By: Prabhat Varun
April 11, 2006
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Exposing Purdah: The
Truth Behind the Veil B Shantanu
Hindus under Muslim Rule in West Bengal
Jinnah - A genuine Muslim communalist
Gandhi, Moulana of Muslim appeasement
Why do Muslims protest violently?
Sati-Pratha and its origins
Fragile Islam, Touchy Muslims
Forefathers of Indian Muslims Were Hindus
We are still under siege in our own country
Disenchantment of Indian Muslims
The solution has to come from within Muslim society
Open Letter Indian Muslim Council
The Mirage of Hindu-Muslim Unity
More than a month has passed since the
Muslims started agitating over the caricatures of Prophet published in the
Danish daily Jyllands-Posten and several other European and American
newspapers. The world over Muslims are not calming down and are still
engaged in hooliganism, in the destruction of life and property in
virtually every corner of the world. Many say that this is justified, as
the West is always busy in denigrating Islam. Many say that though the
West is guilty of offending the all to tender sentiments of Islam, but
Muslims are not justified in protesting in the way they are doing. But
things have become hard for the apologists of Islam by the issuing of
various fatwas of beheading the cartoonists by various Muftis in various
corners of the world including Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.
Some Islamic apologists have got busy in
proving that Islam does not sanction this kind of violence and that even
if someone slanders Islam, it preaches peace. Nothing is farthest from the
truth, as we shall see.
turmoil in the world is a very organized and concentrated effort of
Muslims to censor the criticism of Islam. They take their inspiration from
the life of Prophet himself. There are several cases in Prophet’s life
when he punished the critics of Islam with death. Islam has managed to
hold its sway over such large part of the inhabited world all these
centuries only because of the censorship it has imposed on everyone. Here
are some cases from Prophet’s life, which illustrate the kind of liberty
he allowed to those who criticized him and his beliefs.
Assassination of Asma
The first blood
shed at Medina with the approval of Muhammad was a woman’s. Asma, daughter
of Marwan, belonged to a family, which had not as yet thrown off their
ancestral pagan faith. She had five sons. Being a poetess, she composed
some couplets, after the battle of Badr, criticizing her people of
receiving and trusting a stranger, who had risen against his own pagan
people, and had slain the chief of them in battle.
The verses quickly spread from mouth to
mouth, and at last reached the ears of Muslims. They were offended by this
open and frank criticism of Islam and Prophet Muhammad. Verses were
reported to the Prophet, who said aloud: ‘will no one rid me of this
daughter of Marwan?’ One ‘Umar Ibn Adi’ in order to show his zeal for
Islam and the Prophet vowed that he would kill the poetess.
That very night, he
went to the poetess’s house. She was sleeping with her children the
youngest, still at the breast. Stealthily, he removed her suckling babe,
and plunged his sword into her breast with such force that it transfixed
her to the couch.
Next morning, in the Mosque at prayer
Muhammad said to the killer: ‘Have you slain the daughter of Marwan?’
‘Yes’, he answered. ‘Is there cause of apprehension?’ asked the killer.
‘None,’ said Muhammad and commented; ‘ a couple of goats will hardly knock
their heads together for it.’ [See, The Life of Mahomet / Sir William
Muir / page239]
There is yet another case when Prophet
did not tolerate his criticism and silenced yet another poet, or the
journalists of those days.
Another murder was committed by the
express authority of Muhammad. The victim was a Jewish poet Abu Afak. He
was above a hundred years of age. He had composed some verses, which
annoyed the Muslims. ‘Who will rid me of this petilent fellow?’
said Muhammad to his followers. A convert, Salim Ibn Umayr took charge of
the assassination, and falling unawares upon the aged Jew, while he slept
in the courtyard outside his house, killed him with the sword. The death
shriek drew his neighbours to the spot, but the killer escaped
unrecognized, after committing the treacherous murder.
These lawless and sanguinary acts alarmed
Medina, and above all terror crept over the hearts of the Jews. [See,
The Life of Mahomet / Sir William Muir / page,240]
There is yet another episode when Prophet
smothered the freedom of speech by getting a poet (read journalist)
murdered in much a similar way, the Muslims of today are trying to.
Assassination of Kab
The poet Kab Ib al-Ashraf
was assassinated in July, 624 A.D. As we have seen, Muhammad could not
endure poets; so he indicated that the man should be assassinated. ‘Who
will ease me of the son of Al-Ashraf?’ Muhammad asked. ‘Here am I; I
will slay him’ said son of Maslama and explained to the Prophet that it
would be necessary to resort to cunning, trickery and lies. Muhammad
saw no objection in deceit and treachery, if objective could be achieved
by these means. The next move was to recruit accomplices, one of whom
was a foster-brother of the poet Kab.
On a night of bright
moonlight they went to his house on the pretext of holding a meeting,
Muhammad himself going with the gang of assassins, for the part of the way
and giving them his blessings. They called him out, posing as unhappy
followers of the Prophet. Then they lured Kab from his refuge. His bride
warned him not to go. But Kab went out with them for friendly discussions.
They wandered along. Suddenly the traitor seized his hair, and dragging
him to the ground and Shouted, “Slay him! Slay the enemy of God!”
Drawing their swords, they fell upon the victim.
shouted, the well known ‘Takbir’, ‘Allah-O-Akbar’. Muhammad hearing from a
distance knew that their work had been successfully accomplished. At the
gate of the Mosque he met them saying: ‘Welcome’
The assassins put the ghastly head of
poet Kab at the Prophet Muhammad’s feet. Then Muhammad praised God for
what had been accomplished. [See, The Life of Mahomet / Sir William
Muir / page,248]
So, we get enough proofs from Prophet’s
own life, which illustrate how tolerant he himself was of the criticism of
himself and his beliefs.
Muslims have been especially vigilant of
poets, journalists, historians, artists and writers, because these are the
persons who are best equipped to perceive and express the truth. Muslims
have always been involved in suppressing any voice of dissent and every
type of freedom of expression by whatever means available. The reason that
any type of painting, sculpture and music is explicitly forbidden in Islam
is that the art is superbly capable of taking out the innermost and
suppressed thoughts to the fore and Islam has never been afraid more of
anything other than rational enquiry and freedom of speech and expression.
Islamic apologists say that this is just
a stray and modern phenomenon and is not approved by Islam. But as is
shown above, it is an integral part of the strategy of Islam. As terrorism
is not a stray phenomenon, but the mainstream of Islamic ideology, and as
the terrorists are not some misguided youth but the representatives of the
majority of Muslims, so the censorship of freedom of expression is not a
modern phenomenon but an age old strategy of Islam, invented by Prophet
himself, existent from the very beginning of Islam and continuous
throughout the Islamic history.
Islam and its armed propagators, Jehadis
have been continuously involved in censoring the freedom of speech and
assassinating all those who criticize Islam. It happened during the life
of Prophet and was sanctioned by him. It happened in Iran, when some Sufis
and scholars like Ali Sina and Ibn Warraq rose against the
non-spirituality and tyranny of Islam. All those Iranian Sufis and
scholars were brutally massacred by the zealous Muslims and their movement
was ruthlessly suppressed. The very word ‘assassin’ had its origin in the
history of suppression by Islam of freedom of speech and expression.
Arabic Hashishin, member of Nizari
Ismailites, was a religio-political Islamic sect dating from the 11th
to the 13th century and known, for murdering its enemies as a
religious duty. The Arabic name means “hashish-smoker” refers to
the Assassins’ alleged practice of taking hashish to induce ecstatic
visions of paradise before setting out to face martyrdom. Thus the nexus
between drugs and Islamic terrorism is not a modern phenomenon, but its
roots are deep and historical.
After the death of Fatimid Caliph al-Mustanisr
(1094), Hasan-e-Sabbahand some Iranian allies captured the hill fortress
Ala-mut near Kazvin,
Iran. From this center, by the end of 11th
century, Hasan as grandmaster or leader of the sect, commanded the network
of strongholds all over Iran and Iraq, a corps of devoted terrorists, and
an unknown number of agents in enemy camps and cities, who claimed many
victims among the generals and statesmen of the Abbasid caliphate, as well
some caliphs. At the beginning of 12th century Assassin
activities were extended to Syria.
Assassin power came to an end as the
Mongols under Hulegu captured Assassin castles in Iran one by one until
in1256 Alamut itself fell.
Henceforth the sect
stagnated as a minor heresy. Its followers are still to be found in Syria,
Iran and Central Asia, with the largest group in India and Pakistan, where
they are known as Khojas and owe allegiance to Agha Khan. The term
“assassin” was brought by the crusaders from Syria to Europe, where it
acquired its present meaning of one who murders a politically important
person either from hire or from fanatical motives. [The New
Encyclopaedia Britannica/ Vol. 1, Micropaedia/ page 640, 15th
This phenomenon was
not limited to Persia. It has been happening all along in every part of
the world, only if we keep our eyes open to see it. Swami Dayanand was
poisoned by his own Muslim servant, because of former’s criticism of
Islam. Swami Shraddhananda was murdered in his bed by a devout Muslim,
also because he was critical of Islam and was brave enough to voice his
criticism publicly. Pandit Lekhram was murdered because he had allegedly
made mockery of Prophet. Do we see any link between this murder and the
call of the UP Minister, Haji Yaqoob Qureishi of giving 51 crore to the
person who will behead the Danish cartoons?
This event is not new
for Europe. More recently the Dutch filmmaker Van Gogh was brutally
beheaded in public for making a film critical of the position of women in
Islam. With his assassination the bell was rung that Islam with its terror
tactics has arrived in Europe and Americas, and after Asia and Africa it
is now the turn of Europe and America of being deprived of freedom of
speech and expression by the brutal terror tactics of Islam. And what was
the fault of Van Gogh? The scriptwriter of his film was an ex-Muslim
woman, who was critical of the deplorable position of women in Islam. The
message was clear. Islam is ready to execute anybody who is even remotely
critical of its ideology and practices. And Muslims responding to this
call of Jehad are not few.
So the ongoing crisis
about Prophet’s caricatures is not an isolated and modern phenomenon but
has deep roots in Quran, the life of Prophet and Islamic history. It is a
continuous and ongoing process of the imposition of censorship on any
criticism of Islam. And as we have seen, the examples which illustrate
this point of view are not few.
If we do not
identify this terror tactics of Muslims as the integral strategy of Islam
and work for its prevention then soon we will lose every kind of freedom,
including that of expression and whole world will be plunged in the
barbarity and savagery of the Dark Middle Ages.
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