The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Is image a problem for Islam?

By Bhanupratap Shukla

Small, little happenings and activities occurring on the current information technology- laden earth too get attracted towards the Internet for getting wider publicity and this soon starts a chain of actions and reactions. A Muslim writer is worried that “movies, TV serials and newspapers invariably depict the Muslims as belonging to the Middle Ages, being conservative, pleasure-driven, mafia, savage, fanatic and sectarian.” In his view, this is a prejudiced and an individualistic outlook. Why are films, serials and newspapers forced to do so? “A feasible picture of theirs should be presented. People should be drawn towards them in life and their importance should be increasingly shown in the world of love,” says he. Does it seem from this type of portrayal that nothing is being done in this direction? This clearly shows that through concerted efforts and on a very large scale attempts are on to present a feasible picture of the Muslims. Innumerable efforts are being made to improve the general picture of the Muslims through films, serials and newspapers. In this connection, examples of films like Ghulam-e-Mustafa can be given and seen. The question that arises is why such undue concern over improving the image of the Muslim community? Is there an economic angle to this? Is there an expansionist politics in this with some connection to conversion? Had this not been so, there would have been no cause for so much concern.

When the distances increase or cracks appear between Muslims and the others (kafirs) and the graph in their favour begins to show a decline due to the adverse picture created upon the minds of the masses through the claims and efforts of the majority of Muslims and their self-appointed leaders, then the danger of their bankruptcy begins to trouble them. The desire to improve their image begins to burn very forcefully within them.

A movement, called the ‘Real Caliph’, has been launched among the immigrants in America to convert Sikhs, Hindus, Jews and other kafirs (non-believers) to Islam. To get detailed information on those adversely affected by the movement, log on to www.hinduunity.org. The title of this two-page article is ‘Message for Muslim Youth—Real Caliph a Political Reality’. Its messenger is Dr K.M. Faroukh. Created for dissemination, the contents of the message are as follows:

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Every week we set up a stall on Islamic literature in areas dominated by Sikhs, Hindus, Jews and other kafirs. We want to expand the activities of this programme. Many Muslims buy these books. They contribute money for the Muslims of Kashmir and Kosovo. We entreat our youth to join us in our mission and help in spreading Islam in the world.
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If the non-believers, despite being explained, refuse to accept Islam, then the Quran has suggested other ways too for handling them, like converting non-believers to Islam by force, etc.
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We have to convert Sikh girls to Islam by sending our boys to them. This work is becoming easier day by day, because the Sikh and Hindu girls are not imparted religious teachings like the Muslim. They are under the influence of Western culture. Our youth can easily fulfill this objective by visiting schools, colleges and universities.

All this can be easily achieved. This is no difficult task. It is not surprising that the non-Muslim girls greatly prefer us. We are more attractive and intelligent in comparison to non-Muslims. This is common knowledge to all. In India, where quite a number of Muslim actors are appreciated by all, in Pakistan there is no Hindu or Sikh hero. For bringing about this we need more financial assistance. For this a still greater need is particularly for young volunteers. Come, join us at the end of this week and at the end of every week. We are around you all over. Join us today when so many of our Muslim brothers and sisters are getting killed in many fields. In this hour of challenge, we need your cooperation. ‘Real Caliph’ movement—‘eye, ear and voice of Islam’.

This constitutes the content of the ‘Real Caliph’ movement. There is truth in this. For propagating Islam, enticing non-Muslim women by promising endearing dreams of love and entrapping them within the folds of the burqa is being practiced in a systematic manner on a large scale, primarily in schools, colleges and universities. In this, a special method employed is to elope with non-Muslim girls in the name of love. For some time they are kept in hiding. When they become pregnant, they are sent back to their guardians. On seeing the daughter in such a condition, the Hindu father reprimands and turns her away. After this, conversion of the girl to Islam and arranging a second marriage for the boy becomes easy.

For propagating Islam, enticing non-Muslim women by promising endearing dreams of love and entrapping them within the folds of the burqa is being practiced in a systematic manner on a large scale, primarily in schools, colleges and universities.

Let us recall that there was a time when eminent personalities in the film industry used to consider their Muslim identity as an impediment to their popularity. Yusuf Khan came to be known as Dilip Kumar and Mumtaz came to the forefront as Madhubala. There are many more such names. However, now no danger is being felt in earning fame despite holding Muslim names. The Muslim writer engaged in shedding tears over increasing distances between them and non-Muslims and deepening cracks due to the inspiring success of secularism is possibly not aware that he should give attention to the insolent lines of the message given by the ‘Real Caliph’ movement. Had it been a problem of image, then why would so many Muslim actors find acceptance in India?

Osama bin Laden warns the Muslims through his audio-cassettes that “American companies are earning money in Arab countries to give taxes to the American government. With the wealth earned through such taxes, America gives financial assistance to Israel and Israel kills Palestinians. This flow of wealth has to be curbed. This way the wealth of Islam becomes responsible for the death of Islam.” On the basis of this very argument can the non-believers of India not understand that the Muslims by earning money through Benarasi sarees and clothes and through other industries, give away a portion of their earnings as alms? It is this portion that gives momentum to Jehad. The Muslims take possession of the daughters of non-believers, their land and wealth. That is why purchase of any produce from the Muslims by the Hindus or giving them some form of advantage is equivalent to inviting destruction upon oneself. Even if we were not to discuss this issue, but due to the cruelty of some Muslim groups, such an environment is getting created.

Terrorism and liberalism—the two types of descriptions of Islam—are coming up for discussion with such speed that Professor Edward W. Sayeed of Colombia University has written a popular book entitled Orientalism, in which orientalism, that is, Eastern learning has been described as a fantasy propped up by imperialist intellectuals of Europe.

Actually those who consider the growing natural acceptance of Indian science and knowledge in the West as an eyesore, they find Sayeed’s observations rather refreshing. By describing Christianity and Islam as offshoots of the same stream, they try to establish a partnership between the two and through this observation, reject the subject of reincarnation, when in reality the close relations between the two do not exist not only now, but never at all in history because the soil of sufferers and those obsessed by materialism can never remain war-free.

A decision has to be taken on which civilisation or culture and which view or behaviour can prove feasible for the world’s humanity. The only way to protect one’s soul against the mad group of destroyers is to arouse feelings of unity in diversity of all sects, sub-sects and religions arising in India, as also faith in mutual understanding and unflinching devotion to Mother India. This necessity holds relevance not only for non-resident Hindus and Sikhs, but it is required by all in India too. While recalling the 1984 riots, a very popular Sikh columnist had given a very realistic description of that tragic incident by saying, “During the days of riots, considering the Sikhs as their own, the Hindus had provided them protection in their own homes. This was done even by a Muslim family but this Muslim family, in exchange for the shelter it provided, abducted a girl from this Sikh family.”

Actually this is the difference between the beliefs and acts of Hindu and Muslim groups. If the above-mentioned communities wish to preserve their existence, then they have to see and understand very carefully and constantly remain vigilant because ‘a horse befriends the grass to eat the grass, not to protect it; otherwise how will it survive?’

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1 Comments:

At 7/04/2005 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous 100% Desi said...

Thanks for posting.

 

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