Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Rising Threat of Islamic Extremism in India: Moderate Intellectuals Must Join the Battle against Supremacism, Exclusivism, Sectarianism, Fascism and Violent Takfirism in Muslim Society

By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
18 Jan 2014
Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb, What kind of resistance can one recommend to the intellectuals and leaders of Indian Muslim community who do not even show any consciousness of the rising threat of Islamic extremism emanating from various sectarian ideologies related to Salafism-Wahhabism. Muslims may behave in an appalling manner in India or abroad but you will not find the slightest sign of introspection in our leaders, and of course, no self-criticism ever. Indeed you will be declared a Murtid the moment you even speak of a Muslim, particularly a Wahhabi Muslim, doing anything wrong anywhere.
Only a couple of days ago, as reported in Indian Muslim Press and New Age Islam, some extremist Muslims set ablaze the printing press of a publication and ransacked its offices in Cuttack. The General Manager of the publication had apologized unconditionally for publishing an imaginary photograph of Prophet Mohammad (saw) and clarified that it was not the publication's intention to hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community. This was clearly an honest mistake. How would an average non-Muslim know we are so allergic to photographs of the Prophet? Every publication including New Age Islam today hunts for photographs to illustrate stories. Muslims had no reason whatsoever to turn violent. Indeed, we should not resort to violence; take the law of the land into our hands, even if the publication were intentional and openly meant to offend Muslims. Unlike many Muslim-majority countries where non-Muslim minorities are treated as second-class citizens, we Muslim minorities do have legal methods of protest and struggle available in this Hindu-majority country.
However, if you express this opinion publicly you will be considered a Hindu agent and hence a Murtid and Kaafir. Under the reigning ideology of Salafi-Wahhabism, and its different branches, particularly ahl-e-Hadeesism, it now becomes imperative for other Muslims to eliminate you. You are the first and foremost enemy of Islam, according to Ibn-e-Abdul Wahhab, as you have not shown hatred and enmity in your action and words towards non-Muslims (this term includes all those Muslims who are not Wahhabis).
On the other hand if a Hindu in Hindu-majority India criticises other Hindus for acts of violence, he is a Mujahid in the eyes of our community. You know Teesta Seetalvad. This Hindu lady is known for taking up causes of human rights violations against Muslims. She is fighting for the victims of anti-Muslim Gujarat violence in 2002. She was declared a Mujahida (female Mujahid) by our Ulema and has recently been promoted in our male-chauvinist society to the status of a Mujahid (male Mujahid).

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