- Came first Seemingly as a Message of Universal Brotherhood and Later as an Aggressor to Blanket India in a Dark Age for 700 years________________________________________________________
Table of Contents
A discussion on the above topic is bound to be a sensitive one for many of our countrymen. This is so as it brings into focus, issues like cultural identity, patriotism and extra-territorial loyalties. An objective discussion is all the more difficult as an emotional under-current is not ruled out altogether, whosoever the participants.
The Kaaba is pre-islamic in its origins.
It has been mentioned by Diodoros Siculus,
a Greek historian in the 1st century Before Christ
i.e. 700 years before Prophet Mohammed.
The varying opinions that Indians hold on an issue like cultural identity is highlighted when we talk of our country's ancient past before religions like Islam and Christianity were introduced into India or rather before these religions came into being in the country of their birth. A Muslim or a Christian would be indifferent if not hostile to India's past before his religion came on the scene.
The history and heritage of a nation belongs to all its inhabitants because their forefathers had made it. Subsequent conversion of some of the inhabitants to a religion originating in another country need not deprive them of this heritage. Had this been so, the Greeks after their conversion to Christianity should have disowned the Acropolis, the Olympia and looked with contempt and hatred on Athena, Zeus or Herakles who were deities of the ancient Greek religion and are still fresh in the memory of the Greeks.
Similarly, the Egyptians should have disowned the pyramids, the Sphinx and erased the memory of the Pharoahs. This has not happened. But most Indians have varying ideas of their ancient heritage . The reason being that they adhere to different religions . While the Hindus find it natural to be justly proud of the country' s heritage, the case is not so simple for those who have converted to religions imported into India from other countries. While a Muslim or Christian would feel lost when he moves into that period of Indian history when his religion was yet to come on the scene, a Hindu would not. Going 1500 to 2000 years back in the history of his country, a Muslim or a Christian would find himself surrounded by a religion, whose followers today claim has been the original religion of this country.
Would a Muslim or a Christian, like to associate with that period of his country's history which is alien to his cultural identity?
The answer may not always be "YES". This ambivalence on their part arises from the fact that there exists in India, a large majority of people who have maintained; an unbroken link with the country's past, through the medium of the Hindu religion. But what would have been the attitude of the people of India, had all of them been converted to either Islam or Christianity ?
The country's pre-Islamic or pre-Christian heritage, would still have been there. And the people of India, whatever be their religion, would have had to be proud, of the achievements of their forefathers who nevertheless had conformed to a different religion. Had they not been proud of these achievements, there would have been no one else who would have been.
|Matam (Mourning) during Muharram.The Shia Muslims observe Matam to mark the martyrdom of Husain and Hassan by flogging themselves with knives tied to ropes.|
But today this is not so and those Indians who have embraced another religion normally look upon with scorn on the country's ancient heritage before their religion came into the picture. The reason being that there is a large majority of Indians who due to their non-conversion to any other religion, look upon the whole of India's history and heritage as their own. The past of India is a common heritage of all Indians though it is unfortunate that lt has to he upheld largely by the Hindus.
Due to this complex and seemingly contradictory situation, it is imperative for an Indian to be familiar with the religions of external origin followed by his compatriots not only if we are to know each other better but to appreciate that cultural inheritance which belongs to all of us irrespective of religion.
To do this we would have to move away from Indian history and begin with the origin of the religions in the country of their birth. The first part of our discussion would take us to a desert town, which owes its existence to a place of pilgrimage. Here probably thousands of years before a religion was born, countless people trekked to pay homage to a meteor having the shape of a cube.
Being a meteor, its flaming rush through the heavens would have been enough to make it an object with divine associations. Though the date of its descent is unrecorded, the event seems to have occurred deep in antiquity.
Diodorus Siculus, the Greek historian has referred to it nearly 700 years before the birth of Mohammed. (i.e. in around the 1st century C.E.) Arabian folklore has an explanation to offer as to the origin of the Kaaba (meaning 'the Cube').
The ancient patriarch Abraham (or Ibrahim) had two wives Sarah and Hagar. Hagar had borne Abraham a son , named Ishmael who was the object of jealously of the other wife Sarah who forced Abraham to banish Hagar and her son Ishmael into the desert. Hagar and Ishmael wandered far into the desert until they came to the valley of Baca (Mecca), where they were perishing from thirst. But the lords guardian angel revealed to them the spring Zem Zem. As she and her son lay by the spring, the Black Stone fell from the heaven at Ishmael's feet and he was promised that his children would become more powerful than those of Issac the son who was born to Sarah, Abraham' second wife. According to tradition Abraham himself joined Ishmael to build a sacred structure around the Kaaba.
(Mecca is referred to as Baca in the Old Testament, Psalm lxxxiv., quoted by C.F. Potter in The Story of Religion, George G. Harrap & Co. London, P. 279)
|Muslim women in the burkha (or chador). This is the traditional black coloured gown of Muslim women when they move outdoors. The Burkha covers the entire body of a lady including the face. Similarly Muslim men have to grow their beard. Going about without a burkha for women and without a beard for men is considered "haram" i.e. illegitimate.|
But whatever be the origin of the Kaaba, it was a popular place of pilgrimage in the 6th Century A.D. when Mohammed was born . In that period Arabia had many religious cults and the worship of the Kaaba was one of them. The worship of sacred spirits, stones, trees and mountains had buiit up a conception of guardian spirits incharge of every holy spot. These guardian spirits were looked upon as Gods and Goddesses. The term Allah some scholars think is of pre-Islamic origin and was the name of a specific deity worshipped at Mecca. In pre-Islamic Mecca, three goddesses were worshipped, they were Allat, Aluzza, and Mannat. They were called daughters of Allah.
The term 'Allah' is also supposed to be a contraction of Al-ilah which means "the God" In Muslim usage Allah is a proper noun which leads credence to the belief that originally Allah was the name of a specific diety. Such was the nature of religion when Mohammed was born. Mohammed is supposed to have been in 570 C.E. in a family of merchants, Mohammed was brought up by his foster-mother Halima as both his parents died when he was still a child. Mohammed grew to manhood with his uncle whom he accompanied on long camel caravan journeys across the desert. While still in his twenties he married a rich widow named Khadijah, who was then forty years of age.
During those days the Byzantine and Persian empires to the north of Arabia were at their zenith. They along with religions like Judaism and Christianity seemed to have made a profound impact on the young Mohammed.
He received his first public acceptance when during a dispute as to who would repair the Kaaba, he co-incidently walked into the assemblage after it had been decided to hand over the task to the person who walked in first after the decision was taken. The Kaaba had then been damaged by a flood. He did not know that by this co-incidence, he would not just get a chance to initiate the repairs to the Kaaba but also would become one who would change the map of the world and the religion of continents.
From then onwards Mohammed's mind turned more towards religion and he began neglecting his business. He was increasingly missed in the market place as he frequented solitary cave in the foothills of Mount Hira near Mecca.
One night, we are told, a voice broke into his meditations and ordered him to repeat to men the following words :
Recite in the name of thy Lord, who hath created all things; who hath created man of congealed blood.
This revelation became the Sura 96 (Chapter 96) of the Koran. But Mohammed did not start preaching at once, he confided his experiences to his wife Khadija who in turn consulted a family friend named Waraka, who was considered to be wise in religious matters, Waraka thought that Mohammed's experiences were genuine, and thus began to grow Mohammed's admirers and followers, among whom were his slave Zeid and his cousin Ali (who was later to become the cause of the split of Islam into the Sunni and Shia sects). Under this initial stimuli he developed his message of universal brotherhood which he summed up in one phrase.
There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet In this the influence of the Mosaic commandment of Judaism seems to have been clearly reflected. Moses was said to have proclaimed "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me".
(Had Mohammed stopped at saying "There is no God" instead of saying, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet", he could have become the greatest and most successful rationalist. Had he taught his followers to be humane, after militarily defeating their adversaries from India to France, he would have also become the most successful humanist)
Into the then idolatrous nature-worshippers of Mecca his message cut like a sword. He pointed out that idols were nothing. The only reality was Allah, the only duty submission to Allah. The Arabic word for submission was "Islam" and Mohammed so drilled that word into the minds of his hearers that the whole religion he founded was named 'Islam'.
|A Shia mourner observing matam.|
The observance of this emotion-charged rite
has lead to bloody riots between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
The Shias look upon Imam Husain
as a legitimate successor of Prophet Mohammed,
while the Sunnis do not.
But Mohammed's denouncement of idol worship was not taken kindly by the people of Mecca whose prosperity depended upon the large number of pilgrims visiting the Kaaba and Mohammed's denouncement was in direct conflict with their interests. In retaliation the Meccans expelled Mohammed who then fled to Medina. Here he was able to win a considerable number of converts. In due course he raised an army of his followers and victoriously marched on to Mecca in the year 630 C.E. This was one the first victories of Islam which was to spread to over three continents in only a few years from then.
But Mohammed had made concessions to the Meccans. The practice of Kaaba worship which he had earlier denounced. The practice of throwing stones at a pillar symbolizing the Devil was also carried along into the new faith. This came close to idolatory i.e. personifying the devil as a pillar. These pre-Islamic practices were now made part of the new religion along with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca (Haj) and even the kissing of the Kaaba and quaffing of the brackish waters of the Zem Zem.
We are told that after this, Mohammed returned to Medina and shortly afterwards contracted a disease caused by the eating of goat flesh poisoned by an enemy. After being in bed for a few days he passed away in the arms of his favourite young wife Ayesha.
Islam in India in the Lifetime of Prophet Mohammed
The story of Islam does not end here, within decades of Mohammed's death it spread from the borders of India to France.
Many of us do not know that Islam first came into India in the province of Kerala during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammed itself. Prophet Mohammed is said to have sent messengers to the Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Heraclius, the Sassanian (Persian) Emperors Chosroes (Khushrau Parvez) and Yazdgard, and to the Kings of China and Kerala (in South India). While the Sassanian and Roman Emperors rejected the Prophet's messengers and insulted them; the Kings of China and Kerala are said to have received the messengers with great courtesy.
King Cheraman of Kerala Voluntarily Converts to Islam in the 7th Century
This King from Kerala was Cheraman from the Chera dynasty of Kerala. He gave a patient hearing to the discourses of the Messengers of Islam. On hearing them, he was favourably impressed by their message of universal brotherhood which is enshrined in Islamic theology and is recommended to be practiced within the Muslim community. (Ironically this concept is limited to the Muslim community alone, while towards the unbelievers what is advocated is relentless hatred. And in practice even within the Muslim community, in real life, the general attitude is of fanaticism and violence when the energy of the Muslims is not directed towards battling the non-Muslims).
But King Cheraman was favourably impressed with what he was told and he is said to expressed interest in Islam. Local legend says that King Cheraman visited Mecca and converted to Islam in the 7th century. This happened before Islam had become a military force and started off rampaging on its global Jehad. King Cheraman also built a Mosque in Kerala and many local people converted to Islam along with him.
The Peoples of Lakshadweep and Calicut Voluntarily Accept Islam
The people of Lakshadweep are converts from those days. As also are the Moplas (Mapillais) from the Calicut province of Kerala. In this phase of history of Islam, it was still a missionary religion. The Jehad started off a few decades later.
(Incidentally, we may also recollect here that the people of Kerala had their second introduction to Islam in the 18th century, when Tipu Sultan, the usurper of the Mysore Principality marched into Kerala attacked the Zamorin (Samudrin) Raja of Calicut and set off converting the people of central Kerala to Islam. Tipu Sultan's method was so unlike that of the Islamic Missionaries who had visited King Cheraman during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammed, Tipu went about with a Koran in one hand and a sword in the other giving the subject people of Kerala a choice of accepting Islam or death. Doing this, he marched from Calicut up to Alwaye from where he was forced to retreat due to stiff resistance.)
|"There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet"Islam which began as Arab Military Aggression is today the Vanguard of Arab - Political, Economic and Cultural Imperialism. Islamic identity exists at the expense of the national identity of the non-Arab Muslims who believe that they have no individual nationality of their own, and prefer to be called Muslims, with a second class status to the Arabs. Thus the Arabs have achieved the status of a nucleus whereas the non-Arab Muslims have gladly become their satellites in the hope of gaining paradise. It ought to be remembered that according to Islamic theology, the Prophet shall not open the gates of paradise to those Moslems who are not friendly with the Arabs.|
The Jehad Starts Off - Making Evident the Intolerant Nature of Islam
But once the Jehad started off and the army of Islam secured victory after victory over all the prominent empires of those days - the Byzantine (Roman) and the Sassanian (Persian) Empires - Islam spread from France (Poitiers) up to India (Sindh). It was during these spectacular military successes, that the nature of Islam became evident as being intolerant of everything non-Islamic (i.e. non-Arabic). The aim of the victorious Islamic Armies was to wipe off everything pre-Islamic in the countries they overran in a few decades after the passing away of Prophet Mohammed. Thus began a process of Arabization of all the countries the Arabs overran in their Jehad.
Islam is basically a medium of Arab Imperialism - Military, Political, Economic and Cultural
Anwar Shaikh, a scholar of Islam writes the following in his essay entitled ISLAM - The Arab National Movement, about how and why Islam is basically a medium of Arab Imperialism - Military, Political, Economic and Cultural.
In the words of Anwar Shaikh:
"1. The Prophet declared that he was the best individual of all humans; the Koresh, his tribe were the best of all Arabian tribes and Arabs were the best of all nations.
2. For this purpose, he used the oldest Semitic device of revelation to declare himself a prophet, who is supposed to have no axe of his own to grind but does what he is told by God.
3. As the Jews had a national God called "Yahwe," the Prophet chose Allah, the Lord of Kaaba, an idol of his own tribe, and raised it to the dignity of the one supreme God.
4. The Prophet made Kaaba, the sacred shrine of the Arabs as the holiest place of Islam so that whoever believes in Islam must also acknowledge the greatness of Arabia and its people.
5. The Prophet Mohammed made Haj, i.e. pilgrimage to the Kaaba, an old pre-lslamic Arab rite, a basic tenet of his religion to impress upon foreign (non-Arab) Muslims the sanctity of Arabia, and create an everlasting source of income for the Arabs.
6. He insisted that God's covenant was not with Abraham and Isaac but with Abraham and Ishmael. It is universally known that Ishmael was the direct ancestor of the Arabs. Thus, one can clearly see that the purpose of Islam is glorification of the Arab nationalism.
7. The Kaaba serves a much greater national purpose of the Arabs than that which Jerusalem renders to the Jews or Rome to the Christians (Catholics). It is guardian of the Arab nationalism at the expense of the national conscience of the non-Arab Muslims who believe that they have no individual nationality of their own, and prefer to be called Muslims. Thus the Arabs have achieved the status of a nucleus whereas the non-Arab Muslims have gladly become their satellites in the hope of gaining paradise. It ought to be remembered that the Prophet shall not open the gates of paradise to those Moslems who are not friendly with the Arabs.
|The literacy rate among Muslims is the lowest. Most of them limit themselves to learning Urdu and Arabic. They are rarely to be seen in areas like industry, technology, science. In India, the number of Muslim criminals is far greater than proportion of Muslims in the general population. But in fields such as science and technology or in the creative arts, a Muslim is an exception to the rule. This is not specific to India, but is the case with the entire Muslim world. The advances made by Muslim states are generally in the fields of global terrorism and in the manufacture of chemical weapons of mass destruction. Advances in these fields, fuel their warlike aggressive mentality. Most Islamic nations are military-theocratic dictatorships. Democracy is an irrelevant concept for them.|
The Prophet said:
a. "May Allah humiliate those who seek to humiliate the Quresh (his tribe)." Sahih Tirmzi Vol. 2 p.335)
b. The Prophet said to Sulaiman Farsee (the Persian Convert), "If you bear odium against the Arabs, you bear odium against me." (Sahih Tirmzi Vol.2. p.840)
c. The Prophet said: "I will not intercede for those or love them who are not fair with the Arabs." (Sahih Tirmzi Vol . 2 p.840 ) Of course, there is a difference of opinion about the degree of accuracy about these Hadiths i.e. the Prophet's sayings, yet they are there. If they were inappropriate they would have been expunged. They are correct because they correspond with the Arabic ethos of Islam.
8. The Prophet built the structure of Islam around the sanctity of his own person by declaring himself:
a. the Intercessor,
b. the blessing for the mankind, and
c. the model of actions for all faithful.
9. Since Muhammad preferred Arabs to other nations, love of the Arabs becomes a prerequisite of Islam.
10. Since faith means belief in both Allah and Muhammad, the Islamic God represents duality as the Christian doctrine of Trinity represents Three- in-one. Not only Muhammad was an Arab, Allah, the Lord of the Kaaba, was also an Arab statue. Thus Islam is there to serve the Arab cause.
11. The Koran is an Arabic document. It is primarily a book for the understanding and guidance of the Arabs. Calling it a universal message is just an innovation for subjugating the non-Arab Muslims to the national hegemony of the Arabs.
For more on this read ISLAM - The Arab National Movement by Anwar Shaikh.
|Jehad - The history of the 14 centuries of Islam bears evidence to the fact that Muslims have never reconciled to having non-Islamic people anywhere in the globe. The Muslim lifestyle may have changed - Jazzy Cars instead of the Camel Caravans, Demins instead of the Dishdashas (the flowing gown of the Arabs), their weapons may have changed from the sword of Allah to the Islamic Atom Bomb. But their outlook remains unchanged - that of the Jehad - to convert all Kafirs to Islam on the pain of death. And as Islam does not accept co-existence of non-Islamic people anywhere on the globe, it is logical to foresee either a victory of the non-Islamic forces over Islam or vice versa. This victory over Islam would have to be such that would once and for all put an end to the threat of an Islamic victory to civilization the world over. The second logical scenario is to foresee a victory for the Islamic Jehad over all non-Islamic people across the globe. In this scenario, the ultimate saviour of humanity would have to come forth from within Islam itself. A saviour who would repudiate Islam and re-establish a civilized way of life.Needless to add here that although Islam is the most bloodthirsty and cruel face of sectarianism, all religions have had their role in dividing humanity. And in the final analysis all of them would have to become extinct so that Humankind can march towards a World State where there would be complete freedom for every citizen of the world to choose how to co-relate with what is beyond human knowledge. Freedom to consider that what is beyond human knowledge as a supernatural power which has to be won over by praying before it; OR to treat the unknown as a frontier of human knowledge and to push this frontier so as to bring an increasing part of phenomenon that makes up the universe within the bounds of human knowledge.|
Islamic Jehad is a Perpetual Declaration of War on Non-MuslimsIslam, in fact, is a perpetual declaration of war against all those, who do not believe in Muhammad. This war is not confined to words but it is really brutish, barbaric and bewildering. It makes society a hot bed of mutual hatred based on discrimination of Momin (Muslim) and Kafir (non-Muslim). Thus, it ignites the flame of eternal conflict far more dangerous, debilitating and devastating than Karl-Marx could ever visualize: "They (unbelievers) are Satan's party they are the losers.... Those (the Muslims) are God's party....they are the prosperers." (LVIII The Disputer: 20)
What the Koran says about Jehad
The Muslims are commanded to wage an everlasting war against the unbelievers and are assured victory in the struggle. Surely, the Marxist social philosophy is an extension of the Koranic doctrine.
To realize the significance of this statement, one ought to read the following:
1. On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. (The Cow: 161 )
2. Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. ( The Cow: 15 )
3. The worst of beasts in Allah's sight are the ungrateful, who will not believe. (Spoils of War: 55)
4. Oh ye who believe! the non-Muslims are unclean. (Repentance:17)
5. Oh ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers and let them find harshness in you. (Repentance: 123)
6. Oh believers, do not treat your fathers and mothers as your friends, if they prefer unbelief to belief, whosoever of you takes them for friends, they are evil-doers. (Repentance: 20) 7. Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute. ( Repentance: 29 )
Through the doctrine of hatred, Islam incites Muslims against non-Muslims and proposes Jehad as the solution to make Islam the dominant faith. What is Jehad? It is the battle against unbelievers such as the Hindus, the Christians, the Jews, the atheists - in fact, unbelievers of all sorts.
Jehad is nothing but an Inducement to Murder and Plunder non-Muslims for their Sheer Crime of Not Believing in Muhammad
Since humans do not like harming innocent people, Jehad is nothing but an inducement to murder and plunder non-Muslims for the sheer crime of not believing in Muhammad. It is called a "holy war." Those who return home victoriously, come laden with booty, which includes wealth and non-Muslim women for concubinage and free seduction but those "crusaders" who are killed "in the way of Allah" go straight to paradise where ever-young virgins of exquisite beauty and pretty boys anxiously wait to serve them! Even more stunning is the fact that while every code of moral conduct treats murder, rape, plunder, lechery as sins, Islam counts them as acts of piety.
For more on this refer to Islamic Culture by Anwar Shaikh.
|Muslim boys at a Madrasa (School for teaching Islamic Theology)|
Muslims generally do not go in for secular education.
This is so as Muslims look upon
anything non-Islamic is "haram" i.e. illegitimate.
Illegitimate Sex Amongst Muslims is Haram, but for a Mujahid Taking Up Non-Muslim Women as Concubines in a Jehad is Legitimate
Carnal gratification, man's greatest desire, is the first temptation that the concept of Jihad carries. A Mujahid i.e. the Islamic warrior, who at that time suffered pangs of sexual starvation in the torrid land of Arabia, was promised plenty of sensual enjoyment as a reward for participating in the carnage whether or not he survived the rigors of the battlefield. If he (a Mujahid - Islamic warrior) got killed, he was assured that the houris waited for his glorious company in Jannnat i.e. paradise, and if he survived, he had a share in the plunder, which included women of the infidels.
Islam has prescribed flogging, and death-by-stoning for sexual offenses such as fornication and adultery because it holds such acts as unlawful when committed out of wedlock but when a Muslim "fights in the way of Allah" to murder the infidels and plunder their property, then the Koran relaxes this rule:
"And anyone of you who has not the affluence to be able to marry believing free women in wedlock, let him take believing handmaids that your right hand owns ......So marry them, with their people's leave, and give them their wages honorably as women in wedlock, not as in license or taking lovers." (Women, IV: 25) These verses demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt that amongst Muslims, the Koran forbids sexual intercourse outside wedlock: marriage is a must for the fulfillment of sensual desires, but this law is blown off by the wind of change when it comes to a Mujahid (the Holy warrior):
During the battle of Autas, the Muslims captured some women along with their husbands. Though earlier, a Muslim had been forbidden sexual intercourse with an unbelieving married woman, at this occasion, it was revealed to the Prophet that Allah had relaxed this restriction and permitted copulation to the warrior if she had fallen to his lot in the battle and thus became his property. ( TIRMZI, vol. one, P 417 )
In the Islamic Jehad, sex was a big bait to attract followers, and eventually, make them sincere devotees. After the people of Taif - the last major Arab City to resist Islam - surrendered in February, 631 C.E., to escape horrors of the siege, Muhammad was presented with three beautiful women; he gave one of them "to Ali, another to Usman and the third to Omar." To realize the significance of this episode, one ought to remember that both Ali and Usman were his sons-in-law and Omar was his father-in-law.
The holy warriors of Islam have been given an unusual privilege of sexual merriment. If they survive the battle, they secure concubines but if they fall, they are sure to enter paradise full of houris (beautiful maidens to be turned into concubines), living in the most luxurious environment.
" For them (the Muslims) is reserved a definite provision, fruit and a great honor in the Gardens of bliss reclining upon couches arranged face to face, a cup from a fountain being passed round to them, while, a pleasure to the drinkers ..... and with them wide eyed maidens flexing their glances as if they were slightly concealed pearls. (The Rangers, 40-45)
"Surely for the God-fearing awaits a place of security gardens and vineyards and maidens with swelling bosoms." (The Tidings: 30)
The houris are ever-young women who have wide eyes, flexing glances and swelling bosoms. Fancy the modesty of Allah and holiness of His manners. Can anyone honestly say that it is not a lure to attract followers?
The Motivation for Plunder, Loot and Booty in the Koran The
Koran also legitimizes booty and loot secured from non-Muslims during a religious war - Jehad:
"Eat of what you have taken as booty, such is lawful and good. " (The Spoils, VIII: 70)
To make his followers, the merciless looters, he thoroughly drilled them in hatred of non-Muslims, the potential victims:
1. "Surely the worst of beasts in God's sight are the unbelievers." (The Spoils: VIII: 55)
2. " Certainly, God is an enemy to the unbelievers . " (The Cow: II: 90)
3. "Oh ye who believe! fight those of the unbelievers and let them find in you harshness." (Repentance: IX: 123)
4. "Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute." ( Repentance IX: 29 )
Since it was plunder that paved the way to spread Islam, even those things that the Prophet himself had declared sacred, lost their sanctity when they proved inconvenient. For example, the Koran says:
"Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters (The non-Muslims) wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush" (Repentance, IX: 5)
One must also note that, as fame of the Prophet's arms rang throughout Arabia, the Arab pagan tribes turned to him in hordes. All this happened to secure protection against any surprise Islamic raid, which had become the destiny of the infidels for not accepting Islam. An element of surprise, marvel and curiosity also formed a part of this submission. Arabia had not seen a man of Muhammad's stature before.
However, this all took place during the last few years of the Prophet's life. Thus, the new converts had no experiential loyalty for the new religion. Possibly, the greater factor of their disappointment was the fact that the chances of further booty were practically nil because almost entire Arabia had come under the grip of Islam. What proved even more devastating was the fact that now the Muslims had to pay religious taxes such as Zukaat (the tithe). Thus, it is not surprising that, at the death of the Prophet, there was a terrible explosion against Islam, which curbed human freedom through restraints of faith and rituals. Most tribes of the Arabian desert rebelled against Islam to display their apostasy .
Abu Bakr, The First Caliph of Islam, following example of the Prophet, made plunder the pillar of his foreign policy and unleashed the Arabian booty-hunters on Egypt and Iran. This is how the Arab Empire was founded, leading to the spread of Islam.
|Hampi the capital of Vijaynagar the last Hindu kingdom of the South was ruthlessly pillaged for six months and was nearly reduced to rubble in the year 1565, when the allied Muslim Bahamani armies overran Vijaynagar after the battle of Talikota.|
During the 20th century, Islam has lost its luster as the projected ambassador of peace, compassion and humanity in the face of the rising tide of human rights and the instinctive demand of justice for all. It has caused a lot of embarrassment to the Muslim propagandists. Therefore, to pull wool over the eyes of the non-Muslims, some Muslim scholars say that the Islamic Jihad is a defensive war against the aggressors.
The Prophet has said:
"Acting as Allah's soldier for one night in a battlefield is superior to saying prayers at home for 1000 years." (Ibne Majah, vol. 2, P 166)
Now, one can see for one's self the violent nature of Islam, its purpose and the methods of securing it.
For more on this refer to Islamic Jehad by Anwar Shaikh.
Islamic Way of Life V/s. a Civilized Way of Life
This intolerant aspect of Islam imposed the outlook of desert tribal nomads (the Bedouin Arabs) on all those who were converted to Islam. The victorious Muslims converted people in the lands they overran at the point of the sword. "Accept Islam or die", this was the general attitude of the truculent Muslim armies the world over. Such intolerance of everything non-Islamic has been typecast with Islam till today.
Hence in many non-Muslim eyes Islam came to represent intolerance, persecution and all that goes against a decent and civilized outlook. And Muslims generally came to be looked upon as those misguided humans whose outlook was limited to a lower level of human consciousness. The track record of slash-smash-burn-destroy-slaughter of the victorious Islamists represented a choice for all non-Islamic peoples between being civilized or being Islamic. A choice to be made in favour of Islam on the pain of death. Hence, in the eyes of many citizens of the world for the past 14 centuries, the phrase "Islamic Civilization" is a contradiction in terms. You can either be Islamic or be civilized.
Whatever Islamic principles in the Koran may say about co-existence of Islam with Non-Islamic people, at the practical level, past history of the 14 centuries of Islam bears evidence to the fact that Muslims have never reconciled to having non-Islamic people anywhere in the globe. And as Islam does not accept co-existence of non-Islamic people anywhere on the globe, it is logical to foresee either a victory of the non-Islamic forces over Islam or vice versa. A victory over Islam would have to be such that it would once and for all put an end to the threat of an Islamic victory the world over. The second logical scenario is to foresee a victory for the Islamic Jehad over all non-Islamic people across the globe. In this scenario, the ultimate saviour of humanity would have to come forth from within Islam itself. A saviour who would repudiate Islam and re-establish a civilized way of life.
Needless to add here that although Islam is the most bloodthirsty and cruel face of sectarianism, all religions have had their role in dividing humanity. And in the final analysis all of them would have to become extinct so that Humankind can march towards a World State where there would be complete freedom for every citizen of the world to choose how to co-relate with what is beyond human knowledge. Freedom to consider that what is beyond human knowledge as a supernatural power which has to be won over by praying before it; OR to treat the unknown as a frontier of human knowledge and to push this frontier so as to bring an increasing part of phenomenon that makes up the universe within the bounds of human knowledge.
Islam Comes to India as a Military Force
Islam came into India as a Military force in the year 715 C.E.., in the Province of Sindh, but it made inroads into the country proper between 1020 and 1194 after which Mohammedan power was established in north India and a century later also in the Deccan and continued to be the dominant power till its formal end in 1857.
Conversion to Islam
In the 700 years that Islam has existed in this country as a military power, there has been tremendous interaction between Hindus and Muslims. This interaction has had its negative and non-negative aspects. Muslims came into India as invaders as they had in almost all countries where they are present today.
Most Muslim rulers were fanatical proselytizers of their religion. Under the rulership of Delhi Sultans the public worship at Hindu temples was generally forbidden, Hindus were not allowed to build new temples or repair old ones. Some rulers like Allah-ud-din Khilji and Feroz Shah Tughlak would desecrate temples upon the conquest of new territory as a symbol of victory of Islam. One some occasions a particularly fanatical Muslim king like Sikander Lodi would a fit of paranoia desecrate or destroy temples even in peaceful times.
"In 1669 Aurangzeb issued a general order for the destruction of Hindu temples." As per rough estimates about 3000 (Three Thousand) temples were destroyed and converted into Mosques in the 750 years of Muslim rule in India. But let bygones be bygones. The fact is mentioned here only to set the record straight. In my personal view all such controversial structures should be taken possession of by an educational trust and be converted into schools to preach the unity of Humankind. And eventually not just such controversial structures, but all places of religious worship should cease to be prayer houses and should be used to house schools for humanist and rationalist education. (This obviously is the author's personal view)
"During the sultanate and later under Aurangzeb, many hundreds of thousands of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. Shah Jahan appointed a superintendent of converts charged with the special responsibility for making converts. The sentences of criminals and prisoners of war were readily remitted and the individuals were granted daily allowances upon embracing Islam. The conversion of Muslims to Hinduism, on the other hand, constituted the crime of apostasy and was punished by death. The Jaziya, a special tax levied on all non-Muslims, was both a heavy financial -burden and a badge of inferiority borne by the Hindu; it also stimulated conversions to Islam.
|The Quww'at-ul-Islam Mosque (Power of Islam). This Mosque which stands in the Kutub Minar complex was built by Kutub-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi. The Quww'at-ul-Islam Mosque (Power of Islam) is the first mosque erected in India by Muslim invaders after the Islamic aggression of India. This Mosque was built with the columns from destroyed Hindu and Jain temples. It stands at the site of Pithoragarh which was the capital of Prithiviraj Chauhan the last Hindu ruler of Delhi.|
Thus, during the 7 centuries of Mohammedan rule a significant portion of our countrymen had to change their religion by force of circumstances. And in 4 erstwhile Indian Provinces viz. West Punjab, Sindh, East Bengal and NWFP the Muslim converts came to constitute a majority by the present century. The multi-religious character of India is largely an ugly litter of intolerance, persecution, penal taxes, conversion of faith at the point of the sword, discriminatory civil and criminal laws, defilement and conversion of places of worship from that of one faith to another, all of which the country witnessed during the seven centuries of Muslim rule.
With the coming of British rule, the position of Muslims changed from that of rulers to that of subjects. This position was acceptable as along as the rulers were Britishers, but with the possibility of independence coming closer the Muslims, or at least their leaders could not reconcile to being ruled, in a democracy, where the Hindus were in a majority. The bloody surgery of partition and its aftermath are now a part of history and need not be recalled here.
But despite partition and the creation of a homeland for the Muslims from India, they continue to comprise the largest minority in this country. Hindus and Muslims continue to live side-by-side through communal riots and the interaction of day-to-day life.
This the sketch of historic interaction between Hindus and Muslims. But though the two communities came in touch with each other as a result of a conflict and remained in a state of hostility towards each other, the interaction over many centuries has also helped in an exchange of ideas. One reason for this was the enlightened policy of Emperor Akbar which marked the beginning of a Hindu-Muslim rapproachment. Though this policy was reversed by Aurangzeb, the strains of rapproachment, amidst conflict, have filtered down till today.
Hindu Customs Among the Muslim Community in India (and Pakistan)
But the more significant reason for a socio-cultural interaction between the two communities was the fact the overwhelmingly large proportion of Muslims are converts from Hinduism and their ancestors time or the other been Hindus. Though their conversion in almost all cases had been at the point of the sword or through some other compulsion like penal taxes, discrimination in the eyes of the law under Muslim rule, the converts consciously and sub-consciously carried with them the strains of their pre-Muslim past. This is not to say that Islam did not influence Hinduism, it did as we have seen earlier in the section on Hinduism. The influence of Hinduism on Muslims is more pronounced on communities like the Bohras, Kutchi Memons and Khojas who embraced Islam relatively recently, i.e. about 200 years back.
Similarity in Surnames/Family Names amongst Indian (and Pakistani) Muslims
To gauge the influence of Hinduism one only needs to ask a Khoja or Bohra his name. Names like Allibhai Premji, Abdul Hashim Premji, etc. occur frequently among the Bohras and Khojas. Hindu Surnames occur more frequently among Muslims in general for instance, Chowdhury, Khatri, Patel, Dalwai, Parkar, Munshi, etc.
(These names are being quoted only as proper nouns, any resemblance with actual names of individuals is accidental and not intentional.)
Khoja social functions reveal the surprising presence of Hindu customs. For instance during a Khoja wedding a coconut is used as an auspicious fruit. In Maharashtra, Muslim women from the Konkan region even wear the Mangal Sutra after wedding. The wearing of flowers, (forbidden in Islam) by Muslim women is a common Hindu custom carried on by the converts.
Idolatary amongst Indian (and Pakistani) Muslims
Islam denounces idolatory, but in India we have cults like Saibaba in Maharashtra where Muslims worship a personified saint alongwith the Hindus. This apart the more common practice of flocking to pilgrimages to Mazhars, (tombs) of saints like Salim Chisti exists generally among Indian Muslims only. Worship at personal tombs is but one step behind worshipping personified deities. Flowers are offered at these Mazhars the pilgrims shower
Flowers, a custom which smack of borrowings from Hindu customs. Even the custom of spreading a sheet (chaddar) of flowers is an Indian adaptation of an Islamic custom. In other Islamic countries such sheets are made of silk and satin (like the one spread over the Kaaba), only in India are flowers used.
|The Bada Imambara (mosque) at Lucknow.|
Lucknow and Delhi have many monuments
created during the period of Muslim occupation of India.
The Muslim practice of Sufism embodied in the many Pirs, Sufis and Fakirs emphasizes on universal brotherhood . Although Sufism seems to have originated in Iran, Sufism in India has an unmistakable influence of the Hindu practices of Yoga, Pranayam and the concept of Sanayasa with its Sanyasis, Sadhus and Rishis. Interestingly the Sufis and Fakirs undertake exercises derived from the Hindu discipline of Yoga. In fact all through the middle ages up to the present age their have been many Babas (saints) who are Muslims, but attract both Hindu and Muslim disciples.
The Sufi movement seems to to have originated in Iran. It does not seem to have any presence in Arabia and other Arab states. The Sufi tradition seems to borrow a lot from the pantheistic mysticism of pre-Islamic Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism (a pre-Islamic religious sect in Persia). The earliest Sufi saint-poet in India is considered to be Amir Khusro who lived in Delhi in the 13th century. Dara Shikoh the eldest of son of the Mughal ruler Shah Jehan seems to have been deeply influenced by Sufism. He is accredited with having undertaken a translation of the Upanishads from Sanskrit to Persian. (He incidentally was killed by his younger brother Aurangzeb in the battle of succession to the Mughal throne.)
The Sufis in India have represented a contrast to the general Islamic attitude of Jehad. The Sufi tradition stands out as a stark exception to the general Muslim temperament of either converting or killing the non-Muslims (Kafirs), imposing penal taxes and generally tyrannizing the non-muslim people. Had the Sufi tradition been dominat in mainstream Islam, the history of the world of the past 14 centuries would have been different - but this is only a hypothetical possibility.
The Sufis have borrowed extensively from the Rishi Parampara of India, the discipline of Yoga, Pranayam (breath control) and Hasya Rasa (the Sufi tradition of performing the dance of Joy). The Sufi tradition in India also seems to have been influenced by the Guru-Shishya parampara (Master-disciple tradition) of India which dates from the days of the Vedic Rishis, through Gautama Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and the various saints of the Bhakti Movement - all of whom decried the practices of caste discrimination and preached the message of universal brotherhood of man with social justice for all. The Sufi tradition has borrowed from and strengthened this stream of priniciples of universal love and brotherhood of man that have been a part of the Sanatana Parampara of India for the last 4000 years. The Sufis incidentally also celebrate the Indian festival of Basant.
|A Hindu Sadhu The Sufis seem to have borrowed extensively from the Sadhu Parampara of India, the discipline of Yoga, Pranayam (breath control) and Hasya Rasa (the Sufi tradition of performing the dance of Joy). The Sufi tradition in India also seems to have been influenced by the Guru-Shishya parampara (Master-disciple tradition) of India which dates from the days of the Vedic Rishis, through Gautama Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and the various saints of the Bhakti Movement - all of whom decried the practices of caste discrimination and preached the message of universal brotherhood of man with social justice for all. The Sufi tradition has borrowed from and strengthened this stream of priniciples of universal love and brotherhood of man that have been a part of the Sanatana Parampara of India for the last 4000 years. The Sufis incidentally also celebrate the Indian festival of Basant.|
The Sufi tradition along with the other similar traditions like that of the Druze, Bahais (founded by Bahaullah in Iran), Ahmediyas (Quadianis), etc., represent an attempt to assert the universal brotherhood aspect of Islam. But as they do not characterize mainstream Islam it was necessary for them to shift away from the mainstream of Islam (i.e. the Shariah as interpreted by the Mullahs - clergy). In most cases the followers of such sects have been declared non-Muslims and there have been fatwas issued against them for blasphemy. The blasphemy excuse has been used against all those who have tried to digress from the accepted principles of Islam (the Shariah as interpreted by the Mullahs - clergy). Blasphemy is only for speaking about Islam. But ironically, in the last 14 centuries of Islam, Muslims have with impunity gone about destroying the places of worship belonging to those of other faiths, smashing idols and converting non-islamic people at the pain of death.
The Bohras, Khojas and Kutchi Memons
It is noteworthy that a small segment of the Bohras and Khojas come close to the Sufi outlook of pantheist mysticism. Some of them even continue to revere Hindu Gods especially Sri Krishna who some consider to be an earlier prophet of God, Mohammed being the last one. This can be explained by the fact that in the state of Gujarat from where the Bohras and Khojas hail; Sri Krishna is a very popular deity. Thus in spite of their conversion the Khojas and Bohras have tried to incorporate their pre-Muslim beliefs into their new faith.
Dress Styles amongst Indian (and Pakistani) Muslims
Even at the purely social level there have been common elements in the dress-styles of Hindus and Muslims. Muslim women still largely wear the saree, especially so in the rural areas. Even in some Muslim communities the Dhoti is worn by the males . The Punjabi dress of Hindus of the north is borrowed from the Muslims (though it had earlier been brought into India by the pre-Islamic Shakas and Kushanas. The Ghagara worn by women in north India is a unique blend of Hindu and Muslim dress styles. The wearing of bangles, bracelets, ear and nose Rings is a custom borrowed by the Muslim women from their Hindu counterparts.
|The Minara Masjid in Bhendi Bazar at Mumbai - A Mosque built in the classical Islamic Style. Muslim social life revolves around religion. Muslim mohallas cluster around mosques.Such a ghetto-like lifestyle has further strengthened insular tendencies among Muslims. Even globally the Muslims tend to avoid interaction with non-Muslims and regard un-Islamic influences as haram i.e. illegitimate.|
Hindu Mercantile Laws amongst the Bohras, Khojas and Kutchi Memons
Among the Bohra, Khojas and Memons the Hindu mercantile law is applied in trade and commerce.
Hindustani Music and Kathak - An amalgam of Bharatamuni and Arabic-Persian Dance Styles
Even the Moghal rulers patronized the intermixing of Indian and mid-eastern dance styles. The Lucknavi Kathak is an admixture of the originally Indian Kathak (which is typified today by the style of the Jaipuri Gharanaa or Jaipuri School). While the Lucknavi Gharana has many elements of mid-eastern and central Asian dance styles. Music has been another area where a fusion has taken place under official patronage. Many Ragas (metres' and Swaras (tunes) of Hindustani classical music are a result of the amalgam of Hindu and mid-eastern musical traditions.
Caste amongst Indian (and Pakistani) Muslims
Even the Indian caste system has proved to be indelible to the Islamic touch. Indian Muslims still refer to themselves as Rajputs Jats, Gujjars, etc. and caste considerations are present during match-making. Thus we can see that though Islam was spread by the sword and it acted as an exorcist to redeem the newly won adherents from the influence of their original religions, quite a few traces of pre-Islamic culture did manage to seep into the lifestyle and consciousness of the Indian converts to Islam.
(Note on ISLAM by the author: Here is it pertinent to note that some historians blame the Hindu-Muslim divide on the British policy of divide-and-rule of pitting Hindus against Muslims and vice versa.
The British did follow a policy of divide-and-rule. But then the division which the British only exploited for their ends, was brought about by the 700 years of Muslim rule that went before the arrival of the British.
The root of the Hindu-Muslim problem is that despite the usual tyrannical Islamic practices of conversion of the Kafirs or un-believers (of Islam), the conversion process (Jehad) in India achieved only 20% success; while 80% of the population remained non-Muslim. This is the reason for the partition and the recurring communal riots. Had the Hindus successfully checked the Muslim invaders at the Indus, or if the Muslims, after their conquest had converted all the non-Muslims to Islam, there would have been a uniform population and hence no partition and no communal riots.
|A laid-back Nawabi Lifestyle.Many Muslims lstill live on their past glories and exclude themselves from the achievements of non-Muslims. This is so as Muslims the World over have an insular approach. According to the Islamic theology the areas where Muslims dominate are Dar-ul-Islam (Zone of Islam). But where Muslims are in a minority, the area is Dar-ul-harb (Zone hostile to Islam). The fanatical and intolerant nature of Islam owes its origin to the harsh natural environment of the Arabian desert. The typical attitude of desert nomads was transmitted to all those who converted to Islam.|
Wherever the conversion of the non-Muslim population to Islam was partial we have communal problems - in Bosnia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Philippines, apart from India. These countries along with the rest of the non-Muslim part of the world are Dar-ul-Harb (Zone of Kafirs or un-believers hostile to Islam) according to Islamic categorization of the world. While in areas of Dar-ul-Islam (Islamic Zones) where the entire population has been converted to Islam, say like Egypt or Iran we do not have communal problems on the scale as they are in India. Egypt and Iran are two countries which had a rich pre-Islamic civilization, but are today completely Muslim. (Though the Muslims there sometimes wonder what they should make of the pre-Islamic past of their genetic ancestors. Not so in India, or Pakistan where the Muslims do not recognize their pre-Islamic past at all, or recognize it as "Haram").
To digress a bit, the socio-cultural-psychological reasons for the arbitrary tyrannical rule of the Muslim rulers across the globe is their temperament which they have imbibed along with their religion from the Arabs who display traits like fanaticism and short-temperedness in their extreme.
The reasons why these traits should exist among those Arabs who originate from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula are to be found in their harsh natural environment. Saudi Arabia, the birth-place of Islam is devoid of fertile plains and river valleys which are congenial to the development of a settled civilized life. This was responsible for the atrophy of residents of the Arabian peninsula into barbarism, and their exclusion from civilization for a long time till the beginning of the 20th century and discovery of oil. The Arabs (In the interior of the Saudi peninsula the Arabs still live in a tribal society).
The same cannot be said of the people of Mesopotamia, Assyria and Egypt who today consider themselves to be Arabs but were the founders of great riparian civilizations of the ancient world. The absence of a civilized way of life among the Arabs (from the Arabian peninsula) nourished the fanatical attitude which later became a characteristic of Islamic thought and way of life.
This attitude was transmitted to other people who were converted to Islam. Added to this was Islam's monotheistic character because of which Mohammedans tolerated no other religion. This singularistic and exclusive character of monotheistic Islam precluded any possibility of assimilation into itself of other deities or forms of worship. And whenever Islam had the support of the force of arms, its fanatical and intolerant nature found brutal expression in the annihilative repression it unleashed whenever it came in contact with another religion or culture.
This cultural lineage of the Muslim rulers made itself evident in the forcible conversion of peoples of other faiths to Islam at the point of the sword, destruction of places of worship belonging to other faiths, the imposition of Jazia tax on non-muslims and other policies whose objective was to stamp out all other religions and to Islamize the countries they overran in their Jehad.
While saying all this we have to remember that we are talking against certain traits like religious fanaticism and violence which have been used by humans to impose their will on fellow humans since time immemorial. We should not forget that we are not talking against any nation or against people from any part of our globe.
All past human history with all its nobleness and wickedness is OUR history. That no human can deny! We as humans have to own up all of it. And, for the future, we have to learn to exterminate the wickedness and carry forward the nobleness. Whether the process of exterminating the wickedness, would require physical elimination of those who are steadfast in their wickedness or they can be reformed and be made to see reason is an open question. But by whatever means - reform or revolution - the wicked and their wickedness have to be eliminated for their own benefit and for the benefit of Humankind at large. So that ultimately we can bring an end to the pre-history of Man and begin our march into what can truly be called Human History. That phase of the history of our species where we can begin our journey towards a World State of Humankind, based on the philosophy of Rationalism and Humanism.
|The Kutub Minar built by Kutub-ud-din Aibak. The Kutub Minar is one of the earliest Islamic monuments in India. This Minar was built from the columns of destroyed Hindu and Jain temples. It stands at the site of Pithoragarh which was the capital of Prithiviraj Chauhan, the last Hindu ruler of Delhi.The damaged motifs in this picture show clear Hindu origins - a testimony to the vandalism of the Muslim aggressors. There are many such temples which had been converted into mosques like the Bhoja Shala Mosque, the Gyan Vyapi Mosque, the Krishna Janmabhoomi Idgah, apart from the now liberated Ramjanmabhoomi at Ayodhya. The total runs to 3000 (Three Thousand).In the opinion of the author, all such controversial structures should be taken possession of by a national educational trust and be converted into schools for humanist and rationalist education. This could be the first step in the long journey for converting all places of religious worship all over the globe into schools for humanist and rationalist education where humans can finally be taught the futility of worshipping human ignorance termed as God and the stupidity of fighting each other due to the different names we have given to human ignorance.|
It also needs to be recalled here that humans have always fought one another to impose one's will on the other humans.
The Hindus have done it in a subtle way with their caste system within India; and their acculturation of the peoples of Indo-China and the far East - although it should be said that the Hindus did not invade other parts of the globe.
The Christians (Europeans) have done it in their crusades and more so in their colonization of the Americas where they wiped out the Incas, Aztecs, and other Red Indian people and their pre-colonial cultures; the colonization of Australia where the Christians marginalized the Maoris with the forced treaty of Whitanee; the European colonization of Africa, and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) for a planned economic plunder. In addition, Christian missionaries functioned during colonial times with the overt and covert support of the ruling colonial European Christian powers. Hence a large part of the post-colonial population of these countries is Christian.
The Zoroastrian Parsis too have done it deep in the forgotten past - without doing it they could not have built their empires (the Achamenian and the Sassanian). And similarly all others have done it all over the world all through human history.
Before recorded history, we had tribal warfare in the ages of Savagery and Barbarism.
Like others, the Muslims have done it too - but most brazenly and successfully "Accept Islam or else..." This happening is a part of our history there is no point argueing that it is not true.
The point is that while knowing and accepting it, we need not make it an handlebar to attack another community for the deeds of their ancestors - and in the process divide an already divided human community.
Our aim should be to have a factual understanding of the past and not try to gloss over the misdeeds of what we perceive as our community and highlight those of the other chap's community. We have to understand one another so as not to hate one another better, but to empathaize with each other; not to defeat (in duel of words over the web), but to conquer; not to isolate oneself in a cocoon of one's religion, sect, nationality, language, etc., but to move towards a global community.
The web has brought our communication links on one platform, we have now to bring our minds together on one i.e. the human wavelength.
I have tried to do this; how successfully I have done it is left to the readers to judge.
I look forward to hearing from you, but no invectives and abuses please - Sudheer Birodkar)