“And fear tumult or oppression, which affects not in particular only those of you who do wrong. And know that God is strict in punishment.” (Quran, 8.25)
Ibn Katheer commenting on this verse has quoted a Prophetic tradition saying that “if a people, despite being strong and numerous, do nothing to stop those men among them who do wrong, then they will be surrounded with punishment”.
History is full of instances showing how a small group of people or individuals by their odious acts have inconvenienced the communities they belong to.
Today the Muslims as a community are passing through a difficult period on account of the activities of terrorists who shamelessly use religion to justify their crimes.
A common Muslim, like his compatriots, is busy earning his daily bread and raising the family. With increased awakening about modern education, good numbers of Muslim families from rural areas have moved to urban centres to ensure education for their wards. A casual survey of the families living in Jamia Nagar will show that the majority of them hail from villages and depend for their income on rural sources. In many cases it is only the mothers and children who are living here, while the men spend most of their time in native places to arrange the necessary means for the family to carry on in Delhi. Their only concern is a safe and peaceful environment congenial for academic pursuit.
On the other hand, attracted by this large population, more than two dozen Muslim outfits have established themselves in this neighbourhood taking upon them the responsibility to lead and organise the religious and social life of the community. They include organisations like the Personal Law Board, Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and Jamaat-e-Islami. None of these organisations is known for promoting social reform or education. Most of the time they are competing with each other in crying wolf and pressing the need to fight against imagined threats to the Muslim religion and identity. Occasionally they also succeed in securing positions of power for their nominees and this political patronage helps them to widen their network in the community.
If we look at some important events of the past then an idea can be formed about the activities and mindset that is promoted by these organisations.
After the official ban on The Satanic Verses, Mushirul Hasan, the present vice chancellor and then teacher in the history department of Jamia, said in an interview to a weekly that a ban on the book would only boost its sales and increase the circulation of the objectionable writing. His remarks were not in support of the book, its contents or the writer, yet they provoked an angry and violent protest inside the campus. The Muslim outfits worked overtime to instigate and excite the feelings resulting in a situation where despite continuing on the rolls of the university Mushirul Hasan could not enter the campus for more than three long years.
During the war in Afghanistan, public expressions of solidarity with Osama bin Laden were made and posters in his support were pasted in the area by some self-appointed champions of Muslim interests. This was done despite the knowledge that Osama and Al-Qaeda were directly involved in Terror activities in Kashmir. I remember having met many Muslims from Jamia Nagar who expressed their utter indignation over the episode and felt sorry for not being able to oppose these undesirable activities.
In 1990, Prof Mushirul Haq, the vice chancellor of Kashmir University, was killed by terrorists in Srinagar. Since he was an old teacher of Jamia, his burial took place inside the campus. As an academician I had held him in great esteem and during the Shah Bano controversy had sought his opinion on several occasions. I went to attend his last rites and walked almost a kilometre with the funeral procession. After reaching the burial ground suddenly the lights went out and in that darkness I was attacked with an iron rod, causing head injury. Later, inquiries revealed that the students who had organised the blackout and attack belonged to the Jamaat-e-Islami. It is important to recall that the banned organisation, SIMI, was mostly manned by young activists inspired by philosophies like that of the Jamaat-e-Islami.
The other organisation with headquarters in this area is Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat. On the slightest provocation they would call for a boycott of celebrations of Independence Day or Republic Day giving rise to communal tension. It is true that on every occasion they had withdrawn the calls, but that did not help in lessening the tension.
The most important Muslim organisation operating from the Jamia neighborhood is the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and its affiliates. During their agitation against the judgment of the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case, the members of AIMPLB made public exhortations to break the legs of Muslims who differed with their stand. Their supporters went to the extent of suggesting that Supreme Court judges are not competent to interpret Muslim personal law.
It is important to recall that during parliamentary discussion of the bill that was brought in to negate the impact of the Supreme Court judgment, almost every minister who rose to defend the measure referred to the apprehensions of threats to law and order arising on account of an aggressive and violent agitation.
Such activities of these Muslim outfits are as much a source of consternation to common Muslims as they are to other Indians. Occasionally some Muslims raise their voice but they lose nerve when they see the political promiscuity and influence enjoyed by these extremist elements.
The establishment must realise that the police can fight terrorists, not terrorism. Terrorism can be contained only by a strong political will that identifies and isolates individuals and organisations promoting a violent mindset and does not favour them with political patronage.
The writer is a former Union minister
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi
Form a Govt. funded forum to promote moderate views among Muslims by C.K.Sunil on 2008-10-01 16:47:42.368214+05:30The Editor, you are the only one promoting views like that of Arif's. Continue to do that. Then so many other moderate true Muslims will come out with similar views and opinion. That is the only way we can rescue the Muslim community from the clutches of a few extremist elements. APJ Abdul Kalam should take a lead as BJP suggested a few days back and others like a number of Arif's should join him. Government should fund this movement for the best interest of the country. It is very difficult to expect this from the present Congress as they are busy funding legal aid to accused terrorists! Also their track record is not encouraging. I remember how Rajiv Gandhi scuttled similar voice of Arif during Shabanoo verdict controversy.
Thank youby Gaurav Upadhyay on 2008-10-01 16:29:14.994292+05:30Thank you sir for penning down such a good article that should compell the indian Muslims to look amongst them the cause of their and in general India's problems. Such moderate and modern voices in the Muslim community as yours are quite rare and must be encouraged.
commentby dinesh prasad on 2008-10-01 15:33:21.238489+05:30hats off to you Mr-Arif m. khan for this article.In the barron landscape of Islamic world-there are few like you who assure us infidel Hindus that there is still hope.all those who claim to be the protector of Muslim in India including -Mulla Mulayam singh yadav etc are misguiding Muslim for their vote and Kursi .Muslims need to understand -why muslim are so backward in the entire world including the 52 countries they have in their own rule ?. pl do write mr Arif -as your voice of sanity is like a flower in desert. Dinesh prasad
Change from MJ akbarby Pinaki on 2008-10-01 15:29:14.754883+05:30I stay in ME and frequnetly encounter Pakistanis in daily life....and I use to show them MJ Akbar (and others) whenever they said India me "islam khatre me hai" but I was very disaapointed with MJ after his article on recent Jamia nagar incident....now I will perhaps show your article to them saying muslims are in as bad condition in India as Hindus are
Jamia Hijackingby r gopu on 2008-10-01 15:05:12.952898+05:30That only newspapers like the Indian express which are labelled right-wing by our jehadi secularist and China worshipping communists, allow such dissenting opinions is part of the problem. As long as not just political parties mollycoddle terrorists, but so do the media, both print and TV, both English and Indian languages, that even NGOs like human right groups and intellectuals, tilt fully towards Islamo-fascism, means that the street jihadis, Maoists, and sundry other terrorists and their supporters only hear accusations against Hindu hegemony. They never hear a countering voice except from Sangh parivar groups, or on the internet. As long as this remains so, the partition in the minds of Indians will continue.
Fresh airby ris on 2008-10-01 14:07:26.42438+05:30Dear Mr. Khan your article is a breath of fresh air, I wish there were more sane politicians who could boldly speak in the same voice as you across all communities, I hope your article and thoughts will encourage others and bring some harmony in our country.
Jamia Muslimsby D.A.Eswar on 2008-10-01 13:44:04.676273+05:30Good analysis and writing. Every Muslim should read and spread these facts
Hats Offby Sam on 2008-10-01 12:43:24.462495+05:30What a man!!!!!! Few people have the courage to say what you have in the current surcharged communal atmosphere in our country but you are a noteable exception.Thank you sir for finally calling a spade a spade. I am sure there are a lot of people from your community who think like you and may support you in private but is unwilling to do so in public due to the "political promiscuity" as you have so aptly put. I hope such "political promiscuity" comes to an end after the next general elections.You should be leading our country and I request all right thinking Indians to support you so that we get a chance to live in a better society, which is free from hate, in the future.
Muslim Leadershipby Ghulam Faruki on 2008-10-01 11:37:48.544516+05:30I agree with Mr.Arif Mohammed Khan that secular political parties must not favor Muslim leaders who are communalist and non-progressive. Secular politicians should cultivate and promote Muslim leadership which is secular, moderate and truly nationalist.
Terrorism: A Need of Holistic Approachby Sanjeer Alam on 2008-10-01 10:56:01.185167+05:30Arif Mohd. Khan in his article, 'Look Who Hihjacked Jamia' (I.E, October 1) aptly points out that police can fight terrorist but terrorism. However, terrorism in India, as he does, is narrowly conceived. Terrorism in public discourse overwhelmingly means Islamic terrorism and it is often isolated from other forms of disruptive activities which involve homicides/genocides such as communalism/casteism and naxalism. When a problem is narrowly defined, the strategy to combat it usually remains to be partial and is bound to be a failure. The need is, therefore, to have a holistic approach. Communalism is intrinsically linked to terrorism and vice versa. The need is to to monitor the activities of the non-state actors/communal organisations, the breeding ground of terrorism. And the the state must ensure that there is a fairplay in the course. Once the germination of seeds of inter group violence is neutralized, it would be easier to deal with terrorism.
who hijacked Jamiaby GRRAO on 2008-10-01 10:54:23.297624+05:30This is a ppears to be a good analysis of what is happening on the gorund at Jamia. Through this channel I would like to implore Shri Arifji to translate his article in to both hindi and urdu and send the same to the urdu and hindi press in the country. This I am suggesting that this should be read by as many Indian muslims as possible. Then only there can be an element of resistance from the common muslim who is facing tremendous amount of problems in his/her day to day life.
Well saidby Rajesh on 2008-10-01 10:32:36.379588+05:30Well said Mr. Arif. Muslims needs persons like you as a guiding force for their prosperity. I fail to understand about these fundamentalist organization who never in their life speak about prosperity. They always ignore the positive and clear writing of Holy book , which talk of Humanity and interpret the other saying in a negative way. They are the worst enemies of Muslims. I appeal to Muslim masses to please secure your future and try to differentiate between a rabble rouses and real friends
Look who hijacked Jamiaby ismail zafar khan on 2008-10-01 10:10:26.846266+05:30The above article written by Mr. Arif Mohd Khan is fantastic and seems to be the correct analysis regarding behaviour of the so called muslim rahnuma. i compleltely agree with him in critising the self appointed massiaha of the muslim community. no doubt their activities have jeopardised the whole community in beliveing that every muslim is terrorist in the eyes of gullible people and impressionable mind and govt should look into the suggestiion and for God'sake stop patronising such people and organisation.
brave you are
by Gaurav Upadhyay on 2008-10-01 16:35:53.601399+05:30very well said my dear friend
Jamia hijackedby Anshul Gupta on 2008-10-01 10:02:47.828373+05:30A sensible voice and supports his arguments with facts. How many muslims like Mr Khan are there aginst those bleeding heart secularsits?
Look who hijacked Jamiaby Madhu on 2008-10-01 09:50:29.349157+05:30The writer is very humble and straight forward Muslim personality. However, such people are shunned by political party of every hues. He was in the forefront during Janata Dal regime but so called progressive, forward
Look who hijacked Jamiaby R. Vasudevan on 2008-10-01 09:38:08.567294+05:30A superb well analysed article. Whether it is Muslims, or Hindus, politics has been the main reason for the growth of terrorism in this country.
Look who hijacked Jamiaby Balakrishna S.Pai on 2008-10-01 09:35:43.712615+05:30Though I do not agree with Mr. Arif Mohammad Khans views generally, this time he has hit the nail on the head. The reason why terrororism is gaining ground among the muslims in the country is because the organisations which encourage fundamentalism and anti India rhetoric and separatism among muslims is encouraged by the congress and the govt. The common muslim has come to think that he is not an Indian anymore but only a muslim and his identity is only as a muslim and this country owes nothing to him or that he owes nothing to the country. The govt. policies and the congress is responsible for it. Unless these fundamentalist organisations and their backers are shown their place it may be difficult to root out terrorism from the country.
Right words at Right Timeby MANINDER SINGH on 2008-10-01 09:01:12.677377+05:30Hats off to Arif Mohd Khan-Don't let water cross your head.Muslim intelegensia should distant itself from these fanatic forces and come forward with courage to spread true message amoung disgruntled muslim youth.If these Extremist forces will dominate so the noble,educated section of muslims will be the biggest sufferer of the retaliation by the worst ,irrational Sagh pariwar elements.WISH ALL SENSIBLE MUSLIMS TO RAISE THEIR CUDGELS.
terrorist and terrorismby raj on 2008-10-01 07:34:38.080865+05:30i appreciate Mr. Khan's comments. i hope more muslims would rise above fear or parochial loyalty to own indianness as their own as much as it is of others. may be there is a future for all of us indians together.
Need to hear your voice more oftenby SauPa on 2008-10-01 06:33:58.04904+05:30Often times, I have come to respect opinion expressed by Mr. Arif Mohmd. Khan.Unlike the long list of useless leaders -Mulla Mulayam, Lallu Yadav, Arjun Singh, Shabana Azmi, Raj Babbar your voice should be heard. Your is the voice of India.....
I am at a loss as to why Arif chose to preach Muslims on the side effects of terrorism.?Why hasn't he carried his preaching and the ill effect of terrorism of the kind practiced by his own party cadres be it Bajrang Dal and VHP, the known faces of Hindu militancy. He has chosen to extensively quote from Holy Quran and other literatures to Muslims to shun violence but has no word of caution to his own party cadres. He lost his credibility when he joined the anti-Muslim party for his own selfish end. He must first reform himself before thinking of reforming the Muslims. He has no locus standi to teach or preach non-violence when he is in the party which does the same thing. He must first understand the US politics. Who created Osam Bin Laden and who sent him to Afghan? It was US mastermided this operation to counter the influence of Russians in the occupied land of Afghanistan. Like Mrs. Indira Gandhi who created Bhinderwala, later turned against her own Govt, likewise, Osama was the creation of US and it is natural for them to reap the harvest. The radicals among the Muslims were responsible for misguiding the youth of this country. If any one from the Muslim community has joined the radical organisations, no one but the Muslims parents themselves to be blamed. Why have we allowed our children to join these extreme organisations? It is the duty of Muslim parents to see that they do not let their children on the path alien to Islam. These Tabliqwalas and Jamate Islami walas have interpreted Islam in their own way and started preaching and practicing as if they are the guardians of Islam. Islam does not need any mortal to guard the religion of Allah. Allah Himself has taken up the responsibility to protect this great religion of Prophet Mohammed PBUH when Allah ordained that "Akmal Tu Lakum Deenukum" Allah's words were final and this religion would stood the test of time and it is more than 1400 years old. We do not need Arifs and Moudoodis to protect Islam. It is here and would be here till the Dooms day. What is needed today is education among the Muslims to shun the path of extremism. Violence begets violence. We need to teach our children that our future lies in India and we do not need anybody from outside to protect our interest. See what happened in France when our Prime Minister visited it last week, the European Community came out with a strong protest against the "massacre" of Christians that forced the PM to assure them of full protection. Did any Muslim country in the world issued such a strong worded statement when Muslims were butchered in Gijarat or elsewhere? Where was this Arif Mohammed who chose to join BJP instead of condemning it for its role in post-Godhra riots. This is the difference between the Christian Europe and Muslim world. So it is for the Indian Muslims to think positively and love this country which has given us protection and full rights to propagate and practice religion. We do not need anything but protection. This could be achieved if Muslim change their behaviour and assimilate in the culture of this country to live in perfect atmosphere of co-existence. We must love our neighbours with whom our children and the future generation has to spend. Islam did not preach violence and admonish the buffoons in Muslim community who wish to create Islamic Rule in India. Then what is the differnece between the Safron brigade who wanted to create "Ramraj" in India and these Islamic radicals who wish to create "Nizame Mustafa". How can these Jamate Islamic buffoons could think of such an impossibility of Nizame Mustafa in India when this could not be establish in any Muslim country. Show us one Muslim country that has imposed a true Islamic state. Do you think Saudis Kingdom is the replica of Nizame Mustafa or Emirates of UAE where night clubs, dances, liquor and all other vices are available in plenty, could be termed as a true Islamic State. Muslims of India must come out of this mindset and educat children of the need to be progressive through modern education. Let us all join to impress upon the majority community that we are here to live with them in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
Look, who is hijacking what! I totally agree with Mr. Arif Mohammad Khan upon his views of the so called 'Muslim' reformist parties. But he forgets that he still belongs to the group whom come out as the real villain -- the Indian politician. He should also understand the kind of political party hopping he has indulged in has only lost his credibility among the very Muslims he intends to reform. Therefore he fails to take a holistic view of the problem when by omitting other dastardly acts of all the political parties -- like the role of the Congress in the 1984 Sikh massacre, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, BJP etc. only to earn comments like "You are the voice of future India". Having known Arif as a well read person, I expected something better from him.