Why Do They Hate Us? Muslims and Some Enduring Myths

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An artist's impression of the first Battle of Panipat of 1526 between Babur, the founder of Mughal dynasty, and Ibrahim Lodhi. If Muslim kings fought Hindu rulers, they also fought pitched battles with fellow Muslim rulers. Religion had no role to play in it. Image credit National Museum of India, New Delhi.
An artist’s impression of the first Battle of Panipat of 1526 between Babur, the founder of Mughal dynasty, and Ibrahim Lodhi. If Muslim kings fought Hindu rulers, they also fought pitched battles with fellow Muslim rulers. Religion had no role to play in it. Image credit National Museum of India, New Delhi.

The mountains of misconceptions and mistrust surrounding Islam and Muslims are at their highest today, largely thanks to our own efforts. Even the most informed and educated minds do not seem to be free of the most common and often bizarre fallacies about Muslims and their long rule in India and elsewhere

AIJAZ ZAKA SYED

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]eing a student of media, it never ceases to amaze me how popular perceptions and opinions are formed. How tiny little nuggets of misinformation, hearsay, old-fashioned biases and often plain ignorance feed into dangerous stereotypes and are passed around as gospel truth.

As far as collective memory goes, Muslims have never had to suffer what one would describe as inadequate media coverage. We are almost perpetually in the news. And for all the wrong reasons.  Indeed, if you go by media narrative and popular perceptions, these are not the best of times to be a Muslim.  We seem to be at receiving end everywhere.

As if all the sweetness and light spread around in the name of Islam in recent years by the likes of Al-Qaida and Taliban was not enough, now we have Boko Haram in Africa and the ISIS or the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

In the past few weeks, the Indian media has been crying itself hoarse about Muslims from India fighting alongside the dreaded ISIS in Iraq. If you go by their fantastic accounts, India’s 200 million Muslims are queuing up to pay their allegiance to the new self-styled ‘caliph’ and Amirul Momineen, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

It is the same media that–fed and tutored by intelligence agencies–spawned the legend of Indian Muslim terrorism, holding it responsible for various attacks and mysterious blasts, from the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express to Malegaon blasts and from the Ajmer shrine atrocity to vandalism at the Mecca Masjid.

However, when the National Intelligence Agency discovered the fingerprints of Hindutva outfits and worthies like Swami Aseemanand, Col Purohit, Pragya Thakur and other RSS functionaries in all these cases, the news was greeted with deafening silence.

Despite all the arrests by the NIA and interesting revelations made by Swami Aseemanand, insisting he had the blessings of the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of Modi’s BJP, little seems to have changed. Muslims remain the usual suspects and are the first to be picked up as soon as there is trouble or something noisy goes off somewhere.

So is it simply a matter of media perception or does the world indeed believe that we are as bad as it seems to?  Even the most informed and educated minds do not seem to be free of the most common and often bizarre fallacies about Muslims. Look at the case of my friend Dr Vijaya Rajiva.

Some time back, revisiting a familiar theme I had noted, not for the first time, that Islam’s humane teachings are increasingly being distorted and misrepresented by its own followers. I had suggested that if the world today has such hopeless view of the faith, we Muslims are largely to blame.

As for the charge of forced conversions, there’s a simple answer: If Islam had indeed been forced on India at the point of a sword, don’t you think the whole country would and should have been Muslim today? After all, Muslims ruled the whole of subcontinent for nearly a thousand years, enough time for a proselytizing project you would think.
As for the charge of forced conversions, there’s a simple answer: If Islam had indeed been forced on India at the point of a sword, don’t you think the whole country would and should have been Muslim today? After all, Muslims ruled the subcontinent for nearly a thousand years, enough time for a proselytizing project 

Responding to the piece, Vijaya wrote: “I have nothing against Muslims, especially Indian Muslims who are basically converts from one of the indigenous religions. My quarrel is with Islam itself. Its history has been one of war and violence. The conquest of southern Europe, the other countries of the Middle East, Iran, Iraq and later Afghanistan, the Muslim conquest of Sind in the 8th century AD (have all been the result of Islam’s war). Well, I’m sure you know your history! To give an example, Mohamed of Ghazni did come and plunder and loot India but that was only one of his aims.

“The other (aim) was conversion of the infidels, at the point of the sword. Those who did not convert were summarily killed. Nadir Shah standing on the ramparts (of Delhi) watching the inhabitants of the city being put to death because they were infidels is a well-known fact. The entire history of Muslim conquests is well known. Hundreds of temples were destroyed, sacred books burned and thousands were killed or converted. I would be interested in knowing when exactly Islam morphed into a ‘peaceful’ religion!”

Then Vijaya went on to say: “Intellectually, I find it insulting that there is only one God, and one Prophet (or with the Christians, one son of God). I much prefer the truth that the divine principle is a Mystery and each of us has access to it, without mediation. (There is) not just the One Way!”

Well, I wish I could reproduce the letter in its fascinating entirety. Frankly, Vijaya’s vehement response and her views about Muslims came as a revelation. Besides, more than a friend and fellow Indian, she also claims to be a supporter of the Palestinian cause, frequently writing on the Palestinian dispossession and their struggle.

Bennett editorial cartoonBe that as it may, one could write a whole book in response to Vijaya’s critique. There’s nothing new here steeped as her observations and accusations are in ignorance and lies and prejudices peddled by European crusaders dressed as historians and scholars for a thousand years now. I respect Vijaya but this liberal mixing of historical facts and fiction does no justice to her credentials as a scholar.

Mahmoud of Ghazni, who she calls Mohamed of Ghazni, and numerous Muslim rulers who invaded or ruled India at one time or another, were not on a mission to convert the subcontinent to Islam. Most of them were merely soldiers of fortune like thousands of others who sought out India for its fabled riches.

Be it Mahmoud of Ghazni or Mohammed Ghouri, who invaded India a record 17 times, they could hardly be described as the most ideal Muslims neither did they represent Islam. Like all conquerors in history, they were merely ordinary men looking for power. They just happened to be Muslim, just like those European kings happened to be Christian or indigenous Indian rulers happened to be Hindu.

Just as Asoka the Great was not driven by any religious zeal when he painted the whole of Kalinga red, Muslim conquerors were not inspired by any noble religious agenda. They were equally ruthless in dealing with their fellow Muslims. What Babar did to Ibrahim Lodhi and what Sher Shah Suri did to Humayun is what emperors and kings routinely did to each other — and not just in India.

Nadir Shah of Iran, who Vijaya says watched from the ramparts of Delhi while the ‘infidels’ were killed, did not just kill Hindus. If this is any consolation, almost all of those killed in Delhi at the time were Muslim subjects of the reigning king Mohammed Shah.

If Muslim rulers fought and killed Hindu kings and their subjects, they killed fellow Muslim rulers and their subjects with equal impunity. Aurangzeb fought bloodiest of battles against his own brothers, just as many Indian and European kings did.

It was all for power and religion had nothing to do with any of these antics. If these men had indeed been real representatives of Islam and its teachings, their subjects would have pleaded with them to stay and rule them, as the persecuted Jews did when Caliph Omar visited Jerusalem or as the oppressed people of Spain did when Tariq bin Ziad arrived famously burning all his ships.

As for the charge of forced conversions, there’s a simple answer: If Islam had indeed been forced on India at the point of a sword, don’t you think the whole country would and should have been Muslim today? After all, Muslims ruled the whole of subcontinent for nearly a thousand years, enough time for a proselytizing project you would think. But we are still a minority in the country of a billion, aren’t we?

That said, I understand if even well-read friends and academics like Vijaya demonstrate such incredible ignorance about Islam and Muslims. Frankly, Muslims have done little to address the issue.

We remain our own worst enemies doing little to present the true face of our faith and its universal message before the world. We’re endlessly busy building monuments to vanity while mountains of misconceptions and ignorance about us grow taller and taller. Is it any wonder then the world can barely tolerate us?

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All opinions and views expressed in columns and blogs and comments by readers  are those of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Caravan

12 COMMENTS

  1. You are right…Sayed Bro… media/detractors have created such a misconception that it seems to the world that Muslims don’t have loving families, they don’t have to study, they don’t have to do business, they don’t even have to do daily chores, all of a sudden they are bit by mad dog they all lifted guns and are out on a killing spree to spread Islam. Not only you but all of us on individual basis as well as collectively should strive to clear the misconception and this can be done if we strive to live life as Islam tell us….
    “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side goes hungry.”
    Source: Sunan Al-Kubra 19049

  2. Excellent article, bitter but truthful. The crux of the message lies in the last para of your article. However, regret to state that scholars like Dr. Vijay Rajiva sees only the darker sides of some Muslims and overlooks the brighter sides of many Muslim personality in the human history, especially great Muslim personalities who have profoundly practiced Islam and have done great works for humanity. The fact of the matter is such great Muslim personalities are made victims in the hands of biased historians and anti-Islamist force in media worldwide.

    People like Dr. Vijay could have easily analysed how conversions have been taking place around the world after WWII and how a very large amount of educated population worldwide embracing Islam when Muslims are suppressed, victimized and blamed, especially during the period when the world have been ruled by non-Muslim super powers!

    You have rightly pointed out about the arrests of innocent Muslims….. Interestingly, most of the fake Muslim arrests made by NIC during past decade in Congress rule, have now been found fake and the accused are acquitted by the courts in the BJP rule! The same Indian media have shut their eyes and have no moral courage to show the world how innocent Muslims are victimized due to anti-Islamic, communal, biased and criminal mentality of pseudo secularists and Hindu extremists. In fact the Indian TV media is equally responsible in jeopardizing the lives of these innocent Muslims. The recent report says that Indian Muslims considered state police biased and anti-Muslim, true and the same applies to the Indian TV media in general.

    I congratulate you for this thought provoking article and May Allah SWT Bless you here in this world and hereafter.

  3. I just heard on CNN, Prime Minister of Britain claiming “Russia is arming Thuggish Muslims who have caused the crash of MH17”.
    Will any Muslim country will Counter Point this claim. I guess not. That is the reason for Muslims being perceived wrongly as we do not have Unity and No One is the spokesman for Muslims. And Media has Field day every time. Unity in thought is the first pre-requisite. Muslim countries have to drop their personal or regional differences first, unite and then you can imagine for a Fair Treatment of Muslim Umma by the media and the other countries.

  4. Respected sir

    Your perspective is one aspect. not whole truth.

    I would like to say that your defence of muslims does not exonarate the overall facts. Muslims all over the world, like as in India after independence, have insisted on rights, not focussed on duties.We have been on forefront of anti-national activities, be smuggling gold in ’70s ,land mafias in mumbai or cheering Pakistan in India Pakistan cricket matches.. we have not merged with majority. We have been silent on lot of issues where muslims have been obviously wrong, instead of taking side of truth.
    No body accuses Parasis of being anti nationalists.. they have given more than 100% to prove their loyalties.. Minorities have to work extra hard to prove their credence.
    We did not. I think even now,we can improve. Not reporting anti national activities if you are aware of some one engaged in it, is being accomplice to crime against the nation. Let there be so much overall good, that blemishes are not noticed. Not the other way around.

  5. The true history of forced conversion under Aurangzeb

    The Mughal Empire was founded by Babur, a Central Asian ruler who was descended from the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur on his father’s side and from Chagatai, the second son of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, on his mother’s side. Ousted from his ancestral domains in Central Asia, Babur turned to India to satisfy his ambitions. He established himself in Kabul and then pushed steadily southward into India from Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass. Babur’s forces occupied much of northern India after his victory at Panipat in 1526. The instability of the empire became evident under his son, Humayun, who was driven out of India and into Persia by rebels Sher Shah Suri and Islam Shah Suri. Humayun’s exile in Persia established diplomatic ties between the Safavid and Mughal Courts, and led to increasing Persian cultural influence in the Mughal Empire. The restoration of Mughal rule began after Humayun’s triumphant return from Persia in 1555, but he died from a fatal accident shortly afterwards. Humayun’s son, Akbar, succeeded to the throne under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped consolidate the Mughal Empire in India. Akbar’s son Jahangir set the precedent for sons rebelling against their emperor fathers. Under Jahangir’s son Shah Jahan, Mughal art and architecture reached their zenith in India.

    The anticlimax came when Shah Jahan was deposed by his son Aurangzeb. Prince Dara Shukoh, the favourite son of Shah Jahan, the translator of the Hindu Upanishads and a truly liberal and enlightened Musalman, was taken prisoner on the Indian border, as he was going to Persia. Dara was paraded in a most undignified manner on the streets of Delhi on 29th August 1659. The French Doctor, Bernier, was an eye-witness to the scene and was deeply moved by the popular sympathy for Dara which so much alarmed Aurangzeb that he contrived to have a decree from his Clerics announcing death-sentence for his elder brother on the charge of apostasy. After his formal accession in Delhi (5th June 1659) Aurangzeb posed as a defender of Islam who would rule according to the directions of the Shariat, and with the advice of the Clerics or Ulama for whom the doctrines, rules, principles and directives, as laid down and interpreted in the 7th and 8th century Arabia, Persia and Iraq, were inviolable and unchangeable in all conditions, in all countries, and for all times to come.

    One of the main objectives of Aurangzeb’s policy was to demolish Hindu temples. When he ordered (13th October 1666) removal of the carved railing, which Prince Dara Shukoh had presented to Keshava Rai temple at Mathura, he had observed ‘In the religion of the Musalmans it is improper even to look at a temple’, and that it was totally unbecoming of a Muslim to act like Dara Shukoh (13th October 1666). This was followed by destruction of the famous Kalka temple in Delhi ( 3rd and 12th September 1667). Some of the Hindu temples that he tried to destroy were the great temple of Keshava Rai, the highly venerated temple of Vishwanath at Somanatha, the famous Bindu-Madhav temple in Banaras. When Aurangzeb visited Chittor to have a view of the famous fort, he ordered the demolition of 63 temples there which included some of the finest temples of Kumbha’s time. The number of such ruthless acts of Aurangzeb make a long list but here only a few have been mentioned, supported by evidence, mostly contemporary official records of Aurangzeb’s period and by such credible Persian sources as Maasir-i-Alamgiri.

    In obedience to the Quranic injunction, he reimposed Jizyah on the Hindus on 2nd April 1679 which had been abolished by Emperor Akbar in 1564, causing widespread anger and resentment among the Hindus of the country. In the same vein, were his discriminatory measures against Hindus in the form of exemption of the Muslims from the taxes, ban on atishbazi and restriction on Diwali, replacement of Hindu officials by Muslims so that the Emperor’s prayers for the welfare of Muslims and glory of Islam, which were proving ineffective, be answered. He also imposed a ban on ziyarat and gathering of the Hindus at religious shrines, such as of Shitla Mata and folk Gods like Pir Pabu (16th September 1667), another ban on their travelling in Palkis, or riding elephants and Arab-Iraqi horses, as Hindus should not carry themselves with the same dignity as the Muslims! In the same vein came brazen attempts to convert Hindus by inducement, coercion or by offering Qanungoship and to honour the converts in the open Court. His personal directions were that a Hindu male be given Rs.4 and a Hindu female Rs.2 on conversion (7th April 1685). “Go on giving them”, Aurangzeb had ordered when it was reported to him that the Faujdar of Bithur, Shaikh Abdul Momin, had converted 150 Hindus and had given them naqd (cash) and saropas (dresses of honour). Such display of Islamic orthodoxy by the State under Aurangzeb gave strength and purpose to the resistance movements such as of the Marathas, the Jats, the Bundelas and the Sikhs. Till the very end Aurangzeb never understood that the main pillars of an empire are the affection and support of the people and not mere compliance of the religious directives originating from a foreign land in the seventh-eighth centuries.

    Your comment muslims ruled the subcontinent for nearly a thousand years, enough time for a proselytizing project is wrong. Only if you rule continuously you can establish any religion completely on a population. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Mughals controlled much of the Indian subcontinent, extending from Bengal in the east to Kabul & Sindh in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. It was not the whole of India that they conquered. The empire’s collapse followed heavy losses inflicted by the smaller army of the Maratha Empire in the Deccan Wars which encouraged the Nawabs of Bengal, Bhopal, Oudh, Carnatic, Rampur, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Shah of Afghanistan to declare their independence from the Mughals.

    • The true story of the policy of Britishers to Divide India is this …my dear misinformed and misguided friend….

      Excerpted from Prof B. N. Pande’s speech in the Indian Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, made on 29 July 1977. At the time of the publication of this article in Impact International (1987), Dr Pande was Governor of the Indian state of Orrisa and a prominent historian Dr. Pande died in New Delhi on June 1, 1998.

      I have the honor to move the following resolution for the consideration of this House:
      ‘This House is of the opinion that the main factor retarding cultural and emotional integration of the Indian people is the communal interpretation of the medieval Indian history and its distortion by the British historians, while India was under British rule, portraying the Hindus and the Muslims as being divided into two warring camps with little in common between them, and that this distortion paved the way for the emergence of the two-nation theory, and therefore recommends that the government should take immediate steps for the re-orientation of the study of Medieval Indian History …’
      The task is not easy, because unfortunately the histories of India which have been taught in our schools and colleges for generations past were originally compiled by European writers. And Indians have not yet succeeded in shaking off the biases inclucated by their European teachers. These so called histories have presented Muslims as destroyers of Hindu culture and traditions; despoilers of Hindu temples and palaces; and brutal idol-breakers who have offered to their Hindu victims the terrible alternative of conversion or the sword.
      It is hardly surprising that educated men in India drugged with such poisonous stuff from the most impressionable period of their lives grow up to suspect and distrust each other. The Hindu has been brought up to believe that the Muslim period of Indian history which extends over eight hundred years and more is a nightmare.
      How British historians have used these sentiments would be clear from the following quotation from the well-known compilation, Sir H. M. Elliot’s ‘History of India as told by its own historians’. The passage occurs in the general preface to Volume 1. I quote –
      ‘We behold kings … sunk in sloth or debauchery and emulating the vices of a Caligula or a Commodus.
      ‘Under such rulers we cannot wonder that fountains of justice are corrupted: that the state revenues are never collected without violence and outrage; that villages are burnt and their inhabitants mutilated or sold into slavery; that the officials far from affording protection, are themselves the chief robbers and usurpers, that parasites and eunuchs revel in the spoils of plundered provinces, and that the poor find no redress against the oppressor’s wrong and proud man’s contumely. The few glimpses we have even among the short extracts of this single volume of Hindus slain for disputing with Muhammadans, of a general prohibition against processions, worship or ablutions and other intolerant measures, of idols mutilated, or temples razed, of forcible conversions and marriages, of proscriptions and confiscations, of murders and massacres and of the sensuality and drunkness of the tyrants who enjoined them, show us that this picture is not over-charged’.

      A glimpse into official British records will show how this policy of Divide-et-Impera was taking shape. The Secretary of State Wood in a letter to Lord Elgin [Governor General Canada (1847-54) and India (1862-63)] said: ‘We have maintained our power in India by playing off one part against the other and we must continue to do so. Do all you can, therefore to prevent all having a common feeling.’
      George Francis Hamilton, Secretary of State of India wrote to Curzon, ‘I think the real danger to our rule in India not now, but say 50 years hence is the gradual adoption and extension of Western ideas of agitation organisation and if we could break educated Indians into two sections holding widely different views, we should, by such a division, strengthen our position against the subtle and continuous attack which the spread of education must make upon our system of government. We should so plan educational text-books that the differences between community and community are further strengthened (Hamilton to Curzon, 26th March 1886).
      Cross informed the Governor-General, Dufferin, that ‘This division of religious feeling is greatly to our advantage and I look for some good as a result of your Committee of Inquiry on Indian Education and on teaching material’ (Cross to Dufferin, 14 January, 1887).
      Thus under a definite policy the Indian history text-books were so falsified and distorted as to give an impression that the medieval period of Indian history was full of atrocities committed by Muslim rulers on their Hindu subject and the Hindus had to suffer terrible indignities under Islamic rule. There were no common factors in social, political or economic life.

      While I was doing some research on Tippu Sultan in 1928 at Allahabad, some office bearers of a college Students Union approached me with a request to inaugurate their History Association. They had directly come from the college with their text-books. I opened the chapter on Tippu Sultan. One of the sentences that struck me deeply was: ‘Three thousand Brahmins committed suicide as Tippu wanted to convert them forcibly into the fold of Islam’. The author of the text-book was, Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Har Prashad Shastri, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Calcutta University. I immediately wrote to Dr. Shastri for the source of his information. After many reminders came the reply that he had taken that from the Mysore Gazetteer….
      … Prof Srikantia informed me that the episode of the suicide of 3,000 Brahmins is nowhere in the Mysore Gazetteer and he, as student of history of Mysore, was quite certain that no such incident had taken place. He further informed me that the Prime Minister of Tippu Sultan was a Brahmin named Punaiya and his commander-in-chief was also a Brahmin, named Krishna Rao. He supplied me with the list of 156 temples to which Tippu Sultan used to pay annual grants. He sent me 30 photostat copies of Tippu Sultan’s letters addressed to the Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Srinageri Math with whom Tippu Sultan had very cordial relations….
      Dr Shastri’s book was approved as a course book of history for high schools in Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Orissa, U.P., M.P. and Rajasthan. I approached Sri Ashutosh Mukherjee, the then Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University, and sent him all the correspondence that I had exchanged with Dr Shastri, with Mysore University Vice-Chancellor, Sri Brijendra Nath Seal, and Prof. Srikantia, with the request to take proper action against the offending passages in the text-book. Prompt came the reply from Sri Ashutosh Mukherjee, that the history book by Dr Shastri has been put out of course.
      However, I was amazed to find the same suicide story was still existing in the history text-books which had been prescribed in 1972 for Junior High Schools in U.P.

      When I was the Chairman of the Allahabad Municipality I came across the dispute regarding the property of the Someshwar Nath Mahadev mandir. There were two rival claims, one of which prepared a file of Farmans issued, by Emperor Aurangzeb which confirmed the issue of a Jagir for the temple. I was shocked to find this reference regarding a man who is supposed to have been a destroyer of temples. At first I was inclined to believe that these (Farmans) were forgeries.
      However, before I reached a definite conclusion, I thought it to be in order to consult Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, a renowned scholar of Persian language. Sir Sapru studied the Jagdambri Shiv Mandir documents and again found Farmans of Aurangzeb which bestowed a Jagir on this temple. A new Aurangzeb was unveiled before me and through further research and investigation, I discovered many more Farmans of like nature with regard to Mahakaleswar temple in Ujjain, Balaji Temple in Chitrakoot, Amparand Temple in Gauhati, Shatranjay Jain Temple and various Gurdwaras. These Farmans were issued between the year 1656 and 1686. [Aurangzeb’s father Emperor Shah Jahan is famous for having built the Taj Mahal, considered as one of the wonders of the world]….
      The story regarding demolition of Vishwanath temple is that while Aurangzeb was passing near Varanasi on his way to Bengal, the Hindu Rajas in his retinue requested that if a halt is made for a day, their Ranis may go to Varanasi, have a dip in the Ganges and pay their homage to Lord Vishwanath. Aurangzeb readily agreed.
      The Ranis took their dip in the Ganges and went to the Vishwanath temple to pay their homage. All the Ranis returned except one, the Maharani of Kachh. When Aurangzeb came to know of it, he was very much enraged. He sent his senior officers to search for the Rani. Ultimately, they found that the Statue of Ganesh which was fixed in the wall was a movable one. When the statue was moved a flight of stairs led to the basement. To their horror, they found the missing Rani dishonoured and crying. The basement was just beneath Lord Vishwanath’s seat. The Hindu Rajas expressed their vociferous protests. They demanded justice. Aurangzeb ordered that Lord vishawanath may be moved to some other place, the temple be razed to the ground and the Mahant be arrested and punished.
      Dr Pattabhi Sitaramaiah, in his famous book ‘The Feathers and the Stones’ has narrated this fact based on documentary evidence. Dr. P. L. Gupta, former Curator of Patna Museum has also narrated this incident …

  6. The author, instead of examining facts continues with the age old mindset of living in denial and coming up with conspiracy theories to account for actions of radicalized Mulsims. Unfortunately, it is this mindset which has led to Indian jihadis to be killed fighting alongside ISIS terrorists in Iraq. This is the first time Indian nationals have found to be active in International jihad and is a setback to the image of our country. If the moderate Muslim community still doesn’t take cognizance of this alarming trend and instead continues to blame the media, the west and the Hindu right wing for all its problems we risk going the path taken by our notorious neighbor. I urge moderate and liberal Muslims to assume a greater role in ensuring such radicalization is nipped in the bud in order to ensure a progressive future for the country and their community.

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