Islamophobia and Hinduphobia
The comparison has been made recently between Islamophobia and Hinduphobia. It’s an interesting one…
After the election of Donald Trump, there is a certain fear in the United States of an increased Islamphobia. Certainly, this fear is justified – and certainly the majority of American Muslims are peaceful. This is why, no doubt, the American media particularly CNN and the New York Times, have been going all guns blazing out against Islamophobia and more generally, against ethnic intolerance.
We need however to look at the broader question, which is whether there is some justification in Islamophobia. From a statistical point of view, it is an undeniable fact that 90% of terrorist acts in the world from the seventies onwards, have been performed by Muslims. It is also a fact that the silent Muslim majority of the world, on the one hand never protests collectively the horrifying murders that are done in the name of the Koran; and on the other, often secretly justifies them in their minds, in the name of Palestine, Chechnya or Kashmir.
Quite a few lone Muslim voices have already said it: the Koran was written for the people of the Middle Ages and was alright for these times, but in the 21st century, it needs to be reformed, as some of these passages which deal with ‘Infidels’, with physical jihad, with women, with conversion to Islam, are used to the letter today by Islamic terrorists to kill innocent people. Christianity has shown the path: today Christians acknowledge the fact that there are other religions and that it is necessary for a peaceful world to accept them. A western Christian today is able to come to India and enter a Hindu temple without feeling that he or she is committing a sin. However, we can safely say that at the moment, no Muslim authority is ready to touch the Koran. Thus the ongoing war between Islam and the Western, world, along with India – and eventually with China, as it is facing also a problem with its Muslim minority – will go on for quite some time.
This will trigger a phenomenon that we can already witnessing, though still in a small trickle: Muslims quietly leaving Islam, changing their locations, their names even, as they find it difficult to hire a flat, find schools for their children, apply for a job or simply because of facing discrimination in their lives. Other Muslims will cry of even more of Islamophobia – but they should look within themselves and understand that communally, each Muslim is accountable for the crimes committed in the name of the Koran. It’s a collective ‘black karma’, the way the Dalai Lama acknowledges that Tibetans are suffering today, because of the feudalism they lived in for too long. The Chinese too, he says, will together pay one day for the ‘black karma’ they incurred in killing a million Tibetans. Intellectuals and much of the media, who continue to defend Muslims, should realize that it would be much more helpful if they would report the truth as it is: that Islam cannot win a war against the entire civilised world.
In India we have witnessed, since the British times, something called Hinduphobia. It is there today in press, it’s there amongst intellectuals. While you find in the Indian Media a strong defence of Muslims human rights – the life of a Hindu does not seem to count for much. I personally witnessed this in Kashmir, specially in the 90s, when the entire foreign media was in Srinagar, including famous journalists, such as Mark Tully. We all reported human rights abuses by the Army against Kashmiri Muslims, but when Hindu leaders started being murdered by what was then the KLF, and 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus later fled their ancestral land and houses without firing a shot in self-defence, becoming refugees in their own country, none of them gave a damn (except this writer, who mounted an exhibitionon the Kashmiri Pandits) – and that is still true today. Hinduphobia resides also in the facts that when a Christian is killed, for instance quite a few years ago the horrible murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines, who was burnt alive along his two young sons, or more recently, the lynching of the innocent Muslim, suspected of having killed a cow in Dadri, you will notice an immediate uproar in the media. Whereas the killing of Hindu, particularly if he is of the RSS of the BJP, as it happens frequently nowadays in Kerala, hardly finds any mention in newspapers and televisions. And this generates an important question – is the life of a Muslim or a Christian, infinitely more important to the Media than that of a Hindu?
Another form of Hinduphobia is the intense dislike that the Leftists and the Press have for Hindu political leaders and Hindu political or social parties. This is particularly true of the RSS, an organisation that has been demonised, first by the British and then today by the journalists and the politicians. When I started working as a correspondent in India, I had heard about the ‘evil’ RSS, and thus I was quite surprised when I went to interview their chief in their Delhi quarters, to find that they all looked like old harmless fuddy-duddies in their oversize brown shorts. It was never really proved that Nathuram Ghose killed the Mahatma Gandhi on the orders of the RSS, yet this accusation is still being used on and on again, especially by the Indian National Congress party, to paint them as evil and even ban them. Nearer to us, we witnessed how Narendra Modi was also demonised by the leftist Indian intellectuals as well as the media. Yet, it is not PM Modi who went down in the streets and massacred Muslims, but thousands of Gujaratis, from every caste and social strata. Hinduphobia against Narendra Modi goes to such an extent that today, whereas all polls show that more than 90% of the people of Indian are for demonization and PM Modi’s drive against corruption and black money, the Media gives so much space to the Opposition who, is stalling the democratic system in Delhi and costing crores of rupees every day to the people that elected them.
In conclusion, if there is some justification to Islamphobia, there is none to Hinduphobia. Hindus have been the most tolerant people in the world, accepting the fact that the Divine manifested Himself or Herself at different times of the history of humanity using different names and different scriptures. This is why Hindus have welcomed in their midst all the persecuted religious minorities of the world – from the Syrian Christians, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were never persecuted), from the Parsis to the Tibetans today. Yet this has been a one-way traffic: Hindus have been the most persecuted people in the world, they have been invaded, raped, enslaved, converted by force, killed, their temples razed and colonised by many nations, from Alexander the Great to the Moghols and every European nation took its pound of gold and flesh. It has been calculated that 100 million Hindus died at the hands of Muslim invaders, from the Hindu Kush to Mumbai 2008, without a doubt, the greatest holocaust of humanity.
The sad thing is that today Western and Indian intellectuals, as well as Western and Indian media still, stand up for Islam, however many crimes are committed in its name – and invariably go after Hindus, though Hinduism is the only religion in the world that never tried to impose its faith upon others, whether by peaceful missionary conversions, as Buddhism did – or by violent coercion, as Islam and Christianity strove to, thus creating great holocausts, from South America to the Indian sub-continent.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.