When President George Bush, visited India, Indian Muslims suddenly seemed to have found their voice. Thousands congregated in places like Delhi and Mumbai to protest against his visit, of course, to no avail, and only succeeded in irritating the government.
The problem, it seems, is that Muslims have no proper political leadership, which may be one reason why they behave so irrationally, What makes it often worse is that whatever leadership there is, has no understanding of history as it takes place. They don'trealise that Muslims are being made use of by the United States when it suits its purpose.
According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began in 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now is completely otherwise.
Indeed, it was on July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed a secret directive to aid the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. According to the historian V.G.Kiernan, writing in America, the New Imperialism, the CIA soon assembled Muslim forces from some of the most reactionary elements of contemporary Islam. The CIA poured billions of dollars into the jehad international, making it one of the largest operations in the institution'shistory. Working closely with Pakistan'sISI, the CIA turned to Mujahideen recruited throughout the Arab world. Among the men the CIA recruited was the Palestinian Sheikh Abdullah Azzam an instructor at King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia whose philosophy was: ?Jehad and the rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences, no dialogues.? Azzam then successfully brought one of his prize pupils, Osama bin Laden into the struggle in Afghanistan. Though he was closer to the Pakistani ISI than the US CIA, bin Laden gave US operatives a share of credit for the success of his earliest Afghanistan operation saying: ?I set up my first camp where the volunteers were trained by Pakistani and American officers. The weapons were supplied by the Americans, the money by the Saudis?. When these terrorists, following the overthrow of the Russians from Afghanistan started their operations against India in Jammu and Kashmir not a Muslim voice was heard. Nobody protested. When the statues of the Buddha were disfigured in Bamian there were no protests. Poor Buddha. Like the Jina, the Buddha must be the only world religious leader who has never advocated violence against anybody. The Muslims in India were unconcerned.
When, under the evil tutelage of a former British Governor of the North West Frontier Province, Sir Olaf Caroe, the United States chose heavily to arm Pakistan, Muslims in India couldn'tcare less.
According to Kiernan, in 1971, all three countries, Pakistan, the United States and China ?were in the same camp against India?. It did not matter to Indian Muslims. Nobody came out to protest against American arms equipment to Pakistan. When the United States was heavily arming Iraq with weapons of mass destruction in its war against Iran, with as Kiernan has noted, approximately a million death as a result, was there any Indian Muslim voice of protest? Muslim was killing Muslim, but it did not seem to bother Indian Muslims.
When Jehadis sought to attack the Indian Parliament with evident intent to kill as many parliamentarians as possible, the Muslims voice was still. When the Akshardham Temple was attacked in Ahmedabad, there was no great Muslim stirring. Nor was there any great stirring when jehadis attempted an attack on Sankat Vimochan Temple in Varanasi though we are told that a few Muslim women in the holy city did register a protest.
Admittedly those Muslim jehadis who indulge in terrorism in India are few but they are in sufficiently large number to create havoc. But one never gets the feeling that Indian Muslims are against any terrorism being practised by Muslim jehadists whether from Pakistan or from Bangladesh where Hindus are hunted out. Nobody is trying to throw Muslims out of India. Their religion is respected unlike as in both Bangladesh and Pakistan. Why aren'tIndian Muslims ticking off Bangladeshi and Pakistani leaders openly and unambiguously?
According to Pakistani security officers there are ?hundreds of foreigners, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechen and Afghan terrorists hiding in the north and south Waziristan tribal regions. According to a report in Economic and Political Weekly (March 18) there are between 1,500 to 1,700 ?militants? in the borders of Jammu and Kashmir waiting to infiltrate to create trouble. A mass meeting of Muslims in several towns in India protesting against this would be an ideal message to Pakistan and to Bangladesh that they strongly oppose anti-India terrorism wherever and however it is practised. Is that asking too much? Muslim silence in such matters leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Now comes the news that the Centre is looking seriously into allegations that many Muslims are ignoring courts and thus posing a challenge to the Indian judicial system.
A Division Bench of the Supreme Court was informed in the third week of March that Criminal Law was not being allowed to have its natural run in a rape case because the judicial process was being hijacked by Muslim clerics. It is one thing for private parties to get an intermediary to arbitrate on civil cases, but it is none of the business of Muslim clerics to interfere in criminal cases such as the Imrana Rape Case. The belief is that Muslim clerics can even run their own criminal courts which is another way of saying that they belong to a Pakistan within India. The matter is too serious to be ignored. The ISI supports a few mean jehadists in India. ?Why should we worry they aren'tmany, are they?? is the Indian Muslim response. Indian Muslims forget-or at least seem to forget-that they are also Indians and have a responsibility to protect the security of India and that, if India, for instance, comes to an understanding with the United States it is not because India supports Washington'sapproach towards Iraq or Iran, but because India has to take care of Indian interests and not Hindu interests.
Muslim mass protests against George Bush'svisit was unwise, untimely and unnecessary. It hurts Indian interests. Muslims in India must remember that of all the non-Muslim countries in the world India gives them the maximum freedom without let or hindrance, such freedom that Hindus get in no Muslim country. For all of India'sfaults-and God alone knows they are many-it still has the second largest Muslim population in the world. It is a point worth remembering by Muslims in India when next they berate a foreign visitor to India on religious grounds.
Wasn'tit India which invited Saudi Arabian Royalty as its guest on India'sIndependence Day celebrations? Will Riyadh ever show some courtesy and let India build a temple in Saudi Arabia?