Some organisations have started making its youth aware of the perils of ISIS ideology in madarsas and in Friday prayers. It is a step in the right direction but getting the poison out of the society of anti-Islam will need to see more step towards improving their economic lot by way of skill development, vocational training like the one started by Ministry of Minority affairs.
The latest attacks by the Islamic militants in Paris and later in California by a radicalised Islamic couple have pushed the western society on the edge of its belief about what really are the Islamics upto and whether the Islam in its neighbourhood is safe enough for them to coexist. The debate that is fuelling in the western world is should we be tolerant to innocent Islamic refugees who could be potentially harmful to our society. The elite world is also talking about how far has the radicalised Islamic world vitiated the youth in various countries to take up the cause of radical Islam and what really will be future of Islam vis-a-vis Christianity.
As if the social unnerving is not enough the political world is seeing the manifestations of what really is being thought of by citizens in the western world. Most attendees to Republican candidate Donald Trump who said after the Paris attack—that US should not allow islamic refugees in the country unless it has a clarity on its way forward—agree with his view strongly and infact are very supportive of his idea. Polls show a rising popularity of his candidature after this statement. As in the US, the French too have seen the rise of right wing politics in the recent election with rightist Nicholas Sarkozy making strides in the regional elections. France is not alone the Germans too are now bickering and showing greater concern to open door policy of Muslim refugees that are entering its country even though they open the refugee gates in fall. Time Person of the Year Angela Merkel made it clear in a speech recently that multiculturism does not work and that it leads to parallel societies and it is a sham. Russian President Putin has always been harshly vocal about his views on islamic refugees that they speak Russian and adopt Russian way of life quickly if they enter the shores of his country. Needless to say Russia is seeing a rise of Orthodox Christianity in recent times.
As if the world of politics is not enough the world of internet has also seen a rising islamophobic sentiment in the recent time. Google has released its data that states that most of its searches in the US were related to Islam, some of the top searches were—‘Are all muslims terrorists?’, Muslim refugee crisis, What do Muslims believe ? What does the Quran say? Who is Mohammed? It is estimated that the US will see the highest number of hate crimes against Muslims in the year 2015 when FBI finally releases its formal data on crimes against religions.
But this is not to say that the Islamic world is just sitting by watching the events unfold the creation of Saudi-led Islamic front to fight terror are a step in the direction to stem the terrorists attacks and to contain the fast growing footprint of ISIS and other such fundamentalist organisations. Interestingly the coalitions of nearly 43 Islamic countries form this front and one of the countries that participates in this is Bharat’s neighbour Pakistan.
So the question is what does such a front have for a country like Bharat? Pakistan cannot fight the war against ISIS by letting loose those on its soil to create terror in Bharat. For one the intent and design of Pakistan to fight such terror will come to the fore sooner if not later. If it has joined such a front it will have to clean its own stables which means those blazing guns at Kashmir and calling it jihad to win it will have to be brought to book as violence and terrorism have no scope and justification for those who have joined this front. In Bharat there have been backlash on Islamics and there is definitely a more edgy society today as it learns of young recruits making it to Syria and Iraq for the Holy war from Bharat. Though the Bharateeya society is not as pronounced in its thoughts over how to deal with Islamic menace of fundamentalism there is enough thought in society accompanied by various other fear of growing Muslim fundamentalism.
The futures of countries like the US and Bharat which is multi religious, having Muslims as essential part of the social fabric lies in adopting a new way of co-opting them rather than confronting them. The Donald Trump types speeches about wither throwing the Muslims out or barring their entry becomes tricky in practical politics. What Trump can say about Muslims or fundamentalism, President Obama cannot. In fact, his state of union address has been about the realities of America's multicultural society in which many hero's in the US -soldiers, sports personalities- who the Americans emulate are Muslims. So is the position of Narendra Modi while rightly asking for assimilation rather than isolation. Modi and most of the Hindus also know very well what the result of such division along religious lines did to the society in 1947. Keeping in mind the history of bloodshed and violence Modi has choosen to fight jointly against poverty, rather than fighting against each other.
|Bharateeya Muslims hold demos |
in 75 cities
On November 18, 2015 various Muslim organisations in Bharat held demonstrations at 75 places in the country denouncing terrorism of ISIS in view of the recent attack on Paris where hundreds of innocents were killed in terrorist attack. Maulana Mehmood Madani, head of the organisation said that they would raise their voice against such terrorism and would not allow the youths of the country to be swayed away with its ideology.
‘Ulema’ meet vows to expel terrorism from Bharat
Kul-Hind Ulema Ijlas i.e. All India Ulema Confrence, organised for the first time at Ravindralaya in Lucknow on August 8, 2015 under the auspices of Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM). Writing a new script for peaceful co-existence, progress, brotherhood, harmony and non-violence the 1500 Mulsim clerics drawn from 25 states on the eve of the 74th anniversary of “Quit India” movement, gave a clarion call to the countrymen to expel terrorism from the country forever.
Madrasas issue fatwa against IS
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, two influential Islamic seminaries in Bareilly, Darul Uloom Deoband and the Dargah-e-Aala-Hazrat, which have a substantial following in the Bharateeya subcontinent, condemned the terror attack as “murder of humanity” and have decided to mobilise Islamic scholars across the country, to issue a joint Fatwa against IS, and also run a signature campaign among the general Muslims.
Islamic clerics issue fatwa
For the first time in Bharat, over 1,000 Islamic clerics had issued the biggest ever fatwa against the dreaded ISIS. The Fatwa that runs into 15 volumes was issued by Muftis, Moulvis, Imams and Ulemas of Bharat against the leader, fighters and followers of the ISIS.
United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow
On November 19, 2015, Shia and Sunni Muslims in Lucknow united against terrorism & IS and staged various demonstrations at the Bara Imambara and the Aishbagh Idgah condemning the Paris attacks.
The future for cultural nationalism is ripe the world as more fundamentalism gets fueled in times to come but it cannot be constructed only on negativism, as Trump is trying to do. In Bharatiya context, a far off war between Islam and Christianity will not be beneficial to anyone. Still, we have to be concerned. Will encouraging the mullahs and imams to preach Muslim youths to stay away from radical ISIS ideas do the trick? Mumbai based Muslim organisation have started with this process of making its youth aware of the perils of ISIS ideology in Madarsas and in Friday prayers. It definitely is a step in the right direction but getting the poison out of the society of anti-Islam will need to see more step towards improving their economic lot by way of skill development , vocational training like the one started by Ministry of Minority affairs. This needs to be more aggressive and far reaching so as to make the Muslims feel that the government is well meaning as far as making the lot of the Muslims better. Besides economic empowerment passing a law like Uniform Civil Code will also have a far reaching effect in the longer term though it will see a lot of heated debates and will be unwelcome initially. Modi comes from Gujarat where Bohri Muslims are progressive forward looking and well heeled. His experience of dealing with them can come in handy for dealing with economic upliftment of Muslims in the rest of Bharat. Otherwise also, the Muslims of Bharat has the potential to show the path of acceptance and assimilation to the world. Modi government’s actions, with concerned but constructive approach, based on Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas can surely facilitate the process.
Bhagyashree Pandey (The writer is a freelance journalist)