|Salman Rushdie's remarks after the recent Charile Hebdo massacre|
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Do not get surprised or offended by such an outrageous title of the post. And if you do, then do not kill me. I normally keep opinions related to religion or spiritual beliefs to myself. I know eyebrows will be raised and I will be judged for my opinions. I neither have the energy nor the interest to defend my stand or my views to people who would just want to align my views with theirs.
I used to be an atheist but tilted towards being an agnostic over the last few years. I am not exactly proud of being a Hindu or for that matter a Brahmin (no reservation quota, you know). While growing up, I was equally inclined to Islamic & Christianity and never could understand what differentiates ‘them’ from ‘us’. I remember asking my friends to know who created this differentiation. At that age, they didn’t have the answers nor did I. When I went to my parents, they only told me these are beliefs that are there since centuries and being a part of ‘this’ religion; we need to abide by it. But no concrete answer.
I had/have many non-Hindu friends. But when I look back to the time when I became friends with them, I found out I didn’t choose them to be my friend based on their surnames. I chose them because our wavelength clicked. But now when I meet someone, I am programmed by the society to look at him/her in a different way. It is only because of my education and conscience that I look beyond their names. But I dread how easily can we be trapped in these perceptions created by others.
Let’s now slightly move towards the flipside of it. Every religion has its passive, active and extreme followers. The problem generally begins with the extreme ones, for they are not followers, they start taking the place of Gods people believe in. They start talking like the custodians of their religion and for that reason also take the sole responsibility to defend it. Who are they to defend? Who appointed them? And what exactly are they defending? Whom are they defending? The answers to all these will solve entire set of problems. In between these custodians, some have gone all the way to kill people. They kill people, from all religion, including theirs in the name of their God. More than 95% of such defenders of faith belong to a specific religion. And they claim to be protecting the 1.7 billion (or roughly 25% of world population) citizens in world belonging to them.
Now what can be done? Nothing, if we are to continue this blame game and finding an escape route. Much, if ‘we’ take a clear stand. Who are these ‘we’? It is those 1.7 billion people, nor the rest. Because the rest have been condemning these terror attacks month after month, year after year and decade after decade. The rest used to sulk at their homes, now they do that at various social media platforms. But nothing will happen with this shit. It is ‘if’ and ‘only if’ the educated class of the ‘religion of peace’ will stand up and clearly denounce these acts. They must declare it loud and clear that they or their God does not need to be defended by killing people.
You ignore, boycott, ban, threaten and then kill. I refuse to accept the fact that there would be any administration in the world that would not listen to someone in the first 4 levels. And these ‘so-called’ defenders of their faith get on to level 5 directly for even a satire on their God. On the contrary, other religions make and enjoy full-length feature films on Gods. Dichotomy? It’s just the tolerance. It is the tolerance towards others that defines the richness of our religion, culture but most importantly our upbringing as a human being.
Now in 2015, we have got a new section of people. They are called pseudo-liberals or terror apologists. They would defend exactly the opposite the mainstream would be talking about. They would analyze each move by the majority govt. but would overlook thousands of nonsensical things being carried out by the minority. After each terror strike, they would be the first ones to come out in saying that let’s not blame a whole religion, let’s not use this as a platform to peddle terror by other religion and so on. Seriously? Are they pointing out to those 5% to become the messiah of the rest 95% terrorists? We have a great example by the name of Pakistan, our beloved neighbor since 1947. The whole world knows where Dawood Ibrahim is and where Osama Bin Laden was. Just like Pak denied having Osama in their land, they still deny that they give shelter to terrorist outfits. When hundreds of school children were killed in Peshawar, the people of Pakistan realized the menace that they are feeding in their homeland. The administration only started a crackdown on selected terrorist groups, excluding the India-centric outfits and the ones they felt are very powerful to retaliate. It is not that there are no one in Pakistan who are speaking blatantly against terrorism, but they are too few to be ignored. So where does this solve the problem? How many countries that are having a majority of the ‘religion of peace’ have ‘openly’ denounced what the ISIS is doing or speak against the Talibans or Al-Qaida? None. And those who does, gets a fatwa. Be it Taslima Nasreen or Salman Rushdie or M.F. Hussain, none of them were spared in their countries for speaking the truth. And those who argue about M.F. Hussain’s treatment in a secular country like India in reference to Charlie Hebdo massacre, I remind them that Hussain died of age as a millionaire, he was not shot down.
If you think your faith wants you to kill children, or needs to be defended from cartoonists, then you are a joke. The world has fought two World Wars and seen millions killed before these bastards started their ‘Jihad’. If they would actually read and interpret their ‘holy-book’ properly, they would rethink. But they won’t, there are counselors appointed to interpret those verses differently. Our leaders also play politics with their name. So it actually is a big nexus. Only the people of ‘that’ religion can stand up and speak against this fast-spreading disease. Your religion isn’t taking you anywhere, your work will. Your work is your only identity in this new world.
Islam means peace, submission, purity. The foundation of this religion is not based on violence. The real Quran never advocates killing people for Allah, the almighty. Each day when these cowards kill people hiding their faces, who is insulting Prophet Mohammed more? The cartoonists or the killers? Yes my Muslim friends, I am the same guy you know since years. And I want to remain the same guy. Just allow me to be. Just allow me to fight for you, defend you. But you stop defending or remaining silent for the ones who are degrading your entire religion. Either you speak or the world will assume that you are one of them. Remember, we have a Prime Minister who is still questioned about what happened 13 years back, so you all will be questioned for what is happening worldwide almost everyday taking the name of ‘your’ God. Because I never heard any of these terrorists saying that I killed for Osama, for Dawood, for Lakhvi, they all say they killed for Allah. I doubt Allah would be remotely proud of this.