The theological and political interpretation of Islam and Christianity by Guruji decades ago is now manifesting in geo-political and intellectual debate in the world. Guruji had termed the theology of Islam and Christianity which claimed exclusive power to grant salvation as “absurd” and said that it led to intolerance. (1) He had also said that the spread of Islam and Christianity was because of political power and political power would never solve problems. (2) The two faiths which had had common origin and converging theological foundation was always in conflict, waging over 120 wars in 1300 years – almost a war a decade. (3) Why? The conflict has more to do with political tensions and divergent cultural world views than with religion, according to one view. (4) Even this perspective ignores the fact that idolators and pagans as common enemies could not unite Christianity and Islam.
They have been equally inimical and violent to each other as, despite believing in one God, one Text and one Prophet, their Gods, Texts and Prophets were not the same. After exterminating the pagans and establishing one God, Text and Prophet, the battle is now between them over whose God, Text and Prophet! (5) The traditional theological and political rivalry between them persists and has extended and expanded into the contemporary geo-political discourse. The only difference is that the valorous swords of Crusades and Jihads have become vulgar words in print and visual media, particularly after the Islamist terror attacks on US in 2001 and on UK in 2005.
An analytical essay in American Broadcasting Company (ABC) News titled “Islam Vs Christianity in holy war?” caricatures the contemporary relation between Islam and Christianity: “By all accounts, the radical fringes within Christianity and Islam seem to have launched a modern-day crusade, a slander-to-vanquish battle where the mass media appears to have taken over from the sword as a weapon of choice. In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes last year, the Rev. Jerry Falwell called the prophet Mohammed a “terrorist” and “a man of war.” Falwell's comments capped a TV season that saw televangelist Pat Robertson call the prophet a “robber and a brigand” and the Rev. Franklin Graham (son of the Rev. Billy Graham) denounce Islam as a “very evil and wicked religion.” On the other side, underground cassette tapes of vitriolic Friday sermons delivered by mullahs across the Muslim world are available from Cairo to Quetta…..Certainly the choruses of commentaries emerging from several Christian evangelists over the past few months have been vitriolic and personally targeted at Mohammed, while Muslim extremists have steered clear of attacking Jesus, since he is also considered a prophet in the Koran. Last June, the Rev. Jerry Vines, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, publicly called Mohammed a “demon-possessed pedophile.”(6) What the ABC News articles reveals is precisely what Guruji had said decades ago, namely, that the two religions suffer from theological intolerance and mix of political power. The result is the re-emergence of violent clashes between them driven by theological rivalry and political power. Can one imagine revered prophets of other faiths being vulgarised like this by any Hindu faithful like it happens in the West?
Post ColdWar: Over 80% conflicts involved West and/or Islam
Long before Islamic terror struck at US in 2001 and UK in 2005 and in other places, writing in Foreign Affairs magazine (Summer 1993) on the re-emergence of clash of civilisations Samuel Huntington hypothesised the re-emergence of tribal-like clashes among civilisations. He wrote “It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” (7) Huntington's thought provoking and controversial thesis sent shock waves through the international affairs and policy communities and generated more discussion than any other article published in Foreign Affairs magazine.(8) As Huntington had prognosticated, clashes involving Western and Islamic civilizations, the terrorist attacks of 2001 in New York, and the bombings in Bali, Madrid and London were interpreted by many as striking evidence for Huntington’s paradigm. (9)
A study 'Two Civilizations and Ethnic Conflict: Islam and the West' by Jonathan Fox, Department of Political Studies, Bar Ilan University, confirmed that from a Western perspective, the proportion of civilizational conflicts involving Western and Islamic groups increased dramatically after the end of the Cold War. According to the study: one, there is “support for Huntington’s claims regarding Islam”; two, majority of 55.9% of the post-Cold War civilizational ethnic conflicts involving the West were with Islamic groups; three, this is up from about 39.4% during the Cold War; four, it is consistent with Huntington’s argument that civilizational conflict between Western and Islamic civilizations will increase post-Cold War; five, overall, of the 104 civilizational ethnic conflicts in the post-Cold War era, about 80.8% involved Islamic groups, Western groups, or both; six, Huntington’s argument that these groups will be involved in a considerable amount of civilizational conflict in the post-Cold War era has some support; seven, about 83.1% of civilizational conflict during the Cold War involved Islamic groups, Western groups, or both indicates that this is nothing new to the post Cold War era; eight, in all, the general pattern of ethnic conflict confirms that, as Huntington predicted, Western and Islamic groups participate in a considerable amount of civilizational conflict; nine, the study confirms and validates Huntington's hypothesis that the clashes between the West and Islam would increase as the clashes of the West with Islam has increased by almost 40% now as compared to the clashes during the Cold War.” (10)
The explosive European situation
With researches confirming Huntington's hypothesis of increase in violent clashes between Islam and the West what is in store for the West, particularly Europe, is even more disturbing. In a seminal essay titled “*Euroislam:
Can Islamic Monotheism Meld with European Secularism? *(11) Herbert F. Mataré Hueckelhoven-Doveren, a German Scholar, reviewing two books by Islamic scholars (Bassam Tibi and Hameed-Abdel Samad) writes in his introduction that demographically Europe will have majority Muslim population in the next twenty years, not only due “to increasing Muslim immigration but also to the current low birthrate of indigenous non-Muslim Europeans and the much higher birthrate of both immigrant and established Muslim communities in Europe”. In their books the two Muslim scholars advocate a melding of a moderated form of Islam with European rationalism and secularism. The reviewer asks “whether it is possible to combine belief in an all-powerful monotheistic deity with a culture inspired by rational, scientific secularism.” The dismal and dangerous picture is best captured in the words of the author himself:
Quote: “The two Moslem scholars [Bassam Tibi and Samad (2008), Hamed-Abdel Samad (2010)] have been acclaimed in the Western world for their suggestion that Moslem immigrants into Europe and indigenous Europeans should work together to meld Islamic and contemporary European culture into a harmonious unity. While the picture that they paint of the Islamic world outside Europe is a dismal one, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe show few signs of wishing to assimilate, choosing to set up what in effect are Islamic isolates or ghettoes. Indeed, Muslims in Britain have a privileged position, protected in many ways by law. Nevertheless, in 2010 Wikileaks revealed that *a survey conducted by the UK Center for Social Cohesion on the opinions of 600 Muslim students at 30 British universities showed that 32 % supported killing in the name of Islam and that 40% wanted Shari’a law in the United Kingdom.
Moslems, Samad states, have a chronic psychological readiness to feel insulted. The archaic culture of resistance defeats the needed cooperation with the West. Under the heading, “I am Muslim, ergo I am insulted,” he alleges that Muslims persistently look for ill-treatment of Muslims anywhere in the world, or for pejorative references to Mohammed. Reading what he says, *we are reminded of the British teacher in Sudan who was arrested because she had named her teddy bear, “Mohammed.”
To Tibi, Europe should accept a more full-blooded cultural pluralism, not just a state of multiculturalism in which secular Western culture remains dominant. He considers himself to be a Moslem but believes that Islam needs to be reformed, and that Islam should merge with the European secular and scientific culture of Europe to create a new Europe-wide, Leitcultur, that will be acceptable to Muslims and would meld Islamic values into the existing European secular culture. *This is the only way, *he told *Der Spiegel**, **that Europe can avoid a Huntington-style “clash of civilizations.”*
Tibi is right in saying that *multiculturalism has failed in Europe, *but while Europe’s Muslim population continues to grow*, it is difficult to believe that a blending of Islam and European secularism is possible so long as most adherents to Islam continue to believe in the omnipotence of an all-powerful monotheistic god*, and European culture remains wedded to the ideals of intellectual freedom and the free pursuit of scientific knowledge about man and the universe: *Unquote: *
That is either Islam has to give up its belief that Allah is the only God or Europe has to give up its secular, scientific intellectualism. Is not the Muslim authors' conclusion “so long as Muslims continue to believe in the omnipotence of all powerful monotheistic God, it is difficult to blend Islam” with other thought systems exactly the same as Guruji's on Islam (and also Christianity) decades ago?
Bunch of Thoughts  p137
Bunch of Thoughts  p97
* http://www.lutheranwiki.org/Timeline_of_Conflict_between_ Muslim_and_Christian_/_Western_Powers
*http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/christianity_islam.htm * <http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/christianity_islam.htm>].
http://www.conservapedia.com/Debate:Are_Christianity_and_the_Bib le_superior_to_other_relig ions_and_scriptures%3F
Is There a Clash of Civilizations? Evidence from Patterns of International Con?ict Involvement, 1946–97 Giacomo chiozza Department of
Political Science, Duke University: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/pnorris/Acrobat/Chiozza_Clash.pdf
International Terrorism and the Clash ofCivilizations by Eric Neumayer and Thomas Plumper: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/geographyandenvironment/whoswho/profiles/neumayer/pdf/huntingtonandterrorism.pdf
* http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/pnorris/Acrobat/stm103%20articles/Ethnic%20conflict%20Fox_JPR_.pdf *<http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/pnorris/Acrobat/stm103%20articles/Ethnic%20conflict%20Fox_JPR_.pdf>
* *http:/www.mankind quarterly.org/samples/Matare.pdf