Monday, May 25, 2009

Islamic Crusades Episode 7: India’s Modern Struggle

The story continues from Episode 6 and addresses the plight of non-Muslims on the Indian subcontinent in the modern era.



Transcript with links and sourcing follows:



Islamic Crusades Episode 7: India’s Modern Struggle

As the power of the Islamic Mughal Empire steadily declined over the 18th and 19th centuries, European influence filled the void, culminating in the establishment of British rule in 1858. This period of colonialism is well-known and universally demonized in the West, and many blame British intervention for the Hindu/Muslim tensions we see in the region today. This flatly ignores the historical fact that Muslims had invaded the subcontinent 1,000 years before the Europeans, and Muslim on Hindu violence had been endemic ever since. To put things in perspective, the British Raj (
1858-1947) lasted only 89 years, or less than one third of the 331-year span of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857), which was only the most recent in a series of Islamic empires that ruled India.

Although British rule brought its own brand of exploitation, the relative status of Hindus improved. They were no longer spat-upon infidels, but royal subjects- still occupied by a foreign ideology but now equal to Muslims and all other residents of the subcontinent. The British were more interested in economic gain than religious imperialism, and inadvertently or not, the infrastructure they built brought India out of feudalism and into the modern industrial age. Railways, roads, canals, bridges and telegraph lines were rapidly established so that raw materials, such as cotton, could be transported more efficiently to ports for export to England. By 1920, India had the fourth largest railroad network in the world, and 85% of the railroad network that moves 18 million Indians per day in 2009 was built by the British in the colonial period.

After World War II the British came under increasing pressure to leave, and no longer had the financial resources or domestic support to continue their occupation. In 1947 the British viceroy assembled leaders of the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities, who decided to partition the land. Hindu and Sikh-dominated areas would become a smaller core state called India, while Muslim areas in the West and East would form a new state called Pakistan. The prince of Kashmir, a majority-Muslim territory with a large Hindu minority, hesitated to join Pakistan and Islamic forces invaded to force the issue. The prince called for military help from India, igniting the first India-Pakistan War and ensuring division and instability in Kashmir ever since.

The name Pakistan is a recently fabricated acronym based on the five Muslim-majority regions in northwest India: Punjab, Afghan Border States, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan. Pakistan declared itself an Islamic Republic, and later codified the supremacy of Islam when it adopted the Koran as the basis for its constitution. In contrast the Republic of India’s constitution (PDF) laid the foundations for a secular democratic state in which the rights of all citizens would be respected. In the chaos following partition millions fled across the newly-drawn borders and about half a million died in inter-communal fighting. The fate of the minorities who remained on the wrong side of the borders is very telling.


PAKISTAN (West Pakistan)

In 1947 the population of West Pakistan, later known simply as Pakistan, was 15-20% Hindu. Today that figure has fallen below 2%. Hindus have been murdered, expelled and legally marginalized. Religious minorities have been forcibly converted and temples have been destroyed. Just as Arab Muslim textbooks and media vilify Jews, Pakistani Muslim textbooks incite violence against Hindus.

A 2003 study conducted by 30 experts of Pakistan’s education system found:

"Incitement to militancy and violence, including encouragement of Jihad and Shahadat (martyrdom)”; a “glorification of war and the use of force”; “Perspectives that encourage prejudice, bigotry and discrimination towards fellow citizens, especially women and religious minorities, and towards other nations” and “Omission of concepts ... that could encourage critical self awareness among students”


With the rise of the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier and the Swat Valley the atrocious conditions for minorities are only getting worse. In early 2009 the Taliban instituted Jizya, the tax that Muslims are required to collect from subdued minorities, on the infidel population of the Swat valley. In May 2009, 2,000 Sikhs who refused to pay the tax were forced to take refuge in a Sikh shrine near Islamabad. Sharia courts have been established in Swat, meting out such progressive penalties as death for adultery.


BANGLADESH (East Pakistan)

In the former East Pakistan, known as Bangladesh today, the Hindu population has seen a similar decline since partition. (INSERT GRAPH). Persecution reached the level of genocide in 1971 when civil war broke out between West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Bengalis in East Pakistan were pushing for independence, so West Pakistan sent tens of thousands of occupying troops to put down the revolt of their fellow Muslims, but during the occupation Hindus wound up being the main victims. They made up less than 20% of the population but accounted for an estimated 80% of the three million deaths and 80% of the ten million refugees who fled over the border to northeast India.

In a report to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Ted Kennedy wrote:

"Field reports to the U.S. Government, countless eye-witness journalistic accounts, reports of International agencies such as World Bank and additional information available to the subcommittee document the reign of terror which grips East Bengal (East Pakistan). Hardest hit have been members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with yellow patches marked 'H'. All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented under martial law from Islamabad."


American Professor R. J. Rummel noted that:

The genocide and gendercidal atrocities were also perpetrated by lower-ranking officers and ordinary soldiers. These “willing executioners” were fueled by an abiding anti-Bengali racism, especially against the Hindu minority. “Bengalis were often compared with monkeys and chickens. Said Pakistan General Niazi, ‘It was a low lying land of low lying people.’ The Hindus among the Bengalis were as Jews to the Nazis: scum and vermin that [should] best be exterminated.”

Anti-Hindu crimes continue to this day. 98% of reported rapes in Bangladesh are registered by Hindu women. The so-called ‘Vested Property Act’ has seen up to 40% of Hindu land snatched away forcibly, and Hindu temples are regularly vandalized. The Islamist Jamat-e-Islami party joined the government in 2001 sparking a new round of fleeing refugees, violent attacks and forced conversions. The government has openly called for the "Talibanization" of the state.


India

Meanwhile the opposite has happened in India. Not only has the minority Muslim population grown, but it’s exploded at a 50% faster rate than the Hindu population. Between 1961 and 2001 the raw number of Muslims increased from 47 million to 138 million - a growth of 193%. In short the Muslim community of India proper has been thriving as the Hindu communities in Pakistan and Bangladesh have been bullied into irrelevance. Muslims have full voting and citizenship rights in India and just as in Western Europe, the Muslim vote is becoming crucial to swinging elections. And like in Western Europe and North America, the ruling socialist Congress Party in India is loathe to criticize its Muslim population for fear of provoking civil violence.

Of course the horrific violence emanating from the Muslim community and from Islamic groups in neighboring Pakistan continues unabated. The following is a partial list of recent atrocities:

March 12, 1993: 257 killed and more than 1,000 injured in 15 co-ordinated bomb attacks in Mumbai.

December 13, 2001: Attack on the Indian Parliament complex in New Delhi led to the killing of a dozen people and 18 injured. Four members of the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed were later convicted for their part in the plot

September 24, 2002: 31 people killed, 79 wounded at Akshardham temple in Gujarat

Aug. 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai killed at least 52 people and injured 150. Indian authorities blamed the Kashmiri Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba

Oct. 29, 2005: Three explosions in busy shopping areas of south Delhi, two days before the Hindu festival of Diwali, killed 59 and injured 200. The Islamic Revolutionary Group claimed responsibility, but authorities blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba

March 7, 2006: A series of bombings in the holy city of Varanasi killed at least 28 and injured over a hundred. Indian investigators blamed Pakistan-based Islamic terrorists.

July 11, 2006: Seven bomb blasts on the Mumbai Suburban Railway killed over 200 people. Police blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India.

Aug. 25, 2007: Forty-two people killed and 50 injured in twin explosions at a crowded park in Hyderabad by Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami (HuJI).

May 13, 2008: A series of six explosions in Jaipur killed 63 people and injured more than 150.

July 26, 2008: Serial explosions in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad killed 45 people and injured more than 150. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

Sept. 13, 2008: Five bomb blasts in New Delhi’s popular shopping centers left 21 people dead and more than 100 injured. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

And we all remember the Mumbai Massacre that played out in front of our eyes on live TV in November 2008.

And yet it seems that India is powerless to act. Because both India and Pakistan now possess nuclear weapons, India today faces the same unsettling choices that Israel will face in the near future when Iran acquires nukes. Democracies are accountable to their people. Wars in which the sons and daughters of the nation die in combat are barely tolerated, let alone wars in which entire cities are wiped off the map. Meanwhile Islamic governments are only accountable to Allah.

And so today, the population of India is held hostage by aggressive Islamists who value death as they value life. India faces the same conundrum as the Western democracies; how can they maintain an open and pluralistic society while confronting an enemy who will gladly use those very attributes to sow death, fear and destruction in their cities? But even free people have their limits, and if another Mumbai-style attack occurs on Indian soil the people’s anger may be impossible to contain.


2 comments:

Defender of the West said...

good research and conclusions. I have a feeling nobody wants to admit these things but Islam will never coexist with any other religion. Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists etc. will all have to realize this and make some hard choices soon.

Anonymous said...

DefenderOfTheWest:
Who's going to make those hard choices now? Obama? Britain? The Swedes or Norweigans? Canada? Honestly, who in the world is left to protect our culture? The put Geert Wilders on trial for defendind the West. They marginalize people Robert Spenser and Steve Emersome as Right Wing Alarmists. The ummah is laughing its collective head off at what has happened to us.