We hear more and more in the world today that there is increased Islamphobia. The American media particularly CNN or the New York Times, have been going all guns blazing out against Islamophobia. & generally, ethnic intolerance.
But the question arises: is there really Islamophobia? It is a cliché, because it has been repeated so many times, yet from a statistical point of view, it is an undeniable fact: 90% of terrorist acts in the world have been performed by Muslim from the seventies onwards. It is also a fact that the silent Muslim majority of the world, on the one hand never protests collectively the horrifying murders that have done in the name of the Koran; and on the other, secretly justifies in their minds these terrorist acts in the name of Palestine, Chechnya or Kashmir. It could also be said that according to Buddhist philosophy as the Dalai lama today expresses it, that there is also a collective karma for nations : Tibetans, he says, are paying today, a black karma they incurred by their clinging to a feudal system for centuries. Thus, in the Buddhist perspective, Muslims may be reborn Muslims from life to life; for the untold atrocities committed in the name of Islam unto nations they conquered in the Middle Ages particularly against Hindus . Hence from this angle, every Muslim in the world should feel responsible for what is done in the name of Islam.
Quite a few Muslims have already said it: the Koran was written for the people of the Middle Ages and was alright for these times, but now that we are in the 21st century,, needs to be reformed, as some of these passages which deal with infidels, with physical jihad, with women, which conversion to Islam, that once where all right, are used to the letter by Islamic terrorism to kill innocent people. Western Christianity (not the one practiced in India), has shown the path: in the 21st-century Christians acknowledged the facts that there are other religions and that it is necessary for a peaceful world to accept them. A Christian today is able to come to India and enter a Hindu temple without feeling that he or she is committing a sin. However we can safely say that at the moment’s no Muslim authority is ready to change the Koran. Thus the on going war between Islam and the Western world along with India – and eventually with China, as it is facing also a problem with its own Muslim minority – will last quite some time.
This will trigger a phenomenon that we can witness already, though still in a small trickle: Muslims quietly leaving Islam, as they find it difficult to hire a flat, find schools for their children, apply for a job or simply because of facing discrimination in their lives. Other Muslims will cry of Islamophobia – but they should look within themselves and understand that collectively each Muslim is accountable for the crimes committed in the name of the Koran. Intellectuals and much of the media as CNN in the United States, The Guardian in UK, or Le Monde in Paris, who will continue to defend Muslims, should realize that it would be much more helpful if they would report the truth as it is: that Islam cannot win a war against the entire civilised world and that it would be better if the Koran is adapted to modern times so that Muslims can continue to have a peaceful life.
In India we have witnessed something called Hinduphobia. It is there in the Media, its there amongst intellectuals. While there is in the media strong defence of Muslims human rights – and easily understandable – the life of a Hindu does not seem to count for much. I personally witnessed this in Kashmir specially in the 90s, when the entire foreign media was there, including famous journalists, such as Mark Tully. They all reported human rights abuses by the Army against Kashmiri Muslims, but when Hindu leaders started being murdered by what was then the KLF, and 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus later fled their ancestral land and houses without firing a shot in self-defence, becoming refugees in their own country, none of them gave a damn – and that is still true today. Hinduphobia resides also in the facts that when a Christian is killed, for instance quite a few years ago the horrible murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines, who was burnt alive along his two young sons, or the killing of the innocent Muslim, suspected of having killed a cow in Dadri, more recently, you will notice an immediate uproar in the media. Whereas the killing of Hindu, especially if he is of the RSS of the BJP, as it happens frequently nowadays in Kerala, hardly finds any mention in newspapers and televisions. And this triggers an important question – is the life of a Muslim or a Christian infinitely more important to the media than that of a Hindu?
Another form of Hinduphobia is the intense dislike that the media as for Hindu political leaders and Hindu political or social parties. This is particularly true of the RSS, an organisation that has been demonised first by the British and then today by the media and the politicians. When I started working as a journalist in India I had heard about the ‘evil’ RSS, and thus I was quite surprised when I went to interview their chief in their Delhi quarters, to find that they all looked like old fuddy-duddies in their oversize brown shorts. It was never really proved that Nathuram Ghose killed the Mahatma Gandhi on the orders of the RSS, yet this accusation is still being used on and on again, specially by the Congress party to paint them evil and even ban them. Nearer to us, we witness how Narendra Modi was also demonised by the leftist Indian intellectuals as well as the media. Yet, it is not Mr Modi who went down in the streets and massacred Muslims, but thousands of Gujaratis, from every caste and social strata. In the same way, we see today that CNN goes after Donald Trump but does not dare criticise the millions of Americans who voted for him. The Hinduphobia against Narendra Modi went to such an extent that Sonia Gandhi would not have minded him killed, when bombs were planted at one of the electoral rallies in Patna, Bihar.
In conclusion, if there is some justification to Islamphobia, there is none to Hinduphobia. Let us repeat it again: Hindus have been the most tolerant people in the world, accepting the fact that the Divine manifests Himself or Herself at different times of the history of humanity using different names and different scriptures. This is why Hindus have welcomed in their midst all the persecuted religious minorities of the world – from the Syrian Christians, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were never persecuted), from the Parsis to the Tibetans today. Yet this has been a one-way traffic: Hindus have been the most persecuted people in the words, they have been invaded and colonised by many nations, from Alexander the Great to the Moghols and every European nation took its pound of gold and flesh. It has been calculated that 100 million Hindus died at the hands of Muslim invaders, from the Hindu Kush to Mumbai 2011, without doubt the greatest holocaust of humanity.
The sad thing is that today Western and Indian intellectuals, as well as Western and Indian media still stand up for Islam, however many crimes are committed in its name – and invariably go after Hindus, though Hinduism is the only religion in the words that never tried to impose its faith to others, whether by peaceful missionary conversions, as Buddhism did – or by violent coercion, as Islam and Christianity strove, particularly from the seventh century 19th century.