The recent Islamist attacks on Brussels have proved many things. One, the Islamists now treat Christian Europe as a happy hunting ground for killing innocent Christians. Two, Islamists are no longer a fringe element of the Muslim community. But for the tacit support of the religious leadership of the community, it is just not possible to carry out such barbarous attacks on almost all continents. The speeches of the Maulvis and Mullahs are the inspiration for committing such heinous crimes. The attacks on Brussels were neither the first nor are they going to be the last.
In this context, Professor Bernard Lewis, an eminent western scholar of Islam, made the following observations in 1992 about the historical conflict between Islam and Christendom: In the seventh century, at the time of the advent of Islam, the Mediterranean world was dominantly Christian, with only Jewish minorities. In a series of swift and overwhelming victories, the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean were permanently wrested from Christendom, and even substantial parts of the European mainland were subjected, for many centuries to Muslim rule. For most of their common history, relations between the two communities were shaped by attacks, and counterattacks, jihad and crusade, conquest and re-conquest. The last great Muslim assault on Europe that of the Ottoman Turks, ended with the second unsuccessful siege of Vienna in 1683 A.D. With that failure and the Turkish retreat that followed, a thousand years of Muslim threat came to an end, and three centuries of Christian threat to Islam began. Now, with the disappearance of the European empires, this phase has also come to an end. The Christian and the Muslim now face each other across the Mediterranean with old animosities.
There are now four religions in the Mediterranean world - Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Secularism. There are fundamental differences between Christianity, Judaism and Secularism, on one side and Islam on the other. Islam does not believe in peaceful coexistence with other religions. From an early date Muslim law laid down as one of the principal obligations of the head of the state and community, the conduct of Jihad (holy war). In principle, this war was to continue until all mankind embraced Islam or submitted to the authority of the Muslim state.
Jihad literally means “An effort or striving” A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and in the Traditions (Jihad) as a divine obligation, and enforced specially for the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims. The duty of religious war, which all commentators agree is a duty extending to all times. These verses occur in the al-Madinah Surahs. For example:
Surah ix. 5,6: And when the sacred months are passed, kill those who join other gods with God wherever ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and lay wart for them with every kind of ambush: but if they shall convert, and observe prayer, and iay the obligatory, then let alms them go their way, for God is gracious and merciful. If any one of those who join god with God ash an asylum of thee, grant him an asylum, that he may hear the Word of God, and then let him reach his place of safety. This, for that they are people devoid of knowledge.
Surah ix, 29: Make war upon such of those whom the Scriphors have been given as believe not in god or in the last day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of truth, until they pay tribute (Jizyah) out of hand, and they be humbled.
Surah iv. 76-79: Let those then fight on the path of God, who exchange this present life for that which is to come; for whoever fighteth on God's path, whether he be slain or conquer, we will in the end give him a great reward.
THE TRADITIONS :
In the Traditions of Sahihu I-Bukhari and Shihu Muslim long chapters have been devoted to the subject of Jihad. Some of thef the sayings of the Prophet are:- God is a sponsor for him who goeth forth to fight on the road of God. If he be not killed, he shall return to his house with rewards and booty but if he be slain, he shall be taken to paradise. This religion will ever be established, even to the Day of Resurrection, as long as Muslims fight for it. Guarding the frontiers of Islam for even one day is worth more than the whole world and all that is in it.
The following is the teaching of Hanafi school of Sunnis on the subject of Jihad as given in the Hidayah, Vol. II p.40. It is established as a divine ordinance, by the word of God, who said in the Quran, Slay the infidels, and also by sayings of the Prophet, war is permnantly established until the Day of Judgement. (The Dictionary Of Islam by Thomas Patrick Hughes, London, 1895)
LEGALITY OF JIHAD
The Muslim community has been a political as well as a religious society. Both these aspects have been regarded as inseparable because Islamic teaching rests upon the integration of the worldly as well as spiritual life. The Muslim rulers (Turks) of India found the moral justification for their advances into India in the injunction to propagate Islam. As this could not be achieved without the subjugation of non-Muslims and the occupation of their territory, the propagation of Islam became identical with war and conquest. The Hiddyah (the title of a well known book of Sunni law) is quite explicit about the Legality of Jihad (holy war) against infidels even when they have not taken the offensive. Verses of the Quran restricting Jihad in certain contingencies were so interpreted as to show that a condition of war with non-Muslims was the norm, and peace dependent on the existence of appropriate circumstances. The treatment to be meted out to the Hindus in India was a corollary of the principles of Jihad, observes late Professor M. Mujeeb, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia. In this context, Professor Mujeeb quotes Zia-ud-din Barani, a well known historian of medieval India:
The obligation to be the refuge of the faith cannot be fulfilled until they, the kings, have utterly destroyed infidelity and unbelief, polytheism and idolatry for the sake of God and the protection of their religion. If they cannot wholly extirpate polytheism and infidelity because the infidels and polytheists are in large numbers, it will not be less meritorious if, for the sake of Islam and of affording refuge to the true faith, they use their efforts to insult and humiliate and to cause grief and bring ridicule and shame upon the polytheists. Hindus are the bitterest enemies of God and the Prophet of God. Keeping the Hindus in a humble position is one of the essentials of true religiousness says Qadi Mughith
The non-Muslims of all parts of the world, whatever their relation or attitude towards the Muslims, were identified with the kuffar of Mecca and assumed to be inveterate enemies of Islam. The degree of their humiliation was the measure of the glory and prestige of the Muslim. The Jizyah was regarded as a punishment for their refusal to accept Islam observes Professor Mujeeb. The noblest occupation for a Muslim was Jihad, and the most praiseworthy consummation of his life was martyrdom on the field of battle. Every war was a jihad and the practice of the military profession identical with the treatment of a religious duty. (The Indian Muslims, George Allen and Unwin London, 1967)
MISSIONARY AND NON-MISSIONARY RELIGIONS:
Ever since Professor Max Muller delivered his lecture in Westminister Abbey, London in 1873, the six great religions of the world have been divided into missionary and non-missionary religions. The latter include: Judaism, Brahamanism, and Zoroastrianism; under the former fall Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. A missionary religion is one in which the spreading of the truth and the conversion of unbelievers are raised to the rank of a sacred duty by the founder or his immediate successors. It is the spirit of truth in the hearts of believers which cannot rest, unless it manifests itself in thought, word and deed which is not satisfied till it has carried its message to every human soul, till what it believes to be the truth is accepted as the truth by all members of the human family (The Preaching of Islam by Sir Thomas Arnold, London,1913)
REASONS FOR EXTRAORDINARY SPREAD OF ISLAM
Writing in 1907, Bishop Lefroy states: The secret of the extraordinary power for conquest and advance which Islam has in its best ages evinced is to be found in its recognition of the Existence of God rather than the Unity of God. Not so much that God is one as that God Is-that His existence is the ultimate fact of the universe- that His will is supreme-His sovereignty absolute-His power limitless-the conviction that amidst all the chaos and confusion and disorder of the world which so fearfully obscure it, there is nevertheless; an ultimate Will, resistless, supreme, and that man is called to be a minister of that Will. This it was which welded the Muhammedans into so invincible an engine of conquest, which inspired them with a spirit of military subordination and discipline as well as with a contempt for death.
As regards the spread of Islam in India, Professor Thomas Arnold head of the Aligarh college, writes: For India has often been picked out as a typical instance of a country in which Islam owes its existence and continuance in existence to the settlement in it of foreign conquering Muhammedan races, who have transmitted their faith to their descendants, and only succeeded in spreading it beyond their own circle by means of persecution and forced conversions. Thus the missionary spirit of Islam is supposed to show itself in its true light in the brutal massacres of Brahamans by Mahmud of Ghazna, in the persecutions of Aurangzeb, the forcible circumcisions effected by Haydar Ali, Tipu Sultan and the like. [Sir Thomas was the first English editor for the first edition of The Encyclopedia of Islam]
THE LEGACY OF JIHAD
Muslim divines and scholars have written volumes on the subject of Jihad. Compared to this, very few western scholars have discussed this subject. Standard works on Islamic theology were brought out mostly by the English during the heydays of the British Empire in Asia and the Middle East. These include, among others, the researches carried out by Sir Thomas Arnold, Sir William Muir, A. Guillaume, Ignaz Goldziher; Charles Hamilton, and Thomas Patrick Hughes. Prof. A.S. Tritton; Bernard Lewis, John Esposito and Samuel Huntington are some of the present day leading lights in the western world who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding of Islam.
Professor Andrew G. Bostom, has now edited a collection of articles written by well know scholars on the subject of Jihad. The volume: The Legacy of Jihad volume shows how jihad has been waged by Islamists in Europe, Asia and Africa since the advent of Islam in Arabia in the 7th century. Contributors are mostly from the region in which Jihad was carried out and thus they have relatively better understanding of the impact of Jihad on the people of the areas.
Articles on the subject also cover the writings/statements by Muslim divines and intellectuals. The book is a valuable addition to the literature on Jihad primarily because, a reader can see the commonalities in the treatment of non- Muslims by Muslim rulers, be they in Europe, Asia or Africa. A point to be noted is that the undertaking of Jihad is performed till the whole mankind embraces Islam or submits to the authority of the Muslim state. The volume cites examples of Jihad, how it commenced in the 7th century and continued until the beginning of the Great War of 1914. In the 21st century,in consonance with the tenets of the Quran and the Traditions, the Islamic State (of Syria and Iraq) has resurrected the fight for global Jihad and the establishment of a universal Caliphate.
JIHADI GENOCIDE OF THE ARMENIANS BY THE OTTOMAN TURKS
Massacres of the Armenians at Sasun, Istanbul, Trebizond, Erzurum, and Urfa In the region of Sasun, south of Mush, the exactions of the Kurdish chieftains had evolved into a organized system of tribute by blackmail, paid for their protection by the Armenian population. On top of this the Turkish authorities now chose to demand payment of arrears of government taxes which, in the circumstances, had for some years been tacitly foregone. When the Armenians refused to submit to this double exaction, Turkish troops were called into the area, in close concert with the Kurdish tribesmen. Soon they were indiscriminately slaughtering the helpless Armenians. The soldiers pursued them throughout the length and breadth of the region, hunting them “like wild beasts” up the valleys and into the mountains, respecting no surrender, bayoneting the men to death, raping the women, dashing their children against the rocks, burning to ashes the villages from which they had fled. For this operation the Turkish commander, Zeki Pasha was awarded an appropriate gratuity by the Sultan.
Cruelest and most ruinous of all were the massacres at Urfa, where the Armenian Christians numbered a third of the total population. Here in December 1995, after a two month siege of their quarter, the leading Armenians assembled in their cathedral, where they drew up a statement requesting Turkish official protection. Promising this, the Turkish officer in charge surrounded the cathedral with troops. Then a large body of them, with a mob in their wake, rushed through the Armenian quarter, where they plundered all houses and slaughtered all adult males above a certain age. When a large group of young Armenians were brought before a sheikh, he had them thrown down on their backs and held by their hands and feet. Then, in the words of an observer, he recited verses of the Koran and “cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.”
When the bugle blast ended the day's operations some three thousand refugees poured into the cathedral, hoping for sanctuary. But the next morning, a Sunday, a fanatical mob swarmed into the church in an orgy of slaughter, rifling its shrines with cries of "Call upon Christ to prove Himself a greater prophet than Mohammed." Then they amassed a large pile of straw matting, which they spread over the litter of the corpses and set alight with thirty cans of petroleum. The woodwork of the gallery where a crowd of women and children crouched, wailing in terror, caught fire, and all perished in the flames. Punctiliously, at three thirty in the afternoon the bugle blew once more, and the Moslem officials proceeded around the Armenian quarter to proclaim that the massacres were over. They had wiped out 126 complete families, without a woman or a baby surviving, and the total casualties in the town, including those slaughtered in the cathedral, amounted to eight thousand dead.
WHAT TO DO?
A number of western scholars had come out with their analyses of events that had led to 9/11 Islamist attack on the USA. Serge Trifkovic, an author and producer with BBC, London had written a volume entitled The Sword of the Prophet (Boston, 2002). In brief, he reaches the following conclusion to tackle the problem of Islamists facing the West: Before 1914, both the West and the Muslim world could define themselves against each other in a cultural sense. What secularism has done, since replacing Christianity as the guiding light of the West is to cast aside any idea of a Christian social, geographic, and cultural space that should be protected. In contrast, Islam has not softened. This being the case, the consequences will be very serious unless Muslims are either westernized or else Christianized which of course cannot happen. If neither of those scenarios work, the West faces two clear alternatives: defence or submission and acceptance of sacred Arab places as its own. While it is proper for democratic governments to refrain from legislating the practice of religion in anyway, Islam is a special case because it is, on its own admission, much more than just a religion. The collective striving embodied in We the People makes no sense unless there is a definable people to support it. Most Muslim immigrants, have no kinship with the striving and no connection to that people, except for the unsurprising desire to partake in its wealth. But their deep disdain for the democratic institutions of the host countries notwithstanding, Muslim activists in non-Muslim countries invoke those institutions when they clamor for every kind of indulgence for their own beliefs and customs. The demand for full democratic privileges to organize and propagate their views, while acknowledging to each other that, given the power to do so, they would impose their own beliefs and customs, and eliminate all others.
Once it is accepted that true Islam does not recognize apriori the right of any other religion or world outlook to exist-least of all the atheistic secular humanism of the ruling establishment, a serious anti-terrorist strategy will finally become possible. Critical to reducing the chance of an attack on the West, in the future are an immediate moratorium on all immigration from the rogue nations; a radical reduction of visas issued to nationals of states that harbor or produce terrorists, abandonment of amnesty debates and the swift deportation of all illegal aliens from rogue nations that threaten the West. To pretend, as the western ruling elite does, that Islam is a religion of peace, rather like Episcopalianism, is stupid or deeply dishonest. Secularists and believers of all other faiths must act together before it is too late, warns the author.
Muslims belonging to Minority Provinces were in the forefront of the demand for Pakistan. The religious leaders were the torch bearers of this movement for a separate homeland for Muslims. When they agreed to the formation of Pakistan in 1947, they very well knew that those left behind in India would become aliens. That is they would be governed by laws based on secularism and not on the basis of Shariah. Those who have doubt on this may please go through Mushir-ul-Haq’s book Muslim Politics in Modern India.
You say that There is an urgent need to increase representation of minorities in the police.
Earlier in your interview to the Outlook of 25 April you have stated Religion must strictly be a personal matter and have nothing to do with the affairs of the state. The state must be equidistant from all religions.
As a senior educated and experienced gentleman, do you see any contradiction between these two opinions of yours?
Muslim League's Pakistan Resolution of March 1940 declared that the Muslims were a nation and not a minority. On that only basis the country was divided into two, namely, Hindustan and Pakistan. Now, how have you resurrected the ghost of minority?
You have called the demolition of the Babri structure as shocking. What were you doing as Home Secretary while the edifice was falling? Did you not appeal to your home minister to intervene? Did you seek an urgent interview with the prime minister? Or, would you blame the prime minister for the destruction of the edifice?
Since 1990 seventy Hindu temples were desecrated or destroyed in the Kashmir Valley on the Indian side of the LoC. What action did your ministry take to save any of them or to punish the iconoclasts? If you require the names and their locations, they can be provided to you.