Friday, October 30, 2009

Schoolgirl missing after 'converting' to Islam

Daily Mail
By Andy Dolan
29th October 2009

British police are searching for a teenager who recently converted to Islam.

The parents and friends of Sarah Dunn said the 14-year-old girl had become obsessed with the Koran just before she disappeared on September 28.

Sarah, who had gotten into an argument with her parents over her decision to study the Koran just before she went missing, was last seen in the town of Wellington.

It is feared she may have been brainwashed by hardline Muslims and her family are urging her to get in touch.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

racist attacks in UK

Shock CCTV of racist attacks
Sickening ... Justin and Luke Lovedale attack shopkeeper


Published: 23 Oct 2009

The SUN (UK)

THREE racist teenagers have been publicly named and shamed for a series of sickening assaults on Asian shopkeepers.

Feral twins Luke and Justin Lovedale and yob Nicholas Gardener were all 16 when they launched their attacks amid a torrent of racist abuse.

The trio — now 17 — sneered and laughed as CCTV footage of one of the sickening assaults was shown to a court.

It showed them wrestling one shopkeeper to the floor before stamping on him as they shouted 'F***ing P***' while a terrified female shopkeeper desperately tried to fend them off.

Another clip showed them battering two shopkeepers to the ground before repeatedly stamping on them.

They admitted the attacks in Bristol this year but denied they were racially motivated — despite Luke Lovedale telling police after his arrest: "I aint beaten up no P***. F***ing **** needs to go back home."

Luke and Justin Lovedale

Hate crimes ... teen brute Justin Lovedale and his twin Luke, right

District Judge David Parsons found all three defendants guilty of racially aggravated common assault — and lifted an order banning their identification.

He warned them all to expect jail and told Bristol Magistrates' Court: "The protection of the community outweighed the teenagers' interests.

"Race hatred should be dealt with seriously by the court, and your victims deserve the protection of the court."

The convictions come days after a BBC Panorama programme showed an undercover reporter being subjected to race hate on Bristol's Southmead estate.

Gardener, who has 19 previous convictions, stormed in to Costcutter in Bedminster, Bristol, with an unidentified pal on April 5 and attacked shopkeeper Hardik Patel.

He punched him to the ground before hitting him twice more and shouted "You f****** P***".

The other youth then kicked him three times in the stomach and as they ran away Gardener shouted: "I will kill you, you f****** P***."

Two months later the Lovedale twins and Gardener — boyfriend of the brothers' sister — went to a Bargain Booze at 10.30pm to buy cigarettes and vodka.

When staff refused to serve them they launched a sickening assault on shopkeeper Ashok Selvam as a female member of staff frantically tried to beat them off with a broom handle.

They pulled his T-shirt over his head and, as one brother held him in a headlock, the other repeatedly punched him in the face.

Mr Selvam told the court that as they assaulted him they shouted "F****** Asian, f****** P***."

Less than an hour later, the three teenagers went to a nearby Costcutter and snatched a bottle of wine.

As shopkeeper Parakram Zala tried to call cops Gardener punched him in the face, shouting "We will kill you, f****** P***."

Colleague Girish Patel tried to fend of the youths, before all three began hitting him.

CCTV footage shows them continuing to punch and kick the two shopkeepers as they lay on the floor.

Mr Patel was left with such serious injuries he feared he may lose the sight in his left eye.

The three thugs showed no remorse throughout the three-day trial and sat yawning and sighing in the dock, chatting to each other and laughing.

Gardener was remanded in custody but the Lovedale twins were released on bail, on condition that they live at their home in south Bristol with a curfew of 8pm to 6am.

Detective Constable Gary Booth, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "Racism will not be tolerated in Bristol."

The three will be sentenced on November 11.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thailand - Muslims kill two Buddhists

Two Buddhists killed in Thailand's troubled south
Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:50pm IST

PATTANI, Thailand (Reuters) - Gunmen shot and killed two Buddhist villagers on Monday as they were riding on a motorcycle looking for food, the latest violence in Thailand's restive south, police said.

Four gunmen shot dead the two men aged 55 and 46 in Pattani province, leaving their bodies by the side of the road near their motorcycle, a police officer said.

Witnesses said the attack, which happened around 1 p.m. (0600 GMT), was carried out by gunmen on two motorcycles as the two victims were riding around with friends. They were shot in the head and body, but the three friends managed to escape.

Over 3,600 people have been killed in five years of unrest blamed on separatists in the three provinces, part of a Muslim sultanate until annexed a century ago by predominantly Buddhist Thailand. About 80 percent of the region is Muslim and people there speak a Malay dialect.

The violence has ranged from drive-by shootings to bombings and beheadings. It often targets Buddhists and Muslims associated with the Thai state, such as police, soldiers, government officials and teachers.

No credible group has claimed responsibility for the violence, which the 30,000 troops stationed in the rubber-rich region have failed to quell.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak wins 2009 Stockholm Water Prize

Indian Sanitation Innovator and Social Reformer Awarded 2009 Stockholm Water Prize

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement in India, has been named the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.

As the founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Dr. Pathak is known around the world for his wide ranging work in the sanitation field to improve public health, advance social progress, and improve human rights in India and other countries. His accomplishments span the fields of sanitation technology, social enterprise, and healthcare education for millions of people in his native country, serving as a model for NGO agencies and public health initiatives around the world.

Since he established the Sulabh Sanitation Movement in 1970, Dr. Pathak has worked to change social attitudes toward traditional unsanitary latrine practices in slums, rural villages, and dense urban districts, and developed cost effective toilet systems that have improved daily life and health for millions of people. He has also waged an ongoing campaign to abolish the traditional practice of manual “scavenging” of human waste from bucket latrines in India while championing the rights of former scavengers and their families to economic opportunity, decent standards of living, and social dignity.

“The results of Dr. Pathak’s endeavors constitute one of the most amazing examples of how one person can impact the well being of millions,” noted the Stockholm Water Prize nominating committee in its citation. “Dr. Pathak’s leadership in attaining these remarkable socio-environmental results has been universally recognised, and not least by those who have secured the freedom of human dignity as a consequence of his efforts.”

Dr. Pathak will formally receive the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize at a Royal Award Ceremony and Banquet during the World Water Week in Stockholm this coming August.

Sanitation Innovator
Frequently citing the common toilet as one of civilization’s most significant advances, Dr. Pathak has led the development of cost-effective and culturally appropriate toilets and related treatment systems to replace the traditional unsanitary bucket latrines in poor communities throughout India. His most prominent innovations include:

• The Sulabh Shauchalaya twin pit, pour-flush toilet system now in use in more than 1.2 million residences and buildings built by Sulabh. This technology has been declared a Global Best Practice by United Nations HABITAT and Centre for Human Settlements, and is now recommended by the UNDP for use by more than 2.6 billion people around the world.

• Sulabh public toilet and bath facilities based on that system at 7500 locations, together serving more than 10 million people daily. These pay-per-use public facilities provide an economically sustainable, ecological, and culturally acceptable solution to hygiene problems in crowded slum communities and public places.

• Optimised water conservation in the Sulabh Shauchalaya systems, requiring only 1.5 litres of water per use to flush, in contrast to conventional toilets that require a minimum of 10 litres. This has significant additional benefits for health and quality of life in water-poor regions.

• Environmentally balanced wastewater treatment based on a duckweed and fish raising (pisciculture) ecosystem that provides economic opportunities for rural poor communities.

• Several technologies that convert waste from Sulabh Shauchalaya toilets into biogas for heating, cooking, and generating electricity.

Action Sociologist
A self-described “action-sociologist,” Dr. Pathak has worked on the leading edge of social enterprise for decades, combining business best practices and principled activism to advance the causes of better sanitation, societal change, and improved quality of life. In 1970, he founded the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, an NGO that has been a catalyst for improved sanitation and social change across India. Now with more than 50,000 associate members who are rendering their voluntary services, the organisation has recently /started operations in Bhutan and Afghanistan. In collaboration with UN-HABITAT, Sulabh has trained engineers, architects, planners and administrators from 14 countries in Africa. Sulabh is now planning to start work in Ethiopia, Cambodia, Laos, Angola, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Tajikistan and other countries.

Through Sulabh, Dr. Pathak has waged a decades-long campaign to abolish the traditional practice of manual “scavenging” of human waste from the simple pit latrines that have predominated across much of India. His early concern for the plight of the “untouchable” scavenger caste led to the development of the Sulabh Shauchalaya toilets to eliminate the need for scavenging in poor communities. Over the years he has led multiple initiatives to champion social dignity, economic justice, and liberation from the caste-oriented system for former “untouchable” scavengers and their families.

Hygiene and Health Educator
With the establishment of the Sulabh International Institute of Health and Hygiene (SIIHH), Dr. Pathak has led efforts across the NGO and government sectors to develop effective and culturally oriented hygiene and health models for urban slums and rural villages. In collaboration with other organizations, SIIHH has created hygiene curricula for young schoolchildren and their teachers, provided sanitation and health training for volunteer instructors in slums, and opened centres providing basic healthcare for urban poor at Sulabh community toilet complexes.

Working with the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, Dr. Pathak also established the Sulabh Environmental Information System Centre to gather and disseminate environmental information related to hygiene, sanitation, and sewage treatment for researchers, academics, policy makers, and students.

About Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak
Born to a Brahmin family in 1943 and raised in the Indian state of Bihar, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak attended Patna University where he earned an M.A. in Sociology, an M.A. in English, a Ph.D. in “Liberation of scavengers through low cost sanitation” and a Doctorate of Literature in “Eradication of scavenging and environmental sanitation in India: a sociological study.”

Dr. Pathak first came to understand the plight of scavengers in 1968 when he joined the Bhangi-Mukti (scavengers’ liberation) Cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebrations Committee. During that time, he traveled throughout India, living with scavenger families as part of his Ph.D. research. Drawing on that experience, he resolved to take action, not only out of sympathy for the scavengers but also in the belief that scavenging is a dehumanizing practice that would ultimately have a destructive impact on modern Indian society. With the establishment of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in 1970, he thus launched a unique movement that combines technical innovation with humanitarian principles.

A prolific writer and speaker, Dr. Pathak has authored several books, the most well-known of which is The Road to Freedom, and is a frequent participant in conferences on sanitation, health, and social progress around the world. He lives near the Sulabh campus in New Delhi.

About the Stockholm Water Prize
First presented in 1991, The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most prestigious prize for outstanding achievement in water-related activities. The annual prize, which includes a USD 150,000 award and a crystal sculpture specially designed and created by Orrefors, honours individuals, institutions or organisations whose work contributes broadly to the conservation and protection of water resources and to improved health of the planet’s inhabitants and ecosystems.

An international nominating committee appointed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is responsible to review the nominations and propose a candidate. The Founders of the prize are Swedish and international companies in co-operation with the City of Stockholm. The prize programme is administered by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

Punjab Lioness

A win for all Indians
Water and Poop

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Negationism and the Muslim Conquests

by Francois Gautier

The following is based on one of the chapters in the book Rewriting Indian History (Vikas). In this first part, the author argues that History books should be rewritten.

It is important to stop a moment and have a look at what the Belgian scholar Koenraad Elst, has called "negationism in India". In his foreword to the book of the same title, Koenraad explains that negationism, which means in this context "the denial of historical crimes against humanity", is not a new phenomenon. In modern history, the massacre by the Turks of 1,5 millions Armenians, or that of the 6 million Jews by the Nazis, the several millions of Russians by Stalin, or again the 1 million Tibetans by the Chinese communists, are historical facts which have all been denied by their perpetrators... But deny is not the exact word. They have been NEGATED in a thousand ways: gross, clever, outrageous, subtle, so that in the end, the minds of people are so confused and muddled, that nobody knows anymore where the truth is.

Sometimes, it is the numbers that are negated or passed under silence: the Spanish conquest of South America has been one of the bloodiest and most ruthless episodes in history. Elst estimates that out of the population of native Continental South America of 1492, which stood at 90 million, only 32 million survived; terrible figures indeed but who talks about them today?

"But what of the conquest of India by Muslims", asks Elst?

In other parts of Asia and Europe, the conquered nations quickly opted for conversion to Islam rather than death. But in India, because of the staunch resistance of the 4000 year old Hindu faith, the Muslim conquests were for the Hindus a pure struggle between life and death. Entire cities were burnt down and their populations massacred. Each successive campaign brought hundreds of thousands of victims and similar numbers were deported as slaves. Every new invader made often literally his hill of Hindu skulls. Thus the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000, was followed by the annihilation of the entire Hindu population there; indeed, the region is still called Hindu Kush, 'Hindu slaughter'. The Bahmani sultans in central India, made it a rule to kill 100.000 Hindus a year. In 1399, Teimur killed 100.000 Hindus IN A SINGLE DAY, and many more on other occasions. Koenraad Elst quotes Professor K.S. Lal's "Growth of Muslim population in India", who writes that according to his calculations, the Hindu population decreased by 8O MILLION between the year 1000 and 1525. INDEED PROBABLY THE BIGGEST HOLOCAUST IN THE WHOLE WORLD HISTORY. (Negat.34)

But the "pagans" were far too numerous to kill them all; and Hinduism too well entrenched in her people's soul, never really gave up, but quietly retreated in the hearts of the pious and was preserved by the Brahmins' amazing oral powers. Thus, realising that they would never be able to annihilate the entire Indian population and that they could not convert all the people, the Muslims rulers, particularly under the Hanifite law, allowed the pagans to become "zimmis" (protected ones) under 20 humiliating conditions, with the heavy "jizya", the toleration tax, collected from them.

"It is because of Hanifite law, writes Mr Elst, that many Muslim rulers in India considered themselves exempted from the duty to continue the genocide of Hindus". The last "jihad" against the Hindus was waged by the much glorified Tipu Sultan, at the end of the 18th century. Thereafter, particularly following the crushing of the 1857 rebellion by the British, Indian Muslims fell into a state of depression and increasing backwardness, due to their mollah's refusal of British education (whereas the elite Hindus gradually went for it) and their nostalgia for the "glorious past"'. It is only much later, when the British started drawing them into the political mainstream, so as to divide India, that they started regaining some predominance.

Negationism means that this whole aspect of Indian history has been totally erased, not only from history books, but also from the memory, from the consciousness of Indian people. Whereas the Jews have constantly tried, since the Nazi genocide, to keep alive the remembrance of their six million martyrs, the Indian leadership, political and intellectual, has made a wilful and conscious attempt to deny the genocide perpetrated by the Muslims. No one is crying for vengeance. Do the Jews of today want to retaliate upon contemporary Germany? NO. It is only a matter of making sure that history does not repeat its mistakes, as alas it is able to do today: witness the persecution of Hindus in Kashmir, whose 250.000 Pandits have fled their 5000 year old homeland; or the 50.000 Hindus chased from Afghanistan; or the oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. And most of all, to remember, is to BE ABLE TO LOOK AT TODAY WITH THE WISDOM OF YESTERDAY. No collective memory should be erased for appeasing a particular community.

Yet, what has happened in India, at the hand of Hindus themselves, is a constant denial and even a perversion of the genocide committed by Muslims in India. Hasn't the "radical humanist" M.N. Roy, written "that Islam has fulfilled a historic mission of equality and abolition of discrimination in India, and that for this, Islam has been welcomed in India by the lower castes". "If AT ALL any violence occurred, he goes on to say, it was a matter of justified class struggle by the progressive forces against the reactionary forces, meaning the feudal Hindu upper classes.."

Want to listen to another such quote? This one deals with Mahmud Ghaznavi, the destroyer of thousands of Hindu temples, who according to his chronicler Utbi, sang the praise of the Mathura temple complex, sacred above all to all Hindus... and promptly proceeded to raze it to the ground: "Building interested Mahmud and he was much impressed by the city of Mathura, where there are today a thousand edifices as firm as the faith of the faithful. Mahmud was not a religious man. He was a Mahomedan, but that was just by the way. He was in the first place a soldier and a brilliant soldier"... Amazing eulogy indeed of the man who was proud of desecrating hundreds of temples and made it a duty to terrorise and humiliate pagans. And guess from whom is that quote? From Jawaharlal Nehru himself, the first Prime Minister of India and one of the architects of independence!

M.N. Roy, and Nehru in a lesser degree, represent the foremost current of negationism in India, which is Marxist inspired. For strangely, it was the Russian communists who decided to cultivate the Arabs after the First World War, in the hope that they constituted a fertile ground for future indoctrination. One should also never forget that Communism has affected whole generations of ardent youth, who saw in Marxism a new ideology in a world corrupted by capitalism and class exploitation. Nothing wrong in that; but as far as indoctrination goes, the youth of the West, particularly of the early sixties and seventies, were all groomed in sympathising with the good Arabs and the bad Jews. And similarly in India, two or three young generations since the early twenties, were tutored on negating Muslim genocide on the Hindus. In "Communalism and the writing of Indian history", Romila Thapar, Harbans Mukhia and Bipan Chandra, professors at the JNU in New Delhi, the Mecca of secularism and negationism in India, denied the Muslim genocide by replacing it instead with a conflict of classes. The redoubtable Romila Thapar in her "Penguin History of India", co-authored with Percival Spear, writes: "Aurangzeb's supposed intolerance, is little more than a hostile legend based on isolated acts such as the erection of a mosque on a temple site in Benares". How can one be so dishonest, or so blind? But it shows how negationism is perpetuated in India.

What are the facts? Aurangzeb (1658-1707) did not just build an isolated mosque on a destroyed temple, he ordered ALL temples destroyed, among them the Kashi Vishvanath, one of the most sacred places of Hinduism and had mosques built on a number of cleared temples sites. All other Hindu sacred places within his reach equally suffered destruction, with mosques built on them. A few examples: Krishna's birth temple in Mathura, the rebuilt Somnath temple on the coast of Gujurat, the Vishnu temple replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares and the Treta-ka-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. (Neg 60). The number of temples destroyed by Aurangzeb is counted in 4, if not 5 figures; according to his own official court chronicles: "Aurangzeb ordered all provincial governors to destroy all schools and temples of the Pagans and to make a complete end to all pagan teachings and practices". The chronicle sums up the destructions like this: "Hasan Ali Khan came and said that 172 temples in the area had been destroyed.

.. His majesty went to Chittor and 63 temples were destroyed..Abu Tarab, appointed to destroy the idol-temples of Amber, reported that 66 temples had been razed to the ground".. Aurangzeb did not stop at destroying temples, their users were also wiped-out; even his own brother, Dara Shikoh, was executed for taking an interest in Hindu religion and the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded because he objected to Aurangzeb's forced conversions. As we can see Romila Thapar and Percival Spear's statement of a benevolent Aurangzeb is a flagrant attempt at negationism. Even the respectable Encyclopedia Brittannica in its entry on India, does not mention in its chapter on the Sultanate period any persecutions of Hindus by Muslims, except "that Firuz Shah Tughlaq made largely unsuccessful attempts at converting his Hindu subjects and sometime persecuted them". The British, for their own selfish purpose, were of course greatly responsible for whitewashing the Muslims, whom they needed to counterbalance the influence of the Hindus and the Congress. It is sad that Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress perpetuated that brand of negationism. But that is another story.

The happiest in this matter must be the Muslims themselves. What fools these Hindus are, they must be telling themselves: We killed them by the millions, we wrested a whole nation out of them, we engineer riots against them, and they still defend us!... But don't the Hindus know that many orthodox Indian Muslims still cling to the Deoband school, which says that India was once "Dar-ul-Islam", the house of Islam, and should return to that status. Maulana Abul Kala Azad, several times Congress President, and Education Minister in free India, was a spokesman for this school. The Aligarh school on the contrary, led by Mohammed Iqbal, propounded the creation of Pakistan. What particularly interests us in the Aligarh school is the attempt by Muslim historians, such as Mohamed Habiib, to rewrite the Chapter of Muslim invasions in India. In 1920, Habib started writing his magnum opus, which he based on four theories: 1) that the records (written by the Muslims themselves) of slaughters of Hindus, the enslaving of their women and children and razing of temples were "mere exaggerations by court poets and zealous chroniclers to please their rulers". 2) That they were indeed atrocities, but mainly committed by Turks, the savage riders from the Steppe. 3) That the destruction of the temples took place because Hindus stored their gold and jewels inside them and therefore Muslim armies plundered these. 4) That the conversion of millions of Hindus to Islam was not forced, "but what happened was there was a shift of opinion in the population, who on its own free will chose the Shariat against the Hindu law (smriti), as they were all oppressed by the bad Brahmins"...!!! (Negationism p.42)

Unfortunately for Habib and his school, the Muslims invaders did record with glee their genocide on Hindus, because they felt all along that they were doing their duty; that killing, plundering, enslaving and razing temples was the work of God, Mohammed. Indeed, whether it was Mahmud of Ghazni (997-1030), who was no barbarian, although a Turk, and patronised art and literature, would recite a verse of the Koran every night after having razed temples and killed his quota of unbelievers; or Firuz Shah Tughlak (1351-1388) who personally confirms that the destruction of Pagan temples was done out of piety and writes: "on the day of a Hindu festival, I went there myself, ordered the executions of all the leaders AND PRACTITIONERS of his abomination; I destroyed their idols temples and built mosques in their places". Finally, as Elst points out, "Muslim fanatics were merely faithful executors of Quranic injunctions. It is not the Muslims who are guilty but Islam". (Negationism in India, p. 44)

But ultimately, it is a miracle that Hinduism survived the onslaught of Muslim savagery; it shows how deep was her faith, how profound her karma, how deeply ingrained her soul in the hearts of her faithfuls. We do not want to point a finger at Muslim atrocities, yet they should not be denied and their mistakes should not be repeated today. But the real question is: Can Islam ever accept Hinduism? We shall turn towards the Sage, the yogi, who fought for India's independence, accepting the Gita's message of karma of violence when necessary, yet had a broad vision that softened his words: "You can live with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is "I will not tolerate you? How are you going to have unity with these people?...The Hindu is ready to tolerate; he is open to new ideas and his culture and has got a wonderful capacity for assimilation, but always provided India's central truth is recognised.. (Sri Aurobindo India's Rebirth 161,173) Or behold this, written on September 1909: "Every action for instance which may be objectionable to a number of Mahomedans, is now liable to be forbidden because it is likely to lead to a breach of peace. And one is dimly beginning to wonder whether worship in Hindu temples may be forbidden on that valid ground (India's Rebirth p. 55). How prophetic! Sri Aurobindo could not have foreseen that so many Muslim countries would ban Rushdie's book and that Hindu processions would often be forbidden in cities, for fear of offending the Muslims. Sri Aurobindo felt that sooner or later Hindus would have to assert again the greatness of Hinduism.

And here we must say a word about monotheism, for it is the key to the understanding of Islam. Christians and Muslims have always harped on the fact that their religions sprang-up as a reaction against the pagan polytheist creeds, which adored many Gods. " There is only one real God they said (ours), all the rest are just worthless idols ". This " monotheism versus polytheism business " has fuelled since then the deep, fanatic, violent and murderous zeal of Islam against polytheist religions, particularly against Hinduism, which is the most comprehensive, most widely practiced of all them. It even cemented an alliance of sorts between the two great monotheist religions of the world, Christianity and Islam, witness the Britishers' attitude in India, who favoured Indian Muslims and Sikhs against the Hindus; or the King of Morocco who, even though he is one of the most moderate Muslim leaders in the world, recently said in an interview: " we have no fight with Christianity, our battle is against the Infidel who adores many gods ".

But the truth is that Hinduism is without any doubt the most monotheist religion in the World, for it recognises divine unity in multiplicity. It does not say: " there is only one God, which is Mohammed. If you do not believe in Him I will kill you ". It says instead: " Yes Mohammed is a manifestation of God, but so is Christ, or Buddha, or Krishna, or Confucius ". This philosophy, this way of seeing, which the Christians and Muslims call " impious ", is actually the foundation for a true monotheist understanding of the world. It is because of this " If you do not recognize Allah (or Christ), I will kill you ", that tens of millions of Hindus were slaughtered by Arabs and other millions of South Americans annihilated by the Christians. And ultimately the question is: Are the Muslims of today ready to accept Hinduism ? Unfortunately no. For Muslims all over the world, Hinduism is still the Infidel religion " par excellence ". This what their religion tell them, at every moment, at every verse, at the beginning of each prayer : " Only Allah is great ". And their mollahs still enjoin them to go on fight " jihad " to deliver the world of the infidels. And if the armies of Babar are not there any longer; and if it is not done any more to kill a 100.000 Hindus in a day, there is still the possibility of planting a few bombs in Bombay, of fuelling separatisms in the hated land and eventually to drop a nuclear device, which will settle the problem once and for all. As to the Indian Muslim, he might relate to his Hindu brother, for whatever he says, he remains an Indian, nay a Indu; but his religion will make sure that he does not forget that his duty is to hate the Infidel. This is the crux of the problem today and the riddle if Islam has to solved, if it wants to survive in the long run.

We will never be able to assess the immense physical harm done to India by the Muslim invasions. Even more difficult is to estimate the moral and the spiritual damage done to Hindu India. But once again, the question is not of vengeance, or of reawakening old ghosts, but of not repeating the same mistakes. Unfortunately, the harm done by the Muslims conquest is not over. The seeds planted by the Moghols, by Babar, Mahmud, or Aurangzeb, have matured: the 125 million Indian Muslims of today have forgotten that they were once peaceful, loving Hindus, forcibly converted to a religion they hated. And they sometimes take-up as theirs a cry of fanaticism which is totally alien to their culture. Indeed, as Sri Aurobindo once said: "More than 90% of the Indian Muslims are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindu themselves"...(Rebirth of India, p.237) The embryo of secession planted by the Mahomedans, has also matured into a poisonous tree which has been called Pakistan and comes back to haunt India through three wars and the shadow of a nuclear conflict embracing South Asia. And in India, Kashmir and Ayodhya are reminders that the Moghol cry for the house of Islam in India is not yet over, as Kargil has just shown.

Vijay Prashad and Hindu Holocaust Museum

Vinod Kumar
Prof. Vijay Prashad in his article Hindu Holocaust (News India Times, Sept. 25, 2009) about Francois Gautier’s fund raiser on August 16, 2009 in New Jersey for a Hindu Holocaust Museum in Pune, India has made many assertions and statements which have no evidence in contemporary or even subsequent recorded history. To keep the response reasonable length let me address a few of the issues covered by him and let the readers make their own judgment.

Prof. Prashad wrote, and I quote the entire paragraph:

"Between Hindus and Muslims there has not been an endless rivalry for social power. When Islam enters the subcontinent, it does not come in the saddlebags of the Ghaznis or the Ghouris, but amongst the rumble of goods brought by traders. Early conversions are not by the sword but by the merchants . There was killing, but that was as much for reasons of warfare and plunder as for reasons of God and tradition. An interested reader might want to look at the distinguished historian Romila Thapar's superb book "Somnatha: The Many Voices of a History" (Penguin, 2005). There, Professor Thapar shows us that Mahmud Ghazni's destruction of the Shiva temple in 1026 was driven not so much by a fanatical religious belief but because his father, Subuktigin, needed money to sustain his faltering kingdom in Central Asia. Now it is certainly true, as historian Mohammed Habib put it, that there was "wanton destruction of temples that followed in the wake of the Ghaznavid army."

Actually this paragraph covers the gist of his arguments.

Let us discuss these one by one.

1. No social rivalry between Hindus and Muslims:
To the contrary there never was any equivalence between the two ever after the Muslims started invading India. In all Muslim chronicles, almost without exception, Hindus are referred to as infidels – a derogatory term in Islam.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a very prominent Muslim leader in the nineteenth century asked Muslims to support British Raj as opposed to free India where, by default, Hindus being majority would have an upper hand. For Muslim scholars for Muslims to live under the Hindus was unacceptable.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (the originator of two nation theory) had said in 1888, as quoted by Sir Penderel Moon on page 11 of his tome, 'Divide and Quit'. India, he said, is a country"inhabited by two different nations" and there would necessarily be a struggle for power between them, if the English were to leave India. "Is it possible, he had asked, "that under these circumstances two nations - the Mohammedan and Hindu - could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable."

On the issue of Hindu Muslim relations, no body could have put it better than what Jinnah articulated in his famous Presidential address to Muslim League conference in Lahore in 1940.

He said there never was any common ground between the Muslims and the Hindus or desire on the part of Muslims to live as equal with Hindus whom they had ruled for centuries. Hinduism and Islam are two different and distinct social orders. It is only a dream that the two can ever evolve a common nationality. "The hero of one is the foe of the other. There is nothing that binds them together." Enumerating all the differences between the two, he went on to say that "to yoke two such nations under a single State must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state." (India’s Partition – Process, Strategy and Mobilization, edited By Mushirul Hasan, Delhi, 1998, pp.56)

Jinnah stressed there was never one India and Hindus and Muslims had never lived as one unit. History is testimony that last twelve hundred years have failed to achieve unity and during the ages "India was always divided into Hindu India and Muslim India. … The present artificial unity of India dates back only to British conquest and is maintained by the British bayonet" -- he went on to say. (ibid. pp. 56)

Even Alberuni, thousand years ago, when there was not much Muslim presence in India, could see there was no common ground between Hindus and Muslims. He starts his book by discussing the differences between the Hindus and the Muslims. He enumerates these differences at length throughout the book. Warning his readers he wrote "the readers must bear in mind that the Hindus entirely differ from us in every respect…… The barriers which separate Muslims and Hindus rest on different causes." ((Sachau EC, Alebruni’s India, New Delhi, 1993, pp. 17 – 26)

Dr. Ambedkar in his books and frequent writings had alluded to Muslim's macabre hostility against Hindus. He highlighted the fact that the word 'but' used by Muslims to refer to any idol was a corrupt form of "Budh" because there were hundreds of statues of Buddha in Afghanistan and across the Middle East which were the first target of iconoclast of Islam. That explains the use of the term 'but-shikan' by Ghazanavi, Ghauri and other invaders. The destruction and pillage of the famous Buddhist Seminary and University of Nalanda is another example of the grossness of the wanton damage caused by Muslim invaders.

Ethnic cleansing of Hindus by Muslims has continued even in recent history, both in Pakistan and Bangladesh - even in Kashmir. In that sense there has been a renewal of Hindu Holocaust. In Pakistan the Hindu /Sikh population has plummeted from 23% in 1947 to less than 2% today. In Bangladesh, it has dwindled from 35% to 8% during the same period. During the same period Muslims have multiplied fast in India. And the shame of Hindus having been ethnically cleansed from Kashmir Valley, an important part of our bogus secular state, still torments Hindu hearts!.

In fact, throughout history Islam has always used 'gross savagery' and open recourse to terrorism as force multipliers e.g. building towers of the heads of hapless Hindus beheaded by Muslim invaders of which accounts are there in history books written by Muslim chroniclers. (Baburnama, Delhi, 1998, pp. 573, 576 – to cite one example) And the use of terror and savagery continues with renewed vigor even today. The most morbid example of savagery in recent times was the beheading by Ilyas Kashmiri (a commander of Pak-sponsored terror group) of an injured Indian army officer (after capturing him on February 26, 2000). Ilyas Kashmiri went back to Pakistan with the head of the hapless Indian army officer and presented it to top officers of Pak army. Gen. Musharraf had given a cash reward of Rs. 1 lakh. Pictures of Ilyas Kashmiri holding the head of the Indian officer were published in Pakistani newspapers. Maulana Zahoor Ahmed Alvi of Jamia Muhammadia, Islamabad, even issued a fatwa supporting slitting the throats of Indian army officers in a similar manner [Source: News item, 'Musharraf rewarded militant who killed Indian', (Indian Express New Delhi, September 21, 2009, page 4).

Can Prof. Vijay Prashad deny these irrefutable facts?

2. Islam came with Muslim traders:

Yes, in India there were traders from Arabia long before Islam was born. These traders by virtue of their being Arabs, became Muslims when Arabia became Islamic in the seventh century. Thus, one can say Islam came to India with the traders. Yes, during the trading period, there was no animosity against the Muslims or Islam. When did this animosity begin? It was discussed by Alberuni a thousand years ago in his famous ‘Indica’ which we shall cover later. Not that there was any resistance against but there were no conversions to Islam among the general population to speak of. Initially Arabs, and later on Muslim, traders married local women. Even Arab records show that India (read Hindu) kings gave Muslims land to build their mosques and preach their new religion. However, it might be mentioned that there is no evidence of reciprocity of giving lands to Hindus or other religions in Arabia after the birth of Islam. To the contrary, Prophet Muhammad’s one of the last three wishes/instructions to Muslims was to "expel all pagans from the Arabian Peninsula." (Sahih Bukhari, New Delhi, vol. 4, p. 260, Chapter H 393)

What caused the animosity between Hindus and Muslims?

In the very first chapter of his book, Indica, Alberuni discusses the differences between Hindus and Muslims, as written above. Alberuni observes some of the reasons of Hindus’ repugnance of Muslims are complete banishment of Buddhists from countries, from Khurasan, Persis, Irak, Mosul and Syria, first by Zoroastrians and then by Islam. And then Muhammad ibn Kasim entered India proper, conquered the cities of Bahmanwa and Multan and went as far as Kannauj – "all these events planted a deeply rooted hatred in their hearts." (Sachau EC, Alebruni’s India, New Delhi, 1993, pp. 20-21)

Then he talks of Mahmud Ghaznavi: Sabuktagin weakened the borders of India and afterwards his son Mahmud marched into India during a period of thirty years and more. Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of India and performed those wonderful exploits (emphasis mine), by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people." Alberuni says "their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion towards all Muslims." (ibid, pp. 22)

These are not even the tips of the proverbial iceberg, to understand what was done to Hindu by Muslim invaders and then rulers. One has to read the entire history recorded by the Muslim invaders and rulers and other Muslim chroniclers to understand its full impact. After each invasion, the survivors were offered conversion to Islam or death and many converted. If circumstances allowed, many converted back to their original faith. All through Muslim rule starting from bin Kasim, with a few exceptions, Jiziya was imposed on non-Muslim subjects the burden of which fell the heaviest on the poor. This, at times, led to mass conversions of the entire castes. Islam might have come with the traders but it did not result in any conversions to Islam. It were the invasions and subsequent Muslim rule which did.

Politically motivated opinions that have no basis in recorded history or wishful thinking that reflect how the things should have been, in their flight of fancy imagination, is not history. It is, at best, sheer fiction.

Sadly, Prof. Vijay Prashad’s characterization of Hindu Muslim relations fall in this category. History is what actually happened; fiction has no place in it.

3. Reasons for temple demolition:

Prof. Prashad quotes Professor Thapar showing us that Mahmud Ghazni's destruction of the Shiva temple in 1026 was driven not so much by a fanatical religious belief but because his father, Subuktigin, needed money to sustain his faltering kingdom in Central Asia.
It is unimaginable that Sabuktagin would have a kingdom in Central Asia in 1926 after he died at Toormooz on his way to Ghizny from Balkh in Shaban AH 387 (August AD 997).

In history of Islam Mahmud enjoys a very high position. He was given the titles of Ameen-ul-Millat, defender of the faith and Yameen-ud-Daulat, the right hand of the state by the Caliph of Baghdad – the titles which had so far not been bestowed on any prince far or near, notwithstanding their intense desire to receive such an honor. (Tarikh Yamini, The History of India as Told by its own historians, Vol. 2, New Delhi, 1996, pp. 24)

The plunders of Mahmud are legendary. When he displayed his loot from India, he was declared "the richest monarch ever in history".

It is often said he was interested only in plunder and he was not much of a religious person. Neither his record nor his Muslim chroniclers agree with this characterization. From all contemporary records the only inference one can draw is that he was a zealot Muslim and is so regarded by Muslim scholars. As accepted even by Prof. Thapar and quoted by Prof. Prashad that he plundered Somnath temple – but actually the plunder and destruction of Somnath temple was of relatively small scale in relation to other temples and places he plundered and destroyed.

The case in point is the temple at Mathura. Mahmud was enchanted by the grandeur of this temple. Utbi, secretary of Mahmud, in his Tarikh Yamini described it as:

"The Sultan next directed his attacks against the sacred city of Mathura. The city was surrounded by a massive stone wall, in which were two lofty gates opening on to the river. There were magnificent temples all over the city and the largest of them all stood in the center of it. The Sultan was very much struck by its grandeur. In his estimate it cost not less than 100,000,000 red dinars, and even the most skillful of masons must have taken 200 years to complete it. Among the large number of idols in the temples, five were made of pure gold, the eyes of one of them were laid with two rubies worth 100,000 dinars, and another had a sapphire of a very heavy weight. All these five idols yielded gold weighing 98,300 mishkals. The idols made of silver numbered 200……. He seized all the gold and silver idols and ordered his soldiers to burn all the temples to the ground. The idols in them were deliberately broken into pieces. The city was pillaged for 20 days, and a large number of buildings were reduced to ashes." (Tarikh Yamini, The History of India as Told by its own historians, vol 2, New Delhi, 1996, pp. 44)

Mahmud Ghaznavi invaded India at least sixteen times and each time he left a trail of tears, human suffering and devastation. The tale of his invasions as recorded by his secretary Utbi is blood curdling. This is how Utbi describes one scene and this is not, by any means, an isolated example:

"Many infidels were consequently slain or taken prisoner in this sudden attack, and the Muslamans paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels and worshippers of sun and fire. The friends of God searched the bodies of the slain for three whole days, in order to obtain booty." (ibid. pp. 49) The search for booty was secondary to killing.

Another place Utbi writes: "The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously, that the stream was discoloured, notwithstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it." (ibid. pp. 40)

I can understand Mahmud’s penchant for wealth. Many people have insatiable thirst for wealth. Prof. Prashad might ask himself what would drive a man to reduce to ashes such a marvelous structure and break the idols to pieces if he was only interested in wealth? And killing on such a large scale and so brutally?

Mahmud not only plundered and destroyed the Somnath temple, he ordered the upper part of the idol to be broken and the remainder to be transported to his residence, Ghazni, with all its trappings of gold, jewels, and embroidered garments. Part of it has been thrown into the hippodrome of the town, together with the Chakrasvamin, an idol of bronze, that had been brought from Thanesar. Another part of the idol from Somnath lies before the door of the mosque of Ghaznin, on which people rub their feet to clean them from dirt and wet." (Sachau EC, Alebruni’s India, New Delhi, 1993, part II, pp. 103)

One would ask Prof. Thapar if the purpose of Mahmud’s plunder of Somnath was "driven not so much by a fanatical religious belief but because his father, Subuktigin, needed money to sustain his faltering kingdom in Central Asia" why would he spend it in transporting broken pieces all the way from Somnath to Ghazni?

Prof. Prashad quotes Prof. Habib who admits that there was "wanton destruction of temples that followed in the wake of the Ghaznavid army." I am not surprised by it. Muslims historians are more open and honest about the Muslim rule in India and its depredations than their Hindu compatriots – the very Hindus who were at the receiving end for centuries. I wonder if Stockholm syndrome has anything to do with it! Coming back to our subject, temple destruction did not end with Mahmud – it was just the beginning. These continued all the way till Aurangzeb – the last great Mughal emperor. We will not go into those details in this article.

Even today, the demolition of Bamiyan Buddha statues is a stark reminder of what drove Muslim invaders of India to demolish Hindu temples? There was no wealth hidden in Bamiyan Buddhas that the world knows of.

In this so far we have covered only a very small part of Prof. Prashad’s article and not even scratched the surface of what Hindus had gone through Islamic rule. Will Durant has called the Muslim conquest of India the bloodiest story in history. The extent of destruction of Hindu temples and massacres is beyond all human imagination and a museum to their memory would be a just reminder to all humanity of what might happen if one is not prepared to learn the lessons from the past.

In the beginning of the article, Prof. Prashad wrote: "They claim that over the past thousand years, millions of Hindus were killed, with the intention to wipe Hindus off the map." Actually this is a very mild statement and does not even come close to state the facts. According to some estimates Hindus killed by Muslims over the centuries is about 80 million and the number of temples demolished into tens of thousands. Timur Lang’s massacre of 100,000 helpless Hindu prisoners in one day by hands has no parallel in world history. (Malfuzat-e-Timuri, History of India as told by its own historians, vol. III, Delhi, 1996, pp. 436)

4. Hindu Holocaust Museum:

Prof. Prashad also wrote: "The idea of the Hindu Holocaust casts the Hindu as history's victim, who should now become history's aggressor to avenge the past." It is evident that Prof. Prashad is drawing his own conclusions without any evidence or basis. Making a museum to portray the atrocities suffered by the Hindus in the past does not imply they want to become "history’s aggressors to avenge the past." Jews have built Jewish Holocaust museums, are they avenging the past? There are Black history museums all over the US. This does not mean that these are meant to enslave the Whites "to avenge the past". A museum is to remind the future generations of what happened – to reflect the good and the bad; the pride and the shame. All countries have museums. Actually it would have been only fair that such an idea had come from the Muslims to show their disapproval of what their ancestors had done to humanity for the sake of Islam. But that did not happen and is not likely to happen either. If not the Muslims, then this idea of Hindu Holocaust Museum should have come from liberal progressive elite of independent India.

It is not surprising that Francois Gautier who is leading the movement for a Hindu Holocaust museum is a Frenchman. He is the living legacy of French progressive liberalism that waged the struggle against religious fanaticism in the eighteenth century. Instead of making light of Gautier’s work, the liberal progressive elite worldwide should join forces with him in exposing the depredations caused by religious fanatics in India. Let India be the starting point and then continue work elsewhere.

Prof. Prashad would do a great service if instead of spending his valuable time and energy in criticizing Francois Gautier, he was investigating what drove some people, in today’s day and age, to demolish two thousand years old Bamiyan Buddhas – a work of art and human endeavor.

A sad reminder that the days of demolition of infidel idols are not over yet.
Copyright: Vinod Kumar
September 25, 2009

Muslims congregate in American Capital

Deception Can Undermine From Within

By CAL THOMAS, For The Bulletin
Sunday, October 04, 2009
If you are an enemy of America seeking her destruction, you would add to your pursuit of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons the undermining of this nation from within. You would do this largely through deception, putting on a peaceful face while subtly plotting ways to bring America down.

That tactic was on display last Friday in Washington as a crowd estimated at 3,000 Muslims gathered to pray. The organizer of the rally, Imam Abdul Malik of Brooklyn, N.Y., told Americans what we like to hear: “What we’ve done today, you couldn’t do in any Muslim country. If you prayed on the palace lawn there, they’d lock you up.”

As reported by The Washington Time’ Sadara Shaw, a resident of Washington, D.C., was quoted as saying “It’s a show of solidarity to show all Muslims are not terrorists but law-abiding citizens.” That is probably true, but irrelevant since it takes only a small number of terrorists to cause havoc.

“We believe in America’s possibilities,” Mr. Malik told the crowd. “We didn’t come to criticize our nation ... I want the American people to know that we love you.”

The Imam’s Facebook page tells a different story. But only The Times bothered to look at it. While Malik’s Facebook shows him dressed in Western clothing, he attended the ceremony dressed as a sheik. That seems more appropriate to the real Imam Malik, because on his Web page he has written: “Democracy is not revelation, and democracy does not equal freedom, for in democracy you have apartheid, you have slavery, you have homosexuality, you have lesbianism, you have gambling, you have all of the vices that are against the spirit of truth; so no we don’t want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy ...”

Which Imam is telling the truth and which is practicing deception? One might debate whether apartheid (Jews and Christians), slavery (oppression of women) and homosexuality exist in Muslim countries, the claim of Iran’s Ahmadinejad that homosexuals aren’t present in his country notwithstanding.

President Obama says Iran has been building a second nuclear enrichment plant. Oh, but Iran will allow in U.N. and possibly even American inspectors. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she expects the Iranians will tell us exactly what they are up to at a gathering of six foreign ministers in Geneva on Oct. 1. But hasn’t Ahmadinejad already said? All of that nuclear material is to heat, cool and light the homes of peace-loving Iranians. What else is there to discuss?

Iran has about as much credibility as North Korea and Venezuela. Iran reportedly will help Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez mine uranium in his country. Chavez denies it, of course. And when he is forced to admit it, he will claim it is for peaceful purposes. Memo to President Obama: radical, fundamentalist Muslims believe they have a religious duty to lie and deceive “infidels.” Mr. Chavez has more secular motivations for his untruths.

Has anyone noticed the apparent uptick in terrorist activity? In addition to the above, the Justice Department has brought charges in three “unrelated” bomb plots. In the most serious case, Najibullah Zazi, an airport shuttle driver from Denver, was indicted in New York on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in the United States. Authorities last week also arrested a 19-year-old Jordanian citizen, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, and accused him of trying to blow up a downtown Dallas skyscraper. And an Illinois man, Michael C. Finton (aka Talib Islam) was ordered held last week on charges he tried to blow up a federal building in the state’s capital.

Are we being infiltrated and surrounded by people who want us dead and our country destroyed? Try a little experiment, Google “Islam near” and then type in the name of any city or town. When I tried the small town of Bryn Mawr, 10 Islamic-related sites came up. In larger cities, there are as many, or more. Deception is part of the terrorists’ battle strategy. Who are you going to believe, the public Imam Malik of the prayer gathering, or the Imam Malik of the Facebook page?

See Also Deception in Islam
Robert Knight :: Townhall
What I Saw at the (Muslim Prayer) Revolution

Friday, September 25, 2009

Visitors to Washington D.C. today got to hear what residents in Hamtramck and Dearborn, Michigan, as well as areas of London, Amsterdam and other Western cities already endure five times a day: The sound of amplified Muslim prayers lifted to Allah.

This time, the prayers reverberated over America’s front lawn as some 2,000 Muslims gathered for the Jummah Prayer on Capitol Hill: A Day of Islamic Unity. Promoters had planned for 50,000 but came nowhere near that.

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck

Hadn’t you heard about this? If not, it’s probably because the media have been tight lipped, the better not to embarrass the One in the White House. While some women in burkas were sighted in the crowd, there was no sign of Nancy Pelosi in a hijab, which she wore on her Middle East tour.

The purpose of Friday’s event, according to its Website, was to “manifest Islam’s majestic spiritual principles” in chants echoing “off the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill.”

Well, they probably didn’t carry that far. These are not church bells, folks. This is the sound, however muted, of the world’s most aggressive religion rearing up and lyrically cooing its desire to master the world under Allah. Islam means, literally, Submission to Allah.

Author and Islam scholar Robert Spencer, who I saw at the rally, described the prayers, said in Arabic, as ultimately about Islamic superiority. While they may not sound threatening, the message they send to those who understand the language is that “our time has come.”

Another purpose for Friday’s prayer on the Mall was to show Muslims worldwide that Islam is on the advance in the U.S. Dubai-based, which bills itself as “the leading and original Islamic portal on the Internet,” played up the prayer rally, giving it prominent homepage coverage.

Now, before you accuse me of lumping all Muslims in the same bowl, let me say that there are many nice, hardworking Muslims in America who mean no harm. In fact, many are here because they couldn’t stomach living under Sharia Law in the countries of their origin. They may believe that the world will someday be subdued under Islam, but America’s a fine place to be while waiting. Radical Muslims want to recruit moderate Muslims by convincing them that the day of Sharia is right around the corner, not in the distant future. Hence the more muscular approach at the Capitol. To understand why this is more than just a prayer rally, consider this:

The Prophet Mohammad divided the world into two areas: The world of Dar al-Islam, and the world of Dar al-Harb, or House of War. Everyone on Earth is therefore either a Muslim or an infidel who must convert or else. The Koran is quite clear about this.

In Muslim majority nations, such as Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims are regarded as Dhimmis, second-class people whose testimony in court is worth only a fraction of that of a Muslim and who must pay extra taxes. Forget equality under the law, and don’t even ask how they treat Dhimmi women.

Another event all but ignored by the press was a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday held by Former Muslims United, led by Nonie Darwish. She and other ex-Muslims warned that Rifqa Bary, the 17-year-old Ohio Christian convert who fled to Florida because she fears an “honor killing” is not alone. Darwish and many other experts are featured on the documentary Radical Islam on the March, which will be broadcast on The Coral Ridge Hour on Sunday, Sept. 27.

While the Muslim prayer rally sponsors insist their purpose was to show the world that America is a free land that welcomes Muslims, visitors to the Website can hear a loud Islamic greeting in Arabic. If Muslims are interested in being viewed as just another group of Americans, why the Arabic? Why not English? Not even all Muslims speak Arabic. The real message on the site is in large block letters: Our Time Has Come.

Muslims have been emboldened by President Obama’s election and apology tour and his frequent nods to Islam. Their pulses must have raced as he referred four times in Cairo on June 4 to the “Holy Koran,” while noting that the Middle East is where Islam “was first revealed.” They probably cheered when he became the first president in recent years not to host a Christian-sponsored National Day of Prayer event on May 7 at the White House but found time to preside over an Iftar dinner at the White House on Sept. 1 to mark the end of Ramadan.

Rightly or wrongly, many Muslims feel they have one of their own in the White House. Obama’s formative years were spent learning Islam. It’s not for nothing that the Bible declares, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, KJV).

Along with Obama’s recent conduct, that might be why Moammar Gadhafi referred to Obama as “my son” in his 95-minute speech at the United Nations on Wednesday. It’s partly why Obama himself received a huge ovation as he came to the UN podium even before he took shots at Israel while gently chiding radical Muslims, and apologizing yet again for America.

A major organizer of the prayer rally is attorney Hassen Abdellah, president of the Dar-ul-Islam mosque in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Abdellah represented several terrorists, including: Mahmoud Abouhalima, who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and is serving a life sentence in Florence, Colorado, and Mahamed el-Atriss, who was convicted of selling fake IDs to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers. On Oct. 25, 1993, New York Times reporter Richard Bernstein described Abdellah as “by far the most aggressively combative of the lawyers in the case.”

Abdellah says he “represents all kinds of people.” Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch says that’s a fair statement, but that Abdellah’s client list is “consistent” and “interesting.”

In 1993, Abdellah spoke on behalf of Nidal A. Ayyad to The New York Times:

“’You look at Ayyad,’ he said of one of the defendants. ‘He's an American. He can practice his religion and his way of life here. Why would he blow up the World Trade Center?’"

Nidal A. Ayyad is now in the supermax federal prison in Florence, Colorado after being convicted of blowing up the garage of the World Trade Center, killing six and injuring 1,042.

Another major organizer of the prayer rally is Manhattan imam Sheihk Ahmed Dewidar, who says Muslims need to project a more moderate image in order to achieve their ultimate goals.

On June 9, 2005, during an interview translated by MEMR TV, short for the Middle East Research Institute Monitoring Project, he quoted another imam uncritically:

Dewidar: In 1995 I heard some sermons, saying that Muslims should march on the White House from some of the mosques.

Host: What do you mean by “march on the White House”?

Dewidar: One cleric said in his sermon: “We are going to the White House, so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into the Muslim house.”

Dewidar then explained that Muslim ideas will be victorious if they lose their radical image.

Another imam, Abdul Malik, is also an organizer. His Facebook site has an interesting lecture for young people. Here are some excerpts:

I want you to hear me very clearly: we must remember as Muslims, we submit and we surrender to nothing and no one: not the government, not the police, not the FBI, not the CIA. We submit and we surrender Allah alone, nothing else. Nothing else….. It’s not gonna be easy and you don’t have time to waste believing that you’re young and that you can involve yourself in sport and play because when the enemies of truth drop the bombs on the world of Islam, their number one target, and the number one people that suffer the most, it is the children who suffer, it is the old, it is the women and that day they become widows and they poison the waters and the air, and the children upon, with cancers and other diseases … Democracy is not revelation, and democracy does not equal freedom, for in have all of the vices that are against the spirit of truth; so no we don't want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy. That's what we want."

Indeed. As the ’60s hippies once said in a more conducive climate, “Peace, Man.”

Paksitani Hindu girl’s conversion case

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The News Pakistan

Lal Jee, father of a Hindu girl, Bano, who converted to Islam, filed a petition in the court expressing no-confidence in Additional District and Session Judge (ADSJ), South, requesting to transfer the case to District and Session Judge (DSJ), South

Additional District and Sessions Judge, South, Abdul Naeem Memon, accepting the application, referred the matter to DJ, South, Faheem Ahmed Siddiqui, and adjourned the case to September 30. The complainant had also expressed lack of trust in the public prosecutors at the last hearing.

Earlier at a previous hearing, the judge reserved his ruling against the bail application of a suspect who allegedly played a role in Bano’s conversion to Islam.

According to prosecution, Gulzar, an engineer by profession, has been charged with kidnapping Bano. The girl converted to Islam and later got married to a Muslim, Jaffer Abbas, in Rajanpur. Gulzar is said to be the common friend of the couple.

Lal Jee lodged a complaint at the Kalri police station, stating that his daughter was kidnapped by Gulzar on August 17, 2009. An FIR U/S 365-B (kidnapping with intent to commit rape) of the Pakistan Penal code was lodged against him.

The court reserved its ruling after hearing both sides till September 24. Gulzar, currently in detention, filed a bail application through his counsel in the court.

The investigation Officer Sub-Inspector (SI) Ishaq, who was assigned to conduct an inquiry regarding kidnapping of a girl, was dispatched to Rajanpur along with the police party. He submitted his report in the court along with the certified copy of marriage certificate and Bano’s statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC before the Judicial Magistrate, Rajanpur In her statement, Bano said that she converted to Islam and married a Muslim boy out of her own will. She converted to Islam on August 11 at the hands of the cleric of Jamia Binnoria Town Mosque. According to a certified copy produced in the court, Bano and Jaffer entered into a matrimonial alliance on August 15, 2009, four days after she embraced Islam.

Deputy-District Public Prosecutor (DDPP) Abdul Maroof argued on the basis of merit stating that Zohra (Bano’s Islamic name) was 26 at the time she embraced Islam and being an adult she was free to decide for herself. Her father, however, expressed annoyance over his argument and deposed no-confidence against the DDPP, praying court to appoint another prosecutor. At the initial stage, Faiz Essa, DDPP was assigned in the said case, but the Hindu community also showed mistrust in him.

Now the court would call the third prosecutor to conduct the proceedings and examination-in-chief on the next hearing date.

Hindu Nurse Kidnapped in Pakistan

Missing Hindu nurse’s parents’ pleas in Pak falling on deaf ears

KARACHI - Family members of the Hindu nurse, Bano, who disappeared from Karachi last month under mysterious circumstances, have urged the government to step into the issue and direct the concerned authorities to pursue the matter seriously to find out her whereabouts.

Bano’s uncle and the head of the Hindu Maheshwari community, Narain Das feared that her niece could have been killed or forced to convert her religion.

“The incidents of kidnapping our community girls’ have recently increased alarmingly and despite our repeated protests and approaches to the higher authorities, nothing has so far been done to protect the community members. Kidnappers have recently kidnapped several girls as young as thirteen and fourteen years old,” Das said.

The police has arrested Gulzar, who worked with Bano in the hospital, but failed to gather any substantial report regarding her whereabouts.

Gulzar has told officials that Bano has accepted Islam and married her boyfriend Jaffer, but Bano’s parents fear she has been murdered.

When enquired about the issue, Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs Dr Mohan Lal said he would look into matter and issue guidelines to concerned authorities.

“I would personally talk to the police authorities and will ensure her release as soon as possible,” The Daily Times quoted Lal, as saying. (ANI)

Taliban targets descendants of Alexander the Great

For centuries, the blond-haired, blue-eyed people of the Kalash tribes of North West Pakistan have lived a libertine lifestyle.

Dean Nelson in New Delhi

Children of the Kalash tribe in Northern Pakistan: Taliban targets descendants of Alexander the Great
Children of the Kalash tribe in Northern Pakistan Photo: EPA

The group, believed to be descendants of Alexander the Great's invading army, were shielded from conservative Islam by the steep slopes of their remote valleys.

While Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians were slowly driven out of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province by Muslim militants, the Kalash were free to drink their own distilled spirits and smoke cannabis.

But the militant maulanas of the Taliban have finally caught up with them and declared war on their culture and heritage by kidnapping their most devoted supporter.

Taliban commanders have taken Professor Athanasion Larounis, a Greek aid worker who has generated £2.5 million in donations to build schools, clinics, clean water projects and a museum.

They are now demanding £1.25 million and the release of three militant leaders in exchange for his safe return.

According to local police, it was Professor Larounis's dedication to preserving Kalasha culture that Taliban commanders in Nuristan, on the Afghan side of the border that made him a target.

Confirmation of the Taliban's role in his kidnapping came as their leader Mullah Omar urged American and Nato leaders to learn from the history of Alexander the Great's invasion of Afghanistan and his defeat by Pushtun tribesmen in the 4BC.

He was kidnapped on Sep 8, when five masked Taliban broke into the three storey museum where he was living, killed a policeman guarding the building, tied a teacher to a post and grabbed the professor from his bed.

Ajmeer Kalash, a Kalash teacher who witnessed the incident, said he had saved his own life by pretending to be a Muslim.

"I did not understand their language and they did not understand mine. I tried to make them understand in Urdu language that I'm a teacher at the school."

He said the men asked for his religion and "I told them that I'm a Muslim by reciting Kalma, though I'm a Kalash."

"They brought out the Greek national and they opened fire at his police guard. The policeman died on the spot. They took me and the Greek citizen to the forest. There they tied my hands to a tree and left me there and went away," he said.

Locals said the professor had been visiting the area since 1994 when he first came as a tourist and fell in love with the area's unique culture and its people's links to his own in Greece and Macedonia.

Today there are an estimated 3,000 Kalasha left in three remote and steep valleys in Chitral in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. The children wear their hair in orthodox Jewish-style ringlets and sport bright coloured topi hats. The women occasionally have tattooed faces, wear long black robes with coloured embroidery.

The Kalash are known as 'Black Kafirs' to local Muslims who regard them, and their women in particular, as immoral. They are scornful of their festivals and rituals, which include a rite of passage in which a prepubescent boy is fattened in the mountains over a summer and then when he returns is allowed to have sex with any woman he chooses.

Married Kalash women are able to elope with other men if the object of their desire accepts a written proposal and agrees to double her dowry to the abandoned husband – often in cows.

Professor Larounis, who is believed to have been living in the Kalash Valleys with his wife, had generated around two and a half million pounds in aid for 20 projects in the Kalash Valleys, including clean water schemes, and the museum in Broon village in Bumburet.

Since his kidnapping Kalash women have demonstrated for his release, while elders have travelled to Nuristan to try to negotiate with his kidnappers.

Pak Hindus flee to India

Escape From Taliban
Swati Vashishtha

CHUGGING INTO INDIA: Border activists feel the Government can no longer afford to look the other way.

Jaipur: Each time the Thar Express from Pakistan chugs into the Jodhpur railway station many like Ranaram get off - relieved and hoping to never go back. Ranaram managed to rescue his two daughters from being kidnapped, sexually assaulted and forced conversion at the hands of militant outfits, some as sinister as the Taliban.

"We don't want to go back there. We want to stay here," says he.

And Ranaram is not alone. In spite of Pakistan's publicised offensive, the Taliban's atrocities span the Swat valley as well as Punjab and Sindh, which are home to a large population of religius minorities. At least 1,000 such men and women have crossed over in the past year. Many of them are living in Jodhpur and the villages surrounding it. Their fear is palpable.

Pakistani immigrant, Prem Singh says, "We couldn't have lived in those circumstances any longer. Our lives and our children were under threat so we have come here with our children."

They might have escaped the Taliban, but without citizenship certificates and a clear policy, these refugees are forced to live in poor conditions and become victims of police harassment in India.

President Seemant Lok Sangathan, Jodhpur, Hindu Singh Sodha says, "They have to get registered with valid documents and have to apply for the extension of their visas."

The border activists feel the Government can no longer afford to look the other way, but until the Government takes up the issue, the problem will only intensify.

Shoot us but we will never go back!

'Goli maar do, but we will never go back'

Avijit Ghosh & Saurabh Banerjee, TNN

26 September 2009

Rana Ram carries a bit of his pained past in a weathered wallet that's always close to him. It's a photocopy of a grainy clipping from an Urdu newspaper that shows a woman and her child. The caption reads: 'Impressed by Islam, the woman with the baby became a Muslim'.

"This isn't true,'' says Rana, a lean man with expressive eyes. For the last 18 months, he has been crying himself hoarse that the newspaper lied. "No, that's not why Samdi Mai, my wife of 10 years, changed her religion. Ever since my father-in-law switched his faith, we were under pressure from the maulvis and others to become Muslims too."

But Rana, of Sadiqabad tehsil in Pakistan Punjab's Rahimyar Khan district, resisted. Then one day, when he was away tending goats, a fleet of cars filled with bearded men arrived at his house. On his return, he found his wife gone.
The 30-year-old farmhand rushed to the police station only to be told that his wife had converted of her own will.

Someone passed on a message a few days later. It said, "To get her back, you also must become a believer."
Rana, though, wasn't ready to give up. He managed to get back his three-year-old daughter at a village 'court' after paying off the decision-makers. But his wife was 'out of the question'. That's when he decided to take the weekly Thar Express to Rajasthan.

Over the past four years, more than 4,000 Hindus have come to India from Pakistan, hoping never to return. A majority says they lived in constant fear of losing their religion, of worrying that their daughters would be dragged away and converted to Islam. Whenever such traumatic incidents occurred, local authorities just looked away. It was simply a question of 'us' and 'them'.

Laxmi Ram, daughter-in-law of Arjan Ram from Punjab's Bahawalpur district, says her uncle's seven-year-old daughter was abducted and that's the last they saw of her. Kewal Ram, from Punjab's Rahimyar Khan district, says his sister's daughter was converted to Islam by a locally influential man after her husband's death. "I went to every authority, two top minority leaders, one a Hindu, the other a Parsi. But nothing happened. That's when I decided to leave Pakistan, the only home I had known."

Displaced people like Kewal Ram now live in wretched settlements in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Barmer. And though they are disappointed with the local authorities' attitudes, they say, "Goli maar do, par wapas nahin jayenge."

This exodus from Pakistan is not new. During the 1965 and 1971 wars, Hindus arrived in steady streams from across the border. "The demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 sparked a violent reaction in Pakistan, forcing many Hindus to flee. In the following years, the rise of extreme fundamentalism in Pakistan further ensured that migration continued," says H S Sodha, president, Seemant Lok Sangathan, which works for refugees across Rajasthan.

The latest rush started around 2007. Refugees say fundamentalism has grown dramatically in Pakistan's Punjab. Dina Ram, who now lives in Jaisalmer's Bhil Basti, says older Muslims were more understanding towards minorities. "The younger boys are more fanatical," says this former resident of Rahimyar Khan. And it is not the Taliban at work.

Like Rana Ram, many of the displaced come from Sadiqabad tehsil. Its Rahim Yaar Khan district is too far away for the followers of Baitullah Mehsud, based in Pakistan's remote northwest. Rather, refugees say, a general pro-conversion social climate prevails in rural Punjab that encourages even shopkeepers, neighbours and schoolteachers to urge Hindus to convert. Allurements ("Tumhari shaadi kara denge"), taunts ("Why do you worship idols?"), fear ("Tum dozakh mein jaoge") and veiled threats ("Tumhare liye yehi accha rahega") — every ploy is used to make them cross over to Islam.

There's a class dimension to the problem too. The refugees are among the poorest of the poor. Many originally belong to Rajasthan's border districts; their ancestors had moved westward in search of employment before Partition. Most worked as farmhands for zamindars and then were forced out. Dhapobai from Bahawalpur district, who now lives on Jodhpur's outskirts, says her family changed home 25-30 times. Being rootless, they are at the mercy of the local powers: zamindars and maulvis. Class exploitation combines with religious bigotry to force them to quit Pakistan.

About 100 displaced families live in Kali Beri, 20 km northwest of Jodhpur. The settlement looks like a half-excavated Stone Age ruin abandoned by archeologists. Thorny vilayati babools are everywhere, but there is no sign of toilets, electricity or hope. "Every family has a malaria patient," says Goman Lal, a resident since 1997. "The men work in the stone quarries and do 10-12 hours of backbreaking toil. But they have no complaints. These mines have saved our life and honour."

They live under stacked blocks of unpolished sandstone. Byapari Ram, 32, stays here with his family. His arrival on January 4, 2009 was spurred by Rana Ram's plight. "I feared we would be the next target," he says. His new home is furnished with just a bunch of plastic sacks packed with clothes, and a trunk with his sisters' photographs. "I wish I could get visas and bring them here," he says.

Having fled from religious pressures, the displaced land in further humiliation. When they arrive on the Thar Express, which runs from Karachi to Jodhpur, border officials are rude and demand bribes. Imran Kumar says that at Munabao, the first stop in India, an official confiscated his passport and demanded Rs 7,000. He got away with paying Rs 2,600. "Back there, Muslims troubled us. But I can't understand why even Hindus treat us badly," he despairs.

A majority of the displaced are either Meghwals (SCs) or Bhils (STs). Those in Ramdev Nagar feel the absence of a proper burial ground. Though Hindus, the Meghwals bury their dead. "We have had to fight with other communities. The government has given us jeevan daan but we also need mrityu daan," says Nand Lal, a former driver in Karachi who got Indian citizenship in 2005.

There is another battle. Those on extended long-term visas are legally bound not to leave Jodhpur's municipal limits or travel west of NH-15. But with limited jobs, many slip awayto other towns in Rajasthan.

In December 2008, a high-powered committee submitted its report on ways of improving the lot of these displaced people. But, says H S Sodha, also a committee member, even those with citizenship are not part of any state scheme for SCs. They don't have BPL cards either. "They need better livelihood programmes and comprehensive social security. Land should be more easily made available to them. Those on long-term visas but yet to receive citizenship are not eligible for a driving licence, bank account or insurance scheme. This must change."

Citizenship itself is an issue. Before 2004, the displaced had to stay put for five years to become eligible. This has been extended to seven. Application fees too have doubled. Between 2004-05, 11,327 were granted citizenship. Expectedly, this number dropped to 1,201 in 2005-06 and 1,207 in 2006-07.

However, Naveen Mahajan, DM, Jodhpur, says that the administration is seriously trying to help. "We are preparing the list of those who have got citizenship. Our prime focus will be on BPL cards. We are identifying a piece of land for their rehabilitation in Jodhpur," he says.

One thing is for sure: nobody wants to go back. "Sar kalam kar do, wapas nahi jaoongi (You can chop my head off, I won't go back.)," says Chhannobai from Bahawalpur district. Jeobai, the family's female head, takes pride in the fact that "Bacchi bacha ke aayein hain. Yehi bahut hai. (We have saved our daughters. That's enough)."

Rana Ram now lives with his uncle on the city's outskirts. Every morning, he gets up around five, cooks for his kids and readies his eight-year-old son for school before setting out to work in the quarries. It's a tough life. But he doesn't care. "At least I have the freedom to keep my faith and live without fear," he says.

(With inputs from Anindo Dey, Ajay Parmar & Vimal Bhatia)

The great escape

On the midnight of August 15 last year, two young boys fled the bondage of their Muslim landlord and crossed the border to freedom.

The sand was soft and they could scoop it out with their bare hands. But the fence was deeper than they had imagined. It was midnight, August 15, 2008. The Indo-Pak border was floodlit and any moment they could have been caught and sent back to the hell they were trying to escape.

They had walked 20 km, fleeing at noon when everyone had gone for Friday prayers. It was sheer luck that in his rush, the master had forgotten to tie them up. For three years that had been the routine, ever since their father sold them off to the Pakistani landlord for Rs 50,000.

Bhagwan Ram was 14 then and Pahelwan Ram 11. Their mother had died and their father needed the money for his second marriage. So, Bhagwan Ram and his brother became the property of Haji Zamir. For three years, the lads were strapped to a plough and made to till the fields from 6 in the morning till 6 in the evening. Dinner was the Zamir family's leftovers. And, at night, they were tied to their cots.

This was why they were seeking freedom on the midnight of August 15 last year. They had heard of relatives who lived east, "where the sun rose every day", a place called Jaisalmer. So they followed the sun as it slid west, and then the stars and a smelly canal that runs from Rahimyar Khan to the Indian border. On the way, they stopped at Dadi Ka Mazar, and sought dua. If they were to cross the border, dodge BSF bullets, and eventually find their relatives, they would surely need more than just the blessings of Tanot mata, their deity.

But they needn't have been here at all. Their master had given them a choice: "Become Muslims, forget Tanot mata, stop worshipping the boots (idols), and from tomorrow, you will get some money, more rotis, more dal, and maybe later, some land, and even a woman in your bed. And at night, nobody will tie you up. You will be free".

They chose real freedom instead.

When they could dig no further, they pulled at the wires till the gap was wide enough for them to scrape through. They still remember how the barbs dug into their flesh, the blood — but they kept their tryst with the midnight hour and got their independence.

And then, after stumbling along the sand on the Indian side for an hour, maybe more, suddenly the three — their cousin Sumeer Ram had come along too — were overpowered by sleep.

They were woken by the sun beating down on their faces. "A farmer saw us," says Pahelwan. "He asked where we were from. We said we were from Pakistan, and asked for water. He filled our two bottles, but said he would have to take us to the police. That was fine by us. We wanted to tell the police our story. We wanted rotis and dal. We wanted them to take us to Jaisalmer, where every day from our virtual prison in Pakistan, we saw the sun rise."

When they were handed over, the BSF jawans blindfolded them and took them back to the border. "They followed our footsteps," says Sumeer Ram. "They wanted to find out if we were telling the truth." After that, it was a year and three days in a police lock-up at Ramgarh in Jaisalmer. They didn't mind this either. They were never tied up and there was always enough roti and dal. Bhagwan Ram said, "I held the feet of the police officer and told him to shoot me, kill me but not send me back."

Freedom finally came on August 19 this year, when the Union home ministry decided not to deport them. They were released on the guarantee of their grandfather, who lives in Jaisalmer's Bhil basti. He traced them after a local newspaper report about three boys who had run away from Pakistan.

It will be at least another seven years before Bhagwan, Pahelwan and Sumeer can become Indians. Till then, every Monday, they must visit the local police station to prove that they haven't gone back to the hell they managed to escape from.