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Killing of Kamlesh Tiwari: Jehad is at your doorstep, here’s how to stop them

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Killing of Kamlesh Tiwari: Jehad is at your doorstep, here’s how to stop them
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Saudi Arabia has a particularly irreverent attitude towards the early history of Islam’s prophet. The house of Khadijah, the first wife of Muhammad, has been turned into a block of toilets. The Makkah Hilton is built over the house of Abu Bakr, the closest companion of the prophet and who later became the first caliph. (1) In 2014, the house of Hamza, the prophet’s uncle, was flattened to make way for a hotel in Mecca. At Medina, in the site traditionally identified as Muhammad’s birthplace, the Saudi Arabian government has placed signs in four languages warning visitors that “it is forbidden to make this place specific for praying” because there is no proof that Muhammad was born there. (2)

While the Arabs, the original Muslims, are demolishing or relocating sites that are connected with Muhammad – in order to create space and improve facilities for the approximately 17 million pilgrims who arrive each year – the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent will riot and vandalise cities if the tomb of a minor pir (saint) is demolished to build a highway or railway line. And if they hear about the slightest snub (perceived or real) to Islam’s prophet, they will commit murder and genocide.

Kamlesh Tiwari’s brutal execution style murder by radicalised Muslims, who travelled to Lucknow from Gujarat, is a pointer to the virulent fanaticism of subcontinental Muslims, who act like self-appointed custodians of the faith. Tiwari is the latest victim of the jehadi mindset of a significant section of Indian Muslims, who have over the past hundred years killed numerous Hindus, including some prominent leaders, for criticising Muhammad.

Angered by Samajwadi Party politician Azam Khan’s comment in December 2015 that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) members were homosexuals, Tiwari had retaliated with an off the cuff remark that prophet Muhammad was the first homosexual in the world. This led to protest rallies by Muslims, with some demanding an ISIS style public beheading. Tiwari, who was the founder of an organisation named Hindu Samaj Party, was arrested under the National Security Act and spent several months in jail but was released on bail in 2016.

One could argue that Tiwari made a reckless statement that was certainly going to wind up the Muslims. But Muslims have often insulted Hindu religion and Gods, without Hindus indulging in a frenzy of rioting. The anti-Hindu actor Amir Khan not only mocked Lord Shiva in the movie ‘PK’, but also shamed Hindus by declaring he felt unsafe in BJP ruled India. Other than becoming the object of revulsion of nationalist Hindus, he struts around freely, sporting a big smile and a new jehadi style beard. He even gets to take a selfie with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Long history of blasphemy killings

The first recorded violence because of blasphemy in India took place in 1851, when riots erupted in Bombay because of some “undesirable publication” against Muhammad by a Zoroastrian (Parsi) in Gujarat. The issue again flared up in 1857, and this time the Muslims of Broach attacked the residential area of the Zoroastrians and killed several of them. (3)

The first recorded genocide over blasphemy in India happened nearly a century ago in the northwest frontier town of Kohat. The Hindu-Sikh population in this area was just 6 per cent, the rest being Muslim. On the 9th and 10th of September 1924, riots broke out, resulting in the deaths of 155 Hindus and Sikhs and 10 Muslims. In perhaps the first instance of economic warfare in modern India, the businesses and homes of Hindus and Sikh were burned down.

The cause of the Kohat riots was the publication of a pamphlet by Jiwan Das of the Sanatan Dharm Sabha, containing an anti-Islamic poem. This poem was a reply from the Hindu community to an offensive anti-Hindu poem published in a Muslim newssheet. (4)

As a result of this reign of terror, the entire Hindu population evacuated the city of Kohat. More than 3,500 Hindus were escorted by the police out of the city and settled in Rawalpindi (from where they were yet again forced out in 1947).

Bhai Parmanand, a nationalist and prominent leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, was uncannily prescient about this slow ethnic cleansing of Hindus. Observing the silence of Congress leaders he warned against such indifference: “This expulsion of the Hindus from Kohat is not a local question. It means that tomorrow in another place in the Frontier Province the Muhammadans may get displeased with the Hindus and do what they have done with the Kohat Hindus and thus gradually the Hindus may have to vacate the whole of the Frontier Province… If the Hindus are thus pushed inwards it would be an ever-recurring question for the Punjab Hindus to prepare for their defence.”

The eviction of Hindus from Kashmir, Kairana (Uttar Pradesh) and many districts across India where they are a minority – or even a bare majority – is a result of successive Indian governments failing to keep a check on Muslim aggression. This salami slicing policy of Muslims has considerably shrunk the borders of India over the past century. There is no denying that once an area in India becomes Muslim majority, it becomes de facto Pakistan.

Rangila Rasul case

In 1927, an Arya Samaji named Krishan Prashaad Prataab wrote a book named ‘Rangila Rasul’ (Colourful Prophet). According to the book, the Prophet’s 13 marriages showed his amorous character, even as Muhammad had fixed a strict limit of four wives on his followers. The book calls Muhammad “a widely experienced” person who is best symbolised by his many wives, in contrast with the lifelong celibacy of Hindu saints. The name of the author, who wrote under the pseudonym Pandit Chamupati M.A., was never revealed by the publisher, Mahashe Rajpal of Lahore. (6)

The book was in retaliation for an offensive work by Muslims. B.R. Ambedkar confirms that ‘Rangila Rasul’ was written in response to ‘Sitaka Chinala’, a pamphlet written by a Muslim alleging that Sita, the wife of Lord Rama of the Ramayana, was a prostitute. (7)

On the basis of Muslim complaints, Rajpal was arrested but acquitted in April 1929 because there was no law against insult to religion. The Qadianis (Ahmediyyas) and the Khilafatists were the only ones who continued showing their anger at these acquittals and reportedly attacked the High Court. (8)

The Ahmediyyas became the leaders of Muslim opinion in Lahore during the ‘Rangila Rasul’ controversy. They led the Muslim economic boycott of Hindus and were partly responsible for the opening of Muslim shops in Lahore to cut out Hindu shopkeepers. In August, 1927 they issued provocative communal articles in their newspaper, inciting Muslims to violence. (9)

In the communally charged atmosphere of the 1920s, there were plenty of freelance jehadis prepared to kill for Islam. After several unsuccessful assassination attempts on Rajpal, he was stabbed to death by a young carpenter’s apprentice named Ilm-ud-din on April 6, 1929.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the lawyer who would found the new state of Pakistan 18 years later, travelled from Mumbai to Lahore to defend Ilm-ud-din in his appeal hearing but was unable to save him. The fanatic was sentenced to death by the colonial government and the sentence was carried out on October 31, 1929.

The killer’s funeral was attended by tens of thousands, including Muhammad Iqbal, who gave a graveside eulogy. Placing his body in the grave with teary eyes, Iqbal, the future national poet of Pakistan proclaimed: “Asi wekhde reh gaye, aye tarkhaana da munda baazi le gaya” (We kept sitting idle while this carpenter’s son took the lead). He implied that it was the responsibility of all the Muslims to kill Rajpal but it was Ilm-ud-din who fulfilled the duty. (10)

Ilm-ud-din is remembered as ‘Ghazi’ and ‘Shaheed’, and there’s a mausoleum created for him in Lahore, where hundreds come to pay their respects. He’s been taught as a hero to children under the PTI-JI coalition government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ghazi Shaheed Ilm-Deen’s mausoleum is perhaps the only one where a framed copy of a murder charge takes pride of place next to the tomb. (11)

There’s an extraordinary twist to this saga. In 2011, Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, was shot dead by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri because he advocated reform of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law. He had also strongly opposed the death sentence awarded to Asia Bibi for blasphemy. As Taseer was being buried in Lahore, his assassin was being showered with rose petals, in Islamabad.

When Taseer’s son Shahbaz was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists, the spokesman of a Barelvi group, who criticised the kidnapping, was in turn accused of blasphemy for supporting the son of a blasphemy accused. It doesn’t get any more dystopian than this. (12)

Exactly 85 years ago, Salman Taseer’s father, the Urdu poet Muhammad Din Taseer, was among Ilm-ud-din’s supporters, helping raise funds for his defence and donating the shroud in which the carpenter was buried. A clear case of karmic blowback, which is impacting Pakistan everywhere.

Role of liberals and seculars

The capitulation of Indian liberals before Islam is a factor that has contributed to the growing radicalisation of Muslims. As Hindus outraged over the Kamlesh Tiwari murder, a Muslim man named Md Asif Khan tweeted, “This person Narsingh Anand Saraswati. He is opening threatening Muslims and calling for genocide.” Almost like a reflex action, Amrita Bhinder, who was until recently the spokesperson of the BJP-affiliated Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, RT’d: “Marking this for your attention: @HMO India, @UP Police. Trouble brewing to incite violence, it seems. Please take note & address.” (13)

Swami Saraswati was immediately arrested by the UP Police due to the action a nationalist Indian wanting to appear cool and liberal to her Lutyens friends. In contrast, not a single Muslim will rat out Muslim clerics who routinely broadcast hate speech.

Similarly, in the Rangila Rasool case it was the silence of – and encouragement provided by – liberal Hindus such as Mohandas Gandhi that resulted in the death of Rajpal, the publisher. In an article titled ‘Hindu-Muslim Unity'(Young India, June 19, 1924) he wrote: “The very title is highly offensive. The contents are in keeping with the title. I cannot, without giving offence to the reader’s sense of the fine, give the translation of some of the extracts. I have asked myself what the motive possible could be writing or printing such a book except to inflame passions. Abuse and caricature of the prophet cannot wean a Musalman from the faith, and it can do no good to a Hindu who may have doubts about his own belief. As a contribution therefore to the religious propaganda work, it has no value whatsoever. The harm it can do is obvious.” (Emphasis in the original.)

According to Kapil Malhotra, a grandson of Rajpal, “The passions inflamed by the Rangila Rasul controversy had quelled by the time Gandhi reacted. His remarks reignited the row, making it nationwide.” (13)

Gandhi’s position almost countenanced the Muslim position. Emboldened by his stand, Muslim fanatics murderously campaigned against Rajpal. They succeeded in instigation to such an extent that the illiterate teenager Ilm-ud-Din ended up killing Rajpal. Obviously, he had not read the book, or any other book.

It is an interesting story how he took the decision to assassinate a man he did not know. Once while passing near Lahore’s Masjid Wazir Khan, he saw a huge agitated crowd shouting against Rajpal. A rabble-rouser was working up the mob: “Oh Muslims! The devil Rajpal has sought to dishonour our beloved prophet Muhammed by his filthy book!” (14)

Ilm-ud-Din is said to have decided then and there to kill the publisher. He bought a dagger and, on 6 September 1929, stabbed Rajpal to death.

Ethnic cleansing of Hindus after Rangila Rasul

Ambedkar writes that the excitement over the Rangila Rasul case travelled far from its original centre and had begun to produce unpleasant repercussions on and across the North-West Frontier. Initially, an economic boycott of Hindus was freely advocated in the British Frontier Districts, especially in Peshawar, and the Hindus were maltreated in one or two villages.

“Across the border however, the indignation, aroused by these attacks on the prophet, gave rise to more serious consequences. A well-known mullah started to preach against the Hindus among the Afridis and Shinwaris in the neighbourhood of the Khyber Pass. He called upon the Afridis and Shinwaris to expel all the Hindus living in their midst unless they declared in writing that they dissociated themselves from the doings of their co-religionists down country.

“The first to expel their Hindu neighbours were two clans of the Khyber Afridis, namely the Kuikhel and Zakkakhel. From these, the excitement spread among their Shinwari neighbours, who gave their Hindu neighbours notice to quit a few days later. However, after the departure of some of the Hindus, the Shinwaris agreed to allow the remainder to stay on. Some of the Hindus on leaving the Khyber were roughly handled.”

Hundreds of Hindus left the tribal areas, writes Ambedkar. “This expulsion and voluntary exodus from tribal territory were without parallel. Hindus had lived there for more generations than most of them could record, as valued and respected, and, indeed, as essential members of the tribal system, for whose protection the tribesmen had been jealous, and whose blood feuds they commonly made their own.” (15)

Rise of blasphemy attacks in modern India

In the 1920s, with the Muslim population inching towards the 25 per mark, blasphemy attacks against Hindus and other non-Muslims started peaking. This seems to be the magic figure when Muslims start believing they finally have the critical mass to influence national affairs through street power and terror tactics.

Although they formed just a quarter of undivided India’s population in 1947, Indian Muslims created such a civil war like environment across India that they forced the Partition of the country. Today, once again – due to relentless breeding – the Muslim population is hovering around the 20 per cent mark. This is why they are now emboldened to ask for special rights. The Muslim protestors demanding capital punishment for Tiwari are essentially calling for the enforcement of the Islamic law of blasphemy in India. Such unreasonable demands will increase in frequency and shrillness in the years ahead.

The growing boldness of Muslims, in sync with their rapidly increasing numbers, doesn’t bode well for India. Following the expulsion of Hindus from Kohat, Punjabi freedom fighter and Congress leader Lala Lajpat Rai had written a series of articles in The Tribune in which he expounded his views on the Hindu-Muslim problem, its causes and possible resolution. Rai dwelt on his travels in Turkey to conclude that Indian Muslims were “more Pan-Islamic and exclusive than the Muslims of any other country on the face of the globe, and that fact alone makes the creation of a united India more difficult than would otherwise be the case”. (16)

How to stop the mayhem

The Muslims of the Indian subcontinent must realise that in the hierarchy of Islam, the Arabs (plus the Iranians and even the Afghans) laugh at them for acting Arab or rather more Arab than the Arabs. This is the source of their deep rooted fundamentalism and hatred for their Hindu compatriots with whom they share DNA, language, culture and food habits.

Violence in the name of the prophet cannot be allowed to take place in nominally secular India. Muslims of the Indian subcontinent demanded Pakistan and today they have two separate Islamic nations from where they have ethnically cleansed the Hindus. The spiral of violence that started in the 1920s and culminated in India’s partition cannot be allowed to start all over again. Not only can there be no more partitions but Hindus must feel safe in every part of India.

There are two ways to save India and its vibrant civilisation from the jehadis amidst us. One, co-existence cannot be a one-way street. While Hindus file a complaint with the police – or do nothing – when their Gods are insulted by Muslims, the latter attack and murder Hindus when Muhammad is insulted. This cannot go on. Since individual Muslims do not fear temporal law and in fact welcome the death penalty as a quick ticket to paradise (in order to meet the promised 72 virgins), enforcement won’t work.

What needs to be done is to fix collective responsibility. The entire family of a terrorist must be jailed and their property confiscated. Once terrorism becomes a collective responsibility, families will at least in their selfish interests ensure their sons and daughters stay away from radical outfits and companions. This is standard operating procedure in countries facing an existential crisis, and India is facing such a situation currently.

In 1982 when Hafez al-Assad was the president of Syria, he received news that terrorists of the Muslim Brotherhood operating from their bases in the town of Hamas had bombed a shopping centre in downtown Damascus, killing over 100 civilians. Assad, who was in a meeting, calmly issued his order via an aide. Within minutes the Syrian Arab Army had surrounded Hamas, launching a tank and artillery barrage that lasted 27 days. After this merciless carnage, the Syrian government bulldozers moved in and flattened entire neighbourhoods, making the terrorists had no place to hide in the rubble. The death toll: over 20,000. The Syrian Arab Army did not suffer another ambush as long as Hafez was alive. (17)

Radicalised people cannot be won over by IAS coaching, maternity bonuses, triple talaq ban or new Haj terminals. The strain of Islam preached and practised by Indian Muslims is an expansionist political ideology – the more you feed it, the more it wants. It only understands violence.

Two, if the above measure doesn’t stop the menace of Muslims running roughshod over the constitution, call in the military. Suspension of democracy for several decades – or until Islam discards its imperialistic fundamentalist edge – is an option the political and military leaderships need to look at seriously. Since both Hindus and Muslims have the right to a peaceful existence, military law will be welcomed by everyone.

This proposal will only shock liberal leeches in places like Lutyens Delhi and South Mumbai that are – as of now – far from jehadi mobs. Most Indians at some point in their lives have seen the disruptive nature of radical Muslims who can destroy an entire town at their will. Yes, that’s what happened to Kaliachak in 2016 when 250,000 Muslim protestors entered this border town in Bengal, demanding death by hanging of Tiwari.

Almost as if pre-planned, the protestors quickly turned violent and vandalised the local police station, block development office and public property. Several private and government vehicles including Border Security Force vehicles were torched. Over 30 people including police officers were injured. The train service was disturbed as protesters blocked railway tracks at Khaltipur railway station. The Shani Temple, Durga Temple and other Hindu temples were attacked. (18)

It is said that Muslims are an oppressive majority and a turbulent minority. For over a thousand years, Hindus have put up with the turbulence of Muslims in the name of national unity. How long will this state of perpetual violence from one side – and perpetual tolerance from the other side – be allowed to continue? As Lala Lajpat Rai said:”Unity cannot be purchased at the cost of Hindu rights.”

SOURCES

  • The Destruction of Islam, New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/opinion/the-destruction-of-mecca.html
  • Saudi Arabia Bulldozes Over Its Heritage, Time, https://time.com/3584585/saudi-arabia-bulldozes-over-its-heritage/
  • Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan – A Historical Overview, Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad
  • Jaswant Singh, Jinnah, India-Partition-Independence, page 102
  • Neeti Nair, Changing Homelands, page 70
  • Rangeel Rasul, https://www.scribd.com/doc/7344073/RangeelaRasul
  • B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or the Partition of India, Chapter VII, Hindu Alternative To Pakistan – The Riot Torn History of Hindu-Muslim Relations, 1920-1940, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_partition/307c.html
  • Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan – A Historical Overview, Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad
  • http://alhafeez.org/rashid/british-jewish/intelligence.htm
  • Umer Ali, The Nation, https://nation.com.pk/10-Oct-2015/until-we-start-denouncing-ilm-ud-din-s-legacy-mumtaz-qadris-will-keep-sprouting-up-in-pakistan
  • The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/12/salmaan-taseer-case-harks-back-to-1929-killing-of-hindu-publisher
  • The Tribune, https://tribune.com.pk/story/244436/abduction-splits-barelvi-group/
  • Twitter, https://twitter.com/RealHistoriPix/status/1186346556129046529/photo/2
  • Ravi Shanker Kapoor, There Is No Such Thing As Hate Speech: A Case For Absolute Freedom Of Expression
  • B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or the Partition of India, Chapter VII, Hindu Alternative To Pakistan – The Riot Torn History of Hindu-Muslim Relations, 1920-1940, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_partition/307c.html
  • Neeti Nair, Changing Homelands, page 75
  • The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/from-the-archive-blog/2011/aug/01/hama-syria-massacre-1982-archive
  •  2016 Kaliachak Riots, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Kaliachak_riots#targetText=Riots%20broke%20out%20in%20Kaliachak,thousands%20of%20Muslims%20turned%20violent

Featured Image: Chauthi Duniya

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Rakesh Krishnan Simha

Rakesh is a globally cited defence analyst. His articles have been quoted extensively by national and international defence journals and in books on diplomacy, counter-terrorism, warfare, and development of the global south.