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Posts Tagged ‘Islam in Europe’

Swiss move to ban minarets on mosques

December 4, 2009 Leave a comment
Does secularism give freedom of religious choice?

Does secularism give freedom of religious choice?

In theory Switzerland is a secular state, whose constitution guarantees freedom of religious expression to all. In practice however mosques in Switzerland tend to be confined to disused warehouses and factories.

Across the country, there are only two small minarets, one in Zurich and one in Geneva, neither of which are permitted to make the call to prayer. In Switzerland’s capital Berne, the largest mosque is in a former underground car park. (via BBC NEWS | Europe | Swiss move to ban minarets).

The European mind

The entire Swiss-minarets issue is revealing. The media coverage is a peep-hole into European subconscious that fears loss of civility. Beneath Euro-gloss, lies recent and murky history – of persecution, slaughter, bigotry, slavery, genocide, war, intolerance, et al.

The European mind is pulled apart by an instinctive tendency towards imposition of standards, uniformity (aka ‘assimilation’ and ‘integration’) on one hand. On the other, is a conscious, felt need to broaden the mental canvas and borders of the European sub-conscious.

Referendum and after

Anyway, even without the referendum,

no minarets are being built anywhere in Switzerland; the controversy has created a situation in which no local planning officer wants to be the first to approve one.

In the small town of Langenthal, just outside Berne, plans to build a very modest minaret have been put on ice following thousands of objections.

The New York Times adds some details about

The referendum, which passed with a clear majority of 57.5 percent of the voters and in 22 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, was a victory for the right. The vote against was 42.5 percent. Because the ban gained a majority of votes and passed in a majority of the cantons, it will be added to the Constitution.

Of 150 mosques or prayer rooms in Switzerland, only 4 have minarets, and only 2 more minarets are planned. None conduct the call to prayer. There are about 400,000 Muslims in a population of some 7.5 million people. Close to 90 percent of Muslims in Switzerland are from Kosovo and Turkey, and most do not adhere to the codes of dress and conduct associated with conservative Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, said Manon Schick, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International in Switzerland.

France … has been talking about banning the full Islamic veil as a way to stop the influence of the more fundamentalist Salafist forms of Islam …Posters, flags - the works

Euro-reactions

Pretending, as though the Swiss Government had a choice, the New York Times report continued,

The Swiss government said it would respect the vote and … reassure(d) the Muslim population … that the minaret ban was “not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture.”

In classic double speak, Swiss authorities reacted

“We don’t have anything against Muslims,” said Oskar Freysinger, member of parliament for the Swiss People’s Party.

“But we don’t want minarets. The minaret is a symbol of a political and aggressive Islam, it’s a symbol of Islamic law. The minute you have minarets in Europe it means Islam will have taken over.”

Will a few minarets mean Islamic takeover of Switzerland? Is Catholic-Swiss-European culture in such dire straits that a few minarets will annihilate it?

Nervous Euro-liberals, renewed their liberal credentials by speaking out against this ‘development’. The Telegraph of the UK quoted

Wolfgang Bosbach a senior CDU MP said that criticising the Swiss ban would be counterproductive. It reflected a fear of growing Islamisation “and this fear must be taken seriously,” he said.

Heightened phobiasThe LA Times went further and pointed that

Belgian newspaper Le Soir noted that some people found minarets “scary,” and added, “There is a strong chance that if there was a vote in Belgium, a majority of citizens would be against it too.”

Islamic reaction

The Islamic reaction is equally interesting. From Egypt to Indonesia, Muslim leaders and clerics were quick to pounce on this development – and issue soundbites. The Times of London, quotes a Indonesian Muslim leader,

“This is the hatred of Swiss people against Muslim communities. They do not want to see a Muslim presence in their country and this intense dislike has made them intolerant,” said Maskuri Abdillah, the head of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s biggest Muslim group.

Egypt’s Mufti Ali Gomaa denounced the ban on new minarets as an insult to all Muslims. “This proposal … is not considered just an attack on freedom of beliefs, but also an attempt to insult the feelings of the Muslim community in and outside Switzerland.”

Dear Shri Abdillah, while you have been swift to condemn the Swiss, have you ever questioned why Saudi Arabia has no Hindu or Buddhist temples? Clearly, the Desert Bloc needs to understand that the ‘tolerance’ cannot be selective or a one way street.

Big Brother is watching you

November 27, 2009 5 comments

So, whether it is Red Rage or Green Jihad, the State just needs an excuse to extend its power – and this ‘surveillance’ raj is one part of it.

The Red Rage

There is a increasing chorus in India that a ‘surveillance’ regime is needed in India also.

There is no Pakistani hand 'here' (Image source and courtesy - www.indiatogether.org). Click for larger image.

There is no Pakistani hand 'here' (Image source and courtesy - http://www.indiatogether.org). Click for larger image.

undermanned police managed a low crime society in India till now. The excuse of terrorism is being used to advance the case for a police state in India also – like the UK, USA, China etc.

Lalgarh has proved one thing –purusharth in India is still alive and well. Moksh मोक्ष is the ultimate aim of all humans – and the meaning ofmoksh is freedom, emancipation, deliverance. Moksh is one of the four objectives (धर्म अर्थ, काम, मोक्ष) in the Indian ethical code of पुरुषार्थ.

Santhals and the British

In Lalgarh, middle aged Santhal women, armed with spears, axes and knives came out to battle a repressive state which sold out to Big Business. For nearly a 100 years, a 100 years ago, the same Santhals had fought the British Raj earlier. When so many women come out in the open, with bows and arrows, one thing is clear.

There are more where they come from.

Police States maturing across the world

There are more, where these women came from. (Image source and courtesy - indianvanguard.files.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

There are more, where these women came from. (Image source and courtesy - indianvanguard.files.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

China’s Golden Shield Project has several US corporations such as IBM, General Electric, and Honeywell working closely with the Chinese government to install millions of surveillance cameras throughout the country, along with advanced video analysis and facial recognition software, which will identify and track individuals everywhere they go. They will be connected to a centralised database and monitoring station, which will, upon completion of the project, contain a picture of the face of every person in China – over 1.3 billion people.

Law enforcement and intelligence services in the UK and the US possess technology to remotely activate the microphones in cellphones, by accessing the phone’s diagnostic/maintenance features, in order to listen to conversations that take place nearby the person who holds the phone. Mobile phones are also commonly used to collect location data.

When women come out in the open like this ... beware Chiddu Boy!

When women come out in the open like this ... beware Chiddu Boy!

In the US, for instance, under the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, all phone calls, VoIP and broadband internet traffic (emails, web traffic, instant messaging, etc) are required to be available for unimpeded real-time monitoring by federal law enforcement agencies. Computers are also a surveillance target because of the personal data stored on them. If someone is able to install software (either physically or remotely), such as the FBI’s “Magic Lantern” and Computer and IP verification (CIPAV), on a computer system, they can easily gain unauthorised access to this data. Another form of computer surveillance, known as TEMPEST, involves reading electromagnetic emanations from computing devices in order to extract data from them at distances of hundreds of meters.

Surveillance cameras are often connected to a recording device, IP network, and/or watched by a security guard/law enforcement officer. In the UK, for instance, there are about 4.2 million surveillance cameras — one camera for every 14 people. (via How other countries fare).

The excuse for extending power

Chiddu! I would be afraid. Very afraid

Chiddu! I would be afraid. Very afraid

So, whether it is Red Rage or Green Jihad, the State just needs an excuse to extend its power – and this ‘surveillance’ raj is one part of it.

In the US, for instance, more than three-quarters of young black men aged between 18 and 35 are on the system, the report said. Set up in 1995, the database contains the DNA profiles of five million citizens, eight percent of the population, making it the world’s biggest in proportion to population size. “Parliament has never formally debated the establishment of the National DNA Database and safeguards around it,” commission chairman Professor Jonathan Montgomery said in a statement.

“It has developed through amendments to laws designed to regulate the taking of fingerprints and physical evidence before DNA profiling was developed.

“It is not clear how far holding DNA profiles on a central database improves police investigations.” (via U.K. cops arrest people ‘just for the DNA’ – Europe- msnbc.com).

Big brother is definitely here

As post-WW2 European society was taking shape, one man warned the world – Big Brother Is Watching You! George Orwell’s 1984, a simple, dark and melancholic book warned the world of the spectre of a police state looming over the world.

The book was portrayed as warning against the ‘impending’ threat of Communism. George Orwell himself joined the British Government in its propaganda effort during WW2.

Would George Orwell have imagined that Britain, the ‘citadel of freedom’, itself would becoming the Mother Of Big Brother societies – with the largest number surveillance cameras and DNA data bank and a back-breaking prison population.

I wonder!

In the land of the free

The US prison population at more than 20 lakhs (2 million) is travesty of justice and humanity. The US competes with China and the erstwhile USSR, (the largest totalitarian regimes) in the world, with its rate of incarceration.

Most people are today feel assured about Big Brother's watchful presence

Most people are today feel assured about Big Brother's watchful presence

USA, with a population of 30 crores (300 million), has a criminal population of 70 lakhs (7 million) – behind bars, on probation or on parole. US Government estimates a figure of 20 lakhs (2 million) people serving prison sentences.

A concerned editorial in New York Timesnewspaper summed up the situation.

More than 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars. One in nine black men, ages 20 to 34, are serving time, as are 1 in 36 adult Hispanic men. Nationwide, the prison population … (of the US) surpasses all other countries for which there are reliable figures. The 50 states last year spent about $44 billion in tax dollars on corrections, up from nearly $11 billion in 1987. Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan and Oregon devote as much money or more to corrections as they do to higher education.

Persuading public officials to adopt a more rational, cost-effective approach to prison policy is a daunting prospect, however, not least because building and running jailhouses has become a major industry.

… the relationship between imprisonment and crime control is murky. States that lagged behind the national average in rising incarceration rates during the 1990’s actually experienced a steeper decline in crime rates than states above the national average …(ellipsis and bracketed text mine).

Across the pond

Some time back there was another report, on the state of prisons in UK.

Feeling assured? More than 40 old, this cartoon presaged the arrival of surveillance society. (Cartoonist - Ron Cobb; year of publication - 1968).

Feeling assured? More than 40 old, this cartoon presaged the arrival of surveillance society. (Cartoonist - Ron Cobb; year of publication - 1968).

There are almost 10,000 Muslims in Britain’s jails— with 90 of them serving time for terror offences … they fear more and more young lags are being converted and radicalised in prison. A … source said: “You are talking about rootless young men at the bottom of society. They’re in jail and someone gives them some purpose. ”

In top-security jails such as Whitemoor, Cambs, 35 per cent of inmates are Muslim—and they have converted numerous other prisoners to Islam. (viaMI5 spy chiefs are putting undercover officers into Britain’s jails | News Of The World).

Slice and dice …

Britain has an estimated 1.6 million Muslims – a 2.8% of the British population. Of this a 10,000 are in prison – which means about 0.6% of the British Muslim population is in prison. India has 16 crore Muslims – which a 100 times higher Islamic population than Britain.

What if …

If India were to follow the British policy of imprisonment, Indian Muslims inside prisons would number 10 lakhs (or 1 million). India’s total prison population ranges between 2.5 lakhs to 3.5 lakhs – of all peoples, of all religions, races, crimes etc.

Traditionally, Indian society handles crime vastly differently. Technically, India could create a legal system which would ease the ability of the police to imprison people, or better still hang them – and hide its social problems.

Freedom, imprisonment, racism, development, genocide

What is the difference between a ‘banana republic’ where people disappear – and in the Anglo-Saxon Bloc which has the world largest prison population? Maybe, my being from a backward country, stops me from understanding this great ‘progress’ that these countries seemed to have made!

The sight of the West, strutting as a protector of freedom on the global stage is a hoax. How can the West have a problem with Native American tribes (aka Red Indians) and the Aborigines – if there are none left. The West which has the highest levels of prison populations in the world – raucously reminds the world of lessons in freedom.

What is assimilation and integration

The West speaks of protecting individual freedom, whereas the calls for ‘assimilation’ integration are nothing but refurbished implementation of the ‘settled’ principle in the Desert Bloc of ‘cuius regio, eius religio’ (meaning whose land, his religion; CRER) – the ruler decided his people’s religion.

A US WW2 poster! Were those millions of lives wasted!!

A US WW2 poster! Were those millions of lives wasted!!

The West can speak from both sides of the mouth. Nicholas Sarkozy can tell Indians (i.e. Manmohan Singh) to respect foreign missionarieswho want to convert Indians to their religion – while the West can continue with this demonization of Islam.

Would Sarkozy like to mention any other country where such a large minority Muslim population, has greater freedom and opportunity, than in India? Would you, Mr.Sarkozy, like to suggest France instead?

This is freedom – from both sides. For the West.

U.K. cops arrest people ‘just for the DNA’

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

More than three-quarters of young black men aged between 18 and 35 are on the system, the report said. Set up in 1995, the database contains the DNA profiles of five million citizens, eight percent of the population, making it the world’s biggest in proportion to population size. “Parliament has never formally debated the establishment of the National DNA Database and safeguards around it,” commission chairman Professor Jonathan Montgomery said in a statement.

“It has developed through amendments to laws designed to regulate the taking of fingerprints and physical evidence before DNA profiling was developed.

“It is not clear how far holding DNA profiles on a central database improves police investigations.” (via U.K. cops arrest people ‘just for the DNA’ – Europe- msnbc.com).

Most people are today feel assured about Big Brother's watchful presenceBig brother is definitely here

As post-WW2 European society was taking shape, one man warned the world – Big Brother Is Watching You!

George Orwell’s 1984, a simple, dark and melancholic book warned the world of the specter of a looming police state looming. The book was portrayed as warning against the ‘impending’ threat of Communism. George Orwell himself joined the British Government in its propaganda effort, against the Germans during WW2.

Would George Orwell, a confused imperialist, have imagined that Britain, the citadel of freedom, itself would becoming the Mother Of Big Brother societies – with the largest number surveillance cameras and DNA data bank and a back-breaking prison population.

I wonder!

In the land of the free

The US prison population at more than 20 lakhs (2 million) is travesty of justice and humanity. The US competes with China and the erstwhile USSR, (the largest totalitarian regimes) in the world, with its rate of incarceration.

USA, with a population of 30 crores (300 million), has a criminal population of 70 lakhs (7 million) – behind bars, on probation or on parole. US Government estimates a figure of 20 lakhs (2 million) people serving prison sentences.

A concerned editorial in New York Times newspaper summed up the situation.

More than 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars. One in nine black men, ages 20 to 34, are serving time, as are 1 in 36 adult Hispanic men. Nationwide, the prison population … (of the US) surpasses all other countries for which there are reliable figures. The 50 states last year spent about $44 billion in tax dollars on corrections, up from nearly $11 billion in 1987. Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan and Oregon devote as much money or more to corrections as they do to higher education.

Persuading public officials to adopt a more rational, cost-effective approach to prison policy is a daunting prospect, however, not least because building and running jailhouses has become a major industry.

… the relationship between imprisonment and crime control is murky. States that lagged behind the national average in rising incarceration rates during the 1990’s actually experienced a steeper decline in crime rates than states above the national average … (ellipsis and bracketed text mine).

Feeling assuredAcross the pond

Some time back there was another report, on the state of prisons in UK.

There are almost 10,000 Muslims in Britain’s jails— with 90 of them serving time for terror offences … they fear more and more young lags are being converted and radicalised in prison. A … source said: “You are talking about rootless young men at the bottom of society. They’re in jail and someone gives them some purpose. ”

In top-security jails such as Whitemoor, Cambs, 35 per cent of inmates are Muslim—and they have converted numerous other prisoners to Islam. (via MI5 spy chiefs are putting undercover officers into Britain’s jails | News Of The World).

Slice and dice …

Britain has an estimated 1.6 million Muslims – a 2.8% of the British population. Of this a 10,000 are in prison – which means about 0.6% of the British Muslim population is in prison. India has 16 crore Muslims – which a 100 times higher population.

What if …

The British policy of imprisonment, if India were to follow, Indian Muslims inside prisons would be in 10 lakhs (or 1 million). India’s total prison population ranges between 2.5 lakhs to 3.5 lakhs – of all peoples, of all religions, races, crimes etc.

Of course, Indian society handles crime vastly differently. Technically, India could create a legal system which would ease the ability of the police to imprison people, or better still hang them – and hide its social problems.

Freedom, imprisonment, racism, development, genocide

What is the difference between a ‘banana republic’ where people disappear – and in the Anglo-Saxon Bloc which has the world largest prison population? Maybe, my being from a backward country, stops me from understanding this great ‘progress’ that these countries seemed to have made!

The sight of the West, strutting as a protector of freedom on the global stage is a hoax. How can the West have a problem with Native American tribes (aka Red Indians) and the Aborigines – if there are none left. The West which has the highest levels of prison populations in the world – raucously reminds the world of lessons in freedom.

What is assimilation and integration

The West speaks of protecting individual freedom, whereas the calls for ‘assimilation’ integration are nothing but refurbished implementation of the ‘settled’ principle in the Desert Bloc of Cuius regio, eius religio’ (meaning whose land, his religion; CRER) – the ruler decided his people’s religion.

The West can speak from both sides of the mouth. Nicholas Sarkozy can tell Indians (i.e.Manmohan Singh) to respect foreign missionaries, who want to convert Indians to their religion – while the West can continue with this demonization of Islam. Would Sarkozy like to mention any other country where such a large minority Muslim population, has greater freedom and opportunity, than in India? Would you like to suggest France instead?

This is freedom – from both sides. For the West.

More gyaan, Mr.Kaplan?

April 19, 2009 2 comments

“There was no Kalinga effect on Modi,” Hanif Lakdawala, a Muslim who runs a human-rights NGO, told me. He was referring to a war fought in the third century B.C. by the Mauryan Empire under King Ashoka against the kingdom of Kalinga on the eastern coast of India. Ashoka’s forces slew 100,000 civilians. Yet the slaughter left Ashoka with so much guilt that he dedicated his life thereafter to nonviolence and the peaceful development of his empire. (via India’s New Face – The Atlantic (April 2009).

False morality, Shri Kaplan

False morality, Shri Kaplan

Kalinga Test For Indians only?

How about a Kalinga effect on George Bush? Modi looked away while some (estimated) 2000 Muslims were killed in riots.

George Bush was looking everyday at more people killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 20 lakhs (2 million) at last count – and more now. How about the various US Governors who looked away as more than 2000 killed in riots at Queens, Bronx and Haarlem?

Is it that only Indians (especially Hindus) are supposed to be moral, Bhai Kaplan? King Ashoka is a lesson in history for all war mongers – and not Indians alone, Mr.Kaplan! Is it that Indians will be always be held to higher standards – while the West (and the Desert Bloc in general) can keep getting away with murder, genocide and massacres?

Kaplan has made it a habit to speak from a position of ignorance and his own perceived sense of Western superiority – a strange mix and a puzzling position. The West, with the lowest levels of ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity lectures us about minorities – after wiping out the Native Americans from North America, the ‘Moors’ from Europe, the Jews in Europe, the near extinction of Roma Gypsies in Europe, or the extinction of the Aborigines in Australia?

At least, Mr.Kaplan’s colleagues at The Atlantic are better informed.

Conor Cruise O’Brien, an Atlantic contributing editor … at one point in his article paused to make a general observation. “The viability of the secular and democratic system in India is a remarkable phenomenon, and one that has received less attention in the West than it deserves.” If this year’s celebrations and special magazine issues and new novels are anything to go by, the world is finally catching on. (ellipsis mine).

In an earlier article in NYT, Kaplan tried passing off propaganda, opinions and lies as facts – all the time posing as an objective and disinterested observer. What Robert Kaplan has done is use Narendra Modi as a human shield to attack India – secure in the belief that ‘no one will dare defend Narendra Modi’.

Church goes on damage control

March 30, 2009 1 comment

Will the Vatican decide on Indian elections

Will the Vatican decide on Indian elections

The powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) headquartered in New Delhi and the Archbishop’s house in Mumbai are both going ahead with clarifications on the issue.

Cardinal Vithayathil’s controversial remarks came at a ceremony recently to mark the publication of his biography, Straight from the Heart, in Kochi. Catholic circles point out that the timing of the news reports, during the Lok Sabha elections, has led to concern among the clergy. Cardinal Vithayathil is president of CBCI. (via Church goes on damage control – India – The Times of India).

The Vatican is a Nation

An Indian Cardinal is well within his rights, as an individual, to advice his followers, on political matters . But the representative body of the foreign country, the Vatican, which administers, the Catholic religion in India, cannot interfere in political matters. How welcome would be political fatwas from the association of holy mosques of Middle East be in Europe, Your Holiness?

The Indian Government allows a foreign Government, like the Vatican, to interfere in the political matters of India? What gives the religious representative of the Holy See, the right to advice Indian Christians, on political matters? Would the Indian Government accept if the Association of Ayatollahs, Muftis and Imams were to issue political fatwas to Indian Muslims …! Would the EU accept Association of Ayatollahs, Muftis and Imams giving political advice to 10 million Muslims in Europe? His Holiness would see crimson …

Will the Vatican allow Hindus to proselytize ...

Will the Vatican allow Hindus to proselytize ...

It is this interference in religious practices of Indians that makes the missionaries suspect, in Indian eyes. Now it is political advice also. What further aggravates the Indian is the apparent disinterest by the Indian Government in such meddling by foreign authorities in the lives of Indians! And then to listen to them teaching us about religious tolerance …?

How can any foreign organization, interfere in temporal matters of India.

In India, we must clearly eliminate all ‘foreign authority’ – which is implicit with religious freedom. The same Pope will of course not allow such a freedom to any foreign religious authority, in any Catholic country – to believers in any other religion. You have only to look at Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the last decade.

The saga continues

And what is the Indian Government doing? Siesta Manubhai …

Indian Muslims Take Global lead – ‘Jihad and terrorism poles apart’

February 16, 2009 3 comments

A group of ulema (religious scholars) came out heavily against terrorism on Saturday. Besides reiterating the Deoband fatwa against

terrorism-first issued at the seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in February last year- and repeated at many mammoth anti-terrorism rallies in the country since then, the clerics also declared suicide bombings as anti-Islam. (via ‘Jihad and terrorism poles apart’-The Times of India).

The first step

On February 22nd, 2008, the Deoband Seminary, the most respected Islamic seminary in South and South East Asia, issued a anti-terrorism declaration at a huge public meeting attended by hundreds and thousands of people. This set up a new direction in Islamic social dialogue – where a non-establishment, Islamic theological group came out against terrorism. Subsequently, some other ‘liberals’ jumped onto this bandwagon.

And then …

Pakistan was sent on a cold turkey … by Saudi Arabia, China and the US. Pakistan has been forced to go to IMF which is prescribing a heavy cut back in defence spending.

But most interestingly …

Suddenly the world has been reminded about Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan. The LA Times recently ran an column on him.

As the 2ndlook post ‘Behind The Web of terror’, on December 17th, 2007, pointed out, the answer to the Pakistani problems in the North West tribal areas was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. On October 3rd, 2008, the Frontier Gandhi’s grandson was the target of suicide bomber. The terrorists are obviously worried that Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan’s sensibility may make a comeback.

Hopefully, this a new beginning for Pakistan …

History of Hindu Muslim Feud …?

For starters, you must consider the Hindu Muslim fight for the overthrow of British colonialism from 1857 War to 1947. The Deoband Seminary, Sheikh Abdullah were all popular Muslim leaders – who did not wish for or support the formation of Pakistan. Allama Iqbal (now the iconic figure in Pakistan) converted to the a very nascent two-nation theory after his stint in England – circa 1909. Poets like Sahir Ludhianvi moved from Pakistan to India. MJ Akbar’s family was another that moved from Bangladesh (then part of Pakistan) to India.

The two nation theory was a British creation – and remains a colonial legacy.

After 150 years, the dreams still lives – From 1857-2008

This is Mahmud Madani – head of Deoband Islamic seminary. Deoband seminary was set up after the 1857 War, as a religious institution to ‘escape’ British repression. A 75 years later, the Deoband school became famous during Independence due to its strong anti-Jinnah, anti-Partition stand. 60 years later, Mahmud Madani still talks about ‘our’ India.

His interview here lays out the land very clearly – without the pussyfooting around the issues. For all those in India, who are onto the Islamic demonization route, this should make them re-think.

In the West …

Sometime back, Nicholas Sarkozy reminded Manmohan Singh to take care of Christians in Kandhamal. Soon after that, the Pope came out and advised Christians that their faith came first – and their country and society later. What would happen in Ayatollah Ali Khameini told that to Mulsims in Britain, France and USA? Pope Benedict has confirmed the true intentions of the missionaries. Let us understand this for what this is – backdoor attempts to subvert Indian cultural fabric. Nothing less.

When Acharya Rajneesh ‘converted’ a few thousand Christians to his brand of beliefs (in Oregon, USA), he was picked up, packed out and sent back to India – on charges of ‘chemical warfare.’

India has 2.5 crore Christians – out of 110 crores. I would like to see how the EU would react if Indian missionaries went about converting 12.5 million Christians to Hinduism – or 7.5 million Christians to Hindus in the US! Russia has long persecuted the Hare Krishna devotees (spontaneous White Hindus converting White Christians).

For a beginning let them stop targetting Roma Gypsies for persecution.

Lowest levels of religious, ethnic, linguistic diversity,

The sight of the West, strutting as a protector of freedom on the global stage is a hoax. How can the West have a problem with Native American tribes (aka Red Indians) and the Aborigines – if there are none left. The West which has the highest levels of prison populations in the world – raucously reminds the world of lessons in freedom.

Western pre-occupation

With One God, One Book, One Holy Day, One Prophet (Messiah), One Race, One People, One Country, One Authority, One Law, One Currency, One Set of Festival are the root of most problems in the world.

And this ain’t the lowest …

A free online game has sparked outrage among Muslims, in Australia. A player has to kill as many Muslims as possible has sparked an uproar in Australia, with members of the community accusing the government and police of double standards in their efforts to stop the game.

Things will get worse – and I am not sure when they will get better.

The West can speak from both sides of the mouth – tell Indians to respect foreign missionaries who want to convert Indians to their religion – and the West can continue with this demonization of Islam.

This is freedom – from both sides. For the West.

Wishful thinking or ignorance

Actually neither. It is propaganda.

The West has the lowest levels of religious diversity – and the way they have dealt with it is simple – genocide. Native Americans in Canada, USA, Native Aborigines in Australia are excellent examples.

India however, is exactly – and unfortunately, the only country of its kind. No country offers the freedom of religion that Muslims have in India – including Muslim countries. Christians cannot proselytize with as much freedom (and arrogance) in any other country as in India.

That is inconvenient truth (for the West) Mr.Kaplan.

Modern day demonization

The Western campaign aimed at the demonisation of Islam has replaced the Jewish demonisation (Shakespeare joined in with his anti-Semitic Merchant Of Venice). Without taking responsibility for the destabilisation of the Islamic World by the liquidation of the Ottoman Empire after WW1 – perpetrated by Anglo Saxon countries and the French.

Cover up

The problems in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East have their genesis in the cynical intervention by the West – in the last 150 years. These interventions have imbalanced traditional structures – and magnified problems. The US has turned Peshawar into a military arms bazaar. CIA created these Afghan Frankensteins – in pursuit of it own imperial competition with USSR.

What was earlier localized tribal infighting in the Pashtun areas, which could possibly have been controlled by a leader like the Frontier Gandhi, has now been internationalized. The resultant toxic-load of terrorism is the highest in India.

The demonization of Islam is real threat to the peace and stability of this world. And it is an attempt to deflect Western culpability and responsibility for the present day ills.

Bush helped us forget …

Bill Clinton, arguably, would have become the US President for the 3rd time – but for bar by the US Constitution. And he is the one who facilitated the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia – and the Islamic demonization, which George Bush so successfully carried forward.

After the Iraq War and the Afghanistan quagmire, George Bush has become a favorite whipping boy – and people have forgotten Bill Clinton’s legacy – Monica Lewinsky apart. And Bill Clinton’s point man was Emanuel ‘Rahmbo’.

And who is Obama’s? The same ‘Rahmbo’. The more things change, the more they remain the same. I wonder how much, fiction inspires reality is based on fiction – which feeds on real life …

Look at Israel

You only have to look at a failed state like Israel, to understand where ‘false’ persecutions can take you. Where would Israel be – without US ICU support. It has been on ICU support for the last 60 years.

No relief for Kandhamal churches on disputed land

January 4, 2009 1 comment

The district administration, after a recent survey, has found that the Divyajyoti pastoral centre at K Nuagaon, where a nun was raped, and 134 other Christian institutions that were destroyed by rioters had been built up on disputed land. The pastoral centre, therefore, might not get the state’s financial aid for reconstruction.

“On the government order, the administration held a survey and found that of the 195 institutions, which were partly or fully desecrated, as many as 135 are on disputed land,” an official disclosed. “Disputed plot means land that belongs to forest or tribals,” he added. (via No relief for Kandhamal churches on disputed land).

In Kandhamal, from 70,000 Christians in 1991, the number increased to 117,950 (by 66%), by 2001. Of these 47950 conversions, only two were done after notifying the district collector, as required by the law.

These conversions went unreported – as these conversions would then disqualify the Panos converts to gain benefits meant for Hindu Scheduled Caste benefits and lose their allotment of reservations in government jobs. The Kandhas, who make up 52% of the population, own less than 10% of the district land. This figure is disputed and rival estimates go to as high as 60% – but exact figures are not available.

Blatant Proselytism

A web dictionary defines proselytism as “To induce someone to convert to one’s own religious faith.” This above quoted article details three interesting aspects of the Kandhamal uproar.

  1. There has been a large scale demographic change in this area. Today, Christians in this area exceed 100,000 – and up from 60,000 to more than 100,000 in the last few years.
  2. The bigger issue – is the misrepresentation of caste and religious denomination for obtaining undue benefits. Benefits for backward Hindus were being claimed by the Christians while declaring themselves as Backward Hindus.
  3. The 3rd is land. Traditional landowners have been dispossessed of their land – and the new converts have become the new ‘rentier’ land owners.

Thus what is being given a communal and religious colour is more a case of dispensing and cornering of benefits. The fourth element that is now coming out is that these Church activities are being carried out on illegally occupied land.

Behind this …

But, who is funding this proselytizing activity? Recent data from the Government reveals that India receives about US$3 billion of charity to NGOs. The biggest donors are US, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and France.

This US$3 billion is a huge amount of money. Pakistan went to the IMF for less than US$4 billion.

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