Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’
I have always been told that Hinduism is a tolerant religion. Over the centuries various religions branched out of Hinduism as per the changing times and beliefs. Never was it considered a blasphemy towards classic Hinduism. I have always heard, contrary to the perception of the West, Islam is a peaceful religion. That jihad is not a war but ones struggle to better the self and the society, fighting injustice and oppression. I have always been taught how liberal Christianity is. Just look at liberal society of the West. It follows from the religion. Christianity has always worked for the betterment of the world at large. The missions around the world are a clear example of that.
But when I stop believing and start perceiving then the trouble begins.
I have seen Babri demolition, ’92 riots that left a long lasting fear of police in me (anti-riot). I was just six at that time and the impression left was huge. Terrorism in the name of Islam has been going on in Kashmir from as long as I remember. The ISI and its insidious ways and the backing of considerable chunk of the Islamic world to that (directly or indirectly). I have seen 9/11 by who they called a religious fanatic. I have seen Leaders of the West declaring their war on Afghanistan and Iraq as a war by God. I have seen images from Abu Ghraib and the twisted humanity.
I believe religion is nothing more than a set of beliefs formulated by people to give meaning to the life. It’s one of the conclusions that humans reached to the pressing question of “Why we are here?” Religion was never formulated to spread violence. But considering the bloodshed across religions, one begs to differ. So is it the religion or the inherent nature of Homo sapiens at fault? Quite huge a quest for me to begin.
One common trait I find across the paradigm is, “The older the religion gets, more rigid the followers become”. One simple solution would be to change the religion altogether before it gets too old to harm us. We all would agree it’s not so simple. Why? The answer lies in the Newton’s second law of motion. Inertia, the resistance to change. Inertia is inside all of us. Not only do we not want to change but create hurdles in the path of people who do.
Recently what we saw in the case of Nasreen and Hussain was resistance by Muslims and Hindus alike. Majority of Hindus felt offended by nude images of deities and same goes for Muslims by radical writings. What brings them together is inertia. We don’t like to deviate from the set of thinking that have been hardcoded into us.
Newton discovered inertia but he felt short of finding a cure to it. We have to find a cure. Till then we will see a lot more wars in the name of religion. An apple needs to fall on someone’s head soon!.
Recently I was having a discussion with my friends over Mumbai terror attacks. It started from Taj, moved over to the usual Pak bashing to Jehadi terrorism to the sensitive topic of role of Indian Muslims. One suggestion was a stern action against the terrorists wiping out each and every sleeper cell in the country. It supported a free hand to security agencies to do what needs to be done. It was countered by equally deft argumnet that not all Muslims are terrorists and that terrorism has no religion. No sooner was this statement made than there was an off-cut remark about us being terrorism-apologists. I was very much intrigued with the term terrorism-apologist. I tried to Google it out but it seemed to be a relatively new term and not much could be found. I found few articles in which this term was used. No exact definition was found though.
From the articles and reports in which it was used, lets try and find the real meaning of the term terrorism-apologist.
During war on Iraq too, this term “terrorism-apologist” was much in circulation in US. There was a professor at UT-San Antonio who was termed a “terrorism-apologist” in an article. My understanding of the term goes something like this, terrorism-apologists don’t try and justify the terror attacks as the term might suggest. It’s clearly not their intention. What they do is raise some social issues in the support of the terrorists. According to them, it’s we who have made them terrorists (coz agar hum naa hote, toh yeh terrorist bhi naa hote waala funda), so it’s we who are to apologize for making a terrorist out of them. Let’s be fair, they don’t defend and justify the work of terrorists, they try and defend the terrorists instead. They invoke the cause and effect theory as an argument.
To quote the professor from the said article, “It is rejection of U.S. and British policies in the Middle East, not Islam, that has promoted terrorism against America…95 percent of Middle Easterners are Muslims…it is only natural that those opposing the United States and Britain in the region would be Muslims. In India, they would have been Hindu; in Latin America or Northern Ireland, they would have been Catholic.”
Their arguments that, “Islam does not preach terrorism” and “Not all Muslims are terrorists” is well respected and not much disputed, but usually they tend to overdo themselves, create a ruckus thereby posing as a hindrance to the security forces.
I found once such example in India recently. A leading lady from Bollywood tried to connect terrorism with the poor and illiterate state of Muslims, “Injustice to Muslims is the foundation of terrorism”, she commented. To quote her further, “Do you know what percent of Islamic population is living below the poverty line? It’s 40%…There are certain segments of the society which have not got its due, whether you agree or not…When people are poor and have no where to go, they have no choice but to turn into radicals…”.
Ideally her views should have created mixed feelings. However given the backdrop of Mumbai attacks, there was an outrage against her comments and she needed to tender an apology. One may find her to be a terrorism-apologist. After all, Naxalism and Terrorism are two different phenomenons. Let’s not try and mix them. Those who mix them may be termed terrorism apologists.
Some say that this whole idea is nothing but a figment of imagination of the right wing people. But again the issue is open for contention. Maybe next up for discussion should be Naxalism v/s Terrosim for us to get a clear answer to our Holy Grail.