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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Falsehoods about terrorism: 'Islamic' and 'un-Islamic' terrorists [Indian Muslims and Media]

From April 13 till April 22, India witnessed repeated attacks on trains, killings of security forces in large numbers spread over six states and that involved at least five different terrorist groups, but nobody termed it terrorism.

None of these attacks including the daredevil strike on NALCO plant in which 11 security personnel were killed, was shown on TV. Footage was rare and not repeated. There was no talk about modules, identity of those involved and that how they get the weapons.

Believe me, had any of these attacks involved a Muslim, it would have been termed a Terrorist attack and for days, we would have been shown images of 'trained Muslim youths', their links, cell phone records, the masterminds, the names of obscure organisations with Arabic names and what not.

I would request you to just have a look at the frequency of attacks mentioned below:

1. 11 CISF personnel gunned down in Naxal attack on NALCO bauxite mine in Orissa (April 13) [Link courtesy The Hindu]
2. Landmine blast kills 7 including five para-military force personnel and two passengers in Jharkhand, 12 others killed by Maoists in Bihar, Orissa and Maharashtra (April 16)
3. 1 killed, 18 injured as Barak Valley Express targeted by Jewel Garlosa militant group in Assam (April 9) [Link courtesy BBC]
4. Two killed, dozen injured in attack on goods train in Assam (April 10) [Link]
5. ULFA targets Kamrup Express, two blasts on railway track (April 13)
6. CRPF DG's chopper fired by suspected Maoists
7. Dima Halam Daoga group kills 7 including 6 policemen [Link]
8. Naxalites hijack train, hold 300 passengers hostage (April 22)
9. Convoy of 25 vehicles of Bodo leaders attacked by NDFB militants in Kokarajhar, three killed

Read the newspapers reports and you will find that the word terrorism was never used. Even the word militants was not used. Just like LTTE remains Tigers or Tamil rebels, the Naxals were called Maoists or left-wing extremists and the Assam groups termed as ULFA separatists or outlawed factions.

How many of us have heard the name of Black Widow group that killed seven persons North Cachar district? Headlines read, 'Cops killed in fresh violence in Assam'. The news items are put in inside pages and the word terrorism is nowhere to be found.

Assam is far away. It may be said that the death of Inspector MC Sharma gets coverage because, it happened in Delhi and the six or eleven who die, don't get a mention anywhere because it happens in rural areas.

The same Assam has witnessed serial bomb blasts thrice in four months but this was ignored. However, once when it was believed that a Muslim-sounding group was involved, it had suddenly forced anchors in Delhi to sit up and call retired guests from intelligence agencies to discuss it with all seriousness for at least an hour. Neither photographs of suspects were flashed nor there were followup reports on television channels.

It's not my persecution complex. Hold your hand on your heart and tell me, why the above mentioned incidents don't fall in the category of terrorism. Any Indian Muslim would feel bitter about this media myopia.

One incident involving a Muslim's arrest on mere suspicion, leads to a frenzy across the country and he is not termed suspect or accused, but directly called terrorist without having the case even reach the court.

But groups that are involved in terrorism, if they don't have Muslim cadre, are kept out of the definition of terror. Still, one can hear the campaign to spread the word 'All Muslims are not terrorists but...'

Tell a lie a few times and it becomes truth. Repeat it every day and the most sensible guys begin to believe it universally. Even Muslims are often feeling what's wrong with them. Hysteria is created everytime on TV when a Muslim is caught and the other incidents fail to find mention, or don't have any TRP?

This is something very fishy. I hate conspiracy theories but tell me why there is such a serious distinction. It seems more than United States of America, it is we who have been blinded by the so-called War on Terrorism that was launched to further America's interests. All forms of terror has to be condemned and treated equally.

More than politicians, bureaucrats and media, it is the Muslim community that itself is to be blamed. They have failed to raise the issue rationally and logically. They are hurt and angry but they don't protest properly, by approaching the news channels and take legal ways to fight this malaise, which is causing a deep crisis for Indian Muslims and the image of Islam.

This sort of defamation is truly discriminatory and is hurting everybody. The bombardment of news from persons with either biased minds or skewed vision, is causing a serious damage to all of us.

AK 47 and other assault rifles were recovered from them also but this doesn't find mention. When Naxalites tie huge explosives on their belt or fire at a DGP's chopper, it should be no less an explosive story, as other incidents. Unfortunately it's not the case.

I have long back stopped arguing why terms like 'Muslim terrorism' are used. I am told by bumpkins that because the militants claim that they are following Islam. So does every criminal who claims that he did the right thing. Entire Muslim clergy in India has termed them as terrorists and issued fatwas against them.

Even Naxals have an ideology and claim that they are doing justice. Anyway. I simply want to say that if you call a suspect, terrorist, just because he is a Muslim, you should also call a terrorist who has gunned down many, a terrorist. By calling him a rebel, you are turning him into a hero.

If you call him 'rebel', it is too serious and beyond my limited comprehension. More than bureaucracy, politicians, media and other sections, it is educated Muslims who have failed to raise the issue properly and ask for fair portrayal. [Photograph shows passengers coming out of the train that was hijacked by Naxalites, after they were released]

I think we really ought to have a national debate on terrorism.

Read over a dozen earlier posts on this blog on Terrorism.


Anonymous said...

Jazakallah. My heartfelt thanks for expressing the feelings which are in our minds.


Vani said...

Definition of terrorism:

Use of violence for political aims and that instills fear among people...

All such acts by any group should be called terrorism.

Anonymous said...

yes jazakullah very much because it is only this way that deceptions about islam will go away


Sandeep Monga said...

They r all terrorists whether Naxals,LET or ULFA or any damn organisation,but just like Sadhvi Pragya & others involved in Malegaon are called Hindu terrorists those doing the same in the name of Islam are called Islamic terrorists.Maoists r not using any religion as LTTE is also not using any religion.LTTE & Maoists & Naxals have people from all religions,but yes they should also be called terrorists not just rebels.

Anonymous said...

very well said .....may be its true that educated muslims are also responsible for the mess in which muslims find themselves in. We only thought of ours and forget the very important task of community building of ours. Its high time that we educated muslims like us take the matter on head and speard the true message of islam and try to clear the smoke arounf our community. The other alternative to this is only taking us to pit.

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

that is so very true...
its sad how its only Muslim terrorists who are terrorists and all other are 'rebels'.
but, i don know wat exactly dyu mean by saying that the Muslims shud protest better and all that!!!
you seriously think anything's gonna change that way???
you mentioned the TRP na??? thats the thing... we r seasonal culprits... in this age , this season.. Muslims are the villains... now, why wud the media not cash upon it.. maybe a hundred yrs later sumthin else wud pop up... us waqt media wud screw them....

i think better wud be to strengthen the community from within... Indian Muslims are not in that grt a state as compard to oders... we rather build ourselves into a strong ppl so that ppl start HEARING us and not just booing us down coz we r the same school-dropouts'-community-members who shout at any little thing...

its sad the way things are... it hurts and it really hurts bad... but i wonder wat can be done???

we r living in a world where EVERY muslim is bein lukd upon as a terorist.... dyu think any word spoken by US THE TERRORISTS wud matter????

Many still believe that the Muslim terrorists get support from us all... from you .. from me... dyu think these ppl wud give a damn to what the same 'you' and the same 'me' wud say...
dyu think they'll start callin the naxals, tigers and all 'terrorists' coz WE- THE TERRORISTS find it unjust...????

Danesh said...

Salaam -
Great post again! Very factual, which is what makes this post irrefutable. Linked it through twitter - http://twitter.com/daneshzaki/status/1614403789

Alicia said...

very great post. Two of my very best friends are Muslims from India. They are the kindest, most generous and wonderful people. They are a blessing to my family and the entire community. Muslim does not equal terrorist and terrorist does not equal Muslim. They are defined in and of themselves and shouldn't be described as one in the same.

Anonymous said...

Well written article.

All the crimes you mentioned are atrocious but no one claimed God as the reason for it. Hence no religion attached to them.

The reason given by Muslims for any attack is God and the book. There is not deying that. This attracts lot of crowds and debates.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what makes you think that naxals and ULFA dont have any muslim cadres? If you read their ideologies, they say any one who is poor and oppressed ( for naxals) and any one who supports the cause of a separate nation of assam ( for ULFA) can become their members, and there are 100s of muslims in the ranks of naxals and ULFA.

And who are the masterminds behind such groups? ISI and Pakistan..err..last time I read about ISI and Pakistan, they have got a particular religion as the religion of the state and they say they are working for the cause of that religion.

And yes naxals and ULFA dont use a religion as their reason-d-itre for killing people like the jihadi groups for whom you seem to have so much of love for.

And even if for a moment we consider the fact that naxals and ULFA arent being given any prominence in the news, does that mean what the jihadis are doing is right? Why cant you simply say any one who tries to harm people is anti social and hence a terrorist.Why this lame excuse in the defence of the jihadis?

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

.:) the above comment is just the kind of reaction i spoke of :)
if you say every person who causes terror should be called a terrorist, they say you are 'making excuses in the defence of jihadis' ...... If you say Muslim terrorists are not the only terrorists, they say 'you have love for the jihadi groups'.
every time you show whats wrong in others (without denying the wrong in you), you'd be told that since you pointed out others, it shows that you are trying to justify your own wrong doings. . . And then the whole topic would take a different turn. . .
and the issue you had raised in the first place would vanish into thin air. . . .
leavin you to prove that you are not a terrorist supporter.
and the cycle repeats ......

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous (22:31)

Get a life,grow up!Stop living in a fool's paradise accept that terrorism even exists without the involvement of ISI or any other foreign funding in India!

Islam And The West said...

It is politically correct and advantageous to link Islam to terrorism and vice versa. The only people that this synthesised nexus fools are the bigots.

Shreya said...

It is sad to see how terrorism can be linked to any religion at all. Religion is a way of remembering god and praising him for all he has done for us. it is also a rule book for each one of us regarding the details on how to live life. I feel bad as to how Muslim people are looked upon in India today. it is sad to see that. Islam is one of the most beutiful Religions that I have ever come across. Media portrays this culture as if it is made to kill other people. I do not think so. I am a born In a hindu family but i Am an Indian first. i wish this idea of muslim terrorism is done with as soon as possible. I am always going to support the Right and not follow false images shown by the media or anyone else. we need to stop fighting on the basis of religion Or indirectly on the basis of GOD!

Pinku said...

Bhai...i thought the same things when i read about the incidents...thanks for putting it into words.

I have no answers...just a hope that the few who still can think rationally will raise the hands and heads and be counted...no matter which community they belong to.

urdudaaN said...

"They are hurt and angry but they don't protest properly, by approaching the news channels and take legal ways to fight this malaise, which is causing a deep crisis for Indian Muslims and the image of Islam."

I would call this as the quote of the century by an educated Muslim.

indscribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
indscribe said...

Anon, Vani, Sandeep ji @ thanks for your valuable comments.

Jalpari @ Yes it will change. Many don't even realise the difference. If they are told, they think and then can make a distinction.

Protest doesn't mean coming to streets. It means delegations of Muslims including non-Mulsims meeting the media barons and informing them about the practice and with concrete evidence, apprise them about genuine grievanec regarding portrayal of Muslism.

You will be surprised to know that the the number of Muslims among those writing 'letters to editors' is very less.

Danesh bhai, Alicia, Shreya, Pinku ji, Islam and the West @ Thank you so much for your take on the issue.

Anon @ As someone just pointed out...terrorism is use of violene that instills fear....mindless killing is terrorism.

the point is that Naxalism should be termed Naxal terrorism and Naga terrorism or ULFA-led terrorism or LTTE terrorism...rather than using softer words.

Urdudaan Sb @ I am speechless for the moment :)

How do we know said...

i agree.. anyone who spreads terror is a terrorist.

I read today abt the Fatwa that makes it mandatory for all muslims to vote. Wonderful! The next thing we need is a Fatwa making it mandatory for all Muslims to send their children to school.. to not confuse religion with personal identity.. no wait, this is not even part of ur post.. but I thought abt it after reading ur post.. that Fatwa was progressive.. at the very least. But to think of oneself as just a "Muslim voter" is not so progressive..

Anonymous said...

Let me offer a contrary opinion, if I may.

It certainly is true, as you say, that "Entire Muslim clergy in India has termed them as terrorists and issued fatwas against them."

However, in the view of non-Moslems, Indian Islam is generally viewed as less authentically Islamic than Islam as practiced in nations that are predominantly Islamic, and much less than the Islam of countries ruled by shari'a and an ulemaa.

This is not surprising. These islamic nations themselves say that they are more authentically Islamic than nations like India, in which compromises are allegedly made so as to not offend the non-Moslem majority.

And, in such countries, the use of violence by individuals in order to advance religious objectives is frequently supported by the ulemaa as a religious imperative when conducted against apostates, heterodoxists, hertecis, and non-believers.

Inasmuch as Islam asserts itself to be a universal religion, non-Moslems tend to view with curiosity a statement by Indian imams that is substantially different from statements by those in major Islamic centers such as Makka, Qom, etc.

Thus, while what you say is true, it is also true that as long as the major world centers of Islam indicate that Islam not merely sanctions but would demand that violence be waged against those whose only offense may have been to believe differently (an Ahmaddiya Moslem, or an apostate from Islam), a level of cognitive dissonance will persist.

As long as the view exists that Islam is indisolubly linked with the advocacy of violence in ways that contravene values such as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, public opinions will persist.

Of course, you are right that other groups are also terrorists (Naxalites, etc.) but that does not negate the point that Islam is widely viewed by non-Moslems as being linked, in part, to the advocacy of terrorism.

So, if your point is that Islamic violence (and by imputation Islam itself) should be viewed as equally terrorist as the ideology of the Naxalites, you may succeed.

However, when you note that there might be a "campaign to spread the word 'All Muslims are not terrorists but...'" a ready retort by non-Moslems may well be 'All Muslims are not terrorists but Islam as described by Islamic clerics in nations that are based on Islamic law does in fact support and justify terrorism.'

Anonymous said...

Worlds 20% of population is Muslims. There are so many Muslim dominated countries where they can have the rules and freedom they want. There are Muslims in other democratic countries. Still, the only topics of interest to talk about Muslims seem to be terrorism, islam is good or bad, whether Muslims advocate violence, burqa, beard, mosque. Is not there anything else to talk about? Something that would have benefitted mankind(No oil, it is natural resource). No logic on this earth can explain this irony or sad state of affairs which Muslims themselves have gotten into.

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

Ya. . . I have noticed that too, the number of letters to editor from muslims is less. . I used to mail a lot. . But only three were published and that too after a lot of 'edits' . But now that you remind, i think ya! We need to express ourselves more. Though im not sure bout 'delegations' . Maybe im being extra paranoid . . . Khair
id like to add that comparing the rules in a muslim country to others' is not a very gr8 base. . .
every country has a law, if a country chooses to enforce the law of a religion as its state law. . It may well do so. And then that religion becomes the law.
after this the question is whether the rulers are just in the way they practice , i.e. WHO WILL GUARD THE GUARDIANS i . For all we know, this problem exists in every country every law. . . Islamic nations get more focus coz of the very obvious reasons.
the next question is , is Islamic Law really a 'terrifying' law and if it is , is it lesser or more terrifying than other religions' laws. . This would require a study of religions by the people who have these doubts . .

and sayin indian muslims are islamically lower than others and SO the fatwas by our people is not significant is like sayin 'tum bura karoge to hum uchhalenge, tum bhala karoge to hum bahana nikalenge'. . . .
if a muslim does something i dnt like i say 'see. . He folows islam thats why'
if a muslim does sumthin i dnt like i say 'ohhh . . Dats nt d real islam'. . .
bottomline . . .
i hate islam.

again maybe im being over paranoid . . . Khair. .
im being forced to. . . By this 'na khaate chain , na ugalte chain' situation.

Raza Rumi said...

Good grief..how could I have not seen this earlier. well researched, relevant and original as in it makes a coherent argument. If you separate imperialism from Islamism then the word terrorism dies its natural death.
thanks for this excellent educative post. Hope more and more people read it and see the light.

P.S. Some of the comments here are just do disposable..typically 'mediatised' versions of reality.
Adnan Mian: yeh tau irony bantee ja rahee haye ke "is ghar ko aag lag gayee ghar ke chiragh se". The ghar of course is the media empire that you are a part of!!!

Jadev,India said...

Maoists are not "terrorists". They are insurgents with a rock-solid support base in population.They dont indiscriminately kill people.They mainly feed on the injustices committed on the "real minorities of India" like tribals who are not considered a vote-bank. Terrorists use "mass causality attacks" to expend hidden fantasy of "sections" of population. That is why they try to get as much media-hype as possible. Wondered why after committing such barbaric acts with bodies strewn around..they want media to see that? If you have followed terrorism..you can see that individuals who commit(plan and execute) such acts are very intelligent people capable of strategic thinking..
ps: I am a BJP supporter and anti-commie..just for the record

Anonymous said...

Terrorism or murdur,oppression,or selfishness and sin is never right no matter what group that does it wether they call themselves a religious group or not.God our Creator never intented his people to live this way at all.Yes there may be times to defend ourselves or our families from attack but never to gain political or religious power which is only sin against God and our fellow man.The root problem of it all is the sinful nature of human beings since the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eves disobedience to God in eating the forbidden fruit we have all become sinners in rebellion against God.The only way out of it all was given by God himself who clothed Adam and Eve after their sinful fall.But faith in Jesus can save us who died for all our sins on the cross and rose again from the dead,and is alive forevermore. Repent and trust him as your God and Saviour and have eternal life as a gift from God.Thank You,Sincerely;George

Anonymous said...

Absolutly right... if the basic thing is followed the judgement becomes easy. Live and Let Live. These all are terrosirt, 'cause they are aginst constitution, their aggression is leading to humiliation, frastration and partition in society.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mubi Rana said...

Just Wanted to Thank You :)
Feeling Really Good after reading a Great Article and Comments Above...
I'm a Pakistani Muslim & I'm Proud of It..
No Matter What hipocritic MEDIA call us.
Picture Mania