What we need to fight is Islamist separatism. It’s a conscious, theorised, politico-religious project that materialises through repeated deviations from the values of the republic and which often result in the creation of a counter-society,” said Emmanuel Macron a few weeks ago. Just imagine the uproar if Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used the same words in India. A teacher in France has been beheaded just for showing the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. The true message of any religion is reflected in the actions of its followers instead of its holy book. How many times have you heard that Islam is a beautiful religion but some bad Muslims defame it?
This is the biggest lie of this century. If Islam is an accommodating religion, why are almost all Muslim majority countries Islamic theocratic states? If Islam is such a tolerant religion, why were Kashmiri Hindus thrown out of their homelands? If Islam is such a peaceful religion, why do all the terrorist organisations around the world have the establishment of this religion as a motivating factor?
Truth to be told, Muslims are very unfortunate people today because Islam is the most unreformed philosophy in this world. The reason I call Islam the most unreformed religion is because Islam never had a Renaissance moment like Christianity and Hinduism. Islam was never divorced from the state. Therefore, wherever Muslims are in majority or close to the majority, they tend to set up Islamic states or worse, armed struggle for it. Pakistan and Kashmir being case in point. This tendency also breeds intolerance towards other philosophies and relentless urge to convert others into Islam. Questioning anything in Islam is out of the question. How many names come to your mind if I ask you to name prominent Muslim leaders who had a secular outlook and had the courage to question the teachings of the Qur’an?
The renaissance in Europe around the 15th and 16th century made European Christians question the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the state affairs. Thereby, leading to question the various orthodox beliefs and practices of their religion. Thus, sowing the seeds of secular societies. It’s not a coincidence that most Christian majority countries are secular whereas Muslim majority countries are not.
Similar religion renaissance never took place in any part of the Islamic world, except Turkey. In 1920, when Indian Muslims and our beloved Gandhi Ji were protesting for the restoration of caliphate in Turkey, there emerged a true reformer with the name of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the secular leader who abolished the caliphate and led Turkey to the path of Secularism. Unfortunately, Erdoğan (present president of Turkey) is taking Turkey back to the middle ages.
In India, the Hinduism is going through reforms from the time immemorial. In different phases of our history, many spiritual leaders or social reformers have questioned the ills of Hindu society and led it to a path of reforms. Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are all born out of Hinduism. Hinduism is probably the only philosophy in the world which has not only allowed other religion and sects to question itself but also given them ample space to grow and spread alongside. Hence, tolerance towards other religions has never been an issue with Indic religions. Later in 19th and 20th century, we had another round of Indian Renaissance in which myriad forms of discriminatory practices of Hindu society were recognised and weeded out.
So, is Hinduism a perfect religion? No, it is not. Hindus are guilty of practising something as diabolical as casteism. What radicalisation is to Islam, casteism is to Hinduism. The only difference is that many Hindus recognise it and don’t lie to themselves that there is nothing wrong about it. We have recognised it, that’s why we have inserted a constitutional provision to abolish it and made strict laws like SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989, in order to deter people from practising it in any form. Moreover, we have also given Constitutional reservation to SC/STs in educational institutions and Govt jobs, as a form of reparations for the centuries of injustice we have done to them.
Now imagine a scenario, where there is a complete absence of such constitutional provisions and deterrent laws. Every time a Dalit is harassed or killed, the usual reply of caste Hindus is, “Casteism is a beautiful system but only a few Hindus are defaming it. How lame that sounds to you? Therefore, if questioning casteism of Hindus is not Hinduphobia, why is questioning the radicalism of Muslims considered Islamophobia?
All Muslims are bad would be a wrong inference of my opinion. Many have made an unparalleled contribution to the betterment of society. All caste Hindus are also not casteists but that has not stopped us from bringing reforms and deterrent laws. All men do not beat their wives but that does not mean that there is no need for the Domestic Violence Act. Muslim Intelligentsia all over the world has to step up and bring long-pending reforms in the philosophy of Islam. Nature has a very simple law. Either you reform yourself or reforms will be imposed on you. That is what precisely is going to happen in France now.