Intro: The popular narrative of Deobandis in India is still considering non-Muslims as non-entities. The recent development in Pakistan should be an eye opener to them.
It is a rude shock for the Deobandis in India and Pakistan that Pakistan denied direct involvement in the battle in Yemen terming it as a tribal conflict. A most diehard Sunni country, which received solid support from Saudi Arabia for decades, which vouched for Islamic atom bomb on behalf of its mentor, has dropped its mentor like hot potato. Pakistan is fully aware of its implications. Henceforth, it cannot expect any support from Saudi Arabia. The implications are the terrorist breeding madrasas can no longer be sustained. US military aid will not be forthcoming. Pakistan took the risk of alienating its sectarian allies, doing away with the universal brotherhood, ummah with other Sunni countries at a great risk. This Pakistan could do only after steadfast assurances of infrastructural and the developmental largess from the non-Muslim, non-religious, godless China on a massive scale.
This sudden jerk in the Pakistan policy has put the Sunnis all over the world, especially in India in a problematic situation. As long as Saudis offered unstinted support to Pakistan, imposed the Wahhabi Islam, created hoards of jihadist armies and extended tentacles of terrorism to the non-Muslim territories, be it India, Britain, European countries, African tribals, it went well. The Deobandis while enjoying Saudi patronage, were happy to raise the gang of Mullas in thousands at Dar-ul-Ulum, who bred on hate for Kafirs, preached hate for any and every other type of social-religious thought. They sided with Pakistan, considered Saudi Arabia as an ideal Islamic state and kept mum on the oppressive dictatorial regimes in these Islamic countries. They exploited the secular political set ups in these liberal countries at the same time enjoying the freedom which is not permitted in the Muslim ruled countries. They instilled hate against native population branding them as kafirs, infidels and leading to self-alienation. They exploited the weakness of the democratic systems and the naïve native secularists who looked away when these religious bandits made provocative statements. I have personally heard Mullas delivering lectures at the public congregations like local urus the vitriolic anti kafir, (understand it here as the Hindus) language with impunity. When confronted with facts that sectarian Islam has always been anti-humanitarian, they sulk, run away and stop communicating.
For a longtime, Deobandis were enamoured by the mirage of ummah, the universal brotherhood in Sunni Islam, which existed only in their imagination. They are finding it difficult to digest the reality. Over the last five years, after the Arab spring turned into bloody summer, the Deobandis looked the other way when Muslims were killing fellow Muslims,because they were fed with largess of Petro dollars for the Sunni OPEC countries. Now that supply line has come to nought, so the disillusioned Mullahdom in India has suddenly woken up to the fratricidal conflicts in the West-Asia, branding it as power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran, grudgingly acknowledging it also as Shia-Sunni conflict. The recent issue of Deobandi magazine Eastern Crescent (EC) reflects this dilemma among the Deobandi Mullahdom in India. Article by A Hameed Yousuf, “Desire for Political Power Ranges Muslims against Muslims” (EC May 2015, Pp 15-18) is a belated realisation of the massacre that went on in the Arab countries for five years with active financial and military support to the respective warring fractions on the sectarian lines.
So far the Deobandis could not open their mouth against Saudi Arabia which aided and abated the fratricidal violence in the Muslim countries, as they were indebted to the sumptuous financial help from the Saudis. Now that Saudis have also been disillusioned by the renegade Pakistan aligning itself with godless Chinese kafirs, Deobandis in India too find it difficult to acquire the Saudi support. Saudis club Pakis and Hindis in the same group. This made the Deobandi clerics suddenly aware of the reality that not only Sunnis but Shias too belong to Islam. Till today, the Shias were kafirs for the Deobandis. Now onwards Deobandis vouch to unite Muslims against non-Muslims. To hate Kafirs, decimate them wherever, whenever possible and that is the most important duty ordained by Islam is the tone of the article. Hameed Yousuf writes, “A saying of the Prophet Mohammad (PUBH) terms all non-Muslims as a single community when it comes to attacking Islam (which in reality is otherwise). But when it is required also they show unity against ‘non-Muslim’ enemies of Islam they take resort to the instances where the Prophet sought assistance even from pagans, polytheists, Christians and Jews (Hindus excluded) (EC Pp 17).”
What one can make out from the above statement? A Muslim will always consider any and every ‘non-Mulsim’ as his enemy; will always wage either open or concealed war against them, be they their own countrymen or the countries offering refuge to them in the times of distress. The later point becomes more poignant in the events of thousands of refugees from the Arab and African countries taking refuge in Italy and then spreading over to European Union. Muslims gladly took citizenship in these countries, enjoyed unemployment and family sustenance doles and aid given to them as citizens of these adopted countries. They thrived in numbers and are now claiming to impose Sharia code in these countries. As of today, there are more Muslim citizens of British origin fighting under ISIS than those serving in the British armed forces.
Mediaeval mind set
The mediaeval set up of the Muslim minds such as that of Hameed Yousuf and co-Deobandis does not accept the division of people along the socio-cultural lines and nationalities. It still lingers in the initial years of Islam when for a small Saudi Arab community the Muslim, non-Muslim distinction could hold a reality. Even in the days of Four Caliphs, when Islam was imposed on to the regions beyond Arabastan, they had to accept non-Muslims as people with equal rights. The so called golden age of Ottoman Empire could not grow without contributions from the non-Muslims. Now in the 21st century milieu, when democratic non-Muslim countries have made progress and the Muslim countries are reeling under the despotic rules, including those of Talibans and ISIS, they continue to hold non-Muslims as non-entities. One wonders in which world of imagination they are living! By that measure no Muslim can be relied for being patriotic. While these diehards are small in numbers, they malign the whole Muslim community. Having dealt at length on the Saudi-Iran rivalry, Yousuf does not bother to condemn ISIS which has been terrorising the local non-Muslims and Muslims as well, practising heinous slavery and sale of Yazidi women in captivity. As long as there was Saudi support, Deobandis have not been forthcoming so far to condemn in unequivocal terms the human monster of ISIS for the last two years. Because they considered it to be a Sunni Caliphate, that will lead to establishment of Islam worldwide. EC did not carry a feature on atrocities by ISIS. Indian Deobandi mind-set has not yet accepted the existence of faiths other than Sunni – now attach to it Wahhabi terrorism, even after thriving under the Indian democracy.
In another article in the same magazine, “Alienation of Muslims: A Nation’s Decay” by Irfan Khan (EC May 2015, Pp 29-31), the author blames it on the communal conflicts and the Hindu communalism.
Irfan Khan forgets the vitriolic propaganda by Owaisi brothers and the threat Akabruddin Owaisi gave in public to take care of Hindu majority, saying “Remove police for a few minutes and 20 crore Muslims will decimate the rest of the Hindu population”. The Deobandi set up eulogises Owaisi on the front cover of issue of EC June 2014. For Deobandis, there does not exist the issue of Bangladeshi infiltrators (EC June 2014 Pp 16-17), not accepting the reality.
Maliegned Mullahdom in Pakistan
Average Pakistani is aware of the Mullahdom and its socially corrupting influence on the society. Deobandis too constitute major part of Pakistani Mullahdom. Alienation from Saudi Arabian state, that too brought about by Pakistan has become eye opener for the Deobandis in India. The real awakening is yet to come. Chinese are no naïve people. They are aware of the threat the new link road from Gwadar to Kashgar will pose for their country. It will open up direct access for the numerous terrorist outfits to the Uighur Muslim dominated Xinjiang province. While extending aid to Pakistan, China will force Pakistan to comedown heavily not only on the terrorist outfits but also the Madrasa system that thrived under the Deobandi Mullahdom. Deobandis in Pakistan will have to accept, adjust and also align with the godless power of Chines who will continue to ruthlessly suppress their co-religionists in that country. What will be stand of Indian Deobandis then? How long Indian Deobandis will continue to hate kafirs, including Hindus?
Dr Pramod Pathak (The writer is a prolific writer and writes on history culture and foreign policy)