DR. JAVED JAMIL — Not surprisingly, hosted by his “great friend” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Trump repeated his oft-repeated call against “Radical Islam”. Both Trump and his Indian “Friend” hide the fact that Radical West and Radical Hindutva are bigger threats to peace than “Radical Islam” or “Islamic Terror”. While Trump was busy in defending the role of Radical West against “Radical Islam”, the forces unleashed by Radical Hindutva were busy killing, looting and rioting on the streets of Delhi.
Look at the American interventions in the Middle East. The latest round of extreme radicalization of America began with the 9/11 attacks. Those, whoever they were, who executed the plan perished with the planes. The accused mastermind — a formal inquiry was not even required for the American administration to act on its assumptions – was killed in an isolated attack about 11 years later in Pakistan. In between the coalition led by the US devastated two countries and killed 2 million innocents who had nothing to do with 9/11. But the international media did never allow the role of West in Terrorism to be debated, and whenever terrorists’ attacks occur, there is a repeated focus on the radicalization of Islam and Muslims. Nobody dares to ask the Western powers why they killed 2 million innocents, and how they should be made to compensate for this colossal loss of lives.
In recent years, the Western role has been prominently there in all the conflicts in the Middle East. But again, it can be seen that their weapons go to the side, which toes their lines, and against those which have refused to surrender to their diktats. And always, the media would blame the loss of lives on the forces that are not pro-West. In Syria and Libya, they supported the rebels supplying huge weaponry and all the intelligence required for their operations and held the governments responsible for the bloodshed. In Libya, they succeeded in toppling Gaddafi, in Syria they failed to defeat Assad. In Yemen, they are supporting the President, who has fled to Saudi Arab. In Egypt, they helped the military stage a coup against an elected President. They were the major suppliers of manpower and weaponry to ISIS when it was battling Assad but were bombarding them in Iraq when they threatened American allies in the region. For long, they were only a friendly enemy, as their presence helped America in perpetuating their hold in the region.
Radical West (with leaders having Christian or Jew names) has given two World Wars and numerous wars and civil wars in the last one hundred years causing the death of more than 150 million people worldwide. While for the first half of these 100 years, Christian West was busy killing people with Christian names, during the last 50 years, it is busy killing Muslims. Since 9/11, the radical West headed by the undisputed king, the United States, has killed at least 3 million people in the Muslim World none of whom had anything to do with the attacks on New York. And yet, Trump has the audacity to blame “Radical Islam” rather than apologizing to the Muslim world for the misdeeds of Radical West. If there is radical Islam anywhere, it is a very minor reaction to the radical West. Had it been anywhere near the ruthlessness of the radical West, America would have really become what Trump had once said that “If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore.” He had written. “Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.” And the most effective means of preventing terrorist attacks in the eyes of the West is to launch another attack on a Muslim country. Following that attack, they would forget counting the dead.
India too uses its own terminologies in describing various forms of violence. While any terrorism-related to Muslims is highlighted, terrorism-related to other ideologies is hardly discussed. More than 95 percent of terrorism-related deaths in India in recent years have been caused by Hindu terrorists, not Muslim terrorists. Out of more than 35,000 terrorism-related deaths in India in the last 30 years, more than 33,000 are by Hindu and other non-Muslim terrorists (Naxalites, Ulfa, Bodo, Maoists, and Sikhs). Those allegedly by Muslims relate to not more than 1500. Anti-Muslim riots have killed more than 60,000 Muslims in India since Partition. In recent times, Gujarat under the Chief Ministership of Narendra Modi saw the brutal killings of around 1500 Muslims. In more recent times, mob lynchings of Muslims are on the rise. The current BJP Government under Modi is not leaving any stone unturned in creating fear psychosis among Muslims. Against their wishes, they passed the Triple Talaq Act, which provided imprisonment of 3 years for Muslim men if they say “Talaq” three times to their wives. Then Article 370 was abrogated against the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and for more than six months the people of Kashmir are living under severest kinds of restrictions. Then they created an atmosphere that appears to have influenced the judgment of the Supreme Court in deciding the Ayodhya Masjid/Mandir case in favor of Hindus. Soon after, they passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which granted citizenship to all the migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh except Muslims. The protests against CAA have already taken dozens of lives but the Government does not appear to care for the sentiments of 20 crore Muslims. On a regular basis, the Hindutva leaders are making statements targeting Muslims in one way or the other. Till a few years back, they used to ask Muslims, “Are you Indian First or Muslims First?” But instead, they need to answer, “Are you Indian First or Hindu First?” For them, any criticism of their theories or actions is equivalent to sedition. They are on a no bars drive of hatred against Muslims and in the process try to make Indian Muslims and Pakistan as an extension of each other. They try to popularize slogans and symbols that Muslims find hard to accept on account of their going contrary to their religious beliefs. And if Muslims resist, they are beaten and thrashed. They waste no time in putting Muslims behind bars while Hindus are not touched for much bigger offenses. In their programmers, they encourage their members to learn the art of fighting. They are brainwashed into believing that Muslims are a threat to the existence of Hindus.
West believes that its set of political, social and economic ideologies, what I call Westernism, is the only correct ideology for the world, and it alone has the right to define various concepts and parameters, and it alone has the right to endeavor through all possible ways, for the propagation and implementation of its ideology. Of course, they have made the world believe, even against their inner beliefs, that religion, individually or collectively, has no role to play in the modern “civilized” world. If the proponents of any other ideology, religious or non-religious, challenge the concepts of Westernism and try to prove the superiority of their ideas, they are mocked, ridiculed and rejected. They are described as “uncivilized”, “radicalized” and “extremist” forces. It is therefore no surprise that even “radicalization” has been given a definition, which suits their ends. So, according to Wikipedia,
“Radicalization (or radicalization) is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that (1) reject or undermine the status quo or (2) reject and/or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice.”
“Status quo”, of course, is the dominance of Westernism, which should therefore not be challenged. Further, “Freedom of choice” too does not mean absolute freedom of choice but only freedom of choices determined by the ideologues of Westernism. As part of the status quo, the world cannot be given any other choice except to endorse the Western Model of Democracy, Western paradigm of secularism, and Western definitions of “Human Rights”, free market, freedom of expression and “freedom of choice”, Western concepts of Society, West-dominated international organizations, West-sponsored treaties and Western principles of armed interventions. Moreover, Western leaders and analysts alone have the right to interpret their own ideas, concepts, treaties and agreements in their own ways, even if their interpretations continue to change from time to time, and from country to country. It is no surprise therefore that West alone (except a few others who have become powerful enough not to accept their monopoly) has the right to amass all kinds of weapons and use them wherever they want for the “protection” of their “interests”. Again, it is only their interests that matter, and others have absolutely no right to work in accordance with their interests.
The most notable form of radicalization of the West is its theory of violence and its involvement in violent conflicts. It is working on a well-planned categorization of violence to suit its political and economic ends. Instead of reacting on the basis of the magnitude of violence, its reaction is based on political considerations. Any violence, which is linked or can be made to appear linked to religion, specially Islam, is worthy of highest condemnation, but any violence, which is related to the effects of West’s ideological or political positions is either not talked about or becomes “collateral damage”.
West thinks that West alone knows what is best, and West alone knows how to act or react. What else can be a more extreme form of radicalization? All other forms of Radicalization in the current world including “Radical” Islam are the product, direct or indirect, of Western radicalism. If the world is to be saved from chaos and devastation, the only solution is to abandon all forms of radicalization. And before asking others, West being the leader, will have to abandon it, not in parts but in totality. Others will automatically fall in line.
The greatest truth of modern times is that it is almost the total radicalization of West and Westernism rather than that of Islam which has become the biggest foe of peace in every dimension of individual and organized human existence in recent times.
If we want to bring true peace to the whole world, we need to condemn every single act of violence, whatever the identity of the perpetrators, whatever the identity of the victims, whatever the ideology or motive of the perpetrators, religious, non-religious, atheistic or nationalistic, whatever the methodology used, whatever the place and whatever the time. Every single death of an innocent is equally condemnable, and the condemnation of every category of violence has to be proportionate to the magnitude of violence. And if the magnitude of violence is made the criterion, West at the global level and certain non-Muslim elements in India will have to be condemned hundreds, even thousands of times more than Muslims. Recently, some experts have calculated that up to 5 million might have died in Iraq alone as the result of the war and its late effect. Do the Muslim innocents deserve lesser sympathy than Western? Are they any less human? And if we examine the role of Big Powers in the wars and civil wars in the last century, these consumed 180 million lives, an overwhelming majority being at the hands of these very big powers who claim to be the champions of peace.
Radicalization is a universal phenomenon these days, but it is the radicalization of the West, not Muslims, which is the biggest breeder of global violence. Radicalization is bad –Western, Hindutva or Islamic. And it is bad in proportion to the amount of firepower each possesses. The powerful indulges in wars and instigates civil wars and riots. The weak indulges in terrorism and guerrilla wars.
The time has come now when all the right-thinking intellectuals must ask the West to stop talking about Islam’s and Muslims’ role and instead focus on its own role. Let the global media discuss Western military ideologies in detail and their roles in the destruction of human lives. Before studying Islamic Jihad, let Western philosophies of confrontation, combat, and wars be discussed in all its minute details. Let this continue for at least one year before debating the Muslim factor again! Instead of criticizing the others, let the West learn to face criticism! Let the West allow their own people to know the whole truth, rather than the truncated truth. Violence cannot be minimized unless every single factor responsible is discussed and effectively addressed.
As far as India is concerned, an overwhelming majority of the people strongly believe in their respective religions; but most of them see religion as an embodiment of peace, love and high morality rather than that of hate, disorder or depravity. At times, some of them become communalized but soon they return to their belief in unity in diversity and living together in a state of religious harmony. Hindus and Muslims of India are so much interlinked in their daily lives that they cannot simply afford to live in a state of continuous suspicion and mutual rivalry.
The writer is a medical doctor and Islamic scholar. Author of several books and a large number of articles on issues related to India and Muslims of India, he heads the Islamic Studies Institute in a Bangaluru (Karnataka) university.