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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

'These Muslims'...most astonishing incident of my life

MUSLIM, REMAINS  THE OTHER!
Surprises await us at every nook and corner in our life but there are only a few incidents that etch lasting impressions on the memory.

I had a few experiences of tragedies in childhood and later on there was the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Gujarat riots and some other mishaps that hurt me deeply but nothing gave me such a jolt as a brief interaction with an elderly man in a nondescript small town in central India during my visit as part of my job as a journalist.

It was during the assembly election in 2003 and I had just reached the town in the wee hours. Barely a couple of pan/cigarette shops at the station were open. I came out of the taxi to take a look at the place when I saw an elderly man, around 60 years of age, who had probably returned after a morning walk was sitting at the bench.

ELDERLY ISLAMOPHOBE

I was to cover the political mood of the place before the election and being new to the town I asked him."Dada ji, yahan kaisa mahaul hai?" The question was to assess the political climate of the area that whether the wind was blowing in favour of Congress or BJP [the area has no presence of any third force].

Barely had I finished my sentence that the man erupted like a volcano. 'Sab se badi museebat to yahi hain', he pointed to the other side of the station and the pan kiosks. Seeing my blank face, he got more specific...'Yeh Musalmaan, saale ek ke sattarah moot hain'. (moot=piss, sattarah=17)

My reaction was of absolute shock. Clearly, he could not even think that this journalist could have been a Muslim. He suddenly got conscious and changed the topic, started asking me a lot of questions but I was so shaken by the ferocity of this statement I could not help but move away.

SUCH LEVELS OF HATE!

Whatever the phrase exactly meant but the meaning was crystal clear. More so, I could sense the contempt in it. I later realised that the small shops were owned by Muslims. It was a city overwhelmingly Hindu [naturally] but divided in such a way that on one side of the railway track it was mostly Muslims who lived while the other side was dominated by Hindus.

The statement took time to sink in but it was an experience of lifetime, surely, such 'original' experience of the real bias towards Muslims could not have been felt by me had I introduced myself. It gave me an insight into the kind of gulf that exists between the same people of different religions who life side by side for a millennium in this country.

I wondered what amount of hate or anger towards Muslims may have prompted him to blurt out such a demeaning expression without a thought. I salute his audacity. And his conviction. He hated Muslims and he said this before a stranger.

TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE ROOT OF THE DIVIDE

Now for the record the district I am talking out was carved recently. It has a Muslim population of just 7% but as Muslims are hardly in rural areas, the urban area has a concentration and their percent swells to over 15 and in the main town it is even more.

But apart from small-time jobs and a few shops they don't run business or own establishments. They are not eating into any one's business or taking away jobs at all. Then what could be the cause for such a tremendous hate and impulsive anger towards the community.

Is it about the way Muslim are, their apparently aggression and ego that is intolerable to others who probably want them to be like the extremely lower castes--unable to raise voice. The town I am talking about has no history of any communal record at all.

[To be continued.....]

READ SECOND PART HERE

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello and Salaam,

Just a quick point (I am going to read your post later), what happened in Gujarat was not a riot, but a massacre.

PyRo said...

muslims..!! never bother. even if their bro. gets killed they just turn away. i ve never seen any kind of uproar whn anything happend in iraq, gujarat, bosnia.. .forget others.. wut happend to us??? y r v doin tis to our own "kaum".. even the protests tat happend in U.S or U.K against iraq invasion(though the reason being their own safety) did not happen anywher in the GULF countries... PATHETIC V are!!

Dawn....सेहर said...

I got goose bumps as I was reading ur post...but since u r a journalist...hv u ever tried to find the root cause? probably that will help to understand....

its strange...very strange

Anonymous said...

boss please victim complex apart and that mans unjustified hatred, please understand that there will be deeper reasons. And that lower caste comment is in bad taste. most educated hindus dont care about caste, unfortunately in north india, many ppl are still stuck in beeti hui zamaana. the new india, our children- wont care a rats ass about caste. their kids wont even know what it is.

Ravi

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog with some interest. It is indeed horrible that this feeling is so deep-rooted within Indians... While reading this post of yours I was wondering whether you could comment on the feeling within the Muslim community. Have you ever felt a "these Hindus..." kind of attitude. I am not trying to get back at you but merely getting an honest opinion. In my experience, pretty strong prejudices exist in all communities in India

Anonymous said...

Found something very interesting on net. A must read...

http://www.jewcy.com/cabal/muslim_now_available_insult_form/

And a blogger wrote this (an eye opener)

~~~ Quote ~~~

Intolerance and hate are different thingsI believe that every individual should be regarded as just that, an individual, and not be judged on the basis of group identity.

I own a copy of the Quran. I'm familiar with it's message. Though Islam is too inane to be believed, I do keep a copy of Islam's book around for reference. The Quran is the most hateful book ever written. On nearly every page, non-Muslims are mentioned in a way that is hugely derogatory. In this book is a timeless call to war for everyone who believes against those who don't. This isn't a one or two passage affair, hatred toward non-believers (Jews and Christians in particular) is almost the only message that the Quran teaches, and it is commanded to continue until Islam envelops the world.

I don't doubt that there are people who claim to be peaceful Muslims. I understand that they believe their religion was established by a peaceful man who wanted a continuation of Biblical behavior. But they only know of the Islam that they are being taught. They are not actual Muslims.

Islam has been at war with the world since Islam was invented by a charlatan to satisfy his urges for sex, money, and power. Currently, Islam is at war with Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and others. None of these religions are at war with one another. Islamic nations are involved in four-fifths of the world's armed conflicts, though they only account for one-sixth of the global population, so they are many times more violent than the rest of us.

Scripture tells us that we are not to accept or tolerate in God's name or character anything that is untrue, and this includes any false religion. When it comes to deceptive and destructive doctrines corrupting the hearts of men, YHWH (why exactly are you scared of His name?) isn't at all tolerant, and He doesn't want us to be either.

Here is a helpful link that most of you will ignore. Most people won't spend 40 hours of their lives learning who wants them dead and what it will take to stop them, but for those who do, I invite you to read Prophet of Doom. Some of you may not fully appreciate Craig's ideological perspective, but it enables him to put Islam in the context of scripture so you can better understand why today's events are happening, and that they were predicted thousands of years ago.

http://www.prophetofdoom.net/Islamic_Terrorism_Timeline.Islam

Read the introduction to the timeline, then read the book. It is the most honest and complete guide to Islam in existence.

Though the prevailing sentiment is that we need to be more tolerant, in fact, we need to be far more discerning. Our tolerance problem is that we are far too tolerant toward a doctrine that kills. And should anyone be confused, intolerance does not mean the same thing as hate. Intolerance is the unwillingness to accept, which should be our attitudes toward anything false (i.e. religions). Hate is enmity toward your fellowman. It is possible to love someone and be completely intolerant of their convictions. It is an attitude requiring courage to show, and to save Muslims from themselves takes concern and commitment.

~~~ Unquote ~~~

No wonder the old man said what he said...

I am a Hindu and have many muslim friends. However one incident changed my mindset towards muslims (although I am educated and live in Delhi.

A colleague (a Sikh) lost her father and we colleagues went to her house to condole. She gave us "prashaad" to eat which we all (hindus, chtistians and sikhs) did there and then but a muslim friend of mine hid it in his palm and threw it in drain as soon as he came out. When I asked him what he did he said "Its not allowed in our religion"

How do you expect Hindus, Christians, Jews to respect you when you don't respect them and their religion...

I have not spoken with that guy after that incident.

Anonymous said...

I just red the writing above and find it really truthful. Muslims has got no respect for other religions and they expect others to respect them. As a religion, it is the most violent and preach violence. If anyone says that "Islam is a peaceful religion" ask them to browse through the site >> www.apostatesofislam.com <<. God bless them all....Inshah Allah

Anonymous said...

the coments abv prove how much educated hindus hate muslims including docs, lawyers, judges etc. oterwise no one would try to malign Islam, in war muslims were implored to be ready to die and kill if need be, unlike hinduism in which ppl r killed aven after they are disarmed or are gravely injured, i know this becz in india muslims r forced to read ramayan and mahabharta in govt schools. ppl who follow the relign of cousin kill cousin becz one set was refused a piece of land should not try to teach us, our religion is far superior and truthful in every aspect, u can search youtube.com for zakir naik vs dr. william campbel and also Abdur raheem green
, bilal philips, read qur'aan without malice and try to find truth, if confused then seek clarification and then judge wether the clarification is to ur satisfaction or not, mindless comments like these dont impress anyone, hindus persecute muslims in every possible manner but we r patient becz islam orders us to be so, we rnt violent, u r, these bomb blasts, train burning r all ur own handywork, its just a trick to malign us, even when nathuram killed gandhi he went looking like a muslim, and on all india radio it was announced that a muslim has killed gandhi, so another massacre of muslims could take place, and now rhey tell us nathuram was a cristn, yeah right fool urselves!! the country is free today becz muslims died in freedom struggle, very few hindus or sikhs, u distorted history, hindus only shouted slogans went to jail and came out thats all, crstn british targetted and killed the elitest muslim rulers, scholars, freedom fighters bznsmen becz of its 1400 year old war with islam, u tell me how one of ur greatest freedom fighter who started it all that mangal pandey is a frredm fighter at all, he was a british soldier who had some personal vendetta agnst a british general and killed him, he nevr cared abt india, why would he work and kill for british, clearly history u present to us is a joke, school books r joke, truth is u cant match us in literature, bravery, sacrifice, intelligence etc. truth is BHU was built under british patronage, its degrees were recognised bt british for employment, while opposite is true for Jamia Islamia.

Anonymous said...

Regards to all, some where above i just read regarding the prasad rejected by Muslim brother and my another Hindu brother feel bad about it, i just wanna say to my Hindu brother that suppose if same Muslim brother will invite you in his home and give you Beef Kabab to eat what will be your reaction, it will be same what he has done, religion doesn't force for any thing, and also i have several Hindu friends and families working in Gulf and they are proud to stay in these muslim countries more peacefully and with enjoyment than in India, i didn't mean that they don't like India and i am proud of them...............................

arshed10 said...

my dear hindu friend now you tell me when ur muslim friend rejected that parshad(since it is not allowed in the religion to eat things which are in the name other than allah).HOW SINCERE IS OUR MUSLIM FRIEND TOWARDS HIS RELIGION, WHICH YOU SHOULD HAVE RESPECTED AND NOT CRITICISE.

MUSLIM ARE BEING KILLED BY ENCOUNTERS WITHOUT ANY PROOF. I FEEL THAT THOSE BRAHAMINS ARE VERY ARROGANT AND THEY ARE DOING AS THEY WILL,IF NOT THIS GENERATION THE NEXT GENERATION WILL GIVE THE ANSWER WITH A VERY STRONG MESSAGE KEEP IN MIND.

WHAT RESPECT YOU HAVE TOWARDS MUSLIM RELIGION,IF YOU WERE GIVEN A BEEF MEAL DURING OUR CELEBRATION DO YOU ACCEPT OR ANY OF UR VEGETARIAN HINDU BRO IS GIVEN A NON-VEG MEAL WILL HE ACCEPT.
WHEN U SPEAK BE RATIONAL DONT GET EXCITED AND BLAB..

Anonymous said...

This is regarding the comments of Anonymous:

Mahabharatha's basic point is that one should not tolerate adharma and fight it, if need be with violence, even if its committed by people otherwise close to us. Remember that the pandavas fulfilled all conditions set by the Kauravas, were willing to digest all the insults and even settle down for just 5 villages, but the kauravas would not budge. Hence the war became inevitable.

The idea is to fight for dharma, even if those who commit adharma are actually God-believers. Bishma, Drona and karna were all believers but still they were opposed by the pandavas for siding with adharma.

This concept might be very difficult for you as Islam just divides the world into believers and non-believers and automatically associates non-believers with sin.

sunny said...

We Indians are all equal.
We will show Pakistan that different religion can remain peacefully and the separation between India and Pakistan is meaningless. They does not understand the deep relation between Hindu and Muslim in INDIA.

sunny said...

sunny,

SHOULD SEE THIS SITE

https://forums.yaleglobal.yale.edu/thread.jspa?threadID=951

Nam said...

@Arshad10
Your argument is invalid. The prasaad given out was rejected by the Muslim because according to Quran everything that belongs to an infidel, especially in the name of an infidel God is haram.

Your point would have been valid if a piece of pork was given as prasaad which is innately against Muslim diet, but that was not the case.

Islamic intolerance cannot be justified in this Muslims guy's case. The person posting did the right thing by not talking to him; I would have done the same.

Anonymous said...

These muslims happen so do- these hindus , these christians etc. Human nature to categorize, stereotype and simplify things. Especially in India with long history. It is just natural. Once a muslim freind, while talking about US and Bush said it is wrong to worship people but THESE CHRISTIANS do. That is why this and that. I am sure you heard such things many times. Afterall i don't know many muslims, yet got to hear. Think a little before connecting every little thing to discrimination.It may all be in your head. Please have frank discussions with such people and provide them info that proves otherwise.

Kiran Sai said...

Well I personally believe that these prejudices which are found in both Muslims and Hindus are the result of certain Actions that happened in history.

A general increasing trend of violence has been seen post WW2 in Africa and Asia. This is because of long suppression and disregard of the legitimate nationalistic sentiments of the Natives by european imperealists and the use of divide and rule policy .After world war 2 the european empires collaspsed and these sentiments burst forth like wild fire.

something similar happened in India.
Most of the populace in india today beleives that that whatever prejudices and stereotyping that exists in both Hindus and Muslims have existed for a long time,from the time of mughals as few sangh parivar people say. THIS IS NOT AT ALL TRUE.

these communal differences are the result of vicious british divide and rule policy and have been propogated on purpose by the british

and the Partition solidified them.

other examples of this kind of divide and rule policy can be found in Rwanda ,Africa. the civil war fought by the Tutsi and Hutu peoples was the result of policies of German imperialists.

Kiran sai said...

@ Arshad

Now I dont understand whats the connection between that mulsim person not taking prasad and police encounters of innocent Muslims. why are you linking unrelated stuff like that. and why are you criticizing brahmins. and frankly you sound like a radical Islamist. Because of people like you and that guy who dint accept prasad The muslim prejudices are being re enforced

better think before you say 'cause
it will not only effect you but also your community.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous guy who had written about Muslims not accepting parshad..similar incident happened with me. There were two Muslim guys working for us in our office . On Diwali puja they discreetly carried the parshad away and don't know what they did with it.
I had heard that that if they have a choice they'd shop from a Muslim shopkeeper not from a Hindu one . And i experienced it first hand on two occasions. One of my cousins has married a Muslim guy,when I went visiting them I noticed ,that whatever they shopped they went to muslim shop owners .be it clothes,or services or a cooler or food.
The second incident was when an elderly muslim guy came shopping for computers to our establishment.now my husband developed an instant camaraderie with the guy when he came to know that he was from Aligarh (my husband did his college from there).he made every possible effort to make him comfortable ,taking extra care.now there were one or two things which we didn't have in our stock so my husband advised him to go to another shop and get it. (he even talked to that friend of his to treat this gentleman nicely and get his stuff)now the old man left his bag at our shop and went hunting for the rest of the stuff.after some time a boy from another establishment came and said falane sahib ka bag de do who hamari dukaan se Samaan le rahe hai.needless to say that shop owner was Muslim.
So guys it is fact that 90% of Muslims in India don't assimilate with the majority. And it hurts.what if Hindus start doing that .would they be able to survive on a limited clientele

Anonymous said...

I want to tell you those brothers Who tells that if some muslim brother offers you some meal and then will you take it or not?

I also have muslim friends. And we hindu friends generally fights (friendly fight) to eat "Saivaiya" (A sweet item generally muslim people make on eid) which they took from their home. So we take it as normal.

And your talk about non-veg then we should not force anyone to take non-veg. I am non-veg if my muslim friend offer me some non-veg , i will take it from him but if someone is veg then we should not force him. Like that muslim brother also can take "prasad". You can take it as one sweet item. nothing more.