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Jul 2009

If President Barack Hussein Obama succeeds in his mission of persuading moderate Muslims to see reason against the high priests of radical Islam, the world will felicitate him. If he does not succeed, we shall not be surprised. In his understanding of Islam, the President is innocent if not also na�ve.

There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. He is either a momin, a faithful, or a murtad, an apostate. Or perhaps a kafir, non-believer who impersonates as a Muslim. There may be Muslims who are less aggressive than the radicals whom Obama calls wahabis. Less aggressive does not mean moderate. Moderation would imply a readiness to coexist with kafirs. The President's call at Cairo is for the Muslims to coexist with the rest of the world. But in Egypt itself, the Muslim majority does not treat its Coptic Christians with decency, not to speak of equality. Which Islamic country treats its local minorities well? None.

Coexistence is an anti-thesis of Islam. A momin cannot coexist with a kafir. In obedience of Prophet Mohammed's command, the Muslims set forth to conquer and dominate the world known to them. They super-existed with the conquered whether in Arabia or in Spain or in Sind; the latter two were subjugated in 711 and 712 A.D. The conclusive evidence of the super status was the imposition of jizya on non-Muslims. The jizya or poll tax is still in vogue, for example in the Swat Valley of Pakistan where the local Sikhs are paying this tax. The latest rate agreed between the Taliban and the Sikhs is Rs.1000 per adult per month.

Incidentally, the jizya and its levy are ordained in the Quran. Since in his speech, he quoted the holy book, it is surprising that Obama missed this important Islamic rule signifying superiority of the Muslim ruler. When the momin is subject and a kafir is the ruler, the holy ordainment is hijrat or migration to a darul Islam. If that is not practicable, the Muslim is prepared to accept an inferior existence or a subject status. The Indian Muslims under British rule did precisely this. But equality or coexistence with kafirs is not in his nature. What chance does the President's message have of obtaining a positive response?

As Obama himself has appealed to the Muslim world, don't say one thing in private and another in public. Muslim leaders resort to such a subterfuge for purposes of diplomacy. They cannot ever hint in public what may be taken as anti-Islamic. Which is why no matter how brutal or barbaric a fidayeen attack might have been on innocent women and children, hardly any leader ever condemns it. The attacker claims that his action is part of a jihad or holy war. He often quotes letter and verse from the holy book to justify his action.

Jihad is an important commandment of the Quran; either for the defence of Islam or for the spread of the religion. Surah II, ayat 244 says that "then fight in the cause of God, and know that God heareth and knoweth all things". (The Holy Quran by A. Yusuf Ali, Amana Corporation, Maryland, U.S.A., 1983). Surah VIII, ayat 12 continues "I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers; smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips off them." In the light of these orders, how can anyone expect any momin to condemn any act of jihad? At least in public?

True, the Christians fought the Muslims in eight crusades a millennium ago. Equally true is that both the religions belong to a common genecology; both believe in a single God. Yet in the Bible (Matthew 22 : 21), Lord Jesus is quoted as saying "render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's". There was a clear dividing line between politics and religion. On the other hand, in Islam Caesar and God are one, originally personified by Prophet Mohammed.

European leaders, with even a smattering knowledge of history, realize these past facts and future fears. Is it any wonder then that there is today such stiff opposition to the possible entry of Turkey into the European Union?

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