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Category Archive: Religion

Zakir Naik, the bigoted Muslim preacher from Mumbai. And Saudi Arabia’s bigotry: it doesn’t allow freedom to other religions.

I came across this most shameful and bigoted nonsense from Zakir Naik, an Islamic preacher.

In this video he supports the COERCIVE IMPOSITION OF RELIGION BY THE STATE. Apparently Islam is 100 per cent right so no other religion can be allowed to build any temple/church etc. in Saudi Arabia.

If this represents the Islamic worldview (I hope not) then the West (which is motivated by Lockean liberalism and tolerance) should insist on quid pro quo – that no mosque be built in the West unless Saudi Arabia allows construction of religious buildings of other religions. 

Muslims in the West can then continue to believe their ideas PRIVATELY inside their head (as Zakir Naik says non-Muslims can, in Saudi Arabia), but not have any rights to build mosques in the countries to which they are economic migrants or refugees.

His talk has focused my mind on this basic question: On what basis can Saudi Arabia not allow other religious structures? This is a fundamentally intolerant position. I condemn Saudi Arabia for its bigotry.

Let people be free. Let them believe in whatever they wish so long as they don't harm others. Let them build whatever buildings they like (some of these are quite beautiful) and let there be peace. 

Zakir Naik, I condemn your bigotry and challenge you to understand the concept of INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY.

[Note: I've not researched thoroughly but it appears that Zakir Naik runs what looks like a very powerful Islamic Research Foundation from 195 / 213, SVP Road, Dongri, Mumbai – 400 009. (India) http://www.irf.net/contactus.html

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For every Hindu killed in communal/ religious violence, THREE Muslims have been killed in independent India. (Statistics re: riots)

As I wrote some days ago it is impossible to discuss anything meaningful about India since every Indian seems to be obsessed with Hindu-Muslim issues. 

On FB one of the many Indian bigots has been busy smearing all Indian Muslims as wolves. I've challenged him to take that statement back. 

More problematically he denies the well known BASIC truth about communal killings in independent India: that an OVERWHELMING majority of Muslims have been killed in communal riots. 

For this analysis we need to exclude J&K where a significant political question is involved. Similarly we should exclude Panjab terrorism arising from the demand for Khalistan. 

On PURELY religious grounds, then, the data are clear: Hindus kill MANY MORE MUSLIMS in an average riot than Muslims. Most of the time, the Hindus are strongly supported in killings by the Police.

I'm not able to access the Varshney-Wilkinson Dataset on Hindu-Muslim Violence in India, 1950-1995, Version 2 (ICPSR 4342)  nor have time to study various studies on this issue. [Would appreciate if someone can email me the dataset]

I'll just put down two bits of information in this blog post, then I'll leave it to readers to provide further data.

1) First, this table from the Case Studies that are taught (or were taught in my time) at Lal Bahadur National Academy. I had taken a copy from NC Saxena and OCRd/ converted into text many years ago [Download here]. 


 

2) The following Wikipedia entry confirms the pattern, perhaps with even more severe consequences for Muslims.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_India

Since 1980 we see that major killings took place in Nellie (around 2000 Muslims killed), Bhagalpur (mostly Muslims out of 1000 people killed) and Gujarat 2002 (around 790 Muslims vs. 254 Hindus).

The overall ratio is approximately this: for every Hindu killed THREE Muslims have been killed in Independent India.

For those who call Muslims wolves, I'd like them to explain this to me: how is it that so many Muslims are killed in riots? And how come the massive ANCIENT building (Babri Masjid) was demolished by the Hindus?

As reports of Judicial Commissions clearly show, most riots are started by Hindu fanatic groups/ supporters of such groups.

No, I'm not saying that Muslims rioters are innocent. But please don't tell me that Muslims have been particularly violent in India. VIOLENCE IS A LARGELY A HINDU (MORE PRECISELY "HINDUTVA") PHENOMENON IN INDEPENDENT INDIA.

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A desperate call by a Muslim for help. Help me change the (fanatic) Muslim mind, he says. Let’s all rise to the occasion.

This is one of the very best articles I've read in a long time.

I've been challenging the West for many years to stop foreign aid, and to focus, instead, on promoting liberty. Ameer Ali is imploring the West to stop fighting the Muslim fanatics (who are stupid beyond imagination) but to engage them in discussion/ debate, and help CHANGE them.

I suspect that without this mental transformation of Muslim fanatics (I DON'T call them Islamists, only Muslim fanatics), the world will incrementally go backward. Basic freedoms are being rolled back in the West on grounds of protecting against terrorism. If this continues, then in due course there will be no difference between extremist Muslim nations and the West. 

Time to get serious. Let's heed the message of Ammer Ali. The entire world's future depends on it. The poison in the minds of Muslim fanatics can only be purged through debate.

West must engage with progressive Muslim world to end malaise by Ameer Ali.

Source: THE AUSTRALIAN OCTOBER 21, 2014

ISLAMIC State, Boko Haram, the Taliban, al-Qa’ida and several more Islamist cults that have cropped up in the past couple of decades and are running amok … are only the most recent of a long series of blistering symptoms of a virulent disease that has afflicted the Muslim community, which accounts for almost a fifth of humanity. This disease is more than a millennium old and its germs were injected when the Islam of the philosophers was dethroned and the Islam of the clerics and jurists was put in its place.

An Islam based on doubt, reason and inquiry that was responsible for the glory of Islamic civilisation was replaced by an Islam founded on blind faith and conformity, causing stagnation and decay. It was a tragic turning point that marked the beginning of Islamic fundamentalism, from which various brands of Islamism have grown. What we witness now in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world is the bloody consequence of an obscurantist Islam. By blaming colonialism, imperialism, communism, Zionism and everyone else, Muslims are refusing to look within themselves for their malaise.

The Muslim world is in desperate need of a resurgence that can break its fossilised mindset from an obsolete fatwa-ridden and exclusivist fundamentalism, so it can re-read its own history in the light of rationalism.What Muslims need is not an Islamic state but a state of Islam governing their personal life, with religion as a moral compass.

Unfortunately,  it is ­difficult for a rational alternative to emerge from within and survive.

If the West is really keen to take the Muslim world along with it as a partner in building a world civilisation based on rationalism and enlightenment, then it should change its approach to Islam from military confrontation to a long-term ideological war.

What is needed is nothing short of a rescue mission to save a fifth of humanity from political, economic and social depredation.

The West is indebted to Islam for its own emergence from an age of darkness. The crusades, apart from the bloodshed and mayhem they caused, opened to the West the treasure troves of Islamic knowledge and achievements. While Muslims turned their back on rationalism and secular advancement, burned the writings of Averroes and discarded Avicenna, the West embraced these philosophers, rebuilt its civilisation and surpassed Islam. This debt must be acknowledged and the time has come for that debt to be repaid.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Western powers, particularly Britain, France and the US, viewed the Muslim Middle East as hunting grounds for economic resources, investment and markets. Geopolitical manoeuvres, artificial state creations, military installations and regime changes were all part of a Great Game to achieve that objective.

Compliant local rulers were installed who looked for legitimacy not from the people but from the clerics and armed forces. An artificial modernity eventuated, structured on a fossilised religious orthodoxy. The horrors that we now witness are the result of this mismatch between an imposed modernity and an outdated indigenous ideology.

Without a change in that ideology the Muslim world is doomed to collapse and self-destruction. The West has to engage in a rescue mission, coming to the assistance of a different class of Muslims.

Within the Muslim world there are intellectuals and progressive thinkers who have been crying out for an ideological battle. Many face stiff opposition from the orth­odoxy, and some are forced to mig­rate to the West. They need a platform and institutional support. Will the West provide these?

Ultimately it is Muslims who can and should change their destiny, but at the moment it seems to be a hopeless task, which is why the West is duty-bound to facilitate this change, not just in the interest of Muslims but of humanity.

Without this fundamental transformation of the Muslim mind no amount of development assistance, technological transfers and regime change can arrest the bloody tsunami lashing the shores of the Muslim world. One might even call this Western initiative a reinvented mission civilisatrice.

Ameer Ali was chairman of the Prime Minister’s Muslim Community Reference Group in 2006.

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The Jain Taliban? – the shameful use of STATE POWER by Jain monks to stop meat-eating in Palitana.

We know how India was a major meat eater in the past. Beef was a highly respected meat. There is one hundred per cent clear evidence of the fact that Indians ate not just meat, but beef. Arthashastra is very clear on that. That was 2500 years ago.

Then came the Jains in around that period. They started preaching vegetarianism. This went on for hundreds of years. Over time, they managed to scare the Indians (Hindus) off beef. At one time Indians used to eat ALL kinds of meat – all kinds of animals and birds. Then it got restricted to a few.

Now, I gather that Jain monks have succeeded in making Palitana a vegetarian municipality.

This is atrocious.

Fortunately, this is being challenged in the court.

I can't think of a more violent imposition of their views on others by a 'so-called' peaceful' religion. These people are the surely the new Taliban. First they distorted Hinduism, itself. Now they wish to impose make India vegetarian!

Totally unacceptable.

I have many Jain friends. I hope they will speak out against this monstrous imposition of private religious beliefs on others by some Jain monks. I have no sympathy with them. If they wish to go on hunger strike and fast to death, let them. They CAN'T force their views on the rest of society like this. Persuade. DONT' use state force.

And be a vegetarian, by all means. But do not impose your will on others – THROUGH THE USE OF FORCE.

Source of the newsreport below.

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Hindus agree that the buffalo is not sacred. Let there be a “EAT BUFFALO FOR HEALTH” movement in India.

I've discovered an interesting fact – that even the most fanatic supporters of the "sacred cow" hypothesis (it is a false hypothesis, but that's a different point) have nothing to say about the buffalo.

The buffalo is not "sacred" in India, or is just as "sacred" as a chicken. [Also this]

As a blog notes, "all the northern states have buffaloes now. Farmers have accept it because of clear increase in demand for buffalo milk and meat. There is no sentimental attachment to a buffalo" [Source]

Not only is the buffalo not considered sacred, it is sacrificed EVEN TODAY in many temples in Hindu India, like a chicken or goat may be sacrificed. (In the past even barren cows and bulls were so sacrificed, but that's not relevant to the point I have to make.)

ASSAM

From India Today – photograph of a temple from the outskirts of Guwahati

Kamakhya temple has buffalo sacrifice (Youtube). “Almost three to four  buffaloes are sacrificed at Kamakhya every month and dozens of them are slaughtered during Durga Puja festivities.” [Source]

KERALA

There are regular sacrifices of buffaloes in some temples in Kerala, and there is massive consumption of buffalo/ cattle meat in Kerala.

NEPAL

Nepal, a purely Hindu kingdom, holds massive ceremonious slaughter of buffaloes.

The point I wish to make

I have no interest in people's personal food choices but it is clear that:

a) Regardless of the veneration (or otherwise) of the cow in India, the buffalo is NOT so venerated TODAY. (In the past only the MILCH COW was so "venerated", not barren/bull).

b) Significant HINDU populations in India (and Hindu Nepal) regularly consume buffalo meat.

c) India is forced to export its buffalo beef to the rest of the world since domestic consumption is very sporadic and poor.

d) India has THE highest rate of malnutrition among children in the world. There is massive protein deficiency.

I also don't like the idea of animal sacrifice (although I don't wish to dabble in people's religious beliefs). I prefer humane slaughter in proper abattoirs. Animals must be treated humanely. There is no excuse to treat them badly – even as food.

Solution: Let there be a EAT BUFFALO FOR HEALTH MOVEMENT in India which will lead to a new industry, improve the buffalo stock, and improve the nutritional status of our children.

A win-win for everyone. Without firing up the mad Hindutva fanatics who are determined to make India as backward as they possibly can.

WE ARE MAKING CHINA HEALTHIER WITH OUR BUFFALO MEAT

“There has been a huge demand for Indian buffalo meat in China" [Source]. What's the point of this – when our own children are badly nourished, we are making China healther?

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If Hindutva = Liberty, then I’m its greatest fan, else I’m its GREATEST enemy.

The USA was founded on the concept of LIBERTY, the idea that every American could lead his or her life as he chooses in the pursuit of happiness. 

Regardless of what ill-informed barbaric people from India often say, the USA is NOT a Christian country. Never was. 

Its foundation is in John Locke, whose signature idea is tolerance. Locke is best considered a kind of agnostic and was a close friend of Isaac Newton, a pantheist.

Every sect, as far as reason will help them, make use of it gladly; and where it fails them, they cry out, “It is a matter of faith, and above reason.” – John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)

Although Locke's natural law refers to God, he insisted on the separation of the Church and the State. 

It was Locke's idea that influenced Jefferson, and therefore created USA as the world's first nation committed only to PRINCIPLES – of liberty, tolerance and equality.

It is because USA is committed to liberty in its Constitution that even Obama the socialist is unable to destroy it entirely. If the USA will survive as a great nation it will do so because of Locke and Jefferson. And LIBERTY.

Unlike this idea of liberty, the idea of Hindutva is fraught. It claims that there is something different about Indians – their "Hindutva". This idea takes inspiration not from Locke and Jefferson but from Hitler's racist idea of a German (Aryan) identity. 

Hindutva is a FUNDAMENTALLY ILLIBERAL IDEA. Reading Savarkar, Golwalkar and others who founded this idea makes it clear that they were not looking for liberty but for RACIST AGGRANDISEMENT.

Hindutva is a collectivist idea, a group idea, an idea also based on religion – the so-called "Hinduism". I use the term "so-called" because it Hindutva has NOTHING to do with Hinduism as I know it (and yes, I do know a bit about the religion into which I was born). Hindutva is a shallow racist and hateful idea that makes use of mythologies (such as Ramayana) not to promote good behaviour and good character, but because that's the way for its promoters to gain political power. Hindutva has NO basis in either the history or philosophies of India. 

No matter how one looks at this idea, it is DANGEROUS AND HARMFUL.

Let's oppose Hindutva and BJP tooth and nail.

Let's insist on liberty for all Indians in India – regardless of their beliefs (if any), gender (if any) or language/ colour/ other superficial distinction/s.

Hindutva, I'm your GREATEST ENEMY. This dangerous and vicious idea must LEAVE my motherland. Let's revert India to the state of liberty when it was genuinely a great place to live.

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