from foreign sources has provided oxygen to their activities and to their take on Islam.

This school and its indoctrinations have had a legendary influence over the Muslim world. The Taliban of Afghanistan is the product of Deoband thinking as it evolved in Pakistan after partition. The Wahabis and the Salaifis of Saudi Arabia can be counted as clones of the Talibanised mindset.

Osama bin Laden given another push to Radical Islam by crafting the International Islamic Front in 1998. Student Islamic Movement of India(simi) and Indian Mujahaideen(IM) are the present day practitioners of Waliullah’s mantra.

Al Qaeda and five extremist organizations from Pakistan like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkat-ul-Mujahiddeen and Hizbul-e-Jihad-e-Islami, among others from other Islamic countries, became the founding members of the Front, with Christian and Jews as its targets.

Its ideology spawned a Pan Islamic thrust. It emphasized that a Muslim’s first loyalty was to his creed, not his nation; any means of violence could be employed including weapons of mass destruction to achieve political and other aims; and belonging to one Ummah a Muslim could participate in any struggle worldwide where Islam or its believers were being victimized.

With this ideology, drawn from scriptures, a Muslim was freed from the need of having any further organizational guidance from the Front. The result was that many Muslim groups in many parts of the world, started thinking and acting on identical lines.

There was an upsurge in fundamentalism and terror worldwide. Later the list of enemies was expanded to India to include Hindus.

The Pakistani members of the Front, guided by ISI of Pakistan, had narrower aim i.e., India, though they were also used by ISI to support Pan Islamist ambitions of Pakistan. Their imprints were found in all major regions of Islamic upheaval such as Bosnia, Chechnya, Xingjian, Philippines etc.

Today, the heightened profile of Radical Islam all over the world is giving sleepless nights to many governments including some in the Islamic world. Many of these governments believe that the Islamists will sooner or later be able to lay their hands on a nuclear device, causing mass destruction or disorder somewhere.

Rise of Radical Islam has placed a Muslim in a deep predicament in the western countries. While he cannot give up his Islamic identity, he does not quite understand how to manage his other multiple identities created by his citizenship, education and existence in multi culture societies.

Secularism and alternate systems of governance are theologically unacceptable in the Muslim scriptures. A reformist Muslim thus, becomes an anathema to Islam.

Without reforms, the hard dogmas will continue to rule out the Muslim mind and feed the hatred and animosity on which Radical Islam thrives. This amounts to a non-win situation leaving thereafter a class of people, having no respect for the laws and the others.

This has caused some to leave the pale of Islam and come out publicly against the contradictions of Islam and its outright rejection of values which are now universal in vast parts of the world. Two such individuals Wafa Sultana of LA, USA, and Irshad Manjhi of Canada have almost become either a hate figure or an example of revolutionary bold articulation. They are deeply reviled in Muslim circles.

Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss Muslim who teaches religion at Oxford, constitutes a different category. He, while retaining the Muslim identity is struggling for a balance between this identity and of the integrated society in which many like him reside. Such people are looking for internal peace but are continually being tormented by the world they have been eager to leave. Their efforts to fashion new avenues of discourses appear quite unwelcome to the people whom they want to address.

This is a problem with which India is well aware. Scriptures lay down that Islam and the Prophet are not open to discussion.

Prophet also remains as the most admired individual for a large number of his followers. For such people, no debate can be ever opened up whether Islam should be more inclusive . Essentially, this leads to an uneasy co-existence, though at the surface, a certain smoothness based on a superficial give and take may be prevailed.

As Radical Islam aided by incentives from across the border and fueled by like-minded activities elsewhere races further, the Indian State seems to be at a loss on decision. Contrary voices begin to rise in the Government. Division of powers between the Centre and the States are adding to the difficulties by preventing firm policy and action. But time and tide wait for none. There is a perception in some quarters that the nation is sliding towards anarchy. On good authority it can be said that one responsible Muslim voice within the portals of governance, holds the view that India is on its way to a civil war which will be fought on every street including every village and the town.

Today, we are going through hard times. Day by day increasing level of awareness, expectations and education are making this hardship even more confounded. Solutions cannot be found by putting the problems under the carpet. The problems need to be identified sincerely and dealt with squarely but with prudence, compassion and understanding.

Further polarizations must be prevented as the levels are touching the danger mark. It is unusual to see a Vice Chancellor coming ahead for assisting two of his students legally, who are not charged with a campus or institution related crime but with terror causing deaths. How many times has the VC come forward in the past when his students got the wrong side of the law, and he is not the alone in distrusting the facts of the terror incident of September 13th in New Delhi. Large segments of population living in the area and some leaders of the community expressed distrust of the police motivation and investigation.

A more stringent anti-terror law or creation of federal investigation agency is not an adequate antidote to the deeply growing depths of mistrust and despair. Terrorism must be combated at the ideological level and the battle must be against hatred and the sustained belief system. The real enemy exists not only physically but is in the metaphysical realm of dogmas that in turn are subjected to misinterpretations.

Radical Islam and terror will continue to feed on each other unless the leaders of the society get down to the business of unraveling the conditions which make educated minds irrational. There is no moment to be lost to abort the advent of the suicide bomber or the truck bomb.

TMMK launches its own political front

By TwoCircles.net news desk,

New Delhi: The Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (Humanitarian Peoples’ Party) has been floated by Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) last week in a grand conference attended by more than two lakh people in Tambaram, Chennai.

The Manithaneya Makkal Katchi was formally inaugurated with flag hoisting by Mr. Syed Nissar Ahmed, one of the founders and former Treasurer of TMMK. This was followed by the Felicitation session in which Bishop Ezra Sargunam, S. Natrajan, Thiru. Veerapandian, Shankar Swamy Kani, Moulvi Darvesh Rashadhi, Moulvi Mujeebur Rahman felicitated the new party.

TMMK president Prof. Dr. M. H. Jawahirullah, TMMK general secretary S. Hyder Ali and other office bearers addressed the mammoth gathering.

The following resolutions were passed in the conference:

1. Reservations

a. Reservation for Muslims in TN

The conference asserts the imminent need for the historically and traditionally oppressed and suppressed communities in India being provided with better opportunities to establish social equality.

The conference appreciates the ruling DMK government for consistently pursuing measures needed to establish social justice and profusely thanks the DMK government for implementing 3.5% reservation for Muslims in educational and job opportunities in the state.

At the same time the conference feels 3.5% is not sufficient and demands that the Tamil Nadu Government has to raise the reservation to 6% as the Rajendar Sachar committee has clearly pointed out that the economic & social condition of Muslims is comparatively more backward than any other community.

b. Separate Reservation for Arunthathiyars

This conference also demands that the 3% reservation granted to Arunthathiyars must be legalized and implemented immediately. It is to be noted that though the TN Government has accepted this as a policy and the announcement has been made, the law has not been passed yet. The Conference demands immediate passing of an ordinance to facilitate our Arunthathiyar brethren enjoy the full benefits of reservation in Tamilnadu

c. Mishra Commission

The manifesto and the Common minimum programme of UPA had promised Reservations for Muslims at the All India level in central government jobs and educational institutions. Moreover the Ranganathan Mishra commission has submitted its recommendations to the Prime Minister on 22nd May 2007. This Conference demands that the Mishra Commission’s report should be placed in the coming session of Parliament and its recommendation implemented in toto.

d. 50% upper limit for Reservation should be removed

The Conference also resolves that the Constitutional provision of 50% maximum reservation is against the federal structure of India and proposes that necessary amendments have to be brought to empower the States to fix the maximum limit for reservation according to the composition of various castes in individual states.

e. Monitoring the implementation of Reservation

A committee consisting of People’s representatives, Human Right Activists should be formed to monitor the implementation of reservation.

2. Proportionate Representation

Proportionate representation for minorities in representative bodies like parliament, state legislatures and local bodies in accordance to their population is essential for an ideal nation. Several U.N declarations and covenants have recommended similar representations. The Current Indian election system does not ensure a satisfactory representation for the minorities in general and Muslims in particular in the representative bodies. Countries like Singapore, Germany, Rumania, Sri Lanka, New Zealand have ensured proportional representations in all representative bodies beginning from local bodies to Central legislatures. The Conference demands proportionate representation for minorities in all representative institutions beginning from local bodies to Parliament in proportion to their Population.

At the same time the conference resolves that in accordance with the Sachar Committee recommendations which cite the example of an existing system in Andhra Pradesh, reservations for Minorities should be given in local Bodies in Tamil Nadu.

3. Enumeration on the basis of Castes

As per the recommendations of Ambashankar Commission this conference demands an enumeration of the population on the basis of castes as it is the key for ensuring Social Justice. This conference points out that a similar enumeration has already taken place in Karnataka

4. Democratic Means

Terrorism and Violence is not a mean to resolve any problem. In the world’s largest Democracy like India terrorism does not have any space.

This conference resolves that all problems of the minorities and the suppressed people of this country should be resolved through constitutionally guaranteed Democratic means and political actions.

The conference realizes that inaction and tactful delays of government agencies and judicial delays have made the public to doubt the system. Hence this Conference demands that bureaucrats and politicians should act in a responsible manner so as to inculcate confidence of the Public in the system.

5. Abolition of Black Laws

Historical experience teaches that Black laws like TADA and POTA had become black marks of the judicial system in the Past. The amendments made in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act have made the provisions of TADA and POTA a permanent feature. The National Intelligence Agency Act interferes in the rights of the state governments. Hence this conference demands immediate withdrawal of these Acts.

6. Safeguarding Agriculture

It is disheartening to note that Agriculture which forms the backbone of Indian economy suffer from consistent problems that paralyze them and push them to extreme action like suicides. The previous government policy of promoting artificial fertilizers has deprived the soil of its fertility. In recent times the government is encouraging genetically modified crops which are going to deprive human beings of their vitality. This conference resolves that our country needs Organic farming and the government should promote organic farming.

7. Distribution of Free Pattas

The Tamil Nadu government has passed orders to issue free pattas to poor people living in a place for more than 5 years. In reality this order is not being implemented in a fair and just manner. Moreover attempts are being made by authorities to evict people. This is an action which is to be strongly condemned. This conference resolves that the government should distribute free land pattas to all poor people living in a place for 5 years without any impartiality.

8. Total Prohibition

In order to prevent the social and cultural degradation of the People, the conference demands complete prohibition in Tamilnadu and throughout India.

9. Non Resident Indians

The Conference demands that in order to safeguard the interests of Indians working abroad who play an important role in increasing the Foreign Exchequer of the country (a) a separate ministry has to be established in the state (b) right to exercise their Franchise even from their country of residence (c) establishment of a welfare board to protect workers who return after a long service in foreign Countries.

10. Foreign Policy

The most distinguishing aspect of India is its Foreign Policy. The Non Aligned policy secured a special status for our country in International affairs. But in recent times India is displaying a posture of meekly surrendering to American Imperial designs. This conference strongly condemns this attitude of India.

It is disheartening that Gandhian principle of maintaining distance with imperialist Israel is being openly violated and diplomatic and military relations are being strengthened .This conference demands that India should severe it diplomatic ties with the terror state of Israel.

11. Safeguarding environment

The environment, water, soil and land is being polluted causing serious concern. This Conference resolves that the government should take stern action to prevent rivers being polluted by effluents, air being polluted by vehicles and soil being polluted by chemicals.

12. Transparency and Honesty in Public Life

Growing Corruption among politicians is demoralizing the people and is creating an aversion towards Politics. This Conference demands that people in Politics should be transparent and avoid corrupt practices. This conference demands the government to implement strict regulations to avoid corrupt practices. Manithaneya Makkal Katchi resolves to adopt ethical and moral standards in Politics.

13. Social Justice in Private Sector

The government is encouraging Globalisation and privatization and as a result Private sector Industries are growing. These industries make use of government subsidized facilities and government lands. But it is disheartening that they do not encourage social justice. This conference resolves that the private sector industries should implement reservation in their organizations and thereby encourage social Justice.

14. Social Justice in Judicial Administration

In Taluk courts and district courts reservations are implemented in appointment of Judges but it is not implemented in the High Courts and Supreme Court. This conference resolves that the policy of reservation should be extended to all the courts up to Supreme Court.

15. Stop War in Sri Lanka

War cannot resolve the Srilankan crisis and merciless killing of Tamils is vehemently condemnable. India should take immediate steps to stop war and this conference condemns the lukewarm attitude of the central government towards the Srilankan issue.

The Tamils, Muslims, Plantation Tamils who are minorities in Sri Lanka should be ensured equal rights and justice. This conference also condemns the continuous killing of Muslims by Sri Lankan Army and other terrorist organizations. Adequate relief measures and compensation should be given to all the affected groups.

At the same time the conference expresses its deep sense of anguish and sorrow that the political parties in Tamil Nadu are divided in this issue taking in to account their personal and electoral gains. The Conference requests the Political parties of Tamil Nadu to draw examples from the stand of Kannadigas in Cauvery Issue and the Biharis in the anti Marathi issue and form an united forum in this issue.

16. Tamil and Culture

While remembering that Quaide Millath Ismail Sahib asserted that Tamil has the capacity to be official language of India, it has to be noted that the position of Tamil in Tamil Nadu is distressing. This conference calls for action to strengthen the usage of Tamil as an Administrative, official and Judicial Language.

Certain sections of the media are promoting cultural obscenities which have the potential to destroy the culture of the nation and prevent the growth of a strong India. This conference calls for stern regulations to prevent Movies, television channels and print media from involving in such Cultural degradation activities.

17. Urdu Language

In order to safeguard Urdu language the conference demands following measures

(a) Until recent times Tamil Nadu Public service commission exams were held in Urdu but recently TNPSC has withdrawn this facility which affects the Urdu speaking people .This conference demands that the facility to write TNPSC exams in Urdu has to be implemented again.

(b) The teaching vacancies in Government Urdu medium Schools have to be filled in immediately

(c) The conference demands more funds for Tamil Nadu Urdu Academy so that the Academy can function in an effective manner

(d) The conference demands that Urdu medium schools maintained by the Government in Tamil Nadu should be transferred under the control of Urdu Academy

18. Ulema Welfare Board

The conference realizes the importance of an Ulema welfare board to help the Imams, Bilals and other employees of mosques and urges the state government to establish such Board. The Conference demands that the pension to retired ulemas must be increased. Moreover the conference earnestly requests the state government to extend the pension to the widows of the Ulemas.

19. Pension to Journalists

Tamil Nadu government grants pension to journalists with 20 years of experience. Unfortunately most of them are part time reporters and are not entitled to pension. Moreover even during their service they are paid very less. Hence this conference demands that even Part time reporters with 20 years of experience and who have attained 55 years of age should be entitled for the pension

20. Concern for the Children of Freedom Fighters

This conference demands that children of freedom fighters who are poor they should be given priority in education, jobs and free pattas for land

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