Mohammed Haneef, the Bangalore doctor detained for “recklessly” lending a SIM card and buying a one-way ticket, is now out on bail. But only just. The next hearing is a month and a half away. Till such time he cannot leave Australia to see his new-born child or family. His working visa has been revoked because he failed a “character test”. He has to present himself before the police thrice a week. His landlord wants him out. Etcetera.
While the family will view today’s developments positively, a good point to ponder is if Indian civil society has failed to rise to Dr Haneef’s defence. The mandarins of the external affairs ministry have been sleeping. Our political and secular tigers have been napping. Our human rights bodies have been silent. Much of the media has played along gladly. Barring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s “terrorism has no religion” appeal, there hasn’t been a squeak in India.
Obviously, it’s risky to stick the neck out when the full facts are not known. But shouldn’t civil society—not just Muslims but Hindus and everybody else—have risen to Dr Haneef’s help with greater alacrity and speed? Shouldn’t India have brought greater pressure on Australia given the flimsiness of the “evidence”? And, by looking the other way, have we all contributed to the devious “all Muslims may not be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims” theory in a way?
Without a question, yes. The only protests that have come on the farcical charges levelled against Haneef’s arrest have come from Australian human rights activists and lawyers. Our own rights activists and other usual suspects have been willing to play the West’s game of considering every terrorist guilty until proven innocent. The Indian high commission has been shockingly silent, be it in giving Haneef legal help or in keeping his family in the loop. For all we know, Mohammed Haneef can still end up being charged guilty, but it sends a very poor signal to the millions of diaspora that the Republic may not be willing to rush to the defence of its citizens.
Some time ago, when a software company head was held in one of the South East Asian countries, there was a hue and cry till he was released. The MEA got into the act and NASSCOM exerted pressure at the highest level although the IT company had much to answer for. Why couldn’t the Medical Council of India or some doctors’ body in Karnataka show solidarity with Haneef?
By staying silent, they have played it safe, but the end-result will be felt by all of us for a long time. All of us Indians, Hindus or Muslims, will be looked upon with suspicion, because the message has now gone out that when it comes to terror, nobody back home will stand up and protest or shout. Or even ask a few tough questions.
Ii is true that Haneef has made authorities in all Western countries apprehensive of Indians. No one has so far said Haneef is innocent or his friends in Britain are innocent. Western legal system’s stringent time-limited requirement to charge the accused meant that police have to operate within a short span to get evidence on perpetrators like Haneef who have been at the game for years in India and Britain. Let us understand that that the police have a weak evidence of collution , but have not caught him red-handed throwing a molotov cocktail. The appeals court in London a few months ago released a bunch of terrorists who were kept in a house arrest when clever lawyers for the accused successfully argued about infringement of human rights in their cases. These accused who looked very innocent, thanked the judges and simply disappeared after their release. News coming last weeks confirm that a few of them worked with these Ahmeds to put the plan into operation.
Instaed of blaming West, sympathisers of Haneef and Ahmeds should wake up and see what is happening.
I live in Europe, represent the country in which I live at international organisations, worked as a member of jury panel in criminal cases, and am a vegetarian. I felt no suspicious eyes on me by my colleagues or law enforcement agencies so far for 30 years. Terrorists like Haneef and Ahmeds manipulate the legal system in the West to their ends.
It is a strange silence yes, but I partly blame the Indian media for creating utter confusion in this matter. Ever since Haneef was arrested, he was pronounced ‘Doctor of Death’ and ‘terrorist’ without a hint of doubt.
If one did not go past the headlines, it seemed like Haneef was definitely a ‘terrorist’. Sitting so far away in Australia, his voice was not even carried into the country, not even by our esteemed media persons, whose only interest was to feed on the crumbs thrown by the Australian police–
pondering over the one-way ticket, or in questioning his educational qualifications, or the email he sent in a hurry before leaving, etc. Or their preoccupation was in the cliched ‘backlash’ angle.
In the last two weeks, the overall bad reporting has confused everyone to the extent that no one seems to know the difference between Haneef, Kafeel and Sabeel. All of them were the same. Yesterday, one of the news channels was talking about the burnt Kafeel laid up in a hospital in the UK, but the pictures supporting the story was that of Haneef and his house in Bangalore, even though Haneef’s name did not come up once in the report.
@ Ranga the Vegetarian
“Terrorists like Haneef…?” Even the Australian government or their police has not so far labelled him thus and pure decency demands, especially if you have been living in the West for 30 years as you claim, that you give the doctor his due. If lending someone a SIM card makes one a terrorist, then we are all terrorists in one way or the other.
There is more support for Haneef among the Aussie public than his fellow Indians. This feeling can be sensed from reactions posted on various Indian and Australian blogs. My own assessment is that this is nothing but election year politics being played by Howard and Co, and Haneef is a very unlucky victim. Even the sleepless Manmohan doesn’t seem to care.
>Instead of blaming West, sympathisers of Haneef and Ahmeds should wake up and see what is happening.
mr ranga, i have lived in europe, south east asia, and for the longest in india. my concept of human rights and understanding of law does not change according to the weather. you cannot approve of holding someone guilty over a weak reason, no matter which country and how stringent or non stringent your legal system is. why don’t you even make allowance for haneef’s innocence? the teeny tiny possibilities. what are the grounds on which you brand him a terrorist given what you know about him?
and if you believed everything the news says, living in the west has not helped.
Because I live in the West I give the doctor his due and ask him to come clean. SIM card is a thin end of the wedge. Use your ‘atmasakshi and say if you lend your SIM card to a bank robber, do not tell me you are not colluding with him. The problem with people like you is that you are so brain-washed by the theory that West is out to get Indians that you are naive in your thinking.
With all your and Vinutha’s protestations about fellow indian like Haneef, ask him and his friends whethere they would like to be Indians first and Islamists next. I know what the answer would be.
Have you heard the term ‘gulity by association’. Do not be an apologist for terrorists and their mates.
In India whatever the intellectuals and secularists blather, there is always suspicion, disgust and thoughts of malice about Muslims. This might not be very overt but covertly these kind of feelings do lure in the minds of non- Muslims across the breadth and width of India. Haneef and the Glasgow miscreants just helped to solidify this very mentality of “non Muslims” in India, though it is sad that it happened this way, it is just inherent in our society which includes “proud and filthy vegetarians like Ranga”
I agree with Ranaga.I dont know why all of a sudden people are finding Hanif not guilty. People are asking why Government is not going to the support of Hanif. The Government which is not hanging a person for attacking parliment is silent means, there is a strong evidence which police are not revealing.Dont support Hanif just becasue he is an Indian.
One does not make allowance if one has given one’s SIM card to a bank robber who has since tried blowing up the bank’s safe. I do not know when and where you lived in Europe which has a strong human right convention
which is incorporated in all Europe. When I was young I read a cartoon in a Kannada mgazine where a sympathiser asks an accused what he has done for the police to put him in jail for a few months. The accused replied’ just stealing a yard of rope’. Flabbergasted by this, the sympathiser agreed that it was police brutality and asked the accused, “why did you not complain againts the police”. The accused said “because the farmer was siding with the police”. Confused by this the sympathiser asked again” why the farmer”? The accused replied ” because his cow was at the end of this short rope”. I am not surprised by the number of apologists for this Haneef. I ask you who sympthise with him again- ask Haneef whether he is an Indian first and Islamist next?
I reckon you lived in SE Asia, Singapore or Malysia perhaps. In those countries, Haneef would find himself in jail for months or even years before his case came up before a judge. People like you who are apologists for Haneef and Ahmeds think that all news ihere is biased, and Haneef is as innocent as a day old babe. I suggest that you form a welcome party for Haneef if and when he returns to Bangalore. Aak him whether he is a Kannadiga like thousand others in Bangalore who go about with their work without thinking of Islam and Bin Laden.
mr ranga, i do not label myself as an ‘apologist’ for ‘this haneef’. you do. and yes, europe has a strong human right convention, which is why some people there would stand up for haneef. which is why many people marched in london to oppose the war on iraq.
while your story is very nice, my question to you is, are you certain that haneef knew his SIM card was going into the hands of a terrorist? are you certain that kafeel was even a terrorist last year when he left the SIM card? but do you know he didn’t give it to kafeel, but to sabeel? sabeel has not been charged with planning the attack. it is not even clarified to what extent his involvement in the plot is. he is charged with having had information which could have prevented. but what was the information exactly one does not know. it could be something similar to having given a SIM card.
you are happy to jump at pronouncing someone guilty in your own court, despite the strong human rights convention you are exposed to in europe.
mr ranga, there you go again, getting up close and personal. i will definitely invite you to the party sir, but you might have to bring your own vegetarian food. and perhaps a few copies of ‘learn kannada in 30 days’ for us too.
Kafeel is the guy who is 90% burnt while trying to ram a four wheeler into an airport entrance and is cared for at great tax payers expense in the best hospital in London. Do you think that he was a circus player trying to demonstrate a trick? Come on this is apology at its worst. I have very little sympathy for those who argue for human rights of these Islamic terrorists. Is
Very surising that you have failed to explain again why there is a prima face case based on ‘guilty by association’. Kaleel guy and his relative Sabeel with Haneef’s SIM card. That is enough for me to interdict Haneef.
India is world’s worst victim of Islamic terrorim. Some 70000-75000 Indians have died in last 15-20 years. Every Indian metro, strategic institutes, economic capital, technological capital, famous cultural places have been under attack. Does “Indian Civic Society” shows any concern for these, those who got killed?
The concern shown for Mohammed Haneef who very much is close to his cousins who have been involved in Islamic terrorism can only embolden the terrorists and their support structure.
I feel sad for Bangalore, India’s technology capital as this blog is published from a place near to it. Because these Islamic terrorism being builtup in and around Bangalore has the ability to destroy it.
Wish commentetor were little bit willing to find the support structures which produce these terrorists/
PV Narshima Rao once said, in India terrrists have more human rights than their victims. Its possible only in India that capital punishment of Afzal, attacker of Indian parliament is put off.
Its only possible in India that Govt pays for the Biriyani/Chicken of the terrorists inside Jail and let 400000 victims of terrorism rot in open Sun/rain.
Its India alone where Govt spends per capita more per day for the terrorists in Jail than their victims.
This emboldens the terrorists and their support structure to continue their facist jihadi ideology against India.
No one sheds tears for the soldiers who protect India. No one sheds tears for the 711 victims. But there are many who sheds tears for Afzal!
hehe..Folks, stop this as you are asking for a backlash which will be severe.
Rustyvagabond >>europe has a strong human right convention,…….
The rights of a Jihadi terrorist, its suppot structure is NOT the same enjoyed by average citizen.
This is a basic position, and this is the reason why United Nations asked every country to tighten their laws against terrorism after 911.
Tons of countries, including many Islamic countries have enacted such laws. Japan, for example, has tightened the law though not a single Jihadi terrorism has taken place there.
That’s why POTA/TADA was enacted though it was revoked later on beacuse a section of politicians think it will deprive them of “Muslim” Vote.
Without TADA, all Mumbai Blast conspirators would have gone scotfree.
All Kannadigas should unite to rid of the terrorism cells that fester in Bangalore as the previous blogger put it, the technology centre of India. India’s politicians should bite the bullet, ignore muslim voters and tighten the law so that muslims consider themselves as Indians first. Contrasting China with India which has no terrorism history, India will be the loser at the end, when terrorism isolates it from the world.
I could not agree more with Ranga.
Bangalore is under attack precisely because its technological capital of India. Along with Mumbai, funancial capital, thus Bangalore has become target of Islamists, Jihadi terrorism.
Because these facists know India’s true defense lies its economic, technological empowerment. So, they are targetting these areas quite consciously.
The tried to do the same thing with Gujarat, one of India’s most industrialised state.
Many Jihadi facists in the west while opposing Shri Modi’s visit to Londo actually asked Western companies not to invest in Gujarat. THEIR REAL GOAL IS INDIAN INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
Infact Hafeez Sayeed, founder of Lashkar-E-Taiba candidly expressed his opinion many a times that ANYTHING WHICH CONTRIBUTES TO INDIAN ECONOMY, POWER IS A LEGITIMATE TARGET.
So, Mumbai, Bangalore- ALL are legitimate target of Jihadis, Islamists. Because WHETHER KASHMIR REMAINS IN INDIA WILL BE DETERMINED HOW SUCCESSFUL MUMBAI, BANGALORE, GUJARAT are.
India’s defense lies with its economic, technological power. That’;s why Jihadis have grown in Western and Southern India which are growing fastest and main center of economic activities.
The Australian Govrnment wants to put Dr. Haneef in jail for the next 15 years on the charge of reckless handing out of his SIM card to an alleged plotter of terror in UK. Sometime back, a British national was honoroubly sent back to UK, even though he air-dropped arms and ammunition in Purulia, WB, India. Do you think that he was donating rifles and bullets in charities to Indian defence force? If the Indian Govt. wanted they could have put him in jail for the next 35 years. They didn’t do so. It could be slave mentality or civilized behaviour or a responsible state. I do not know whether the perpetrator of that crime in India was later punished in UK or not.
The basic tenets of law of any civilized state say “Innocent until proven guilty”. I think the Australian Government is acting in a way that it can be construed either as a tyrannical state or a color prejudiced nation. Hope some sensible Australians advise their Government not to over react and save their nation’s prestige from being tarnished.
They said Kafeel’s dream project showed that he wanted Shariat law to be followed in letter and spirit at the proposed housing complex.
An engineer by profession, Kafeel, who suffered 90 per cent burns while trying to ram his jeep into Glasgow airport, had been visiting several religious and secessionist sites, including Jamat-ul-Dawa, the parent organisation of militant outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
In January this year, Kafeel had disrupted a meeting organised by a Bangalore-based organisation to discuss reform in Islam.
Great posts by both Ranga and Bhaskar Chattrjee. The rest of the aplogists were playing from a prepared script.
Great link on Khafeel’s dream project. Perhaps we will see Vinutha Malliah, RustyVegetable as the first tenants occupying this prime land?:) Wow so sad, now the project is in jeopardy! Way to to Khafeel
The case you refer to was that of malfeasance. This is terrorism…
No, civil India can and should never support people like him. By feigning ignorance you cannot absolve yourself of what you have done. Whichever the country you go from India you should not bring a bad name to the motherland. Would you tolerate if someone from another country does such an act here? And being educated and enlightened one should behave more responsibly. As somebody has pointed out have patience to see http://www.faithfreedom.org. Religion is not to kill but to kindle love and affection.
when people put religion in front of nation why should the nation support them .
Why couldnt he comeout against his cousin and tell what they were upto?
if the BHAI BHAI thing is more important than let me rot in jail . Let it be an eye opener for all those who abet or turn a blind eye against terrorism in the name of religion .
Thanks BC for unravelling Kafeel’s real story, but still some bloggers here will attempting to paint him as an upright engineer from Bangalore trying to do good work in Britain along with the saintly medicos like Haneef from his city!!
The Caption should read .
Have the Muslim ‘educated’ youth failed INDIA?
Nobody in the right mindset will support Khafeel. But, Haneef is a different story. Australian authorities had sufficient time to dig into details and establish a proof. At the end, all they could establish was ‘reckless’ support? I am sorry! Where does it end? It can happen to anyone, right? I’m sure Khafeel had other friends as well. Are they all rounded up, detained and questioned? What about Haneef’s wife? Can she be detained as well for ‘recklessly’ allowing her husband to lend his SIM card?? There is something wrong with the picture.
Again, if you question the way Australia is handling Haneef’s case, it’s not an endorsement on Islamic terrorism! There are checks and balances in a democratic setup and there is nothing wrong in demanding answers.
I wonder what would be the reaction if an Australian or American is given the ‘Haneef’ treatment by India or Malaysia!!
By the way, where is our Prime Minister? Is he on some ‘Mouna Vrutha’??
Sarat Chatterjee, pre-eminent Indian Novelist wrote in 1920s after seeing the disaster of Khilafat: The Hindu Muslim Problem will be solved in a day when Hindus unite.
This is very basic defition of Hindutva.
Unless Hindus unite, this onslaught of Jihadis and psuedos will continue.
Kafeel’s dream was to build housing complex where Shariat would rule
I rest my case……
Terrorism is an unusual disease and requires an unusual cure. By condoning these fellows you are throwing salt into the wounds of all those Indians who have been affected by terrorism.
I am not saying that people should be subjected to a media trial. All I am saying that we remain neutral (by not assuming guilt or innocence of the accused) and let the law take its own course.
Unlike our Indian law and order scene where the accused and the prosecution are often hand in glove, the western legal system is more scientific and open.
So before readers of Churmuri start beating their breasts on Haneef’s innocence, please maintain dignity and let the law (be it British or Australian) take it course and let the truth come out.
In today’s terrorism ruled world we do not have the luxury of being naive. There have been a large number of reports in the media that have shown how close the three were. So it would be irresponsible to assume that there is no association of Haneef with the other two who have been proved beyond doubt to be terrorists.
While we are at the stage of passisng judgements, why dont we invite some of the victims of the Bombay train blasts to give their opinion on weather Haneef is guilty or not?
This question falls in the category of “have you stopped beating your wife?” In a similar vein, we may perhaps ask the author: why are you failing to rise to the defence of civil societies all over the world from the threat of terrorism?
The author does not establish a case why “civil India” should “rise to the defence of Dr Haneef”. The author seems to be demanding that “civil India” should unquestioningly trust Haneef more than it should trust the Australian police. Why? Is it our “secular” duty to do so? Is it our “patriotic” responsibility?
In fact, there is a strong case for “civil India” to stay away from the Haneef case: he is suspected of hobnobbing with terrorists, if not actually being a part of the terrorist network. “Civil India” doesn’t do itself any favor by meddling with the justice system and law-enforcement of another country, especially to rescue a man who hasn’t exactly done India proud.
This Islamic terrorism has definite relationship with Islam, a particular strand of Islam.
And here is a good article from no less than Ziauddin Sardar, a noted Muslim Scholar.
The struggle for Islam’s soul
Published 18 July 2005
Terror in the UK – Most Muslims abhor violence, yet the terrorists are a product of a specific mindset that has deep roots in Islamic history. If Muslims refuse to confront this, we will all be prey to more terror
At about the time the bombs were going off in Lon-don, bulldozers were demolishing sacred historic sites in Mecca and, in Delhi, a group of women was demonstrating against an “inhuman” fatwa ordering a rape victim to renounce her husband. Three seemingly unconnected violent acts. But they weave a thread highlighting a question we Muslims just cannot ignore: why have we made Islam so violent?
Within hours of the London atrocity, Muslim groups throughout Britain condemned the bombing, declaring in unequivocal terms that such acts had nothing to do with Islam. “Religious precepts,” declared the Muslim Council of Britain, “cannot be used to justify such crimes, which are completely contrary to our teaching and practice.” The eminently sensible Imam Abdul Jalil Sajid, chairman of the Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK, announced: “No school of Islam allows the targeting of civilians or the killing of innocents. Indiscriminate, senseless and targeted killing has no justification in Islam.” The tenor of these statements is: these are the acts of pathologically mad people; Islam has nothing to do with it.
But Islam has everything to do with it. As Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, director of the Muslim Institute, points out: “The terrorists are using Islamic sources to justify their actions. How can one then say it has nothing to do with Islam?”
It is true that the vast majority of Muslims abhor violence and terrorism, and that the Koran and various schools of Islamic law forbid the killing of innocent civilians. It is true, as the vast majority of Muslims believe, that the main message of Islam is peace. Nevertheless, it is false to assume that the Koran or Islamic law cannot be used to justify barbaric acts. The terrorists are a product of a specific mindset that has deep roots in Islamic history. They are nourished by an Islamic tradition that is intrinsically inhuman and violent in its rhetoric, thought and practice. They are provided solace and spiritual comfort by scholars, who use the Koran and Islamic law to justify their actions and fan the hatred.
As a Muslim, I am deeply upset by the attacks, the more so now I know they were the work of British Muslims. But, as a Muslim, I also have a duty to recognise the Islamic nature of the problem that the terrorists have thrown up. They are acting in the name of my religion; it thus becomes my responsibility critically to examine the tradition that sustains them. The question of violence per se is not unique to Islam. All those who define themselves as the totality of a religion or an ideology have an innate tolerance for and tendency towards violence. It is the case in all religions and all ideologies down through every age. But this does not lessen the responsibility on Muslims in Britain, or around the world, to be judicious, to examine themselves, their history and all it contains to redeem Islam from the pathology of this tradition. The terrorists place a unique burden on Muslims. To deny that they are a product of Islamic history and tradition is more than complacency. It is a denial of responsibility, a denial of what is really happening in our communities. It is a refusal to live in the real world.
The tradition that nourishes the mentality of the extremists has three inherent characteristics. First, it is ahistoric. It abhors history and drains it of all humanity and human content. Islam, as a religion interpreted in the lives and thoughts of people called Muslims, is not something that unfolded in history with all its human strengths and weaknesses, but is a utopia that exists outside time. Hence it has no notion of progress, moral development or human evolution. What happened in Mecca earlier this month illustrates this point well.
During the past 50 years the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have suffered incalculable violence. More than 300 historical sites have been levelled systematically. Only a few historic buildings remain in Mecca – and these are about to be demolished. “We are witnessing now the last few moments of the history of Mecca,” says Sami Angawi, a Saudi expert on the Islamic architecture of the Holy City. “Its layers of history are being bulldozed for a parking lot.” Angawi, who has fought to conserve the historic sites of the Holy City for more than 25 years, has no doubt what is largely to blame: Wahhabism, the dominant religious tradition of Saudi Arabia. The Wahhabis, he says, “have not allowed preser-vation of old buildings, especially those related to the Prophet”. Why? Because other Muslims will relate to the history of the Prophet, and they will then see him as a man living in a particular time and space that placed particular demands on him and forced him to act in particular ways. The Wahhabis want to universalise and eternalise every act of the Prophet. For them, the context is not only irrelevant but dangerous. It has to be expunged.
What this means is that the time of the Prophet has to be constantly recreated, both in thought and action. It is perfect time, frozen and eternalised. Because it is perfect, it cannot be im-proved: it is the epitome of morality, incapable of growth.
Second, this ideal tradition is monolithic. It does not recognise, understand or appreciate a contrary view. Those who express an alternative opinion are seen as apostates, collaborators or worse. The latest cause celebre of Islamic law in India demonstrates what I mean.
Imrana Bibi, the 28-year-old wife of a poor rickshaw puller in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, was raped by her father-in-law. The religious scholars of Deoband, an influential seminary with Wahhabi tendencies, issued a fatwa: her marriage is nullified, her husband is forbidden to her for ever, she will have to separate for life from him and her five children. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board endorsed the “punishment”. When Imrana Bibi herself, along with women’s rights groups, complained about the double injustice, the clerics at Deoband declared: “She had a physical relationship with her father-in-law. It does not matter whether it was consensual or forced. She cannot live with her husband. Any Muslim who opposes our fatwa is not a true Muslim and is betraying Islam.”
So no complaint or opposition is allowed. A perfect tradition can only produce perfect fatwas. And those who are seen as betraying Islam can themselves become subjects of other perfect fatwas. As a tradition outside history, it does not recognise the diversity of Islam. The humanist or rationalist tradition of Islam, or the great mystical tradition, thus appear as a dangerous deviations. In Bangladesh the Wahhabis and Deobandis are terrorising and burning the mosques of the Ahmadiyya sect, which does not see the Prophet Muhammad as the last Prophet, and insist that Ahmadis should be declared “non-Muslims”. In Pakistan the Sunnis are killing Shias because they do not see them as legitimate Muslims. Ditto in Iraq. In Algeria the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) openly declared that the entire “Algerian nation” was deviant and should be killed. As for Saudi Arabia, you cannot even take a commentary or translation of the Koran into the country that does not follow the prescribed line.
Notice also that this tradition has a very specific view of sin. A perfect tradition must lead to perfect Muslims, who do not and cannot commit sin. Those who commit sin _ that is, disagree or deviate _ cannot be Muslims. Those outside this tradition are sinners and have to be brought to the Straight Path. The victims of sin themselves become sinners who have to be punished.
Third, this tradition is aggressively self-righteous; and insists on imposing its notion of righteousness on others. It legitimises intolerance and violence by endlessly quoting the famous verse from the Koran that asks the believers “to do good and prevent evil deeds”. The Bali bombers justified their actions with this verse. The Islamic Defenders Front, based in Indonesia, frequently burns and destroys cafes, cinemas and discos – places it considers to be sites of immoral or immodest behaviour. The hated religious police in Saudi Arabia are on the streets every day imposing a “moral code” (mainly on women). In Pakistan, the religious scholars succeeded in banning mixed (male and female) marathons.
Just where does this tradition come from? Much has been said about the “modern” nature of this tendency. It has been argued, for example, that it is a recent phenomenon, a product of “instrumental modernity”. This is plain nonsense. It can be traced right back to the formative phase of Islam.
The Prophet Muhammad was succeeded by four caliphs who are known as the “Rightly Guided” because of their close friendship and relationship with the Prophet. Muslims regard the period of their rule in idealised terms – as the best that human endeavour can achieve. However, this was also a period of dissent, wars and rebellions. Three of the four Rightly Guided caliphs were murdered. One particular set of rebels, responsible for the murder of Ali, the fourth caliph, was known as the Kharjites. The Kharjites were a puritan sect which believed that history had come to an end after the revelation made to the Last Prophet. From now on, there could not be any debate or compromise on any question: “The decision is God’s alone.” They were prone to extremist proclamations, denouncing Ali as well as Othman, the third caliph, and pronouncing everyone who did not agree with their point of view as infidel and outside the law.
The Kharjites developed a radically different interpretation of what it means to be a Muslim. To be a Muslim, they argued, is to be in a perfect state of soul. Someone in that state cannot commit a sin and engage in wrongdoing. Sin, therefore was a contradiction for a true Muslim – it nullified the believer and demonstrated that inwardly he was an apostate who had turned against Islam. Thus anyone who did any wrong was not really a Muslim. He could be put to death. Indeed, the Kharjites believed that all non-Kharjite Muslims were really apostates who were legitimate targets for violence.
Although the Kharjites were eventually suppressed, their thought has recurred in Islamic history with cyclic regularity. They led several rebellions during the Abbasid period (749-1258), which is conventionally seen as the Golden Age of Islam. The influence of their thought can clearly be seen on Ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328), the great-grandfather of Wahhabism, and one of the most influential political scientists of Islamic history. Kharjite thought is also evident in the ideas of Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-87), the founder of the Wahhabi sect. It shaped the outlook of Sayyid Qutb (1906-66), chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood. Today we can see their clear influence not just on those who subscribe to the Bin Laden doctrine, groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun, but also on certain mainstream organisations.
Like their predecessors, the neo-Kharjites have no doubt that their identity is shaped by the best religion with the finest arrangements and precepts for all aspects of human existence; and there can be no deviation from the path. Those who do not agree are at best lesser Muslims and at worst legitimate targets for violence. In their rhetoric all is sacred, nothing secular and retribution is the paramount duty. “Since they have left humanity and history out of the equation,” says Dr Najah Kadhim, director of Islam21, a global network of Muslim intellectuals, “they have no conscience. No notion of guilt or remorse. Since the idea that they are perfect is part of their psychological make-up, they can do anything with impunity.” Injustice and violence are inbuilt in their thought and tradition, which, under certain circumstances, is transformed into undiluted fascism. We saw this most clearly in the case of the Taliban.
So it just won’t do to say that these people are “not Muslims”, as the Muslim Council of Britain seems to suggest. We must acknowledge that the terrorists, and their neo-Kharjite tradition, are products of Islamic history. Only by recognising this brutal fact would we realise that the fight against terrorism is also an internal Muslim struggle within Islam. Indeed, it is a struggle for the very soul of Islam.
In that struggle, all Muslims have to examine their words, deeds, motivations and interpretations of Islam. The traditional exegesis of the Koran – the traditional rhetoric used by gentle, bushy-bearded, kind old mullahs who wouldn’t hurt a fly – nevertheless is formed from the same building blocks as that slippery slope on which pathological mindsets are created, where Islam is used to justify the unjustifiable. And it leads to equivocal arguments by which many defend or seek to explain the indefensible.
Yet this struggle, as Dr Siddiqui points out, “cannot be shaped on the lines of ‘the war on terror'”. The “war on terror” feeds the monster what it most desires: violent reaction to sustain the cycle of violence. “This is why Iraq has now become a breeding ground for the neo-Kharjite philosophy,” he argues.
The war on terror, in fact, cannot be a war at all. It has to be a reasoned engagement with the politics of tradition. If Islam has been construed as the problem, then Islam is also the essential ingredient in the solution.
“The best way to fight the Kharjite tradition is with the humanistic and rationalist traditions of Islam,” says Dr Kadhim. “This is how they were defeated in Islamic history. This is how we will defeat them now.” If Muslims do not take on the challenge, they cede the initiative to those who have misconceived the problem and accepted a military strategy that is no solution. And that will make us all prey to more violence.
Ziauddin Sardar’s Desperately Seeking Paradise: journeys of a sceptical Muslim is published by Granta (£8.99, paperback)
Human rights/ amnesty
always support criminals, terrorists, naxals…and always fight for a price.
they never respond when the innocent are killed by the abovementioned
Bhaskar Chattrjee Says: July 17th, 2007 at 4:48 am
Too long. Please try to make it short and to the point.
We read The Hindu every day!
I book marked it prior to today’s Hindu, if that’s what you are trying to say.
But I agree, better would have been just to give the link wherever possible. It helps keep the place clean. My apologies.
Your hindutva posts are as monotonous as Vinutha Mallya’s writeups. At least she doesnt sound like a jihadi(which you do – for you the world seems to be divided into hindus, muslims and the rest of us ‘psuedos’).
Just post links to your RSS bookmarks and lets be a judge of whatever.
“All Kannadigas should unite to rid of the terrorism cells that fester in Bangalore as the previous blogger put it, the technology centre of India.”
Yes lets fight terror with terror! And Ranga, and you lead us with your master-mind sitting in Europe.
Wait that sounds familiar!
>>Just post links to your RSS bookmarks and lets be a judge of whatever.
hehe…the problem here is, I come from a secular family and was a hardcore cpim cadre (was nominated to become a cpim member, but opted out) all thro’ my life till 2004, the fall of Vajpayee Govt.
In a way, if my position coincides with that RSS, that’s a gain for RSS and how new grounds they have broken in recent years/
Bhupen Hazarika, India’s top cultural icon (not sure how much people outside NE & WB know abt him, but he is biggest icon in last few decades) could stood for BJP – the fate of Psuedos are sealed.
Stop this denial, delusion. And face the reality/
The country has turned right decisively and things like these Bangalorians engaged in terrorists is just adding fuel to the fire:)-
>>Yes lets fight terror with terror! And Ranga, and you lead us with your master-mind sitting in Europe.
Dear Anon: the situation is such you are unable to use your real name, lest the message gets diluted:)=-
And what I post, usually not seen in RSS quarters.
I wish RSS folks read Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s speech more closely. They will find a big icon for Hindutva, which has eluded them so far/
On the contrary, it underlines a profound socio-political change in India, specially amongst Indian educated class, middle class.
We were secular, because our parents made us so. But now we will make our future generation, as well as close acquantances, friends, relatives pro-Hindutva.
So future of psuedo secularism becomes history in India.
Its even more shocking because our parents generation, and we also to a certian level were product of Nehru’s India, and now consciously discarding it.
I have just been reading TOI and other newspapers. Real bad news for Malliah and Rustyvague and the secular bunch–ole Dr. Hanif was on call 24/7 like a true doctor worthy of his calling–only he was tending to the Glasgow plotters. After failing to contain his excitement, he thought he could vanish into the ‘community’ in Karnataka.
Zee TV showed Haneef appeared in Australian court in a chaste Bearded face. Why TOI and Indian face still showing a cleanshavened face instead?
Rediff made a significant comment on the cleanshavened Jihadis. Their rationale is:
“Once they decide on becoming a jihadi, he says, so absolute is their dedication to the cause, that they abandon the beard that orthodox Islam insists on, adopting a clean shaven look. Thus, they cannot be slotted by their faith in public and easily merge with the crowd. ”
This is very probing statement.
Thank you for posting to this blog; your blogs have lifted the secular spell that was blanketing the less robust among us!
Why aren’t the doctors in India objecting when the media – Print and electroni c- is dubbing them everyday as ‘ Doctors of Death’?
Shri E.R. Ramachandran : Because Indian doctors are also aware the dangers of Jihadis.
Here is a true story:
Experience being from a medium level South Bengal town which is famous for its doctors (patients come even from far away Bihar).
I was interacting with one of the most successful amongst them lately, and he, to my utter disbelief (he is secretary of CPIM controlled Doctors’ association in the district), I found him to be more radical than even Shri Modi.
Boss, lets face it by removing the curtain of psuedo secularism.
We all discuss these Jihadi terrorism at our homes, infront of the TV:)- Isn’t it?
Rediff showing Haneef with beard.
Thanks for the wonderful posts. Probably I have to read Sarat Chandra Chatterjee.
What you mentioned in the last post is my experience too. Many people discuss 100s of things about terrorism, how to tackle jihadis etc in their drawing room sipping cup of chai..but when the same set of people come out in public they play very safe ! They seem almost like champs of secularism brigade..
Thats nothing but hypocrisy..!! We have to stop this double game.. and wearing mask of being nice..
jaiguruji : hehe..Its true sir. I myself got stunned when my close friend who brought me to Communist ideology during school days expressed his outrage at MF Hussain’s paintings.
Boss, everybody says these. I have many CPIM party members, leaders as my friend, as family member.
They speak the same language of Shri Modi. But in Private, before a person whom they can depend.
If this Jihadis continue for another year/two, let me tell you BJP will sweep poll and get single majority.
Sarat Babu’s quote is from his speech before bangiya Sahitya parishad (Bengali Literary COnference), sometime between 1924-27.
I doubt if this particular speech is available in English.
If I translate it in ENglish and send it to the Chrumuri, will they publish it?
Bhaskar Chattrjee, don’t know if Churumuri would publish or not… why don’t you put some where on googlepages or create a blog for yourself and post it there?
Some bloggers are suggesting that Australians had had enough time to dig out the background of Haneef. they should remember that the anti-terrorism police had to dig out the past and present activities of a doctor who has been using his caring cover and have been colluding with terrorists who were prepared to blow up innocent people. Haneef and other Islamists have been plotting even before they left the shores of the country and a generation of nefarious clandestine activities would be dificult to unearth during 2 weeks of questioning. There is a debate among parliamentarians in Europe whether the
term of detention should be extended under the supervision of judiciary.
Recently, in England, clever lawyers managed to spring a bunch of Islamic terrorists who were under house arrest ( because they could not be sent to jail becuase of Europe’s humans right act),and these disappeared inti thin air. There was a movement by Amnesty and Liberty the spineless liberals who were calling them as innocents and hence the legal success. Guess what has happened since these bunch of terrorists were set free. A few of them have been associated activities which are linked to the Ameds bunch.
A lot is said about SIM card and Haneef. Guilty by collusion I would say. For me they should rot in Jail.
“Guilty by collusion”?
Like a stuck record, Ranga keeps mouthing this phrase. Should Dr Haneef have known everything about the plot and the role of the Ahmeds because he is their cousin? Or because he is a Muslim? Do all Hindus know what their cousins are upto? Do all Christians know what other Christians are plotting? Etcetera.
The real question is whether Dr Haneef knew what the Ahmeds were upto when he gave them his SIM card or took a loan to write an exam. If he knew, then there is nothing for us to argue. Till that is established, and even a draconian Australian law has failed to establish that after 14 days, how unreasonable is it to avoid labelling somebody as a terrorist or Islamist?
“Haneef and other Islamists have been plotting even BEFORE they left the shores of the country…” Ranga, you would make a good journalist because you don’t let facts come the way of your fiction.
in another part of the world chutka putka indians, with much smaller world view, have lost skin, hand, head & dignity over accusations based on much more barbaric investigative and legal protocols. Neither the indian state, nor its intelligencia, nor the eminent commentators here, have ever been caught offering a murmur or recounting the incident as draconian, forget reminiscing the lost sushupti.
instead, ofcourse, the octogenarian head of that system was honored with a highchair on rajpath, with no body protesting. contrast this with the hand wringing, saber rattling & street marches the octagenarian’s ranching friend received.
yella ok, dhimmitana yaake? the raj is dead but not the sultanat.
Unlike you who has consider Haneef and Ahmeds as saintly doctors and thus blinkered in your view of these Islamists, ‘guilty by collusion/association’ is a perfectly legal remarks. The way you argue is berefct of ‘atmasakshi’. Ask Haneef one simple question: Are you an Indian first and Islamist next. The answer will convince even quisling supporters like you.
What would you call someone if they said they were a doctor first (presuming youre asking a doctor), a woman and then a Hindu and then an Indian- when will you men learn that all of us or at least most of us can have parallel identities withoout one comimg first but then if all\ of you did recognise and acknowledge that where would there be fun?
Uncommon cleverness! Come on Ranga is not saying just because these doctors are Muslims they behave so. For most of these ‘peace lovin’ Muslims, their own religious identity comes first!!
Raising the bogey of nationalism, racism over this terrorism related events is nothing by a crude effort to save the skin of islamists, jihadis.
A large section of Indian Muslims, both elite and mullahs licked British feet between 1858 and 1947, got Pakistan in return.
Only psuedo Indians born out of discarded Marxist outlook can talk like this.
Is West perfect? No. But West is google times better than any of the 55 Muslim countries. Just go and visit USA and Saudi Arabia and see the difference.
“What would you call someone if they said they were a doctor first (presuming
“youre asking a doctor), a woman and then a Hindu and then an Indian”
If Haneef and Ahmeds throught they were doctor first, they would not be in this cess pit.
“when will you men learn that all of us or at least most of us can have parallel ”
Sure Haneef and Ahmeds had parallel identities, doctor and Islamic terrorists, the latter the true identity is being unmasked, and Haneef and Ahmeds are in the cells now. they cannot complain.
It is always easy to be judgemental when it is some one else in the hot seat. People living in glass houses should not pelt stones at others.
What goes around, comes back around.
Like a stuck record, Ranga keeps mouthing this phrase. Should Dr Haneef have known everything about the plot and the role of the Ahmeds because he is their cousin? Or because he is a Muslim? Do all Hindus know what their cousins are upto? Do all Christians know what other Christians are plotting? Etcetera.
exactly, all this they should hand out, weed out thingie is a non starter and grotesquely implies that all this happens in the full knowledge of the community. at some level these guys are equally isolated from all communities and it is unlikely that any one community is privy to some insider info. for example the tipu dargah was caught by surprise by these guys, it kicked them out. tipu dargah cannot go beyond that, unless there are some explicit flags.
I am not so sanguine about Dr. Haneef and I am more than inclined to support Ranga! No surprises here:)
Why don’t we wait and see what the inquiry establishes in this case? When Dr. Haneef is held guilty please send us a congratulatory note! I agree we are conjecturing but so far we are on the money!!
Ignore Ranga.. He’s not got any stuff but some venom in his which he tries to substantiate his dirty thoughts. He even tries to bring the We Kannadigas angle to a global issue! Old fox is too old to hunt!
Oh, It is Rama Malayalee again! Young Malayalee kutty, Just do not interefere with Kannadiags discussion. You have done enough to destroy Karnataka. I suggest you exchange yourself for Haneef if you feel so strong. Malayalees are in Australia in plenty.
So what. What is your point Ranga. You have perverted thoughts. Be bold to discuss. Go through the comments. Have the bloggers are against you. I thought it is enough for you to withdraw. And how did you infere I’m a Malayalee? I am very much part of Karnataka but not vain enough like you are. You seems to be an alien lost. You can’t hunt any more. Your kinds are dividing this world. Is it clear?
Kudos to BC from bringing life to discussion. just ignore Rangas. Discuss issues, not fantacies of dirty minds!
If you are part of Karnataka, how come you behave like a quisling. Shame on you. Unlike you a frog in a well, I have seen half the world and I know what the islamists are upto. I am not apologists for Islamists who consider their religion above loyalty to country in which they reside and work. i did not like what happned in Vietnam in 1970s, but I was a loyal resident in America as Uncle Sam gave me opportunity to develop my skills and career. I am still fiercely loyal to uncle Sam even though I do not reside there.
Old foxes who know about the territory are better than a frog like you in a well. I tell you spmething whatever I am I am not a quisling like you. The way you comment it can only come from a Malayalee. You have never contributed anything but only snipe from sides. Shame on you.
You are a Malayalee. There is no doubt on that. All protests are useless–just surrender to your Malayaleeness! In fact we are happy for you!
While you are swimming in the well, I am off to 10 days holiday in Venice!
I live in Australia on the Gold Coast and have worked with Dr.Haneef at the Gold Coast hospital. I too am an indian doctor who was born in india but the only difference is that i trained in Australia. The community here has realised what a horrible crime we have commited violating the basic principles of our judicial system by allowing politics to influence the courts.
What surprises and shocks me is that not one day on the news here or on any online forums does it say that the Indian Government has done anything to help one of their citizens. They could have excercised and implemented measures to protect him along time ago but have done nothing. I am curious does anyone in India still care what the world thinks of us. Or has India “moved on” and this is old news and its just too fast paced for anyone to care?
Is the media there succumbed to a substandard level of journalism?
For godsakes people stand up and make some noise so that we here in Austalia can hear you!!
The majority of the Community here blames the government and the truth is the Government here is badmouthing our country (but in not so many words). It keeps bringing up “overseas trained doctors from countries like india”. Its in all the papers. Sometimes i wish our country would show that it had some backbone.
THIS MAN IS INNOCENT. THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE KNOW THIS
I can’t see why the Indian government does anything at all. Surely it can’t stand by and watch as Australians are trained to think that we are a substandard spineless bunch of people.
(P.S. For those of you in medical schools in india: the australian goverment plans to tighten its regulation for hiring overseas trained doctors again, on the grounds that our schools (indian medical colleges) are substandard! I have studied in both systems and cannot emphasize enough to you our indian colleges are on par if not better and if you don’t do it for your profession atleast for yourselves organise a petition of some sort and stop this badmouthing of our country.)